THE TOP 40 CARS FROM FEATURE FILMS (#35-31)

Monday, March 30 by

35. WALT’S Gran Torino

Make/Model: 1972 For Gran Torino

The car isn’t actually driven all that much in Eastwood’s Gran Torino, but it’s the impetus for one of 2008’s best offerings when Walt Kowalski’s Gran Torino becomes the prize in an initiation for a neighborhood gang made up of Hmong kids.  The car is a tough old relic, whose engine growls sound a lot like Eastwood’s character every time he opens his mouth.  The car spits out a lot fewer racial epithets, though.
 

34. FREDDY‘S CADILLAC

Make/Model: 1961 Cadillac (Custom)

At the seemingly idyllic end of the first Nightmare on Elm Street, Nancy happily jumps into a gorgeous red Caddy with her pals as mom waves on.  But then the Caddy’s roof – done up in custom Krueger colors – traps the kids inside and whisks them away to their doom in style while the neighborhood children sing that creepy as hell playground song.  Of course, it’s all a dream inside mom’s head and Nancy survives.  But… seeing as how this is Nightmare on Elm Street, mom’s limp body gets yanked through the porthole in the front door of the house by one telltale knife-fingered glove.
 

33. LUKE SKYWALKER’S LAND SPEEDER

Make/Model:  Tatooine Motors Family Land Speeder

This is the #1 choice of transportation for all the lazy farm boys on Tatooine who think there’s always “plenty of droids for the harvest!”  Oh, Luke. You can take the speeder into the city this weekend and party down with all the academy kids then.  In the meantime, stop your bitching and get back to work.  The best feature of this “car” – the glob of translucent special FX goo underneath it – was erased in the special edition of A New Hope, but Lucas was kind enough to leave the artifact in for the originals when they were released on DVD. 
 

32. THE SHAGUAR

Make/Model: 1967 Jaguar E-Type

Every Austin Powers idiom has been beaten to death, so all I’ll say about this car is it fit the swinging spy’s personality to a tee, and was a laugh-out-loud funny riff on the make and model.  And it was much a more tasteful one than Pussy Wagon (see Kill Bill Vol. 1).  It also got driven Mission: Impossible-style in the opening extravaganza of Austin Powers in Goldmember, a fictitious Stephen Spielberg actioner with Tom Cruise as Austin, Gwyneth Paltrow as Dixie Normous, Kevin Spacey as Dr. Evil and Danny Devito as Mini Me.   One of the best fake movie openings ever; I stick by that. 
 

31. BENNY THE CAB

Make/Model: Acme Animated Taxi Cab

Disney animators and voice artist Charles Fleischer breathed life into this gruff cartoon taxi cab that services the fictitious Los Angeles of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  Benny is one of Roger’s most valuable allies in the battle against Judge Dredd & the Toon Patrol, and gets a little banged up thanks to careening into the dreaded “dip.”  In the original story, "Who Censored Roger Rabbit?" Benny was a Beetle and had a minor role as a trader in second-hand items. The character Nails from the 1992 film Cool World bears some resemblance to the description of this version of Benny.
 

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