Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The 50 Most Famous Cars Of All Time

Whether they were notable for their superior performance, or for the superior performers who drove them, RideLust’s list of the 50 Most Famous Cars pays homage to all the truly iconic automobiles of our time [and a few that slipped in under "editorial bias"...]

For the complete list, click the link to the website (above). There were a couple I didn't recognize on their list, so I am only listing my top 20 faves off their list here, listed in order of model year.

1932 Ford Deuce Coupe
Where It’s From: American Graffiti [1973] film

Claim to Fame: The famous piss-yellow hot rod was originally a fully fendered red hot rod with red and white tuck’n'roll upholstery. For the movie, the upholstery was dyed black, but the hot rod’s sexiest feature was under the hood: a growling, souped-up, 1966 Corvette 327 small block engine.

1948 Ford Deluxe
Where It’s From: Grease [1978] film

Claim to Fame: Danny Zuko’s [John Travolta] undeniably lust-able ride, and one of the many incredibly sexy hot rods that made sitting through the show-tune numbers worth it.

1955 Chevrolet 6700-series bus
Where It’s From: The Partridge Family [1970 – 1974] television series

Claim to Fame: The giant, psychedelic-hued tour bus used by the close-knit family of exceptionally talented musicians. This iconic bus represents the good old days when an 8-person family could share unnaturally close quarters for abnormally long periods of time and not have the Division of Family Services called on them.

1955 Lincoln Futura Concept Car
Where It’s From: Batman [1966-1968] television series

Claim to Fame: With Mickey Thompson’s sitting pretty in the back and a Ford Galaxie engine and trans under the hood, the bullet-proof, justice-bringing Batmobile was even cool with Robin riding shotgun.

1958 Plymouth Fury
Where It’s From: Christine [1983] film

Claim to Fame: The crazy-jealous 305-hp Golden Commando V8 Plymouth Fury, Christine, took the term “car enthusiast” to a whole new level. Officially listed as a ‘58 Plymouth Fury, some Plymouth purists [all 3 of them] have identified certain shots of Christine that cause them to argue the Fury is actually a Belvedere, but since the ‘58 Plymouth Fury was essentially the Belvedere with a trim package, we’re not going to split hairs [well, not over a Plymouth anyway].

1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Ambulance
Where It’s From: Ghostbusters [1984] film

Claim to Fame: Nicknamed “Ecto-1”, the white end loading modified ambulance/hearse [an efficient albeit morbid combination] ferried around the four ghost-exterminators, Egon [Harold Ramis], Ray [Dan Aykroyd], Peter [Bill Murray], and Winston [Ernie Hudson] who were apparently either saving New York from paranormal warfare, or battling a pretty epic war on hallucinogens.

1961 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California
Where It’s From: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off [1986] film

Claim to Fame: One of Cameron Frye’s [Alan Ruck] father’s prized possessions and the bane of Cameron’s existence, sports car enthusiasts everywhere cringed when the Ferrari made its slow flight through a plate glass window and into the topmost branches of a tree.

1963 Volkswagen Beetle
Where It’s From: The Herbie series [1969, 1974, 1977, 1980, 2005] film

Claim to Fame: Born in Germany in 1963, Herbie is/was a white Volkswagen Classic Beetle famously distinguished by two red and blue racing stripes and the number 53 painted on the hood, doors, and trunk. Capable of driving itself as well as feeling human emotions, Herbie was a zippy little Beetle with a Porsche 356 engine who gave the big boys a run for their money.

1966 Alfa Romeo Spider Deutto
Where It’s From: The Graduate [1967] film

Claim to Fame: Benjamin Braddock’s [Dustin Hoffman] 1779 cc, 118hp ride helped distract from the fact that he was banging an older, not-really-that-hot, chick.

1969 Dodge Charger
Where It’s From: The Dukes Of Hazzard [1979-1985] television series

Claim to Fame: With a confederate flag painted on the roof and doors that were welded shut, the General Lee was the Duke boys’ modified Charger R/T who saw as much air time as United. To keep the Charger from going ass-over-teakettle during flight, the Charger’s trunk was routinely packed with about 1,000 pounds of sandbags and concrete [we'll spare you the "junk in the trunk" jokes].

