A Timeline of 50 Iconic Cars Throughout Film History

Written by Carly Hallman

Cinema is brimming with beautiful vehicles, from classic cars like the elegant 1949 Mercury Coupe in Rebel Without a Cause to futuristic beasts like the Batmobile in Batman Begins. Movie cars can become characters in their own right, vehicles for propelling the plot, and symbols for characters and settings. This sophisticated chart by TitleMax showcases 50 iconic cars from film history, starting from 1955 all the way to 2020. While a list of best movie cars of all time is completely subjective, we believe this list encompasses many of the coolest movie cars that have blazed across the silver screen:

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A Timeline of 50 Iconic Cars Throughout Film History Transcript

Source and Date Car
Rebel Without a Cause, 1955 1949 Mercury Coupe
Goldfinger, 1964 1964 Aston Martin DB5
The Love Bug, 1968 Herbie (1963 Volkswagen Beetle Model 117 Deluxe Sunroof Sedan)
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 1968 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Bullitt, 1968 1968 Mustang GT 390
The Italian Job, 1969 Mini Cooper
American Graffiti, 1973 1932 Ford Coupe
Vanishing Point, 1971 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T
The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977 1976 Lotus Esprit Series I
Smokey and the Bandit, 1977 1977 Pontiac Trans Am
Grease, 1978 Greased Lightning (1948 Ford Deluxe Convertible)
Mad Max, 1979 1973 XB GT Ford Falcon
The Blues Brothers, 1980 Bluesmobile (1974 Dodge Monaco)
Tron, 1982 Light Cycle
Knight Rider, 1982 KITT (1982 Pontiac Trans Am)
Christine, 1983 1958 Plymouth Fury
National Lampoon’s Vacation, 1983 Wagon Queen Family Truckster (1979 Ford LTD Country Squire)
The A-Team, 1983 A-Team Van (GMC Vandura)
Ghostbusters, 1984 Ectomobile (1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor)
Back to the Future, 1985 1981 DeLorean DMC-12
Better Off Dead, 1985 1967 Chevy Camaro SS
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, 1986 1985 Modena GT Spyder California
Robocop, 1987 6000 SUX
Thelma & Louise, 1991 1966 Ford Thunderbird
Wayne’s World, 1992 Mirthmobile (1976 AMC Pacer)
Jurassic Park, 1993 1992 Ford Explorer XLT UN46
Pulp Fiction, 1994 1974 Chevrolet Nova
The Magic School Bus, 1994 Magic School Bus
Good Burger, 1997 1975 ACM Pacer
The Big Lebowski, 1998 1973 Ford Gran Torino
The World Is Not Enough, 1999 BMW Z8
The Fast and the Furious, 2001 1970 Dodge Charger
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, 2002 Flying Ford Anglia
Minority Report, 2002 Lexus 2054
Kill Bill: Vol. 1, 2003 “Pussy Wagon” (1997 Chevrolet Silverado 2500)
The Dukes of Hazzard, 2005 General Lee (1969 Dodge Charger)
Batman Begins, 2005 Batmobile/Tumbler
Cars, 2006 Lightning McQueen
Little Miss Sunshine, 2006 1971 Volkswagen T2 Microbus
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, 2006 Mazda RX-7
Transformers, 2007 Bumblebee (2007 Chevrolet Camaro)
Iron Man, 2008 2008 Audi R8
Drive, 2011 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu
The Green Hornet, 2011 Black Beauty (1965 Chrysler Imperial Crown)
The Avengers, 2012 Acura NSX Roadster
John Wick, 2014 1969 Mustang Mach 1
Mad Max: Fury Road, 2015 The Gigahorse
Baby Driver, 2017 Subaru Impreza WRX
Blade Runner 2049, 2017 Spinner
Bad Boys for Life, 2020 Porsche Carrera 4S

Sources:

What was the car in Goldfinger?

The car in the 1964 film Goldfinger was an Aston Martin DB5. It is considered one of the most iconic vehicles in Bond history. If you are a Bond buff or just enjoy admiring beautiful cars, check out this complete collection of all James Bond cars.

What kind of car is the Knight Rider?

The car in the 1982 series Knight Rider is a modified Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. In the movie, the car is known as K.I.T.T., which is capable of speech, self-driving, and has an impressive arsenal of weapons and other crime-fighting technology. In January 2021, David Hasselhoff (who played Michael Knight, the protagonist of the series) auctioned off his own personal Knight Rider vehicle. How much did K.I.T.T. sell for? According to CBS17, Hasselhoff’s Knight Rider went for $300,000 at auction.

What kind of car does John Wick drive?

In the 2014 neo-noir action thriller John Wick, Keanu Reeve’s character drives a 1969 Mustang Mach 1. However, in the film it is referred to as a 1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429. The Boss 429 was a high-performance Mustang variant that was sold between 1969 and 1970. Just 1,359 units were built during its brief production run, making it one of the most sought-after classic cars in the world. In the film, the Mustang Mach 1 was dressed up to resemble the Boss 429, but there are some subtle clues that give it away.

What kind of car is Bumblebee from the Transformers Movies?

In the original toy line and animated series, Bumblebee transformed into a small yellow Volkswagen Beetle. When Michael Bay delivered the franchise to the big screen, he chose Bumblebee’s car form to be a Chevrolet Camaro SS. One of the main incentives for this change was that Michael Bay considered the VW Beetle too evocative of Herbie, the self-driving race car in Love Bug. Bay pays tribute to the old Beetle form several times throughout the movies; in the first Transformers film, Bumblebee is found at a used car dealership right next to a yellow Beetle. Imagine getting a car title loan for Herbie or Bumblebee!

What kind of car is in Back to the Future?

The answer to “what of car is the DeLorean” is simple; it is a DeLorean DMC-12! The DeLorean DMC-12 were produced from 1981-1983 – during these two years, around 9,000 cars were manufactured. The history of the DeLorean is chaotic and peppered with glamour, fraud, and even political drama!

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