25 April 2014

Eleven Automotive Tragedies From The Big Screen

Bad things often happen to good cars in the movies. Here’s a list of 11 scenes that still make car guys cringe with every viewing:

  1. 1970 Dodge Challenger (“Vanishing Point”): The ’70 Dodge Challenger (one of about five used for the film) meets a fiery end when the protagonist of the film (played by Barry Newman) drives it into a bulldozer being used as a police road block.

  2. 1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 (“The Italian Job”): The Miura is probably the most beautiful mid-engine sports cars of all time. And that’s what makes this scene so hard to watch. In the opening scene of the movie, mobsters destroy heist-plotter Roger Beckerman’s (Rossano Brazzi) Miura with a backhoe and push it over a cliff. A small consolation is the fact that an actual intact Miura wasn’t destroyed. Just body panels over an empty accident-bent chassis. Interestingly, when the producers went to clean up the mess the next day, the remains had disappeared. Neither the chassis tag nor any of the pieces have surfaced to this day.

  3. 1979 Porsche 930 (“Caddyshack”): This scene is an object lesson as to why you should never park your car with the sunroof open within a half-mile radius of where alcohol is being served:  Young Spalding Smails, suffering from a case of affluenza combined with Johnny Walker, staggers up to Dr. Beeper’s parked 930 and empties the contents of his upper GI tract into the open sunroof. The squishy sound-effect of Beeper sliding into the seat never fails to make one cringe.

  4. 1964 Aston DB5 Martin (“Skyfall”): In the rebooted James Bond world of Daniel Craig, Bond is seen to have won the DB5 in a card game in the movie Casino Royale. Its nose-mounted machine guns are put to good use in an attempt to repel an assault by the film’s villain, played by Javier Bardem.  Sadly, the car is strafed into Swiss cheese.  Happily, the car was actually a prop that was convincingly made to look like a real DB5.

  5. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder (“Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”): This scene is perhaps the most famous bit of classic car mayhem in all of moviedom.  In it, the Ferrari is seen placed on jack stands running in reverse in a hilariously stupid attempt to remove the miles that had been put on the car during the day’s class-cutting good fun in Chicago. In a fit of frustration directed at his misplaced-priorities jerk of a father, Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck) accidentally kicks the car off the jack stands and it sails out of its glass enclosure into the woods below.  Happily, as with the Miura and the Aston, it wasn’t a real California Spyder.

  6. 1979 Porsche 928 (“Risky Business”): This scene reminds us all why we should use the hand brake. Those of us who are old enough to have seen this in theaters didn’t see this one coming: Tom Cruise is enjoying a night out with the typical “Pretty Woman”-like, non-drug addicted, non-inked, debutante-like (read nonexistent) hooker that Hollywood is so fond of (in this case played by Rebecca de Mornay), when de Mornay’s handbag strap pulls the gear shifter into neutral as she’s exiting the car. The Porsche rolls down a hill heading toward Lake Michigan with Cruise on the hood in a futile attempt to arrest the forward motion of the 3,800-pound 928. It ultimately comes to a stop at the edge of a wooden pier. Just as Cruise breathes a sigh of relief and starts to make his way to the driver’s door, the entire pier collapses, taking Cruise and the car for a swim in the lake.  Audiences everywhere gasped audibly. The scene at the dealership where the service manager enters the waiting rooms and asks, “Which one of you is the U-Boat commander?” is priceless.

  7. 1985 Corvette (“The Big Lebowski”): Like the entire plot of this Coen Brothers cult classic, the setup here is a bit convoluted. A 14-year-old kid named Larry Sellers has likely stolen Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski’s (Jeff Bridges’)  battered Ford Torino, possibly (but possibly not) containing a large sum in ransom money.  The Dude and his extremely anger management-challenged bowling buddy Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) head for little Larry’s house to try to interrogate the kid and recover the money. On the way in, they’re dismayed to find a red 1985 Corvette parked in front of the house, which they take as a sign that the kid has already started to blow the money.  When standard interrogation techniques prove fruitless, Walter moves on to the enhanced interrogation which includes taking a crowbar to the Corvette’s glass in full view of a very puzzled Larry. The Corvette turns out to be the neighbor’s car. He in turn freaks out and exacts rather uneven revenge on The Dude’s already dilapidated Torino.

  8. 1941 Lincoln Continental (“The Godfather”): You could always count on the hot temper of Sonny Corleone. The Barzini Family certainly did. They also knew that when Carlo, the abusive lowlife husband of Sonny’s sister Connie, would hit her, Sonny would respond by unleashing the Hiroshima of beatings on Carlo. The Barzinis (who wanted Sonny dead) of course also knew that the most direct route from Sonny’s fist to the jawbone of Carlo would take him through the toll booth at the Jones Beach Causeway on Long Island, where the Barzini’s hit men were waiting to go Bonnie and Clyde on Sonny with Thompson sub-machine guns.  The result was not pretty for either Sonny or the Lincoln. Neither were fit for an open casket funeral.

  9. 1957 Chevrolet 210 (“Used Cars”): This early Robert Zemeckis cult classic starred the great character actor Jack Warden in a dual role as twin brothers Roy L. Fuchs and Luke Fuchs.  And while Roy L. was just an amoral small-time used car dealer, his brother Luke was a classic evil schemer. Faced with the prospect of losing his prime real estate lot to a freeway onramp, Luke hatched a plot to get his brother’s lot. Knowing that Roy L. was both without a will, had no known offspring and had a bad ticker, he sent a stunt driver (played by the chubby dude who later played Switek on “Miami Vice”) to “test drive” Roy’s prized ’57 Chevy. Predictably, the insane ride had Roy L. immediately reaching for his nitroglycerin tablets which a sharp and well-timed turn of the wheel knocked out of his hands. Nearly every panel on the poor classic Chevy was smashed by the end of the ride. The “test driver” simply tosses the keys to a gasping, chest-clutching Fuchs and says, “I’ll think about it, old man.”

