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As it’s Valentine’s Day, we take a nostalgic look at some of Hollywood’s most romantic cars. Which is your favourite?
La La Land
It may only be February, but La La Land is likely to be the most romantic film of 2017. When Ryan Gosling beeps his horn at Emma Stone at the end of the opening scene, it’s not her silver Prius everyone remembers, but his red leather 1982 Buick Rivera convertible. It’s an old fashioned car for a modern film but it’s an integral part of the storyline and plays a key role in the way the situations resolve for the lead characters.
When Ferrari and Porsche refused to have their names associated with soliciting prostitutes, Lotus stepped in with its silver 1989 Espirit SE. The car will forever be thought of as ‘the fast car from Pretty Woman’. It is said to have had a top speed of 165mph and achieve 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, which is probably why Julia Roberts yells in the film: “Man, it corners like it’s on rails!”
The 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, Herbie, is one of the most famous cars in film history. Starring as The Love Bug in 1968 it went on to play the lead role in Herbie Rides Again, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, Herbie Goes Bananas and Herbie Fully Loaded, although different cars were used.
The film established the VW Beetle as an iconic car around the world but ironically, Volkswagen did not support Disney’s use of the car so all VW badges and logos were removed for the film.
When Harry Met Sally
Not the coolest car on the list but the 1976 Toyota Corona Station Wagon is the setting for one of the most romantic film couplings. With yellow/ beige paintwork and tan vinyl interior, it definitely captured the seventies feel of the film. But Harry and Sally fell in love during their first ride in that car and that’s what makes it so special.
This 1978 film has been described as ‘a visual buffet of 1950s American iron’. Who could forget the 1948 Ford De Luxe, nicknamed Greased Lightening? There were two versions of the car: the white one that the T-Birds modify and race, and the red fantasy version that is danced upon and appears at the end of the movie, taking off into the sky. Then there’s the Scorpions’ 1949 Mercury Custom and the Pink Ladies’ 1948 Studebaker Commander Regal plus John Travolta’s 1949 Dodge Wayfarer.
The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air driven by Patrick Swayze is one of the most iconic American cars of all time. The car is memorable for the scene where he locks his keys inside and smashes the window with a pole. However, there are a number of continuity mistakes highlighted with the car scene. The main one is the fact that the hole Swayze made was about the size of a fist. In the next scene however, the hole in the window is twice as big as it was before.
The 1988 white Porsche 911 Flachbau Cabriolet has ‘Hollywood’ written all over it. That’s probably why the flatnose drop-top was chosen as the car for flash producer Lee Donowitz’s first appearance in Tarantino’s dark comedy.
Arguably the world’s first automotive movie star, this 1904 Darracq called Genevieve was the star of the 1953 film with the same name. The movie was made on a modest budget but became a massive success, earning a Bafta award and sparking public interest in the whole veteran car scene.