Two weeks ago, Aisha and I bought a car. It’s her second, but it the first one I’ve ever put some money towards, and it’s our largest joint purchase to date, so it’s something of a noteworthy milestone. It would have inspired last week’s Top 5, but then my sister went and got engaged, so I had to postpone this one a week, but in tribute to our new powder blue Nissan Micra (named Ellie after the wife/house from Up), here is my list of the Top 5 Movie Cars. Now, I’m not much of a car guy, so don’t expect long diatribes about how fast Cameron’s Dad’s Ferrari 250 GT from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off can go, or just how sexy Bruce Wayne’s Lamborghini Murciélago is, because I had to look up what both of those cars were, and I’m still doubting the spelling of Lamborghini. Instead, these are the cars that, for whatever reason, are generally my favourite, be it due to character, coolness or how much I’d like to own one.
5.The Dog, Dumb and Dumber
Well, it’s a van, that looks like a dog. Oh, you want more than that? Well tough, because that’s the sole reason it’s on here. Harry and Lloyd (Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey) have spent all their money transforming Harry’s van to make it the perfect vehicle for his canine hairdressing company, Mutt Cutts, all the way down to including a cockable leg flap covering the petrol inlet. Genius. Granted, they eventually trade it for a moped when they run out of fuel, but at least the dog is still out there somewhere. And no, this is not the entry on the list that I would like to own, but I’d be quite happy to know someone that did, as long as they never asked me to lend them money.
4. ‘The Classic’ Oldsmobile, almost every Sam Raimi film
Raimi’s Oldsmobile, originally bought by his Dad when Sam was just 14, has appeared in almost every film the director has ever made, although I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in The Quick and the Dead, what with that being set some 95 years before the car was ever made. Every other film features the crappy, dusty-yellow Oldsmobile though, and it’s hard to think of a single vehicle that’s been through quite so much. It’s been beaten with a bat, nearly fallen through a decrepit bridge, bashed by a dangling Liam Neeson, converted into a skeleton-smashing juggernaut, covered in snow, hit with a tanker, carjacked, crashed, dragged through an inter-dimensional portal to the 13th century and had it’s windscreen punched through by Spider-Man. Now that’s impressive.
3. DeLorean, Back to the Future Trilogy
In case you hadn’t guessed, this is the one I would like to own, because it’s a fricking time machine, and oh yeah, it can fly. And it’s remote controlled, and can be fuelled on general household waste (or plutonium). Plus, it’s hella cool. Even without the time-travelling and gravity-humiliating abilities, this would still be an extremely stylish car to own, if only for the gull-wing doors (a poster of which influenced my final year project design at university). I’ve not got much more to say about the DeLorean, mainly because it’s all been said already, but God damn I’d like one.
2. VW Camper Van, Little Miss Sunshine
The Hoover’s sunflower yellow VW Campervan is essentially the seventh member of their family, and even with a broken horn, problematic gears and an inability to start without the aid of a hefty push or a steep incline, it still isn’t the most idiosyncratic member. Throughout the trials and tribulations of the family’s journey from New Mexico to California, a great deal of the film is set in and around the van, and the vehicle is central to some of the funnier scenes (being pulled over) and the fist-in-the-air moments of exaltation and happiness, most notably when they are able to just get the thing going again and ride off at the end of the film. It may not be the coolest, fastest or most desirable vehicle on the list, but it certainly has the most character.
1. Tumbler, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy
The tumbler is easily one of the best elements of Nolan’s trilogy. I know it has it’s fans, but I despise the Tim Burton Batmobile – it’s so ridiculously phallic and ostentatious, whereas the tumbler is far more practical, rugged and downright believable, mainly for it’s ability to actually turn a decent corner. Initially designed for military purposes, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) soon finds it works just as well in the city, especially if by ‘in the city’ you mean ‘on top of the buildings.’ Oh, and did I mention that the left side can detach and become a kind of missile-driven motorcycle? It was the lack of anything quite as cool as this that made The Dark Knight Rises somewhat disappointing for me, as Batman’s aircraft, imaginatively monikered The Bat, just didn’t cut it. I needed the other, non-Batpod side of the tumbler to detach and become a submarine. Or a spaceship. Or a DeLorean.
The Dude’s Gran Torino from The Big Lebowski
Fozzie’s Uncle’s Studebaker from The Muppet Movie
Goldfinger/Skyfall‘s – Aston Martin DB5
The Spy Who Loved Me‘s Lotus Esprit
The Blues Brothers‘ Mount Prospect Police Car
The Minis from The Italian Job
My Neighbour Totoro‘s Cat Bus
Worst: Kill Bill‘s Pussy Wagon/Cars‘ Lightning McQueen
It’s another tie I’m afraid, as I couldn’t pick between which of these terrible cars I hated the most. Firstly, the ‘Pussy Wagon’ that the Bride in Kill Bill steals from her would-be rapist is just plain vulgar. Secondly, Lightning McQueen is generally useless at everything, not helped by the fact his headlights are actually stickers, and there’s no way of getting in him and operating him like a motor vehicle, what with him being an abomination of a creature that doesn’t make sense however you look at him. I suppose Mater is technically worse, seeing as McQueen succeeds in being the hero of the film, whereas Mater fails fantastically at being anything close to a comedic sidekick, but McQueen is the figurehead for the entire abominable film, of which I haven’t seen the sequel but feel I really should, just to see how bad it is.