Sabreblade loves cars, comics, cryptozoology, movies, and badass women.
The Most Badass Cars Ever Seen in Films
Here is a list of what I consider to be some of the baddest (best) cars to ever grace the silver screen. Sometimes, autos in films almost take on a life of their own (in at least one case, the car actually did take on a life of its own), and you even hear, "I hated that movie, but that car was bad!"
Now, these are just movie automobiles; KITT didn't make the list because there hasn't been a theatrical Knight Rider movie (not counting the TV movies), and I didn't include the General Lee because the Dukes of Hazzard movie was . . . well . . . you know. So, here are ten cars (and a truck) that lit up the pavement and the big screen.
10 Coolest Movie Cars of All Time
- The Batmobile
- The Pursuit Special
- The DeLorean DMC-12 Time Machine
- The Aston Martin DB5
- Frankenstein's Monster
- The Green Goblin Truck
- The Black Beauty
- The Wraith's Car
- The Bluesmobile
1. The Batmobile
Movies: Batman, Batman Returns, Batman Begins, and The Dark Knight
I'm talking about the Batmobile from Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns films here, not the neon-glow travesties that followed. The SR-71 Blackbird, Corvette, Indy car, train-looking creation fit perfectly into Burton's art deco version of Gotham City.
Talk about factory options:
- A jet turbine engine that powered this beast from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds
- Twin Browning machine guns mounted in each fender
- A grappling hook that approximated the old TV show's "Bat-Turn"
- Side-mounted Bat-Disc (batarang) ejectors that could fire fifteen Bat-Discs in a 1-second pulse
- Chassis-mounted shinbreakers
- Oil slick dispensers
- Smoke screen emitters
- Spherical bombs that could be deployed from its sides
And that list doesn't even mention the anti-theft system, which included a voice-command recognition system, ceramic fractal armor panels, and bulletproof/fireproof steel plates that covered the entire body and cockpit.
Of course, I have to give special mention to the Tumbler in Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins and its sequel, The Dark Knight. While not as sleek and wicked-looking as Burton's 1989 model, the Tumbler more than got the job done.
The Tumbler looked more like a Lamborghini, a tank, and the F-117 Nighthawk.
- Twin autocannons mounted in the nose of the car
- Rocket launcher
- Fire-extinguishing system
- Jet engine booster
- Stealth mode
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While the 1989 Batmobile could turn into the "Batmissile" when damaged, the Tumbler broke off into the "Batpod" or the updated version of the Bat-Cycle.
What About the Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad Batmobile?
In the newer movies—Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and The Suicide Squad—we got a new Batmobile again. Gone are the sleek lines from Burton's Batmobile and the functional look of Nolan's Tumbler. However, I'm not ready to pass judgement on this version yet.
2. The Pursuit Special
Movies: Mad Max and Mad Max 2
Number two on my list of movie cars is the Pursuit Special from George Miller's Mad Max films. What true muscle car lover didn't get a slight twinge when they fired that baby up for the first time?
The Pursuit Special was a GT351 version 1973 Ford Falcon XB Cleveland.
Now, I don't know anything about Australian cars, but I did have a 1971 Mustang Mach 1 with a 351 Cleveland in it like the GT Coupe, and it would flat-out fly. Of course, Max's ride didn't have the gadgets that Batman did—but what it lacked in tech, it made up for in sheer intimidation and power.
I was really sad when this beast met its end in Mad Max 2. It was like one of the characters died.
Where Was the Pursuit Special in Fury Road?
Maybe the only negative thing about Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) was the noticeable lack of the Pursuit Special. It was there, but it was pretty much just a cameo.
3. The DeLorean DMC-12 Time Machine
Movies: Back to the Future Trilogy
Yes, I know the DeLorean DMC-12 was also on my list of the worst cars ever made, but Dr. Emmett Brown's time machine ride from the Back to the Future trilogy is fictional, and thus it's exempt from real-life problems.
The DeLorean DMC-12 Time Machine's heart was the flux capacitor (I wonder if that's related to Buckaroo Banzai's oscillation overthruster?), which was powered by a plutonium-powered nuclear reactor and (later) the Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor.
Once you hit 88 mph in the DMC-12, BOOM!—you were gone. Into time, that is.
Will Time Travel Ever Bring Back the DeLorean?
Like the Pursuit Special, the DMC-12 met its end in the films, crushed by a train.
But, hey, with the "timey-wimey" thing, it could show back up any time perfectly intact.
4. The Aston Martin DB5
Movies: Goldfinger, Thunderball, GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Casino Royale
Okay, really any of James Bond's rides could qualify here, but my first thought was the Aston Martin DB5 since it's shown up in so many notable Bond movies. Watch the DB5 tribute video below to see some of its best cinematic moments.
Runners-up for Best Bond Car
To be fair, though, some of Bond's other vehicles had incredible features.
- Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante: The V8 Vantage Volante from The Living Daylights had extending side outriggers, spike-producing tires, missiles, lasers, a signal-intercepting smart radio, a heads-up display, and rocket propulsion, and it could self-destruct when commanded. Talk about an anti-theft device!
- Aston Martin V12 Vanquish: The V12 Vanquish in Die Another Day had front-launched rockets, hood-mounted target-seeking guns, spike-producing tires, a passenger ejector seat, and one of the coolest mods ever: a cloaking device! Take that, Romulans!
Yes, this is the demonic, self-healing, self-aware 1958 Plymouth Fury from the 1983 film Christine, directed by John Carpenter and based on the novel written by Stephen King. What more needs to be said?
Will Christine Ever Come Back?
