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These Are Our 10 Favorite Movie Muscle Cars – HotCars

by Oct 30, 2022Blog0 comments

Thanks to their unique characters, these muscles cars stole the show in several movies.
Some cars are destined for movie stardom. From the second they roll off the production line, they have a certain appeal. Be it for their style, sound, or having had a radical makeover during casting, they often capture the audience's attention and stick in their memories. The 4th-gen Toyota Supra can thank the Fast and Furious franchise for its rebirth as a sports car icon.
Often setting the mood or theme of a film, choosing the right car is critical. Many films simply wouldn't be the same if the hero vehicle were swapped out. International super spy James Bond driving a Fiat Panda 4X4 wouldn't cut it. But, sometimes, films become more about the car than the director ever intended.
As seen in several movies, these vehicles often blast forward to upstage their human actor counterparts. Special vehicles that have unique characters, making gearheads less interested in the plot, and more interested in the four-wheeled action. From thousands of onscreen appearances, these are our 10 favorite movie muscle cars.
Related: 10 Things Most People Didn't Know About The White Dodge Challenger From Vanishing Point
Vanishing Point is a film based on a simple premise, to get a muscle car from point A to point B, fast, and at all costs. In the storyline, the movie car is touted as a special Dodge Challenger R/T. One that was quoted as being fitted with a 7.2-liter supercharged engine.
On-screen, this gives it the wow factor. In reality, there was no supercharged engine. But, the standard 7.2-liter R/T could still haul from a standstill to sixty in 5.7 seconds, thanks to 390hp of American V8 muscle. It may have a weak plot, but it's an awesome car to watch.
Many a movie remake has fallen foul of not being able to stand up to the original. They often contain rehashed ideas thrown against a modern backdrop. Doomed to tank at the box office, The Hitcher remake wasn't a great film, but it certainly featured a fantastic car.
Sitting proudly in all its glory, the featured blue 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 is the meanest thing on the screen. Gloriously muscular, it even makes Sean Bean's bad guy seem tame. Touting a 370hp engine with 500lb/ft of torque, it also had a much deeper growl.
The Mustang in Bullitt is a screen legend. The sequences are often voted the best movie car chases in history. A perfect match of super cool Steve McQueen and a dented Ford Mustang GT390. Both are ruggedly handsome. Both are powerhouses of performance.
Boasting a 320hp engine, the Mustang V8 snarls at every opportunity. Making the tight San Francisco streets its playground, it leaps, squeals and hops into gearhead hearts. It's a film that started a Mustang legacy, and it was piloted by one of the best who ever drove in the business.
Related: Here's What Made The 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt So Special
The last of the V8s, the Ford Falcon Pursuit Special is vengeance on wheels. A fuel-injected, nitrous-sucking monster that also featured a rather iffy supercharger, but it looked amazing, and it was the ideal vehicle for Max. A man who was hell-bent on exacting brutal revenge.
A ludicrous mish-mash of parts, the Pursuit Special fitted its post-apocalyptic setting. Quoted as having over 600hp within the film, the Falcon made around 250hp in real life. One of the most recognizable movie cars ever made. The Pursuit Special is a real star.
Films based on video games don't tend to get bums on seats, but as soon as you throw a few high-performance cars into the mix, opinions change. Especially when the film's hero finds himself behind the wheel of a fantastic-looking Shelby Mustang GT500.
Specially built for the film, the Mustang in question is a wide-bodied car, with a lot of extras. The most notable being the 5.8-liter supercharged racing engine under the hood which allows for 900hp to be deployed at the driver's will. That's a powerful film statement.
It was a match made in heaven. The brilliant Burt Reynolds and a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am, one of the all-time greats, Smokey and The Bandit is gearhead movie gold. Black and gold to be precise, after seeing the film, everyone wanted a Firebird with that specific livery.
Featuring a 6.6-liter V8 with 200hp the Bandit Trans Am could hit 60mph in 8 seconds. Tame figures by today's standards, but on screen, it was a missile. Jumping broken bridges, and outrunning the law, a true star in its own right, and it remains a legendary vehicle today.
Related: This Remarkable 1979 Pontiac Trans Am Makes Smokey And The Bandit Cosplay Easy
A larger-than-life street racer needs a larger-than-life vehicle. And with Vin Diesel, this comes in the form of a heavily modified Dodge Charger. Famous for having so much torque that it twisted its chassis. This Dodge Charger is a 900hp, Japanese car-eating monster.
At the heart of the on-screen car sits a massive supercharged 8.6-liter V8. Thanks to this power plant this Dodge Charger will turn in 9-second quarter mile times. Casting a very distinct silhouette, it made muscle car fans rush out in search of their project cars.
One of the more sinister cars on the list, the Death Proof Chevy Nova SS was made for murder. Stripped out and upgraded, it proudly wore a chrome duck hood ornament. Keen movie fans will also spot the familiar license plate, one it shares with the Bullitt Mustang.
Driven by the film character Stuntman Mike, the Nova SS came with a 6.6-liter 350hp V8. Able to hit 60mph in 6.0 seconds, it was a pretty fast car. Used by Stuntman Mike to execute its female passengers, the Death Proof Nova SS did come to an explosive cinematic end.
Related: Here's Why This 1972 Chevy Nova Is Stealing The Spotlight
It featured the ultimate classic modified Mustang. Gone In 60 Seconds showed moviegoers that not all remakes were duds, and in the process gave gearheads a new V8 goddess to worship. Eleanor, a restomod that turned heads and stole hearts. A gorgeous movie starlet.
Powered by a 400hp V8 with nitrous, it made movie history by outrunning a police helicopter. Decked out with a bespoke body kit, interior, and paint. Eleanor has become a sought-after replica model. With several licensed remakes being sold to the public for big bucks.
A coming of age film crammed to bursting with actors who have since become household names. Yet despite their performances, it's the cars that steal the majority of scenes. And it's a brutish 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS 454 that gains the most admiration when it appears.
Sporting a big-block 7.4-liter engine. The Chevy Chevelle SS was never lacking in punch. Power sat at a respectful 450hp with 500lb/ft of torque. It could scrabble to 60mph in 5.4 seconds, before hitting 130mph. It also sounded fantastic. A true hero, and an awesome car.
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.