Movies and car chases go together, but when muscle cars on sale to the public started outrunning police cars in the 1960s, it gave filmmakers a few ideas. What if the criminals were better equipped (automotively) than the cops on their trail? Several classic films of the era addressed this topic, which make the best chase movies of all time.
For this list (which is by no means exhaustive), cars that starred in the films or stole the show in limited action were chosen. Pure star quality was the only element they all share in common, though some have the same make and model. Naturally, the Big Three of yore dominate. American automakers seem just as competitive in Hollywood as they were in Detroit as they vied to place their cars in big-budget films.
Here are ten amazing muscle cars that starred in hit films — some great, some okay — over the years.
Editors’ Note: a previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Barry Newman as Randy Newman as the star in ‘Vanishing Point.’ We have addressed the issue, and extend our thanks to our readers for pointing it out to us.
10. 1971 Mustang Mach 1 in Diamonds are Forever (1971)
It wasn’t always an Aston Martin for 007. In Diamonds Are Forever, Sean Connnery’s Bond hops off a three-wheeler in the desert and into a slick 1971 Ford Mutstang Mach 1 fastback on his way to thwarting Las Vegas police. When one car appears to corner him in a dead end, Bond resorts to a little daredevil driving to regain his advantage. He’s cool as a cucumber on two wheels or four, but it’s that hot Mustang that grabs the most attention in the scene. That’s the way to sell a car.