1) Aston Martin DB MkIII: Batman v Superman
Say what you will about the film (just not ‘Martha’, please), there is one truly shining, unexpected motoring moment. Not when Batman literally guns down goons in his cartoonish Batmobile, but when Bruce Wayne pulls up to a lavish gala in an old Aston Martin. Proper car, that.
2) Lincoln Continental: The Matrix
Remember, Tank could have loaded up any car he desired. After all, they were entering a computer simulation. Literally anything could have been dialed up to act as adequate transport for Morpheus, Neo, and Trinity. Picking the so-cool-you’ll-get-frostbite Continental with the suicide doors was an inspired touch.
3) BMW 633 CSI: Back to the Future Part II
The DeLorean—and to some extent even the Toyota pickup from Part I—take all the glory in this superlative trilogy. But for picking such a cool, unexpected motor for the briefest of scenes, props must be delivered promptly to Part II’s quick shot of a modified BMW 633 CSI convertible.
4) Pontiac GTO: The Shawshank Redemption
Because you knew the river of...well, stuff that poor old Andy had to quite literally swim through, his redemption at the end of the film in a gleaming red Pontiac droptop was a superb bit of cinematic shorthand. Happiness = a sunny coastal drive in a shiny, big, red American convertible.
5) Mini Mayfair MkV: The Bourne Identity
The Bourne franchise set new records and raised its game for the most recent installment and that car chase set in Las Vegas. But it’s easy to forget just how simple the first game-changing film was, both in narrative and in its pivotal moment. One battered Mini meets amnesia-ridden super-assassin in a car chase for the ages.
6) Chevrolet Nova: Good Will Hunting
Swinging in with full ‘battered old first-car vibes’ comes this Chevy Nova at the end of Good Will Hunting. Sure, it might have been the ugliest car he ever saw in his life, but the fact that the Oscar-winning script mentions its solid ‘straight-six’ engine is a lovely little car-people nod. Straight-sixes = class.
7) Acura NSX: Pulp Fiction
Should we have gone for the Civic? It’s the car that makes more difference in the plot, but it’s an obvious choice. No, we’re going to go for the—ahem—perhaps more obvious NSX. A brief cameo that again acts as movie shorthand for ‘Mr. Wolf gets stuff done quickly,’ and ‘he’s got impeccable taste.’
“It’s 30 minutes away. I’ll be there in 10,” he says. Nine minutes and 37 seconds later, he’s oversteering into shot.
8) 1982 BMW 520i (E28): Snatch
Speaking of straight-sixes, the ratty old E28 from Guy Ritchie’s second movie gets a little nod. It’s not around for long, but the camera lingers over its simple three-box flanks for long enough to show it’s worth, well, showing. Mr. Ritchie knows his cars, anyway—he put a MkII Escort RS2000 and AC Cobra in Lock, Stock, don’t forget.
9) Jaguar XK8: Memento
Leonard might not have remembered how he got into the delightfully green convertible XK8, but he certainly remembered how to gun it when being chased in Nolan’s superlative thriller.
10) Aston Martin DB5: Catch Me If You Can
More proof of 007’s monumental reach back in the ’60s. Wily fraudster Frank Abignale Jr. wanted an explicit display of his wealth and newfound financial status, and what better way to manifest just that than a few of Bond’s suits and his gorgeous DB5?
11) Ford Bronco: Logan
An unexpectedly poignant film, 2017’s Logan felt more like a Western than a comic-book film. Especially if you consider Logan and his daughter’s modern ‘horse’ was an old Bronco traipsing through the desert to a discreet rendezvous.
12) Chevrolet Corvette: The Big Lebowski
Come on, you know the scene.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.
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