  10. 1979 Chevrolet Camaro  Z/28 (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”): The Camaro was owned by intimidating high school football prospect Charles Jefferson (played by the great Forrest Whitaker in one of his earliest roles). Jefferson’s little brother and surfer/stoner Jeff Spiccolli (Sean Penn) take the car cruising one night in the San Fernando Valley and wreck it. While surveying the horrific damage, Spiccolli pops the classic line, “My old man is a TV repairman, he has an awesome set of tools. I can fix it.” Ultimately, no repairs are undertaken. Rather, the damage is blamed on car thieves from a rival high school whom Ridgemont is playing in a big football game. An incensed rhino-like Jefferson is seen later delivering paralytic revenge hits in the subsequent game.

  11. 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE convertible (“The Hangover”): Which part of this seems like a bad idea?  Future father -in-law entrusts his non-Car Guy future son-in-law with his treasured Mercedes convertible for a pre-wedding jaunt with friends. Granted, they were supposed to be headed to sedate California wine country, but they go to Vegas instead. The extreme body damage that the handsome Benz suffers is predictable for anyone who has seen “Animal House.” The damage done to the interior by Mike Tyson’s pet tiger? That’s novel.

160 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Noah Lockwood phoenix April 25, 2014 at 17:57
    Rob, your readers will be happy to learn that the Vanishing Point Challenger did not meet a firery end. We did a frame by frame on the scene and it is clear that a Camaro was substituted for the Dodge. Chevy fans may now shed a tear, but the Mopar is still out there somewhere...
  • 2
    Rob Eckaus San Jose Cars Exiner April 26, 2014 at 12:30
    An '85 Corvette is neither a good car nor losing one a tragedy. The Dodge Charger from Bullitt or Fast & Furious is a far better choice.
  • 3
    Rob Ridgecrest Ca April 27, 2014 at 19:38
    The car that was destroyed at the end of Vanishing Point was actually a Camaro :)
  • 4
    Tom Lyman Henderson NV April 28, 2014 at 05:28
    The Movie Billy Jack the vet.ragtop driven into the water.
  • 5
    AnalogGurl nYc April 30, 2014 at 13:05
    The destroyed Morgan was in War Of The Roses
  • 6
    Rich Scranton Pa. April 30, 2014 at 13:09
    How about the 1968 Dodge Charger In Bullit
  • 7
    Scott Swinamer Binghamton, NY April 30, 2014 at 13:11
    The '55 Chevy destroyed in "Home Improvement", although sad, was not the actual Nomad, but a regular '55 2-door station wagon with straight pillars.
  • 8
    Ron B Charlotte April 30, 2014 at 13:13
    2 Comments. The Corvette in Con Air was a '67, not a '63 and it was later available for purchase (big money) from Pro Team. Secondly, the car crushed by Tim Allen was not a Nomad - it was, however, a '55 post wagon. Still a bummer.
  • 9
    Rick Sheridan Canada April 30, 2014 at 13:24
    the only reason they used a Camaro is because Chrysler wouldn't give any more cars
  • 10
    Wayne Ivey Opelika Al April 30, 2014 at 13:25
    I think of the Movie "Mischief" (1985) with Doug McKeon& Chris Nash. A 55 Chevy Conv. is hit on all four sides by a 50 Studebaker at the close of the movie.
  • 11
    Dave P Vancouver BC April 30, 2014 at 13:28
    You forgot the bmw z8 that was cut in half by a saw in 'the world is not enough'.
  • 12
    Jodi Indianapolis April 30, 2014 at 13:31
    The 1966 Ford Thunderbird Convertible in movie "Thelma and Louise" surely had a rough landing!
  • 13
    Earl Seattle, WA April 30, 2014 at 13:33
    Didn't they wreck a Ferrari in 1987's The Hidden? And of course the "wrecked" Ferrari Daytona Spider at the end of A Star is Born looked bad (but probably wasn't too bad).
  • 14
    Randy Galesburg, IL April 30, 2014 at 13:38
    One car that was overlooked was the Hearse Jaguar XKE that went over the cliff in the movie Harold & Maude.
  • 15
    Heidi Jacksonville, FL April 30, 2014 at 13:41
    How about the The Yellow Rolls Royce?
  • 16
    Doug Lansing, MI April 30, 2014 at 13:45
    The original DB5 in Goldfinger when 007 crashes into a building to avoid the oncoming car (really a mirror). What about the '65 Cobra the Tony Stark falls on in the original Iron Man. (I still cringe even though it was a fake)
  • 17
    John NJ April 30, 2014 at 13:46
    The Hangover cars were chopped coupes. Worth a fraction of a real 280se convertible.
  • 18
    DONMOZ Dallas April 30, 2014 at 13:50
    And who can forget the '58 Fury in "Christine"? It wound up as an evil cube after the car crusher got ahold of what was left after the bulldozer!
  • 19
    charlie Bluefield, WV April 30, 2014 at 13:53
    what about the 1969 Dodge Charger destroyed by the train in "Dirty Mary & Crazy Larry"?
  • 20
    Gary San Antonio April 30, 2014 at 13:55
    Dukes of Hazzard.....More Chargers (over 380 on the series and then more on the movie sequels) were destroyed than any other car and it's a crying shame! They should be #1 on this list.
  • 21
    Abe Reno April 30, 2014 at 14:07
    The custom 50' Merc in "Cobra" with Sly always get me to shed a tear.
  • 22
    Abe M. Reno,Nv April 30, 2014 at 14:09
    The custom 50' Merc in "Cobra" with Sly always get me to shed a tear.
  • 23
    TIsh Denver April 30, 2014 at 14:19
