Great Cars of Film and Television
If the United States is obsessed with two things it is entertainment and cars. It should come as no surprise, then, that great cars of film and television remain in the public consciousnesses decades after they were introduced.
1981 DeLorean DMC-12, Back to the Future
“The way I see it,” Doc Brown exclaims, “if you’re gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?”
Hundreds of millions of dollars and two sequels later, it was clear Doc Brown was onto something. The sleek sports car used to carry Marty McFly back to 1955 never sold well in the real world. But due to Robert Zemeckis’ very successful film, the DeLorean and its signature gull-wing doors remain a pop-culture phenomenon.
1958 Plymouth Fury, Christine
Adapted from a novel by the master of horror Stephen King and directed by thriller-film legend John Carpenter, Christine follows a boy obsessed with fixing and maintaining his new car, a 1958 Plymouth Fury that goes by the titular name. He seriously loves this vehicle, but there is just one problem—at night, the car comes alive and goes on murderous rampages.
The movie was a modest success upon its release, but Christine has since built a larger cult following. The movie’s campy tone and fun practical effects bring in new audiences every year, making the 1958 Plymouth Fury a car to remember.
2004 Pontiac Aztek, Breaking Bad
Whereas most great cars of film and television are known in part for their stylish appearance, the 2004 Pontiac Aztek was chosen as the vehicle for Breaking Bad’s protagonist Walter White specifically because it lacks that cool factor. Sold as a crossover vehicle, The Pontiac Aztek was a compromise on all fronts: too big to be a sedan, too small to be a van, and too weak to be an SUV.
At the beginning of the series, Walter White is drab and disrespected, much like his car. As Breaking Bad progresses, however, and the car takes on more damage, Walter bit-by-bit frees himself from his old persona and becomes the deadly Heisenberg. The Aztek, along for the ride from the very beginning, is a brilliant visual representation of one of television’s greatest character arcs.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This is one cool car from one cool movie.
When we first see the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT in John Hughes’ 1986 classic, Cameron, the neurotic nerd, says, “Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love. It is his passion.” And we can see exactly why.
The sporty, small, but fiery vehicle is the perfect toy for Ferris Bueller’s Chicago-bound day of leisure and excitement. For every boy that looked up to Ferris as the epitome of self-confidence, this was the car of his dreams, which is why it remains a pop culture icon after so many years. Chick-a chick-a