Cars With Attitude
You know they’re fake, but you still want to get your hands on them. Better still, the thought of you and your girlfriend getting your hands on them would be a hell of a ride – but that’s kind of the idea with badass movie cars. As long I’ve been going to the movies, I’ve seen lot of shots of these badass movie cars, and I know that I have desperately desired to try some of these monsters. So, what makes a badass movie car? In this article, you’re looking at ultra-modified rides that would be impractical or impossible to duplicate to the last detail in the real world.
Dodge M4S – The Wraith
The Wraith featured a badass movie car driven by a vengeful just-like-today Charlie Sheen. Scenes in the movie don’t do the one-off Dodge M4S justice. Codeveloped between Dodge and PPG Industries, the $1.5 million car had a mid-engine layout with a humble but hyper 2.2-liter twin-turbo four that’s said to have developed over 400 horsepower. Top speed was reportedly just shy of 200 mph.
Pontiac GTO – xXx
In this case, it’s a ’67 Pontiac GTO. It’s sort of like a James Bond car, complete with gadgets, but with a pronounced American accent. OK, sharp-eyed Pontiac guys should ignore that some shots feature a tarted-up Le Mans model. And purple color? Not exactly the hue that completes a badass movie car. However, it did get the job done, and still deserves mention.
DeLorean DMC-12 – Back to the Future
Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd’s characters may not have had a badass essence about them, but neither did the original DeLorean DMC-12. What a difference a flux capacitor and 1.21 “jigowatts” make. It’s hard to decide what was more made-up: time travel or a DeLorean reaching 88 mph. Nevertheless, the contraption-heavy car was badass in its own right, even inspiring look-alike body kits for real-life cars back in the day.
Aston Martin V12 Vanquish – Die Another Day
Most of Bond’s cars deserve “badass” reputation, but one we’re particularly keen about is the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. Known around Q Branch as the Vanish, it sported daylight stealth technology similar to that under development by the U.S. Air Force. Where the Aston continued to excel was in its ability to race flat-out on a frozen lake against the bad guy’s rocket-leaden Jaguar.
The Car – The Car
Watching the movie today, The Car’s star comes off as little more than possessed road rage in a prehistoric Chrysler 300 look-alike (it was really a Mark III Lincoln Continental with the George Barris treatment). However, in 1977, it was freaky and it was a badass movie car – still is, if you take its premise at face value. An evil-looking, driver-less car just suddenly rolls into a desert town and indiscriminately picks off locals in all sorts of imaginary ways, and it’s up to James Brolin to save the day.
Bumblebee – Transformers
Had the original Transformers’ story car, a VW Beetle, remained in place, our No. 5 badass movie car would be something far different. And even the second-gen Camaro substitute was unremarkable on its own. That is, until its handy Autobot alter-ego literally took shape and made the ‘70s Camaro cooler faster than you could say “Optimus Prime.”
The Interceptor – Mad Max
Our No. 4 was driven by Mel Gibson in Mad Max. The Interceptor looks like a vaguely American car of the ‘70s, maybe a Torino. It is based on a Ford, only it was the Australian Ford XB Falcon Coupe from earlier in the decade. With the movie car benefiting from a sinister black paint job, nose job and various other bits, it was perfect for a rogue cop out to settle a score.
Frankenstein’s Monster – Death Race
You have to love Death Race just for its unusual assortment of badass movie cars alone. Where else have you seen drivers in a BMW 7 Series, Buick Riviera, Dodge Ram, Jaguar XJS, and a Porsche 911 fight to the death? Best of all was a bald, badass Jason Statham in his 2006 Ford Mustang GT, complete with a few accessories Dearborn never intended.
The Tumbler – Batman Begins
Batmobiles have always been badass movie cars relative to their times, but just as Batman Begins was radically different from the other installments, so was the car. The Tumbler wasn’t based on a single vehicle; instead, it seems to have drawn inspiration partly from Frank Miller’s graphic-novel depiction in The Dark Night Returns and possibly also the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter jet. Whatever the case, it was done well and made Bruce Wayne’s Lamborghini pale in comparison.
Christine – Christine
For our most badass movie car (but, not the last), it’s ladies first. The film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel left a little to be desired, but Christine still had it where it mattered. It began with the ’58 Plymouth’s unique red and white paint and continued through her undying loyalty and tendency to avenge; behaviors quickly evident to everyone on either side of her temper. Even stock ’58s look evil since Christine, and some collectors have replicated the color scheme to complete the look.
The Green Goblin – Maximum Overdrive
This truck scares the s**t out of me when I was a kid! Along with AC/DC’s Thunderstruck : ) Not a car, but most definitely badass, The Green Goblin was the ringleader of the semis terrorizing Emilio Estevez and company at the Dixie Boy truck stop in Maximum Overdrive. While the movie is so camp it’s awesome, and the Goblin’s “Happy Toyz” trailer logo brings thoughts of recreational implements, the truck’s killing power and attitude are worthy of honorable mention.