    Another classic...the slow death of the 1972 Caddy in Licensed to Drive, with the eventual death of the 87 BMW as well. Drunk Heather Graham dancing in heels on the hood of the Caddy is priceless. Completely cringe-worthy.
  • 24
    Abe Reno, Nv April 30, 2014 at 14:21
    The custom 49-50 Merc in the 80's movie Cobra with Sylvester Stallone
  • 25
    Mike PA April 30, 2014 at 14:33
    Latest wreck from the movie The Wolf of Wall Street: 25th Anniversary Lamborghini Countach - NOT a replica.
  • 26
    Oldsman55 Illinois April 30, 2014 at 14:42
    Another iconic car that appeared to be destroyed is the GTX in the movie tommy boy!
  • 27
    Bob Gaithersburg MD April 30, 2014 at 14:45
    The Dukes of Hazard. How many Chargers were wasted for that show.
  • 28
    Kenny Owen United States April 30, 2014 at 14:46
    How can you leave out the Ferrari Daytona convertible (replica) that is blown up during the opening scenes of Miami Vice.
  • 29
    ecdy md April 30, 2014 at 14:53
    The Morgan 4/4 crushed in "War of the Roses" (not Kramer v Kramer)
  • 30
    Ken Nelson Tower City Pa April 30, 2014 at 14:53
    Also, there is Christine. How many 1958 Plymouths were used?
  • 31
    Larry Philadelphia April 30, 2014 at 15:26
    Don't forget the beautiful Lincoln crushed in Goldfinger.
  • 32
    Larry Philadelphia April 30, 2014 at 15:31
    Don't forget the beautiful Lincoln crushed in Goldfinger.
  • 33
    Tim Blackburn Springfield, OH April 30, 2014 at 15:32
    The mother of all destroyed classics in my mind is "On the Beach"......The race scene saw many crashes including a first gen Testarossa. Still a great movie tho.
  • 34
    Nick Olympia Washington April 30, 2014 at 15:48
    Watching all those Plymouth Furys get destroyed in Christine always makes me cry.
  • 35
    Katie CA April 30, 2014 at 15:52
    How could you forget the Cadillac that was destroyed throughout the entire movie "License to Drive"..??? That was one of the best movies! Then to see the end and see what the grandpa did to the BMW was priceless!!!
  • 36
    Mike Starring Newport,OR April 30, 2014 at 16:01
    I will always mourn the Jaguar XKE hearse that met it's firey end at the base of a cliff in Harold and Maude.
  • 37
    Scuderiatc Los Angeles April 30, 2014 at 16:05
    More tragic (in my opinion) than the Lincoln getting riddled with bullets in the Godfather, is the Alfa Romeo 6C being blown up (with Michael Corleone's Sicilian wife in it) in the Godfather II.
  • 38
    Daryl Wade Athens ON April 30, 2014 at 16:06
    The "bad ass" 55 Chevy driven by Harrison Ford in American Graffiti brought tears to my eyes. Yes I realize there was a stunt double that crashed (single exhaust etc.) but still, a '55 Chevy?
  • 39
    Nick Olympia Washington April 30, 2014 at 16:07
    Wrecking all those Plymouth Furys in Christine always breaks my heart. I worked at a tire store when the studio brought in 8 Thunderbirds for Thelma and Louise. They all got wrecked.
  • 40
    John Georgia April 30, 2014 at 16:16
    And what about the MG-TF that goes into the lake in "Funny Farm"?
  • 41
    Curt J SoCal April 30, 2014 at 16:16
    How about the Austin Healey 3000 destroyed in "The Royal Tenenbaums"? One of the worst movie scenes ever. Steve, the '55 Nomad in Home Improvement got quick-switched with a common '55 Yeoman 150 2 dr wagon for the crush.
  • 42
    Bill Berger Barrington, IL April 30, 2014 at 16:26
    The Nomad was replaced with a 4 door wagon for the crush scene in Home Improvement.
  • 43
    Tony Torcivia Calverton, NY April 30, 2014 at 16:33
    How about the 68 Charger in Bullitt and the 1970 442 W30 in Demolition Man
  • 44
    Scott SoCal April 30, 2014 at 17:17
    I've been a studio crewmember for close to 4 decades and have witnessed many car stunts- including the "Matt Houston" XKE crash which at the time was just another old used car. It was jumped into a shallow pond in Rancho Park across from Fox Studios (where Houston was filmed the first season). When we had a pipe ramp crash set up (which was pretty often in those days) we would try to predict where the car would land and mark our spots with black tape. Once a hapless TBird landed right where one of my contemporaries predicted; right on top of one of the cameras! Usually, the crash car is a junker, not the principal photo car. The wear and tear even on principal vehicles is evident upon actual inspection, but on film they looked great. These are working props, not trailer queens. On "Vega$", there were two identical red '57 Thunderbirds. The stunt car had a Dodge v8 instead of the Y-block and stiffened suspension. Both cars were offered for sale at the end of the show. I now wish I had bought at least one. Around that time I was given a rolled and burned stunt '67 Cadillac S&S hearse (a rustbucket, btw) that I pulled the motor and tranny out of, and discarded the rest. Can't remember what show it was from, now. I've been a car nut since I could remember and it does bother me sometimes that a nice car gets destroyed, but at least it will be preserved on film, and they rarely are pristine examples.
  • 45
    Gary Blessing Cape Coral FL April 30, 2014 at 17:24
    I cry every time I see the God Father II. Not for Michael Corleone's beautiful wife, Apollonia, being blown up but I cry for the beautiful 1946 Alfa-Romeo 6C 2500 :(
  • 46
    Eric O'Mara Phoenix, AZ April 30, 2014 at 17:36
