Quiz: Can You Identify These Classic Cars From the Movies That Made Them Famous?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Identify These Classic Cars From the Movies That Made Them Famous?
By: Nikki Weed
7 Min Quiz
Image: Paramount Pictures
About This Quiz
Since the golden age of Hollywood, cars have played poignant roles in film plots. A prime example would be the film The First Auto, which has a plot revolving around incorporating an automobile into a horse-centric household. The entire movie is based around the car and the tensions it causes within the family. The car was a bigger star than the people acting next to it! Selecting the proper automobile can be just as important as the cinematography or script. Would Gone In Sixty Seconds be the same movie if the featured car was a base model Civic as opposed to the illustrious Eleanor?
If you're a real automotive enthusiast, when you watch a film you're guessing at the model and year of all of the supporting automotive cast. Was that a '78 or '79 in that last shot? Did that particular DeVille come with those wheels or was that an aftermarket add-on? These little guessing games can make a movie fun and memorable, but how many can you identify in this test? Brush up on your automotive movie knowledge and have a little fun in the meantime! This quiz is sure to be Challenger-ing!
In which movie do four buds belt out "Bohemian Rhapsody" in this '76 AMC Pacer?
Complete with aftermarket flames adorning the doors, this Pacer was the epitome of geeky coolness for Garth Algar in "Wayne's Wolrd." The little car hasn't had much luck after becoming famous and fell into a state of disrepair by 2004. After sitting at the Volo Auto Museum in Northern Illinois, it was purchased and eventually shuffled to the television show "Pawn Stars." It was then purchased for a whopping $9,500, well above the $3,000 actual value for a Pacer in decent shape.
Solar Productions/Warner Bros.-Seven Arts
A gutsy Steve McQueen fights bad guys in the movie "Bullitt" while driving what car?
San Francisco sets the backdrop of perhaps the most memorable car chase scene in film history, and Steve McQueen did a majority of the stunt driving himself. To assure viewers that it was actually him driving, he placed his head as close to the open window as possible so that his face was clearly visible. To obtain the legendary nine minutes of chase, filming took just over three weeks. Original plans were to have a partial scene racing across the Golden Gate Bridge, however, they were denied the privilege of shutting down the highly traveled bridge.
Lou Costabile via YouTube
What movie morphs this '76 Camaro into something special?
In the 2007 movie "Transformers," this modest Camaro morphed into Bumblebee and fought Optimus Prime. Later Transformers movies featured other Camaros, the most notable one being a 1967 Camaro SS that was sold at a Barret Jackson auction for $167,200.00 (and it doesn't even morph)!
Wiki Commons by sv1ambo
This unique 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe was heavily modified and turned into The Pursuit Special in what late '70s film?
Mel Gibson plays Mad Max Rockatansky in this gritty, high-speed, futuristic film. The film's budget was minuscule in comparison to other budgets of the time, so a low-priced yet heroic car was needed. They eventually decided on an Australian Ford Falcon and added some modifications, such as a Concorde front clip, and some a wild wing on both the roof and deck lid. The valiant little car made its way "Mad Max 2: Road Warrior" but sadly gets blown up by its own booby trap.
Aspen Film Society
This '72 Chevy Monte Carlo pulls an entire church down the road in what film?
If this Monte Carlo seems pieced together, it's because it is! The headlights are from a '77 model. This car was also featured in the movie "Boulevard Nights." Other cars from "The Jerk" include a tacky '79 Trans Am that the main character, Navin, purchases after striking it big by selling his invention the Opti-grab.
Which cult film does a highly modified Corvette and Mark Hamill star in?
In "Corvette Summer," a very young Mark Hamill embarks on a grand journey to relocate a stolen Corvette that his shop class built from the ground up. Adventure ensues along with a wild car chase and dry humor. The real star of the film is Vanessa, a customized Chevy van driven by a self-proclaimed prostitute in training.
Victory Craxi via YouTube
Thelma and Louise went wild and eventually over the edge. What were they driving?
The iconic cliff scene where Thelma and Louise took the plunge off of a cliff was filmed in Moab, Utah. Moab is a mecca for filmmakers because of its amazing scenery and remote location. One of the cars used during filming went to auction and was sold for $65,000 in 2008.
Katja Motion Picture/Corporation/Krevoy/Stabler/Wessler Production
Although hard to tell, this '84 Ford Econoline took Harry and Lloyd all the way to Aspen in what movie?
This shaggy but lovable van was initially a mobile grooming business called Mutts Cutts. After coming into possession of a mysterious briefcase, Harry and Lloyd embark on a mission to return the briefcase to its rightful owner. Sadly, they sell the van in Nebraska for a minibike and ride that the rest of the way to Aspen, Colorado.