Like many of the other cars on this list, Christine meets her end in the film. Or does she?
6. Frankenstein's Monster
Movie: Death Race
This is Jensen Ames' (Jason Statham) bad ride from Death Race (2008). Although the film is considered a remake of the 1975 film Death Race 2000, the opening sequence makes me look at it more as a sequel.
Frankenstein's Monster was a heavily modified Ford Mustang complete with 7.62 mm M134 multi-barrel machine guns, smokescreens, napalm, and an oil slick. It looked a lot different from its 1975 predecessor, as you can see in the photo below.
The 1975 Car Took the "Monster" Part Literally
The original Frankenstein's Monster in the 1975 movie was a modified Chevrolet Corvette with red eyes, scales, and teeth.
7. The Green Goblin Truck
Movie: Maximum Overdrive
Okay, I know that it's technically not a car, but the sentient and genocidal Green Goblin Truck from 1986's Maximum Overdrive was bad. The truck itself was a 1977 Western Star 4864 truck with the "Happy Toyz Co." logo on it. Oh, right, and a big, freaky-looking Green Goblin face attached to the front.
The Goblin Drives Again
This lean, mean, and green truck is still popular with fans. In fact, the current owner of the goblin head has restored it and takes it on tours, attending conventions in various U.S. states.
8. The Black Beauty
Movie: The Green Hornet
The Green Hornet, starring Seth Rogan, came out on December 22, 2010. While the film had a lot of problems, the Black Beauty wasn't one of them. This slick black car with green accents is a modified Chrysler Crown Imperial.
- Twin-mounted mini-guns
- A flamethrower
- Really cool "Hornet" wheels
Old Beauty vs. New Beauty
In the original '60s TV show, the Black Beauty was a 1966 Chrysler Crown Imperial created by Dean Jeffries. The 2010 Black Beauty paid tribute to the TV show by also using an Imperial.
9. The Wraith's Car
Movie: The Wraith
This is a little-known action/sci-fi movie from 1986 that you should really check out some time. The Wraith was the main character of the movie, but his ride was the star to me.
The Wraith's car was a modified 1984 Dodge-PPG Twin Turbo M4S Prototype. It was powered by a Trans Four OHC 8 valve I4 Engine that put out 400–440 Horsepower and gave the Prototype a top end of almost 200mph.
Underrated Film, Underrated Car
If you want a closer look at this non-CGI powerhouse, there's an episode of the web series Screen Chassis devoted to the story of the Wraith car.
10. The Bluesmobile
Movie: The Blues Brothers
This almost-indestructible 1974 Dodge Monaco carried the Blues Brothers on their "mission from God."
"It's got a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas." —Elwood Blues
What more could you ask for?
My Celebrity Encounter With the Bluesmobile
I actually got to see the Bluesmobile (or a replica) when they opened the House of Blues at Myrtle Beach. No, I didn't get to drive it.
Honorable Mention: The Ecto-1
Movies: Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II
Josh McMahon correctly pointed out that I missed a very important movie ride: the Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters! It makes this list as an honorable mention.
The real-life Ecto-1 started life off as a Miller-Meteor Futura Ambulance/Hearse Combination mounted on a 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood Professional Chassis. Originally, it was in such bad shape (the backfiring in the movie was real) that it actually broke down during filming, blocking the Brooklyn Bridge and getting the filmmakers a hefty fine from the NYPD.
Like the refitted Enterprise, there have been several versions of the Ecto-1 throughout the Ghostbusters franchise, such as the Ecto-1, the Ecto-1a, and the Ecto-10 in the comics.
The Top Ten Baddest Movie Cars Comments
Non of your business on May 31, 2015:
Sorry but what about bullet or Smoky and the Bandit.
J Antonio Marcelino from Illinois, USA on June 28, 2012:
Great hub, I'm familiar with most of these movie vehicles. Except for the Wraith.
swhut on February 04, 2011:
Soo glad you got the Wraith in there..Charlie Sheen!..lol
movies star on November 27, 2010:
I never thought like that ...
but your article is good enough to read.
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on November 04, 2010:
cfleming1: Yeah...I don't really know what category the Land Master would fit into.
cfleming1 from USA on November 03, 2010:
Thanks for the Hub.
It wasn't a car exactly but what about that land-mobile from the movie "Damnation Alley?"
candle62 from London on August 26, 2010:
I agree on your list of cars, amazing hub
keep it up
I am DB Cooper from Whereabouts unknown at this time on July 31, 2010:
Fantastic Hub! This is an excellent selection of movie cars, I think my list would have been very similar.
David on July 02, 2010:
i love maximum overdrive its awsome and the truck
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on May 18, 2010:
David R Bradley: I added The General to my TV show cars!
AnithaPriya on May 18, 2010:
Really Super Cars!
David R Bradley from The Active Side of Infinity on February 27, 2010:
I say an honorable mention for the General Lee!
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 24, 2010:
humahub: Thank you and thanks for stopping by!
GmaGoldie and entertianmentplus: It seems the Batmobile is everyone's favorite! Thanks for stopping by!
entertianmentplus from United States on February 24, 2010:
Great hub love the Batmobile.
Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on February 24, 2010:
As a car lover from the standpoint of art and culture - this is perfect for me! The Batmobile is awesome.
For me, I remain in love and devoted to Spyker.
humahub from pakistan on February 23, 2010:
great compilation nice hub
sabrebIade (author) from Pennsylvania on February 23, 2010:
Yes it was!
Thanks for stopping by!
Yena Williams from California on February 23, 2010:
Gotta love the batmobile, that was bad-ass! Cool Hub =)