    How about the 1954 Porsche Speedster that was run off the ravine at the end of the 1966 movie " Harper " starring Paul Newman. I purchased the car in 1981 and drove it for about 9 years before selling it. Serial # was 80076 it was the 76th Speedster to roll off the line. I understand it is has been restored and is now red.
  • 47
    Peter McDonald Los Feliz,California April 30, 2014 at 17:47
    You left out the show-room fresh 1964 Lincoln Continental sedan in "Goldfinger." This was the scene where one of the American gangsters,opts out of "Operation Grandslam", Auric Goldfinger's diabolical plan to radiate all the gold at Fort Knox. Oddjob drives this guy, and his beautiful new car right to an auto crusher. He later extracts the gold bars and takes them back in a cute Ranchero Ford pick-up. I understand a REAL BRAND NEW Lincoln was used in this scene and destroyed!
  • 48
    Greg Childs Surprise AZ April 30, 2014 at 17:49
    Dean, the car from Harold & Maude was a prop as well. In fact, the roof and some other panels were taken from a Datsun 510 wagon.
  • 49
    Dennis Sibert United States April 30, 2014 at 17:53
    The Mustang in Bullitt was no prize. The little green VW bug passed it 3 times.
  • 50
    Brian indy., in April 30, 2014 at 18:28
    The Jag XKE in "52 Pick-up," blown up by Roy Scheider.
  • 51
    jim rose Pleasanton Ca. April 30, 2014 at 18:44
    The original gone in 60 seconds had just a few tragedies, as well as Its a Mad, Mad Mad World, 62 Biscayne and 64 dodge rag top ditched, glad to see computer generated destruction these days.
  • 52
    Larry Chattanooga, Tn Area April 30, 2014 at 18:55
    W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings-The 1955 "Golden Anniversary" Oldsmobile Rocket 88 of which only 50 were made. It is a four-door sedan painted gold with black hood and side accents, with chrome trim. They burnt it up in one of the last scenes..... In reality, there was no such special car, and 1955 was not the 50th anniversary for Oldsmobile. Three were custom-built for the movie. But back taking me way back to one the first dates with my now wife of almost 38 eight years.....
  • 53
    Curt J So CA April 30, 2014 at 19:00
    How about the Austin Healey 3000 destroyed in "The Royal Tenenbaums"? One of the worst movie scenes ever. Steve, the '55 Nomad in Home Improvement got quick-switched with a common '55 Yeoman 150 2 dr wagon for the crush.
  • 54
    Mike F Santa Rosa, Ca April 30, 2014 at 19:10
    Another great movie of cars destroyed not mentioned here is "Christine" not sure how 57 Plymouths gave up the ghost during filming
  • 55
    Andy Hughes Dallas, TX April 30, 2014 at 19:52
    How about "Bullit"? Lost a '67 390 fastback Mustang and a '68 Charger in that one. The original "Gone In Sixty Seconds"? Countless cars lost in that one. And I recall a relatively recent Paul Newman movie where he drove a '69 GTO Judge backwards into a small lake (cry).
  • 56
    Brian Between St. Louis & Memphis April 30, 2014 at 20:27
    What about the Volvo PV544 in "The World According to Garp"?
  • 57
    Dave Canton April 30, 2014 at 20:52
    Hey Hagerty, thank you for the nice articles. They are always professional and well done and appreciated by us car enthusiast customers.
  • 58
    JG MI April 30, 2014 at 21:04
    Christine should have been mentioned - over a dozen 57 / 58 Plymouths were used for the shoot, as well as the 68 Camaro killer scene'
  • 59
    Colin Koran greater Detroit April 30, 2014 at 21:05
    This is why I don't watch many movies unless I know there isn't car action. I'm trying to boycott any film that encourages the wrecking of old cars and I encourage everyone to do the same. Look at the constant destruction of muscle cars lately, like the Chevelle in "Jack Tripper" and the Camaro in the upcoming "21 Jump Street". Very upsetting.
  • 60
    JG MI April 30, 2014 at 21:06
    Christine should have been mentioned - over a dozen 57 / 58 Plymouths were used for the shoot, as well as the 68 Camaro killer scene'
  • 61
    Steve Nova Scotia April 30, 2014 at 21:11
    Italian Job, The lamborghini yes, but followed by e-type roadster, e-type coupe & beautiful Aston Martin
  • 62
    Gary Orlando 10567 April 30, 2014 at 10:16
    There should be an endangered "American Automobile heritage Act" so this kind of thing doesn't keep going on. Just because you own t, doesn't mean you can destroy it...sell it ,yes. shame..
  • 63
    Murk Pueblo, CO April 30, 2014 at 10:19
    What about "Christine"?
  • 64
    Dave Houston April 30, 2014 at 10:20
    Didn't Kristofferson kill himself in a Ferrari Daytona in "A Atar Is Born"? I'd watch it to verify, but couldn't stand the Streisand it would take to do it. "Vanishing Point" also tears up a somewhat ratty E-type Jag. And what about the convertible (one of only what, 2?) Toyota 200 GT dropped into the bay in the James Bond movie?
  • 65
    Jason Fain Columbia, MO April 30, 2014 at 10:27
    Mid 80's Vette at the end of Breast Men Late 70's Vette at the end of Armed and Dangerous
  • 66
    Kevin North Royalton, OH April 30, 2014 at 10:43
    How about the Charger at the end of Dirty Mary & Crazy Larry
  • 67
    Chris Houston April 30, 2014 at 10:44
    I still cringe every time they destroy that awesome 67 Firebird in the Matrix Reloaded. (best car chase scene ever). I think they destroyed several during the filming with only 1 that remianed entact