If you were cruising along in this 1986 Chrysler LeBaron Town and Country trying to get home for Thanksgiving, what movie would you be in?
In this film, John Candy and Steve Martin struggle to make it back to their families from New York the day before Thanksgiving. Nothing goes right, and they end up spending a lot more time together than they bargained for. The LeBaron they rent from a foul-mouthed clerk eventually gets mangled after a wrong-way incident on the interstate. Hilarity ensues throughout the whole film, but the moment when the Lebaron catches fire might be the funniest.
Lucasfilm Ltd./Zoetrope Studios
"When they tried to buy him, he refused," was the catchphrase of this popular '88 movie.
The movie "Tucker" was based on the story of Preston Tucker, an automotive visionary working out of Ypsilanti, Michigan. Only 51 of the featured Tucker '48's were built, making them extremely valuable. The Tucker Club keeps a running tab on all of the Tuckers still in existence.
This 1970 Chevy Nova is center stage in what Kurt Russell Movie.
This Quentin Tarantino film doesn't deviate from his typical form, and it delivers a deranged stuntman. The car was used extensively during filming and eventually sold to one of the stuntmen. The stuntman gifted it to his 16-year-old son as a first car. How much more jealous can you get?
Philip D'Antoni Productions
This 1971 Pontiac LeMans was famous from which film?
Gene Hackman sniffs out drugs in this classic. The car chase is lauded by many as being the best car chase of all time. When you take the '71 LeMans and mix in elevated light rail and then throw in bad guys you've got automotive filmmaking gold. There's so much piped in squealing tires, honking, and train noises, you'll never miss the lack of dialogue!
United Artists/FGM Entertainment
In what psychological thriller does a 1976 Mercedes Benz 450 navigate narrow streets?
The Mercedes W116 will forever be remembered as the car the brought Mercedes Benz into the common household. In Ronin, the car featured a heavily armed Robert DeNiro dangling out of the sunroof brandishing a bazooka of sorts. "Ronin" also features impressive BMW and Peugeot car chases as well.
Michael Laughlin Enterprises
In what film were two famous singers cast as actors, but the real star was a '55 Chevy two-door?
Famous singers starring in this film include James Taylor and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. The movie featured a predictable plot around street racing and wasn't well-received. Some viewers loved it, but many scoffed at the lack of real plot or dialogue. The '55 didn't just look fast on the big screen, it was built with a 454 V8 and a four-speed transmission.
A Band Apart, Jersey Films
Vincent Vega drove this car to pick up his date, Mia, in the movie "Pulp Fiction." What is it?
The beautiful red Malibu from the movie has a timeline almost as tumultuous as the movie itself! The car was stolen during the filming of Pulp Fiction in 1994 from the set, not to be found again for 19 years. The car thieves had falsified a VIN and resold it to an unsuspecting buyer after the initial theft. It wasn't until much later when police happened upon the fraud and took possession of the vehicle while investigating a classic car theft ring.
Applied Action/Warner Bros.
Which BMW was Chevy Chase driving in the movie "Nothing But Trouble"?
The lavish BMW in this film becomes the object of attention when caught speeding past a police car. Chevy Chase, the driver, decides to try and outrun the pursuit car, stating that the car could easily do 130 miles per hour. If you pay attention to detail, in the first shots of the film no tape deck is shown, but a cassette tape is inserted later. Sadly, the BMW gets demolished by riffraff later in the film.
Lawrence Gordon Productions
What convertible did Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy cruise the mean streets in during the film "48 Hours"?
The movie "48 Hours" was nothing but brilliant, automotive wise. Other supporting cars in the film included a rather tired looking 1951 Chevrolet 3800, a passing 1963 Ford Falcon Club Wagon, and one of the very first model year Ford Escorts. The featured convertible is now owned by Cadillac enthusiast, Vanilla Ice.
Jerry Lewis Productions
The Golden Sahara II, a wild custom car from the 50's was featured in which Jerry Lee Lewis film?
This automotive oddity started life as a 1953 Lincoln Capri, and after a few wild welds turned into this unique specimen of automotive creativity. The Golden Sahara II is noted to be the vehicle with a built-in television, bar, and refrigerator. Aside from a random cruise night here and there, owner Jim Street stashed this gem away for the better part of 50 years. After his death, the car was sent to Mecum Auctions and sold for $385,000 in 2018.
Broadway Pictures/Paramount Pictures
David Spade tries to look cool in this 1967 Plymouth Belvedere GTX while acting in what film?
