Ask people about their first car memory, and you tend to get a rose-tinted recollection of an early life spent in the back of the family car. If you’re from my generation, the passing of time will have chosen to redact the added frisson of parental map-reading responsibility due to lack of satnav (inevitable argument), velour seating (seriously, who thought that was a suitable fabric?) and a total lack of aircon. It was miserable, and normally lacking in excitement, but somehow the petrolhead mindset is pre-conditioned to remember it fondly.
With the reality being such a passive, remote and uncomfortable existence, cars came to life on our TV screens and in the movies we watched. I still remember being glued to the screen when the General Lee kicked up red dust as it drifted round a tree in the opening title sequence of The Dukes of Hazzard, and the rite of passage that was watching The
Blues Brothers with my dad and brother. Cars did things on screen that made them exciting, made me want to know more about them. In short, they were my heroes, not the actors. As we discussed the idea for this issue here at TGHQ, how movie car superstars changed through the generations, we realised that the passion for them was infectious. So, welcome to the TG Guide to the Greatest Movie Cars of All Time... also featuring some truly woefully misjudged ones as well. We hope it sparks as much debate with you as it did here in the office.
In the 50 years since Frank Bullitt smoked his ’68 Highland Green Ford Mustang 390 GT Fastback through the streets of San Francisco, that car has built a status that few can rival (helped in no small part by McQueen doing the driving himself). The equity in that moment has spawned generations of limited-series Stangs. We sent Jack Rix to San Francisco to meet the latest tribute, then hooked him up with the original star of that film, restored to celebrate its history and patina by a man whose early car memories outrank most, given they were created in the passenger seat of THE car McQueen drove.
Elsewhere in the issue, the purveyor of more memorable movie star cars than most, Aston Martin, grants us exclusive access to its latest Q branch project – the Cygnet V8 – on page 98. In another exclusive, on page 11 we manage to divert the stunning Porsche 911 Singer DLS to a disused warehouse for long enough to pore over its every detail with the obsessive genius who created it, Rob Dickinson. Both cars are equally deserving of their moment of onscreen stardom for very different reasons. I’m off to watch The Blues Brothers again... pass the popcorn.
Enjoy the issue,
070 Bullitt’s Mustang