  • 68
    CJ SoCal April 30, 2014 at 10:44
    How about the Austin Healey 3000 destroyed in "The Royal Tenenbaums"? One of the worst movie scenes ever.
  • 69
    James St. Louis April 30, 2014 at 22:50
    I cannot believe you missed many better cars taken out: 68 Mustang & Charger - Bullet 55 Belair - American Graffiti Eleanor Shelby - Gone in 60 Seconds Thunderbird - Thelma & Louise All the Muscle Cars in the Fast & Furious Movies This is just to name a few.
  • 70
    Mike McKaerski Fredonia N.Y. April 30, 2014 at 10:52
    Gone in 60 seconds.
  • 71
    Joe Valenti Denton, TX April 30, 2014 at 10:55
    They destroyed four-five 1969 Mercury Cougar XR7 428 Ram Air convertibles in the Bond movie "In Her Majestie's Secrert Service". With only 96 made and 33 known today...ouch
  • 72
    Kev Toronto April 30, 2014 at 22:58
    Has everyone forgotten the Cannonball Run? with the destruction of the Rolls Royce in the derby?
  • 73
    Michael Davias Stamford, CT April 30, 2014 at 11:01
    Double sadness: Destruction of both an Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 and occupant Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone in the Godfather.
  • 74
    Mike Mullay Home April 30, 2014 at 11:05
    Let's not forget the Citreon SM (owned by Burt Reynolds girlfriend Anitra Ford) in the original version of the longest yard that goes into the drink, or the '49 Merc Woodie that gets destroyed by going over a cliff in an early season of the original TV series Mod Squad.
  • 75
    Larry Siegel NY April 30, 2014 at 11:09
    The Lamborghini in wolf of wall St. Was actually demolished. When a character is killed it's acting.when a better car than I'll ever own is wrecked it's a tragedy
  • 76
    MarshMountaineers Hudson Valley, NY April 30, 2014 at 11:09
    Regarding the 1941 Lincoln in the Godfather toll-booth scene. My (now dearly-departed) Dad had bought that car after seeing it advertized in a local shopper-guide (the Pennysaver - once sought after on a weekly basis for great deals, now only a thin memory of what it once was). Anyway, my Dad bought the 1941 Lincoln from the widow of the original owner, and it was a real "barn find" (actually, a tiny garage, on a converted summer home property by Sparkle Lake, in Yorktown Heights, NY). Digressing again, my Dad got the Lincoln running, then promptly advertised it in the "Classics & Antiques Auto" section of the Sunday NY Times. (Editors note, he was not a regular "flipper", he usually kept cars for many, many years, including De Soto's, Amphicar, Sunbeam's, etc...). The first caller came up to see the car, with a truck and a trailer. They paid his asking price, no questions asked. After the transaction was completed, they informed my Dad that they were going to use the car in an upcoming "gangster" movie, and that they would contact him to give him tickets, and to let him know when the movie came out. Well, 6 or 9 months later, they indeed got back in touch via a letter with two tickets for the premier of the Godfather movie, down in NYC. Sometime after the movie was out, the Lincoln was on display at the NY Auto Show, which was then held at the NY Coliseum, down in Columbus Circle, in NYC. (Editor's note: a real-life assassination attempt on Joe Colombo took place in 1971, in Columbus Circle. Joe Colombo had agreed to assist Paramount Pictures with the Godfather movie). We went to the Auto Show (as we did every year - still have all of the yearly books), and got to see the Lincoln again, up close and personal, and spoke to the folks about how they had pre-drilled the "bullet holes", loaded them to explode during the scene, etc... That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
  • 77
    Joel NY April 30, 2014 at 11:20
    You left out the Lamborghini Miura in "Grand Prix" that went off the cliff. I believe a real Miura was used.
  • 78
    Phil Skinner Seat 21A April 30, 2014 at 11:25
    Vanishing Point was iconic, but the car actually destroyed in the climatic end wasn't the Charger but a junker 1968 Camaro! It was attached to a cable and drawn into the blades of the bulldozers. Action was so fast, few could catch the make of the actual destroyed car.
  • 79
    Zippy NY,NY April 30, 2014 at 11:26
    You left out the beautiful Morgan in Kramer vs. Kramer
  • 80
    Mark Marksbary Austin, TX April 30, 2014 at 11:27
    "And while Roy L. was just an amoral small-time used car dealer, his brother Luke was a classic evil schemer" The other way around.
  • 81
    Tom O'Connor Merced, Ca. April 30, 2014 at 11:28
    Then there was the 1966 T-Bird convertible destroyed in Thelma & Louise
  • 82
    Bill Gould Houston TX April 30, 2014 at 23:30
    I weep each time I see that lovely MG-TD go up in flames in "Two for the Road."
  • 83
    Brandt Tucson, AZ April 30, 2014 at 11:32
    How about in Con Air when that '63 convertible, I'm guessing, fell from the plane?
  • 84
    Keith Grants Pass, OR April 30, 2014 at 11:35
    Viva Las Vegas was in my oppinion the most tragic film for the collector car world. Check out the race at the end of the film and see if you agree.
  • 85
    Steve Visek Media, PA April 30, 2014 at 11:44