Only 680 GTX convertibles were made in 1967, and they came equipped with dual hood scoops and dual exhaust. The GTX was marketed as The Gentleman's Muscle Car and the stock 426 Hemi could do the quarter-mile in 13.5 seconds with a top speed of 105 mph. It also makes a cameo appearance in the movie "Black Sheep" but never gets driven anywhere.
Warfield Productions/Dramatic Features
What is the official registration name for the car from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"?
Based on sketches from the production designer and sculptor, the car was built by Alan Mann Racing and became a reality. Although the car seems of small stature in the film, it stands just over 6' in person. Six cars were built, and they are still being replicated by film fans globally. Automotive enthusiast and Top Gear presenter Chris Evans purchased the original Gen 11 used in the film for 500 Pounds in 2012 but recently auctioned it off after a total restoration.
Mike Nichols/Lawrence Turman Productions
In what car does Dustin Hoffman run out of gas in the movie "The Graduate"?
As a fresh young buck out of college, Dustin Hoffman embarks on the trials and tribulations of young adulthood while cruising in this Alfa Spider. Moments such as crossing the Bay Bridge with the top down, to running out of gas trying to stop his true love from getting married make the car just as big of a star in the film than Hoffman himself. Fun fact about the film, while the Alfa is racing to the church, it is heading West on the top level of the bridge, not the bottom layer towards Berkeley and the church!
Ferris Bueller took his day off in what exotic car from the '60s?
Things aren't always what they seem in films, and Ferris Bueller is no exception! The car used was actually a replica built by clone company Modena, built from the ground up and powered by a Ford V8. Imagine watching this movie and seeing a Mercedes instead of the exotic Ferarri, those were John Hughes's original plans for the film!
Big Beach Films/Bona Fide Productions/Deep River Productions/Third Gear Productionshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKPZUvl_3Ds
In the movie "Little Miss Sunshine," the Hoover family adventures on an 800-mile adventure to Redondo beach in this classic Van. What is it?
As the Hoover family speeds across the desert to make it to a beauty pageant, they find themselves having to push-start the van several times. The van used was about as base-model as they came, down to the uncomfortable vinyl seats and non-existent climate control. The van played a very large role as a cast member, symbolizing constant disappointment and unfulfilled expectations in life.
"Duel," a made-for-television film, featured a deranged Semi driver chasing what early '70s car?
A simplistic plot turns into an hour and a half long fight for survival in this slow-burning film from 1971. For car-chase junkies, this is quite possibly the most bang for the buck you can get movie-wise. What makes the story really grab you is the fact the bad-guy in the film doesn't say a single word, nor do you ever see his face. This was Steven Spielberg's first feature-length film and he is on record as saying he didn't care what kind of car was used during filming.
Madera Productions, Inc
What made the Mercedes SL used in the movie "The Screaming Skull" unique?
This1958 horror film featured one of the most memorable features Mercedes had to offer in the '50s, Gullwing doors. These doors hinged from the roof as opposed to the A-pillars and gave the car the appearance of being in flight when opened. Mercedes put so much time and effort into rearranging mechanical components for weight savings that they didn't leave themselves room to use normal doors.
Which Ford flop can be seen perched high atop a pole in the movie "Used Cars"?
Although the film "Used Cars" isn't for everybody, the cars featured in the film are quite entertaining. The Edsel, for example, magically changes model years once it's lowered from its perch atop the pole. Another notable car from the film includes an innocent 1957 that gets destroyed and a 1974 Mercury Montego that becomes the hot topic of a court case.
Sixteen Mini Coopers were used in which 1969 criminal caper?
Sixteen Mini Coopers were used in the filming of "The Italian Job," and at just over $2,000 each (in 1969 dollars), they delivered a great theatrical bang for the buck. The three main characters' cars were less-than-exotic getaway cars, boasting around 75 total horsepower. The 2003 remake was a bigger budget but still used the modestly priced Mini Cooper.
Mecum Auctions via YouTube
Nicholas Cage drove a 1967 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 in "Gone in Sixty Seconds." What was the car's name?
Eleanor was a special, so much so that replicas began being built upon the re-release of the film. There was only one "real" Eleanor, and she placed in the Mecum auction block back in 2013. The car that gave Nicholas Cage so much trouble in the movie fetched a whopping $1.06 million.
Working Title Films
This poor 1973 Ford Grand Torino gets stolen by "Larry" in which film?
The Cohen Brothers deliver a rather wandering plot in this absent-minded film. The Grand Torino is a sort of hero at the end of the film when it is torched by The Dude's antagonists, The Nihilists. The highlight of the Grand Torino is when a police report is being made after the theft and The Dude is informed that he shouldn't have any hope for his tape deck.
This highly modified 1971 Lincoln terrorizes citizens in what film?
