These Are The 10 Greatest Movie Cars Of The 1980s – HotCars

The 1980s introduced the world to some of the coolest and over-the-top Hollywood cars ever.
It's a fact: the 1980s were so good that the public couldn't get enough of it – whether it be for the outlandishly styled clothing or the eclectic choice of music. The 1980s seems to be a decade that won't die. Several red-hot TV series have been set in that decade. Everyone loves the '80s, especially gearheads with a movie car fetish.
Films in the 1980s were bursting at the seams with great cars. The previous two decades had paved the way for a vehicle to be cast in a leading role. On the back of Bullitt's Ford Mustang and then Burt Reynold's Pontiac Trans Am. Audiences constantly craved a four-wheeled hit, and the 1980s seemed happy to feed that desire.
A standout decade for car movies, the 1980s introduced the world to some new heroes and motoring legends that live on today, along with an assortment of over-the-top one-off creations. So, jump on your space hoppers, as these are the 10 greatest movie cars of the 1980s.
Based on a Stephen King story, and directed by John Carpenter. Christine is a knockout horror, and at its center sits a 1958 Plymouth Fury. A possessed chunk of Americana. Fury by name, fury by nature. A demonic, self-repairing classic car with murderous intentions.
The 1958 Plymouth Fury was a superb vehicle. Resplendent in chrome and brightwork. Its 5.7-liter V8 heart pumped out 305 hp, and it could haul to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds. Given enough space, it could hit 130 mph. Impressive performance, but don't expect it to self-heal.
Related: Hoard Of Abandoned Mopars Discovered In The Woods
From the factory, the Delorean DMC-12 was rubbish. It was slow, handled poorly, and lacked qualities a sports car should be associated with. The puny PRV-sourced 2.8-liter V6 made 130 hp. On average, they hit 60 mph in 10 seconds before topping out at a lame 103 mph.
In the film though, none of this mattered. The Delorean had undergone a complete facelift. It looked and sounded better than it ever should. From that point on, no one ever referred to the original car. It became known as the time machine from Back To The Future.
The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California is one of the best-looking cars ever made. They currently go for over $15 million. And rightly so. The 3.0-liter V12-powered beauty is a masterpiece – a visual and aural Italian delight that gets destroyed in the film. Many gearheads cried.
Thankfully, the car in question was a replica. Three were built for the movie and all had Ford-sourced power plants. A fiberglass shell was mounted over a bespoke frame to create the look. Even the pretenders did the car justice, shining a spotlight on one of Italy's finest.
In 1981, the future looked like the M4S Turbo Interceptor. Or so Dodge thought. A prototype vehicle, it was jam-packed with some impressive engineering. It also looked fantastic. Designed to serve as a demonstration and a pace car, the Interceptor was very fast.
Making 440 hp from the Cosworth-supplied 2.2-liter turbocharged engine, the Interceptor would rocket to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. It also clocked a top speed of 195 mph, fitting the bill perfectly as a supernatural race car in the movie Wraith.
Related: This Is What Makes The Dodge Viper One Of The Best V-10 Engined Cars Ever
It was the '80s. Overblown buddy films were the thing. Heroes wore vests and delivered plucky one-liners. Plus the action was intense. The more bullets fired, and the more explosions the better. Tango and Cash fulfilled this quota thanks to a modified Chevy C3500.
What started as a humble Chevy pickup ended up being a gunship on wheels. Non-factory extras included the side-mounted guns and armor plating. Plus a stack of clever internal electronics. Allowing the heroes to chew through the film's villainous element in SUV style.
Popular among hot-rodders, the Mercury Monterey is a beast. A big hulking chrome-wearing monster. Easy to modify, it served as the perfect base for a hero car in the film Cobra. It was pimped out with an uprated suspension, some engine upgrades, and a nitrous kit.
Four cars were made, but only one survived filming. The survivor was kept by lead actor Sylvester Stallone, only for it to be stolen in the mid-nineties. A further twist saw the actor buy the car back again some 25 years later. But, it is a movie legend with over 600 hp on tap.
Instantly recognizable by sight and even more so by sound thanks to the distinct wail of The Ghostbusters Ecto 1 siren – an ode to the machine and the men inside of it. As soon as it screeches into life, everyone knows that the Ghostbusters are on their way.
Even as a standard car, the Miller-Meteor was a rare vehicle. In total, only around 25 examples were made. With 2 cars being converted into Ecto 1. A big 300-hp V8 haunts the engine bay, but due to the car's big bones, performance isn't great. But who cares, it's Ecto 1.
Related: The Ecto-4 Is What Happens When You Combine 'Ghostbusters' With The Lada 2104
There is nothing quite like the sound of a V12 engine. Especially when it's a Lamborghini 3.9-liter V12 shrieking through 12 exhaust pipes. Now a movie icon, the Black Countach LP400S from Cannonball Run was a dream to watch… even with its rather dubious front wing.
A rare low-body car, it sat lower than the standard version, had a beefy 375 hp at its disposal, and could crack 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Resplendent with its light tan interior and gleaming paint, the on-screen car was inducted into the National Library of Congress in 2021.
The most unlikely spy car ever, the gawky-looking Citroën 2CV made its mark in James Bonds, For Your Eyes Only. A most entertaining and amusing car chase was made all the better by the plucky French star. If there was ever an unlikely hero, it is this yellow Citroën 2CV.
A cheap French mode of transport, the Citroën 2CV got a 600cc 29-hp engine in its most potent form. This gave it barely enough power to hit 70 mph, flat out. It did get a clever suspension setup, though. Meaning, that it was impossible to tip over – something Bond proved, over and over.
Related: Why The Citroen Oli Concept Has The Most Innovative Car Interior Ever
This easy-to-identify vehicle is known in the film as the Wagon Queen Family Truckster. Based on a 1979 Ford TLD Country Squire. It was modified by the studio to better fit the comedic lives of the Griswold family. In itself, it was a rolling joke poking fun at suburban Americans.
The ultimate embarrassing Dad mobile. A paltry 129 hp is produced by a 4.9-liter V8. But, this beauty isn't about speed. It's all about grace and space. Ideal for crossing the great American highways. It swallows a family, their luggage, and a recently deceased relative with ease.
Having cut his teeth on the UK street racing scene in the late 90’s and early 00’s RJ faded from the limelight only to return 20 years later. An avid motoring enthusiast RJ especially enjoys JDM and Italian cars, and is an experienced multi-industry writer.


About Summ

Check Also

The best movies leaving Netflix, HBO, and more in March to watch now – Polygon

Use your Google Account Forgot email?Not your computer? Use a private browsing window to sign …