    Some more suggestions: 1) The airborne Jaguar XKE landing in a pond in the opening sequence of '80s TV show "Matt Houston" every week. 2) The Mercedes 560SEC destroyed in a flaming death spiral in the climax of "Road House" 3) The '55 Chevy Nomad crushed in the Tim Allen show "Home Improvement" 4) The 1969 Charger destroyed at the end of "Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry" 5) The c. '85 C4 Corvette T-boned by the cement truck at the end of "Breast Men." Maybe no great loss(car or David Schwimmer's character) but a great crash scene!
  • 86
    Dean Currie United States April 30, 2014 at 11:48
    You missed the over the cliff E Type Jaguar Mini Hearse from Harold & Maude. I do not think the car still exists.
  • 87
    Jim plant Suffolk Va April 30, 2014 at 11:50
    Also from the Italian Job: Jaguar E type and those minis rolled out of the back of that bus.
  • 88
    Martin Sampson Austin TX April 30, 2014 at 12:05
    That '63 convertible in Con Air fell from the plane was then purchased from Para mount pictures for $500. They included the rope which was used to hook the car to the plane. Lee Dixon of Kirkland WA totally rebuilt the car and showed it for years before it was sold at a Barrett-Jackson in 2012
  • 89
    Pete Loscalzo Lebanon, NJ April 30, 2014 at 12:10
    Can we assume that the stories above that make no mention of a substitute car means that the ones wrecked were actual original, real cars (except of course the one from Vanishing Point that you, and most of us, missed)? I especially liked the story of the missing Lamborghini from The Italian Job. You can bet some restoration shop got their hands on it, and someone now unwittingly owns a very famous movie car!
  • 90
    Erica Reading, Penna. April 30, 2014 at 12:12
    After seeing a Citroen DS 21 cruise beautifully through "Munich," I almost walked out of "The Da Vinci Code" when they decided to crash one for that movie. I remember nothing else about the film except shrieking in the theater when it crashed.
  • 91
    Jeff Kay CA April 30, 2014 at 12:13
    I remember watching Dr. No, the first James Bond film. In the first few minutes they drive a very nice 1939 LaSalle Funeral Car over a cliff. I was in such shock, that I had to watch it again to say goodbye.
  • 92
    Jim Jeffries Lancaster Co. April 30, 2014 at 12:15
    You also missed the Citroen SM in "The Longest Yard"
  • 93
    Howard Searcy, AR April 30, 2014 at 12:16
    If you pause Vanishing Point, you can see the smashed car behind the actors. It is possible to see a vent window which identifies the car as a 67 Camaro and chrome wheels standing in for the Dodge rally wheels.
  • 94
    Jim Robbins Little Rock, AR April 30, 2014 at 12:20
    What about the Kirkham Cobra crushed in Ironman? Heartbreaking. Gladly, just a body mock up.
  • 95
    Robert Ohio April 30, 2014 at 12:24
    Check out the '71 Judge in the very 1st episode of The Walking Dead
  • 96
    P Johnson Rochester Hills Mi April 30, 2014 at 12:27
    I hated to see that Nova get trashed in The movie Deathproof, not to mention that Charger, Mustang & Challenger....Terantino's nuts
  • 97
    Joe Long Island April 30, 2014 at 12:27
    What about 007's original DB5 into a building in Goldfinger?
  • 98
    Bob Long Island New York April 30, 2014 at 12:30
    Don't forget the '68 Charger in Bullitt.
  • 99
    Walt Crystal Lake ,Illinois April 30, 2014 at 12:30
    At least one Camaro and who knows how many 58" plymouth Fury's in Christine !
  • 100
    Bill Graham Scottsdale, Az. April 30, 2014 at 12:34
    You can't forget the XKE coupe that was turned into a Mini-hearse, then driven off a cliff, from the movie Harold & Maude.
  • 101
    Scott Rockford, MN. April 30, 2014 at 12:38
    The Ferrari in "The Rock" at the end of the chase scene w/ Connery and Cage!
  • 102
    Dick Seattle April 30, 2014 at 12:39
    Another oldie but goodie: Elizabeth Taylor's demise off the end of the freeway ramp in her Sunbeam Alpine in "Butterfield 8."
  • 103
    Alan B Dallas April 30, 2014 at 12:40
    Don't forget War Of The Roses where Kathleen Turner crushed hubby Michael Douglas' roadster. Was it a Morgan?
  • 104
    Mike Obler Manhasset, NY April 30, 2014 at 12:43
    How about the Lamborghini P400(?) destroyed by "Herbie" in the Love Bug. The destroyed car was really a Jag E Type coupe. But it looked like a real Jag :>( Was it?)
  • 105
    Mark Peru April 30, 2014 at 12:48
    Brewster Green 1973 Trans Am from McQue with John Wayne, crushed between two trucks,
  • 106
    Erik HB, CA April 30, 2014 at 12:48
    How bout Daisy Dukes' early-70s GTX that went over a cliff?
  • 107
    Noel Hastalis Burr Ridge, IL April 30, 2014 at 12:50
    And the great '49/'50 Mercury woodie wagon that 'flew' off the cliff in the last TV episode of Mod Squad.
  • 108
    Richard T. Villanova PA April 30, 2014 at 12:51
    I cringed when Burt Reynolds drove the Citroen SM into the water in, I believe, Gator...and the Dodge Cop Cars & others in The blues Bros, as well as all the heavy metal in the last Die Hard! How about that Bentley Adam Sandler totally messed up in the Longest Yard!!!
  • 109
    Paul Eberle Dayton, Ohio April 30, 2014 at 12:52
    I believe Tooltime Tim Taylor's 55 Nomad being crushed was the most cringeworthy all time.
  • 110
    fred OREGON April 30, 2014 at 12:53
    What about the clasic land rover Series II in the gods must be crazy.
  • 111
