Our love of cars started right here. Movie and TV cars are literally the stuff of dreams. We're all let into theaters and plopped in front of the tube long before we're issued driver licenses. Then we all dream of doing reverse 180s like Jim Rockford escaping thugs, or fleeing the po-po in a Shelby Mustang named Eleanor. We all want a best friend like KITT. And every orange Dodge Charger can fly, right? Here are the 50 movie and TV cars that built that passion.
50. 2 Fast 2 Furious 1998 Nissan Skyline GT-R: Forgive the neon lighting; it was 2003. The R34 is the best 2F2F car. The on-screen R34s ran with disconnected front differentials for drifting. 49. Better Off Dead 1967 Camaro: In this 1985 John Cusack film, it was the black Camaro that spoke the international language of love. 48. Le Mans 1970 Porsche 911S: In Steve McQueen's 1971 racing epic, the Porsche his character drives in the film's opening scenes is this 911S. It recently sold for $1.37 million. It beats a Ferrari on PCH. Then chases a motorcycle. And is given away to Vin Diesel at the end of this 2001 film. Popular Hot Rodding's then supercharged "Project X" is driven by Tony Danza in this 1980 film. The always yellow '57 was recently rebuilt by GM Performance. Robert Mitchum's 1958 moonshine drama features this hot-rodded '50. It runs from the Feds, who have a '57 Chevy that grabs bumpers. 44. Risky Business 1981 Porsche 928: Four 928s were used in filming and two more in post-production. The 1983 movie made Tom Cruise a star. Who's the U-boat commander? The 13 different Dodges that portrayed the "Bluesmobile" in this 1980 film were bought from the California Highway Patrol. Hit it! 42. Route 66 1961 Chevrolet Corvette: GM put Martin Milner and George Maharis (then Glenn Corbett) in a new 'Vette every year for this road adventure series between 1960 and 1964. Reportedly, the Miura wrecked here was already destroyed before filming. That doesn't make its fate any less painful to watch. Sometimes a '68 or a '69 in this 1974 movie, the Charger's explosive fame came in the explosive credits for TV's The Fall Guy. 39. 77 Sunset Strip T-Bucket: "Kookie" (Edd Byrnes) drove a wild T-Bucket actually built by Norm Grabowski on this 1959-'64 series. It defined '60s hot-rodding. This Dodge chased Steve McQueen's Mustang through San Francisco in this 1968 cop drama. Bad guys have been driving Chargers in movies ever since. Converted to right-hand drive and drowned in overstyled fiberglass. Mark Hamill spends this 1978 movie getting it back after it's stolen. 36. Gone in 60 Seconds 1973 Mustang Mach 1: Toby Halicki wrote, directed, starred in and was the stunt driver for this 1974 chase film. What everyone remembers is Eleanor the Mustang. "The first rule of Italian driving," says Raul Julia as he rips off the rearview. "What's behind is not important." Two genuine Cobras were used in this 1976 comedy that remains the best movie made about transcontinental street racing. Sonny Corleone dies in a hail of machine gun fire outside his special Lincoln. It's the best car in this all-time-great 1972 movie. 440 and a pistol-grip four-speed. The cops chasing Kowalski in this 1971 film don't know his first name. A '67 Camaro doubles the Dodge in the explosive climax. 31. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 1910 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Musical about a miraculous car based on an old Grand Prix racer. Has made car guys out of millions of kids since 1968. 30. Back to the Future 1981 DeLorean DMC-12: Doc Brown: "The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?" It is 1985's best movie. 29. Back to the Future 1985 Toyota 4x4 Xtra Cab Pickup Truck: The DeLorean may have been the star, but that black Toyota Pickup stole the show. Screw time travel; we want to take that truck up to the lake with Jennifer. 28. American Graffiti 1955 Chevy 210: Bob Falfa's '55 challenges John Milner's self worth. It's the same '55 from Two-Lane Blacktop, painted black and with Harrison Ford driving. 27. Two-Lane Blacktop 1955 Chevy 210: Solid front axle, 454 with tunnel ram, glass nose and deck lid, Plexiglas side windows; it was nasty in 1971 and it's nasty now. Fugitive mercenaries hide in a van with a big red stripe. But on NBC between 1983 and 1987 it made perfect sense. At least it did if you were 12. 25. The Fall Guy 1982 GMC Sierra: Stuntman/bounty hunter Colt Seavers (Lee Majors) always had to jump his big GMC pickup. The ABC TV series destroyed dozens between 1981 and 1986. 24. Batman Tim Burton's Batmobile: Consider this one a generational thing, but Tim Burton's Batmobile, piloted by Michael Keaton, is the armored, jet-turbine-powered stuff of dreams. 23. Take This Job and Shove It 1974 Ford F-250 Bigfoot: The 1981 movie, starring Robert Hays, is forgotten. But Bigfoot's appearance made monster trucks a big deal. This 1974 TV movie made the '34 Three-Window built by Pete Chapouris one of the most famous hot rods of all time. It's still beautiful. 21. Magnum, P.I. 1978 Ferrari 308 GTS: Thomas Magnum (Tom Selleck) drove three different red 308 GTSs through eight seasons on this Hawaii-based detective show from 1980-'88. ROBIN1. 20. National Lampoon's Vacation 1983 Wagon Queen Family Truckster: Clark Griswold's indignities start when he doesn't get the Sport Wagon he ordered in this 1983 film. Wally World, here we come. By Ferrari standards, it wasn't a successful racer. But it looked spectacular running alongside Porsche 917s in Steve McQueen's 1971 racing film. The greatest Porsche of them all, running full speed down the Mulsanne Straight with McQueen at the wheel. Then he destroys it in a spectacular wreck. A black Lambo with Adrienne Barbeau and Tara Buckman aboard? Wicked. The great Brock Yates wrote this 1981 movie. The iconic car from this movie series is so intimidating that Vin Diesel is scared to drive it in the original film. In John Frankenheimer's 1998 chase film, it's this big green sedan that does most of the pushing in its best chase. Yeah, the Ferrari in the 1986 movie was just a replica. But it's the first Ferrari many of us ever lusted after. You fellas have nothing to worry about. I'm a professional. A very good Disney movie that opened in 1968 and became the highest-grossing film of 1969. Herbie was a star from the start. 12. The Rockford Files 1974 Pontiac Firebird Esprit: P.I. Jim Rockford drove his tan coupe brilliantly between 1974 and 1980. He got a new one every year between 1974 and 1978. Made the reverse spin famous. 11. Starsky & Hutch 1975 Ford Gran Torino: The "striped tomato" may be the world's worst undercover cop car. But for four seasons on ABC from 1975-'79, it was awesome.