If I asked you to name the best movie car of all time, there’s a good chance you’d pick a vehicle from over four decades ago. The DeLorean in Back to the Future, the Aston Martin in Goldfinger, the Mustang from Bullitt. OK, maybe I’m not giving enough credit to the millions of Fast & Furious fans. Either way, the point is that there’s significant lag time for the appreciation of big-screen automobiles. But with the 95th Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, we thought it’s time to change that.
Introducing: The Best Movie Cars of the Year. Since there’s no Oscar awarded for Best Automobile in a Leading Role, we thought we’d go ahead and nominate our own contenders in the vehicular space for films that came out in 2022. If you want to add this category to the ballots you print out at home, be our guest! (I promise it’s more fun to choose one of these than a winner for Best Sound.)
What makes a great movie car? If we take the aforementioned examples, there are those speed machines that take over for the lead actors as the stars of action sequences. (These are the ones people across the world dream of storing in their garages.) Then there are those oddities, like the DeLorean, that are so utterly unique they become a character themselves (and potentially turn a dud model into a collectible). We’d also like to add those vehicles which are an extension of a character — not mere scene dressing, but deliberate choices by the filmmakers that significantly enrich the story, which is the case with the car that inspired this list in the first place.
It’s Time to Add This Ski-Rack Porsche 911 to the Movie-Car Hall of Fame“Downhill Racer” is one of the most beloved sports movies ever. How come no one remembers its Porsche?
To keep this list under control, we also limited the movies to those that have been nominated in some capacity by the Academy. Without further ado, the nominees are…
Electric Porsche Taycan in Tár
Whoever chose the electric Porsche to be the vehicle of choice for Lydia Tár, the conductor played by Cate Blanchett in a tour de force performance, should be commended. No other movie this year has such picture-perfect car casting. As a luxury EV, this Porsche offers a silent refuge for Tár, who is acutely aware of sound at all times. But the car also offers director Todd Field a chance to show the enormous pressure building up inside her: During a moment of frustration, Tár’s wife screams at her to slow down — at the slightest provocation, she had quickly depressed the pedal, sending the EV rocketing through busy traffic.
1973 Porsche 911 S in Top Gun: Maverick
The 1958 Porsche 356 that Kelly McGillis drove in the original Top Gun was a replica. It doesn’t take anything away from the movie, but it’s a fact that may irk some car fanatics. That makes the 1973 Porsche 911 S driven by Jennifer Connelly in the sequel that much more special: it’s the real deal.
1969 Dodge Charger Batmobile in The Batman
Let’s be clear: you can’t go out and buy a 1969 Dodge Charger and tell everyone you own Robert Pattinson’s Batmobile. As Hagerty explained, the underlying structure is basically that muscle car “with the roof chopped off,” but there’s a lot more customization that went into it. No matter what you call it, it’s still one of the best movie cars of the year.
Duesenberg II Boattail Speedster in Babylon
No, the Duesenberg driven by Brad Pitt in Damien Chazelle’s portrait of a depraved 1920s Hollywood isn’t a real model from the ‘20s. As the Chicago Daily Herald reported, it’s a replica Duesenberg II that was loaned to the production team by the Volo Museum, an Illinois institution where you can see another Duesy that was driven by Leo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby. That doesn’t make us want one any less.
1955 Cadillac Fleetwood Series 60 in Elvis
While we’re not exactly rooting for Elvis to win Best Picture, we couldn’t leave the movie off this list. There are tons of Caddies in the film, but the standout has got to be the one that’s most synonymous with the King: this Fleetwood Series 60 in pink.
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