    Jeff Drago Woodland, WA April 30, 2014 at 12:53
    "The Miura is probably the most beautiful mid-engine sports cars of all time. And that’s what makes this scene so hard to watch. In the opening scene of the movie" No, what's REALLY hard to watch is the closing scenes from the Italian Job (the REAL movie, not the teen fan version) when those five Classic Minis are dumped out of the bus and over the cliff.......
  • 112
    brakeservo oregon April 30, 2014 at 12:59
    The Rolls Royce Silver Cloud demolished in Ron Howard's Grand Theft Auto
  • 113
    Dean Horstman Bainbridge Island, WA May 1, 2014 at 13:10
    How about the awful movie "Looker" where Albert Finney drives his Porsche 928 into a fountain.
  • 114
    Gary Wilkinson Columbus, Indiana May 1, 2014 at 13:13
    Recently viewed the movie "Company of Killers" John Saxon, a hired killer appropriates a nearly new ' 63 Vette coupe and proceeds to chase his prey in an underground garage, pealing off the front fenders and finally t-boning a '55 buick. The car bursts into flames and appears to burn to a crisp.
  • 115
    Robert Las Vegas May 1, 2014 at 01:29
    In the Star Trek 'reboot' movie of 2009, a young James Kirk drives a C2 Corvette convertible over a cliff after driving through a chain fence.
  • 116
    Roy Sumner Virginia May 1, 2014 at 13:36
    What about Christine? A 1958 Plymouth Fury
  • 117
    Jim scruz May 1, 2014 at 02:44
    There were 2 Honda 600s damaged in Terminator. One of which was center punched and flipped. Still makes me a little sad.
  • 118
    mark burrow Waco Tx May 1, 2014 at 16:02
    What about the 69 Charger in Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry with Peter Fonda?
  • 119
    Rick Western New York May 1, 2014 at 07:23
    So as to "Thelma and Louise", I supplied parts for the five '66 Birds used in the filming. I had a business supplying Thunderbird parts and restorations (Strangely named "Thunderbird Parts and Restoration"!!!) They used a couple of converts as well as some coupes that had been decapitated. I just LOVE the early scene where they are tossing luggage into the trunk of the Bird while the top is down. Have you ever SEEN the space left when the top rack is stowed in the boot of a Bird? My brush with Hollyweird.....
  • 120
    ggordon USA May 1, 2014 at 19:32
    The Bullit Charger?????????????????
  • 121
    Rob Roy Milton, Ont, Canada May 1, 2014 at 20:18
    How could you miss the black Lotus Esprit flying into the pit in Basic Instinct. I shed a tear every time.
  • 122
    Art Langell Lake Park GA May 1, 2014 at 08:29
    Sorry you skipped the Morgan in War of the Roses
  • 123
    Chris MN May 1, 2014 at 20:48
    Then there is the famous 55 from American Graffiti and Two Lane Blacktop that crashes in the race against Milner and his 32. Plus the Stephen King movie Carrie features John Travolta's character rolling a 67 Chevelle SS.
  • 124
    Barry Sacramento, CA May 1, 2014 at 11:17
    Seeing the Corvette C5 in the 2002 movie xXx falling from the Foresthill Bridge near Auburn, CA lead me to create SPCC (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Corvettes) and vow to never watch another Vin Diesel movie. Actually, I understand that the car was just a shell. I've been told by a park ranger at Auburn State Recreation Area that they are still finding bits of fiberglass on the hillside. I guess the car shattered into a million pieces.
  • 125
    Clayton Ash United States May 1, 2014 at 11:25
    What about the Mercedes in Road House?
  • 126
    Keith Boardman OH May 1, 2014 at 11:27
    The 442 Convertible from King Pin is the saddest of all.
  • 127
    Charlie arizona May 1, 2014 at 23:41
    What about the Dodge Charger into the train in Dirty Mary and Crazy Larry? Speaking of Chargers, remember the 68 Charger 440 RT 4 speed destroyed in Bullit?
  • 128
    Scott St. Albert May 1, 2014 at 11:45
    It's definitely worth mentioning the black 68 Dodge Charger RT demise at the hands of Lt. Frank Bullitt. Who could forget the end of that iconic car chase, when McQueen in his 68 Mustang Fastback 390GT side swiped the bad guys one last time, subsequently sending them into that gas station. Thanks to some skillful editing ending in a fireball explosion.
  • 129
    C. Lewis Isleton CA May 1, 2014 at 00:54
    Fast Times had a car scene in it? I only remember one scene from the movie and that wasn't it.
  • 130
    Dean North Tonawanda May 2, 2014 at 15:07
    Thanks to all !! Great trip down memory lane.
  • 131
    JK AZ May 2, 2014 at 15:48
    It seems the 68-70 Charger gets it a lot. The black 68's in both Bullitt and Cannonball Run, which oddly meet their demise at the hands of a green 67/68 Mustang Fastback. There's the firebreathing black Charger in The Fast & The Furious, they roll one somewhere in the remake of Vanishing Point (totally unnecessary), and I think there was one in Death Proof. Maybe that was a Challenger. I've only seen the trailer for that one.
  • 132
    John Dublin May 2, 2014 at 09:47
    Nice list. The C2 in ConAir and the Shelby in Gone in 60 Seconds make my list.
  • 133
    Berardo NJ May 2, 2014 at 10:34
    Let's not forget the silver 1971 Mercedes 280SL in Intersection with Richard Gere and Sharon Stone...not a great movie, but a beautiful car!
  • 134
    Laura Martz Parma May 2, 2014 at 12:48
    What about Elenore in Gone in Sixty Seconds?
