10 Average Vehicles Made Cool by The Big Screen

The wings that carry an evil doer to places in search of death, destruction, and mayhem, must be stout, strong, and mysterious… just like these 10 average rides made cool by the big screen.

1. 1973 Landau, “Mad Max”

It’s tough to choose one ultimate bad car from the Mad Max trilogy, but the turbo Landau featured in the opening chase scene of Mad Max 2 is a pretty good example. The Landau was similar to the Falcon XB driven by Mad Max, except it was produced under the Ford LTD nameplate. This luxury cruiser featured hideaway headlamps, plush LTD interior, and 351 cubic-inch engine with 290 horsepower.

2. 1955 Cadillac Hearse, “The Warriors”

Death mobiles have a chilling aura about them anyway, but when combine the psycho chantings of crazed Rogue gang member, David Patrick Kelly, this 1955 Caddy is practically as fearful as a black, horse drawn carriage driven by Death himself. Cadillac Hearse’s had a reputation for breaking down, which was especially bad timing when toting cargo on a hot summer’s day.

3. 1958 Plymouth Fury, “Christine”

What true car buff hasn’t fallen for a candy red beauty at one time or another. A total of twenty-three 1958 Plymouth Fury’s were purchased for use in Stephen King’s classic, Christine. By the end of filming only three remained in pristine condition, the rest were either burned, beaten, or crushed demolition style. Why did King choose the Fury? Fury Webster definition: Violent, intense anger.

4. 1974 Dodge Charger, “Wheels of Terror”

The made-for-television movie, Wheels of Terror, had a rather simple yet inelegant plot of an evil, lone, black, Charger rolling into town and mysteriously collecting prey in the form of innocent school age girls. The front bumper was modified for the film to give it more attitude, but 1974 would be the last year the Charger would bask in muscle car status with its 440 cubic-inch, 275 horsepower, big block.

5. 1971 Lincoln Mark III, “The Car”

Before it was “Jaws” on wheels, the Lincoln Mark III was a luxury sedan built in 1968-1971, succeeding the ultra-luxury Mark II. In 1958, The Mark II sold for only $10,000, even though it was valued at well over $18,000. I say only, but in 1958, $10,000 was the equivalent to nearly $100,000 today. The Mark III was also quite muscular, featuring a 365 horsepower, 460 cubic-inch big block.

6. 1956 Peterbilt 281, “Duel”

The starring truck of Duel was just a rusty old run of the mill Peterbilt 281, with a re-powered 270 horsepower I-6, and a standard trucker’s 10-speed transmission. Due to it being on its last legs during filming, Steven Spielberg had to resort to ordering four more trucks to get through filming. The truck is still alive and well today, and in fact was sold into the loving hands of new owner in 2009.

7. 1981 Western Star 4800, “Maximum Overdrive”

Some swear the Happy Toyz, Green Goblin truck in the movie was a Kenworth, but the majority agree the truck in question was in fact a modified 1981 Western Star 4800. While the movie was about machines losing control and hurting people, during filming one remote control lawnmower did go slightly berserk, causing one cameraman to lose an eye. He later sued Stephen King for $18 million.

8. 19?? Bluesmobile, “Blues Brothers”

Elwood (Dan Akroyd): “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. What do you say, is it the new Bluesmobile or what?”

9. Knight 4000, “Knight Rider 2010”

Knight 4000 was a weak attempt at remaking the classic 80’s show, Knight Rider, for 2000. Okay, so maybe the Knight 4000 (K.I.T.T reincarnated) wasn’t such a “bad” car, but Hasselhoff was a “bad” actor, and the television pilot was definitely a “bad” idea. The Knight was hand-built by the Hoff to be better than the original, featuring a microwave gun, amphibious “boat” mode, and built-in fax machine.

10. Jaguar XKR, “Die Another Day”

The battle between 007’s (Pierce Brosnan’s) Aston Martin and Zao’s (Rick Yune’s) Jaguar XKR is arguably one of the greatest chase scenes in Bond history. This is one of the few times a Bond mobile was out muscled by a technologically superior bad guy car. While the Aston featured a cool camouflage screen, the Jag had a Gatling gun, mini-missiles, rockets, mortar bombs, and bayonet battering ram.