Bulbous fenders were added to the base model '71 Lincoln to add bulk and exude a frightening appearance for viewers. The greenhouse was chopped down a whopping four inches, and the fenders were handmade by flexing heavy steel. Four cars total were made for the film, each one getting 20 coats of black pearl lacquer, a grand total of 80 coats of lacquer.
Don't you dare say you love car chase movies if you can't name the car Kowaskli races through the desert in the movie "Vanishing Point."
Remember when you learned that the Tooth Fairy wasn't real? That's the same feeling many people got when they heard that every single car used during the filming of "Vanishing Point" was crushed. The estimated base price of the car featured in the film at the time was $5,000. If you don't like unnecessary car carnage in films, avoid this movie at all costs.
Universal Pictures/Oregon Film Factory/Stage III Productions
"Animal House" was the proverbial party movie of the '70s. What sweet Lincoln was featured?
This statuesque Lincoln made its way from being borrowed from a big brother to a modified parade float called the "Deathmobile" in the movie "Animal House." Toting frat boys around wasn't an issue for this extremely large car, with seating for six (legally). The Lincoln in "Animal House" featured "suicide doors," doors that opened at the rear, rather than the front.
Columbia Pictures/Delphi Premier Productions/Polar Film
What possessed car frightened viewers in the film "Christine"?
After arduous filming, only three of the 24 original cars purchased for the film remained. If something seems off with the film, you're right. The featured car is seen in a red and white motif when in reality that model only came in tan and white. If you haven't seen "Christine," spoiler alert: the car is a total jerk.
A car chase underwater? What car did James Bond plunge into the water?
Wet Nelly was so much more than a just a car in a James Bond film, it was a bonafide character. Although the car has the potential to dive deep, it's not an actual submarine. Our spy hero has to don underwater gear to proceed in his journey. In 2007, Elon Musk was inspired by Wet Nelly and purchased the prototype with hopes of creating an operational version. We're not driving underwater yet, so save your breath!
Allied Artists Pictures/Essex Enterprises
Joe Don Baker stakes out in this 1975 Mercury Cougar in what film?
This campy film was a flop, but Joe Don Baker's deadpan acting and witty dialogue made "Mitchell" a cult classic. The film was roasted by "Mystery Science Theater 3000" in 1993 and is lauded by some fans as being the best film the show ever screened. This wasn't taken well by Joe Don Baker, and he threatened the producers of "Mystery Science Theater" with violence should he ever meet them in person. The movie has serious congruence issues with Mitchell's car changing from a Mercury to a Lincoln and deviating from having two and four doors.
Columbia Pictures/Happy Madison Productions/Robert Simonds Productions
Dana Carvey boasts about his Hemi, a 1969 Dodge Daytona, in what film?
This haggard Dodge is the pride and joy of the mullet-laden Joe Dirt in this film. Joe isn't able to retrieve his original Hemi and decides on a bargain Charger Daytona for $450 instead. Similar basket case examples in need of total restoration sell for at least $4,000 in barely running condition.
While raiding the lost Ark, Indiana Jones drove what old German car?
Looks can be deceiving in films, and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" is no exception. This car appears to be a Mercedes on the exterior, but under all that metal it's actually a Jaguar at heart built by a company called Leaping Cats from England. If you'd like to adventure in style like Indiana Jones, you're in luck! The original car from the film is currently on sale with a modest price tag of $275,000.
Amblin Entertainment/Universal Pictures
Which highly modified BMW was used in "Back To The Future 2"?
The E24 used is as far from showroom shape as it could have possibly gotten. That particular model didn't come in a convertible, making it even more unique. The ridiculous hood scoop appears to have been taken off of a blown '57 Chevy, and the rear bumper cover looks to be off of a Civic. The car used in the film was purchased for only $400 but recently went to auction with a minimum bid of $10,000.
Lucasfilm/American Zoetrope/The Coppola Company
John Milner drove what banana yellow hot rod in "American Graffiti"?
It's difficult to think of a movie that encapsulates the cruising culture of the '50s better than "American Graffiti." The small town of Modesto, California became home to the filming and still hosts a yearly American Graffiti Festival. The downtown is decorated to this day in cruising motif, and there isn't a day that goes by where there aren't classic cars parked along Main Street.
Saving the best for last, what car did Burt Reynolds drive while running from Buford T. Justice in "Smokey and the Bandit"?
This is sort of a trick question! The film used a 1976 model year Trans Am but retrofitted a newer '77 front clip for the filming. The director of the movie, Hal Needham, had seen an ad for the Trans Am and fell in love with it, refusing to entertain the idea of using any other car. Three cars were used total during filming, with the last one being in such bad shape it had to be pushed by another car off of the lot.
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