Wanna start an argument?
The folks at U.K. insurance-shopping website gocompare.com have created a list of the movies’ most iconic, popular and frequently seen cars that’ll stir things up the next time conversation stalls at anything from a family dinner to a tailgate party.
Whether your crew cares about cars or movies, “Moviemotors” will give them plenty to debate.
The timeless Ford-Chevy rivalry is in full swing onscreen. Ford got the nod as the brand most frequently seen in movies and for the top two models: Mustang and the Crown Victoria. Chevrolet notched spots 3 and 4 with the Impala and Caprice.
Top 10 models
1. Ford Mustang (Death Race, Gone in 60 Seconds, Bullitt)
2. Ford Crown Victoria (Taken 3, Seven Pounds, Superbad)
3. Chevrolet Impala (Jeepers Creepers, Raising Arizona, Saturday Night Fever)
4. Chevrolet Caprice (The Dukes of Hazzard, Se7en, Point Break)
5. Ford Econoline (Enemy of the State, Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, Dumb and Dumber)
6. Mercedes-Benz S-Class (The Fate of the Furious, 21 Jump Street, The Bourne Identity)
7. Chevrolet Camaro (Transformers, Spring Breakers, 2 Fast 2 Furious)
8. Volkswagen Golf (The Guilt Trip, Notes on a Scandal, Home for the Holidays)
9. Toyota Land Cruiser (Safe House, The Mist, Unfaithful)
10. Lincoln Town Car Stretched Limousine (The Hangover Part III, Desperado, The Bodyguard)
The rankings aren’t based solely on the number of times a car or brand is seen in movies. The car had to be featured prominently or used by a main character on screen. Gocompare then factored in movie website IMDB.com’s rating of the films’ popularity.
What’s that mean? One Bullitt, in which Steve McQueen essentially costarred with a Mustang fastback, outranks a thousand cabs dropping characters off at a hotel. Robert DeNiro’s deranged Taxi Driver should’ve gotten Checker back in the game, but apparently not enough people love Scorsese’s dark masterpiece.
Top 10 most frequently used models
1. Ford, 8,988 movies (Mustang, Crown Victoria, Econoline)
2. Chevrolet, 5,513 movies (Impala, Caprice, Camaro)
3. Mercedes-Benz, 4,176 movies (S-Class, E-Class, SL)
4. Volkswagen, 2,726 movies (Golf, Passat Variant, Beetle1200)
5. BMW, 2,340 movies (5 series, 3 series, 7 series)
6. Dodge, 2,287 movies (Diplomat, Ram, Coronet)
7. Fiat, 2,161 movies (Panda, 500 F, Ducato)
8. Cadillac, 2,031 movies (Fleetwood 75, Series 62 Convertible, Sedan Deville)
9. Toyota, 2,026 movies (Corolla, Hilux, Crown)
10. Citroen, 1,758 movies (DS 19, ID 19, CX)
A few inclusions and omissions baffle me:
Dodge has no individual model winners, despite being the No. 6 brand and repeated star turns by the 1970 Charger in the Fast and Furious series.
In a Hollywood injustice that rivals The English Patient victory over Fargo for best movie, the Audi A8 makes the list in the 2000s for Transporter 2, but not the ’90s for Ronin.
The biggest surprise is the most iconic car for the decade of the 2000s: Clint Eastwood’s treasured Ford Gran Torino, from the movie of the same name that Eastwood shot in Detroit. A Chevy Camaro from Transformers finished second.
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, the Camaro concept from Transformers: Age of Extinction finished No. 2 behind the Mad Max: Fury Road post-apocalyptic Tatra 815-7 for the 2010s.
It’s hard to dispute the No. 1 model on the list of iconic vehicles, though: The DeLorean DMC-12 that powered Marty McFly’s trips Back to the Future rules time and space.
Most iconic car by decade
1960s: Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger)
1970s: Ford Falcon (Mad Max)
1980s: DeLorean-DMC 12 (Back to the Future)
1990s: DeLorean-DMC 12 (Back to the Future III)
2000s: Ford Gran Torino (Gran Torino)
2010s: Tatra 815-7 (Mad Max: Fury Road)
The website includes more lists, including the top 15 vehicles in film for every decade back to the 1960s.
Spoiler alert: The VW sunroof sedan from The Love Bug is No. 8 for the ’60s, trailing 007’s Aston Martin DB7, Peter Fonda’s Harley-Davidson, Mini Coopers from The Italian Job, and even the fictional Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang and the Batmobile.
Start your engines and your arguments.