1972 Bedford CF
Where It’s From: Scooby-Doo [2002] film

Claim to Fame: The Mystery Machine, the only van on the planet that can give honest competition to the Partridge family’s tour bus in the “Most Psychedelic Van” category.

[Spyder's Note: I personally would not have picked this version of The
Scooby Doo Mystery Machine, since I never watched more than 5 minutes of the
2002 film version, but since it was listed and I think the original cartoon
version of the famed van is one of the most famous vehicles of all-time.
But if the cartoon version were to be listed, then that would leave the door
open for many more famous cartoon rides (Flintstones, Jetsons, Speed Racer,

1974 Dodge Monaco
Where It’s From: The Blues Brothers [1980] film

Claim to Fame: Undeniably sweet, the beat-up black-and-white Bluesmobile was a famous as the Blues themselves. Trying to sell a skeptical Jake Blues [John Belushi] on the virtues of his new ride, Elwood Blues [Dan Aykroyd] explains to his brother, “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?” We say - hell yeah.

1974 Ford Gran Torino
Where It’s From: Starsky and Hutch [1975 – 1979] television series

Claim to Fame: Referred to as the “Striped Tomato”, the Gran Torino was the monster badass muscle car with the 351 Cleveland and 4 barrel Holley carburetor used by the two hard-nosed California detectives, David Starsky [Paul Michael Glaser] and Kenneth Hutchinson [David Soul].

1977 AMC Pacer
Where It’s From: Wayne’s World [1992] film

Claim to Fame: Despite boasting a pretty impressive drag coefficient of 0.32, the Pacer from Wayne’s World was notoriously ugly and cool only by association. Perhaps its only redeeming value, the Pacer’s interior provided the ideal acoustics for impromptu Queen cover concerts.

1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
Where It’s From: Smokey and The Bandit [1977] film

Claim to Fame: The famous 6.6-liter, 200-hp, muscle car that made every little kid want to grow up and be a fearless beer-runner.

1979 Ferrari 308 GTS
Where It’s From: Magnum PI [1980-1988] television series

Claim to Fame: The mid-engine V8 Ferrari featured in the original series [replaced later with 1981 and 1984 model years, respectively], the huge popularity of the show coupled with the gorgeous, amazing performance of the 255-hp GTS started a tidal wave of sales for Ferrari in the 80’s.

1979 Ford Country Squire LTD
Where It’s From: National Lampoon’s Vacation [1983] film

Claim to Fame: The huge wood-imitation, fiberglass-paneled, 9-passenger wagon carted the Griswold’s around on the vacation from hell and provided a benchmark for which all middle-class families to aspire.

1981 DeLorean DMC 12
Where It’s From: Back To The Future [1985] film

Claim to Fame: Off-screen an extremely ill-fated Irish sports car, in Back To The Future, the DeLorean DMC 12 was capable of breaking the laws of quantum physics. Modified with a flux capacitor and a strategically placed nuclear generator, when traveling at precisely 88 mph, the DMC 12 was capable of time-travel.

1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
Where It’s From: Knight Rider [1982-1986] television series

Claim to Fame: Hyper-intelligent crime fighting-mobile, the modified Trans Am known as KITT [voiced by William Daniels] always sounded mildly pissed with his human counter-part, Michael Knight [David Hassellhoff]. In addition to the ability to see, hear, and smell, KITT also came equipped with a frequently-referenced “Alpha Circuit” - a feature that was never completely explained but apparently controlled KITT’s artificial intelligence.

1983 GMC Vandura [G-1500]
Where It’s From: The A-Team [1983-1987] television series

Claim to Fame: Definitely not for soccer moms, The A-Team’s 350 c.i. V8 van came stocked with a Ruger AC556 fully automatic rifle with folding stock and flash hider firing 5.56×45mm NATO rounds, you know, for personal protection…

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