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When you think of Ford, what comes to mind? The Model T? The Mustang? The Crown Victoria? Ford Motor Company was founded on 16 June 1903, it survived the automotive industry crisis and had produced some truly unforgettable cars which have been featured in many films. In honour of their success, we’ve put together a list of our top favourite 10 Ford vehicles to appear on the screen.
10. 1973 Falcon XB GT Coupe – Mad Max
This black muscle car driven by the main character of the films, Max Rockatansky, started off as a 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Hardtop. After several modifications, most notably the addition of a supercharger, it became ‘The Pursuit Special’ and appears in all of the Mad Max films. According to the mechanics in the film, the V8 Interceptor boasts a mighty 600 horsepower thanks to the blower. In reality, the Ford Falcon, which was only produced by Ford Australia, could generate just 300 hp.
9. 1971 Mustang Mach 1 – Diamonds are Forever
Although Ford isn’t usually Bond’s first choice for a car, he has one of the most memorable chase scenes in this Mustang. The Mach 1 was released by Ford as a performance-oriented model to compete with GM and in the film its performance goes above and beyond what Ford could have ever imagined. As the police chased James Bond across Las Vegas, he finds himself at a dead end when he’s inspired to perform the most incredible stunt: tilting the car to one side to be able to squeeze down a narrow alley. Why is this so memorable? Because the car somehow magically changes direction during the stunt and comes out of the alley tilting to the other side.
8. 1932 Coupe – American Graffiti
This film launched George Lucas’ career, boosted that of several of the cast and revived the love of hotrods. The ‘32 Coupe wasn’t originally intended to be one of the stars of this high school graduation film, however as the movie’s popularity increased, so did the car’s and today it could be called one of the most recognised hotrods in history.
7. 1972 Gran Torino Sport – Gran Torino
The Gran Torino has a starring role in the film with the same name, which is quite a rarity unless the film is solely about the car. It’s owner, Walt Kowalski, is a bitter veteran of the Korean War who despises many in his neighbourhood. The attempted theft of his prized possession, his Ford, brings him closer to his neighbours and sparks an unlikely friendship. Less than half of the Gran Torino’s produced by Ford Motor Company in 1972 were the Sports models. Considering this and the fact that Clint Eastwood’s character worked for Ford Motor Company before the war, it’s clear to see where his deep love for the car comes from.
6. 1986 LTD Crown Victoria – Men In Black
Crown Victorias have been the symbol of authority as the most popular police cars in the United States and Canada for many years. Therefore it makes perfect sense that Jay and Kay cruise around in one while policing the galaxy. Although Jay refers to the car as “old and busted”, it’s clearly the classic style of the Crown Vic with one extremely unique added feature: the red button. Don’t ever, ever touch the red button.
5. 1975 Gran Torino – Starsky & Hutch
Based on the 70s detective show of the same name, the film Starsky & Hutch stays true to the original, even down to the car. Their beloved striped tomato put the Gran Torino on the map. Although it’s debatable as to whether it was a good car in its own right, the show made it famous and the iconic red and white striped auto made a comeback in 2004 for the movie starring Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller.
4. 1948 Deluxe – Grease
Although it didn’t play a terribly critical role in the plot, it did have a song dedicated to it: Greased Lightning. The tune worthy car in the film Grease was a Ford De Luxe. This model was introduced in 1938 to bridge the gap between Ford’s standard cars, and their luxury line sold under Lincoln. It’s worth mentioning that not 1, but 2 De Luxe appears in the film. First the white ‘greased lightning’ version that the gang modifies and races, and second the red version that Danny and Sandy fly away in during the closing number.
3. 1966 Thunderbird – Thelma & Louise
Ford created the T-bird as a kind of luxurious sports car in and from the beginning, they were instant classics. 1966 was the last year that ford produced Thunderbirds so it was one of their final cars that starred in this road trip film which won the Academy Award for best original screenplay in 1991. It turned out to be a success was a success and the unconventional classic stuck in the minds of viewers.
2. 1968 Mustang GT Fastback – Bullitt
Steve McQueen drove the unforgettable ‘68 Mustang GT in Bullitt, the film with one of the longest and most memorable car chase scenes in history. The chase takes place on the hilly streets of San Francisco and lasts for over 10 minutes. Although there is much to love about these Mustangs on their own, this film raised the car to iconic status.
1. 1971 Mustang Sportsroof, “Eleanor” – Gone in 60 Seconds
In the original 1974 movie, Eleanor was a 1971 Mustang redressed to look like a ‘73. She’s the only Mustang in film history to receive a star title credit, which makes her the obvious choice for our number 1 memorable movie Ford. The movie Gone in 60 Seconds was remade in 2000 and Eleanor was given a new look. She was portrayed as a Shelby GT500 but was actually a customised 1967 Ford Mustang Fastback. A few of these cars reportedly survived the filming and came onto the market.
It’s not easy to choose just 10 famous Fords since everyone is so memorable, so we have 3 honourable mentions that we love as well.
1993 Explorer – Jurassic Park
With such a distinctive paint job, these Explorers really stand out, not to mention that they’re self-driving and equipped with some really fascinating gadgets for dinosaur watching…or escaping as the case may be.
1973 Gran Torino – The Big Lebowski
We can’t forget to mention this cult classic featuring another Gran Torino owned by the one and only “Dude”. It may not be the most beautiful movie Ford, but it fits the character so well.
1966 Mustang – The Princess Diaries
Amelia affectionately refers to her Mustang as her baby and although the car didn’t play a huge role in the plot, who could forget the unreliability of this fixer upper and the chaos it creates when she takes her grandmother, the queen, out for a spin.
There are so many other famous Fords and these are just a few of our favourites. Ford Motor Company deserves a great deal of respect for producing some truly iconic cars. If you would like to own a classic Ford of your own, or a piece of Ford history, Catawiki offers weekly Classic Car and Automobilia auctions where you will find a selection of Ford cars, accessories and memorabilia. If your collection is outgrowing your garage or if you want to make a profit by selling a classic, you can register as a seller here and experience the thrill of selling at Catawiki’s auctions first hand.