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While many people think of the '80s as the decade of the teen flick, it was also the decade of the car movie. Road trips, race cars, sci-fi drives, horror movies, and even teen romances graced the silver screen, featuring iconic vehicles from a variety of car brands.
In a blast from the past, we discuss three classic '80s movie cars according to MotorBiscuit, and highlight some classic cars, concept cars, and sports cars that were included in other '80s films.
Fun, futuristic cars from ‘80s movies
The ECTO-1 in Ghostbusters (1984). In 1984, the original blockbuster film, Ghostbusters hit the screens with one of the coolest station wagons ever.
The ECTO-1 was a modified 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Futura ambulance complete with siren, and toted some of the most high-decorated and detailed equipment to be seen on movie screens of the era.
According to The Drive, it was designed from scratch by Stephen Dane, who also designed other tech for the film, some of which include proton packs, slime blowers, and particle throwers.
Hot Cars notes that the design of the car was so detailed that it would be pretty much impossible to create a perfect replica, though some have tried.
In fact, a very accurate replica sold for $200,000 at a Las Vegas auction this year, according to GM Authority. It must be pretty legit, because eight cast and crew actually signed the dashboard!
The vehicle was outfitted with a remote-controlled laser turret, all the exterior tech seen on the original, and even some Ghostbusters uniforms, too. A pretty sweet purchase for any Ghostbusters superfan.
The Batmobile in Batman (1989). Needless to say, the Batmobile is one of the most recognizable cars in movie history.
You might have driven a pared-down version of the 1989 Batmobile and not even realized it. The iconic superhero car was built on the chassis of a Chevrolet Impala, powered with a V8 engine (sadly, not actual jet power), and equipped with headlights from a Honda Civic.
Movie lovers can see the finished product on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum, where it is part of an exhibit featuring a variety of famous movie cars. Maybe a road trip is in order?
The DeLorean in Back to the Future (1985). Who can forget the DeLorean in Back to the Future, which starred alongside Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd?
Although the DeLorean was shown to reach flame-inducing acceleration in the film, the DeLorean surprisingly only had 130 horsepower, according to Motor Biscuit. Regardless, its icon status was solidified in the minds of fans who would also appreciate its stainless steel exterior and gullwing doors.
Like the Batmobile, you can see the DeLorean on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in all its cinematic glory.
Sports cars in ‘80s movies
The Ferrari 308 GTS and Dodge Sportsman in The Cannonball Run (1981). In 1981, if you could get your parents to take you to a movie, you went to see The Cannonball Run.
The story chronicles a real-life race called the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, according to IMDB.
IMDB notes that the film starred a number of sports cars that set drivers' dreams in motion, including a 1978 Dodge Sportsman and a 1977 Ferrari 308 GTS. A bevy of top Hollywood stars acted in the film, including Burt Reynolds, Farrah Fawcett, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Roger Moore, Jackie Chan, and Terry Bradshaw.
The Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor in The Wraith (1986). Actor Charlie Sheen gets to drive one of the slickest of the 1980s concept cars, the Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor in The Wraith.
The M4S delivered a high-performance experience aided by a unique Chrysler 2.2 liter four-cylinder engine that enabled speeds up to 195 mph, according to Hot Cars.
Coated in specially formulated bronze pearl paint, IMDB reports that the car cost over $1 million to design and build.
This super-cool Dodge left audiences wishing they could get their hands on the “concept-car-turned prototype,” as Hot Cars describes it.
Classic cars from the supernatural horror flick ‘Christine’
Although it doesn't feature an ‘80s car as the star, Christine, a 1957 Plymouth Fury, stars in the 1983 cult classic film of the same name directed by John Carpenter.
In fact, she's the star of the novel by Stephen King that forms the basis of the story which features other classics like the 1967 Chevy Camaro, 1968 Dodge Charger, 1968 GMC C-Series truck, 1970 Ford Maverick, 1971 Volvo 144 Automatic, and many more, according to Best Movie Cars.
All the cars were modified to withstand the many crashes they endured throughout the film. Their interiors were gutted and fitted with roll cages, harness, and driver’s seat, according to AutoFoundry. Trims were rubber or plastic to avoid sharp post-crash metal debris.
A lot of hard work goes into creating movies with iconic cars, many of which perform incredible, jaw-dropping stunts. The fact that it took over two years to find the perfect cars for Christine emphasizes the dedication it takes to produce memorable movie moments featuring some of the most celebrated vehicles in cinematic history.