  • 135
    Mary Seattle May 3, 2014 at 01:55
    I can't remember if Christine came to no good in the end. A barn fire? Hardly qualifies as a "tragedy," though! I learned to drive with my mother's '58 Plymouth wagon!
  • 136
    Ross York United States May 3, 2014 at 15:01
    The Chevy Nova, Dodge Charger, and Dodge Challenger in Death proof by Robert Rodriguez! Great movie but what they do to the cars is heart breaking!
  • 137
    Wayne G Hudson, WI May 3, 2014 at 19:51
    There was also an Ason-Martin, Jaguar, and another (can't recall) European sports car destryed in the movie "The Italian Job". Real or not, it's still a scene that makes one cringe.
  • 138
    steve morris amelia, ohio May 3, 2014 at 20:58
    What about the 67 GTX convertible in that movie with Chris Farley and David Spade? I don't remember the name of the movie and couldn't stand to see the murder of such a cool car again anyway.
  • 139
    brad scottsdale az May 3, 2014 at 11:19
    c2 corvette young captain Krik sends off a cliff because he hates his step dad.
  • 140
    Rich Mi May 4, 2014 at 19:54
    Macon county line?
  • 141
    Mark Dorschug New Jersey May 4, 2014 at 09:59
    And what about 57 Fords: the opening scene of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and the end of Robert Mitchum in my favorite movie "Thunder Road".
  • 142
    Big Will Anderson,sc May 15, 2014 at 16:14
    What about Smokey and the Bandit the bridge jump scene
  • 143
    Jim Rohn Scottsdale, AZ May 15, 2014 at 17:56
    I thought the reason they used a Camaro for the bulldozer crash on Vanishing Point is because they couldn't get the MoPar to start? Is that rumor true? :)
  • 144
    ray auto city May 16, 2014 at 21:22
    The Ford in bonnie & Clyde, shot full of holes always makes me say what a shame. Years ago I saw the real thing.
  • 145
    jimmy b Corbin, Ky. June 9, 2014 at 09:34
    I saw what was supposed to be the original car from Vanishing Point at the Smoky Mountain Muscle Car Museum in Pigion Forge, Tennessee.
  • 146
    Jeff Detroit, MI July 3, 2014 at 09:13
    The 1973 Chevrolet Laguna Estate Wagon destroyed in Legion breaks my heart. I have been looking for one of those for years to go along with my other misfit cars.
  • 147
    michael avon lake ohio July 6, 2014 at 13:50
    I just got done watching Viva Las Vegas and they wrecked XKE's Ferrari's and many high dollar cars. I always thought that someone ought to make the film industry to quit destroying classic cars and substitute inferior cars where possible.
  • 148
    Dave Burlington Ma August 14, 2014 at 20:46
    The movie with the most cars crashed was the Blues Brother's. Also, how many Firebirds did Jim Rockford got through?
  • 149
    Brian Alberta, Canada August 27, 2014 at 18:11
    I Can't believe Steve McQueens last movie the hunter was not included in the top 10. I don't know if they wrecked a real Bandit Trans Am or junker. In any event it shows a brand new rare 6.6 litre 4 speed meeting it's end with a combine.
  • 150
    tom r colfax, ca February 12, 2015 at 18:13
    Dead mopars in the phantasm movies. A hemi 'cuda was one.....
  • 151
    MeMyself&TheVoices Colorado September 2, 2015 at 05:08
    Not a single one of you mentioned the Mustangs destroyed for Gone in 60 Seconds. One 1967 fastback was completely destroyed for the movie...
  • 152
    peter schmid new york March 6, 2016 at 21:00
    Andrew dice clays 57 ford fairlane which blew up
  • 153
    Gary Chittenden Ontario June 1, 2016 at 21:00
    Used Cars is one of my favorite movies. The Chevy being wrecked was a shame, but the 58 and 59 ( we weren't supposed to know the difference) Edsels being done in hurt all the more.
  • 154
    Rambler Dave Michigan June 2, 2016 at 19:38
    Can't believe you didn't list the scene in "American Graffiti" when Harrison Ford's two door '55 Chevy Gasser rolls over in a field, and magically turns into a burning '56 Chevy four door!
  • 155
    Rich Glastonbury, CT. June 15, 2016 at 21:27
    Toonces drove a white Jag Mark 2 off a cliff every week on SNL for years. Glad someone mentioned the "Harper" Speedster and happy to learn it is still around. The "48 Hours" Eddie Murphy exploding Speedster- a repro.
  • 156
    Lenn Nelsen Minnesnowda June 29, 2016 at 15:38
    What about the "War of Roses" film where the iconic Morgan is run over and crushed by a giant 4-wheeler
  • 157
    Clint Call Salt Lake City June 29, 2016 at 17:49
    The Porsche Speedster that Michael J. Fox ran into a picket fence with in Doc Hollywood and Clint Eastwood who took out a beautiful split window VW bus in the Enforcer.
  • 158
    Skip Riffle Naples Florida October 30, 2016 at 15:14
    The Austin Martin DB10 that Bond drove into the canal in the beginning of Spectre. Ouchhh
  • 159
    Phil Rambo Illinois January 4, 2017 at 09:33
    I am really angry this morning after watching "Chicago Fire" last night. One of the main character's beautifully restored, freshly painted 68 Mustang Fastback is stolen by car thieves, who T-bone a mini van and pretty much destroy the car....sure hope it wasn't an actual 68 Fastback
  • 160
    justin earth March 12, 2017 at 15:54
    the 66 Thunderbird convertable that went over the cliff in Thelma & Louise was actually a rusty hardtop with the roof torched off.

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