Passion for cars and car culture can come from many places for many different people. However, the cinema holds a special place in people's hearts all over the world. Over the years, all sorts of movies have helped to bolster car culture. Whether films about international spies or movies about illegal street racing, cars on the big screen have captured our hearts and imaginations for decades. In fact, many films have gone on to make the cars featured in them famous.
While we can debate to no end on which ones are the most famous, we wanted to highlight five of our all-time favorites…. And one with a guest star: Pirelli.
Back to the Future, 1985, DeLorean DMC-12
“Are you telling me you built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?” Who could forget this classic film - which took a relatively unknown car with a design that was half-retro and half-futurist – and turned it into its third lead? The outrageous car was paired with an equally outrageous premise in Back to the Future. While the film didn't exactly lead to red-hot sales for the DeLorean, it has become a timeless vehicle that still enjoys a cult following today.
Bullitt, 1968 Mustang GT 390
Steve McQueen was the epitome of cool. Therefore, it only made sense that any car he drove was considered the epitome of cool. And the 1968 Mustang GT 390 was just that. It was already an incredibly cool car, but the 1968 film propelled it into the stratosphere. The chase scenes throughout the streets of San Francisco were unlike anything that had been committed to celluloid up until that point, helping to cement this particular Mustang as a generational icon. In fact, the car is so beloved that Ford went on to make not one but two limited edition versions since the film's release.
The Fast and the Furious, 2001, Dodge Charger
The Dodge Charger has had quite a few runs on both the big and little screen. In fact, most people likely remember the famous 1969 Charger that was featured with the moniker “General Lee” in The Dukes of Hazzard. However, in 2001, the first film in the long-running, multi-billion-dollar franchise that is still going today introduced this beast of a car to an entirely new generation. In a film of flashy imported sports cars that scream finesse, the 1970 Charger proves that sometimes all you need is a bit of old-fashioned American Muscle.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 1986, Modena GT Spyder California
No real Ferraris were injured in the making of this film. Interestingly enough, this car is actually modified for the film to resemble a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. There are likely a number of reasons why the production team chose to go this route, though we imagine the biggest one had something to do with rolling a $300,000 car out of an elevated, glass-encased garage, all but destroying it.
The Italian Job, 1969 Austin Mini Cooper S 1275
When you ask people what they remember most about The Italian Job, it is a foregone conclusion that they'll mention the Mini Coopers almost immediately. However, the Minis almost never appeared in the film, as the British Motor Corporation was notoriously difficult when it came to working with the production team. BMC would not donate any vehicles to the film, instead opting to sell six Minis at trade price and an additional 30 at full retail price. Thankfully, the film's screenwriter Troy Kennedy stuck to his guns and refused to swap out the Mini for other vehicles. This decision ultimately led to the film's chase scenes becoming some of the most famous of all-time, while propelling the Mini from a well-known urban vehicle in the United Kingdom to a pop culture icon across the globe.
Spectre, 2015, James Bond's Aston Martin DB10
“The name is Zero. P Zero.” This is obviously how the tires that enable 007 to pursue and escape from villains on a regular basis would introduce themselves if they could talk. James Bond has driven a number of cars over the years (in excess of 100) but the latest is the DB10: a special one-off vehicle created for the film Spectre, which previews the forthcoming DB11. A number of Pirelli tires were harmed in the making of Spectre, with Pirelli providing original equipment for Aston Martin and its most discerning customers, such as 007.