Thursday Five: Top five movie cars - by number of appearances!
While everyone goes on and on about Bond’s Aston Martins, time travelling DeLoreans and Batmobiles, the real star cars in the movies are the ones who do the hard graft - they are the automotive extras, the cars that do the actual work and never get the credit of the shiny hero cars.
In today’s Thursday Five we salute the cars that top the Internet Movie Car Database’s obsessive list of appearances by their sheer ubiquitous weight.
Ford Crown Victoria
No doubt simply down to it being the default choice as a police cruiser and a taxi for the last two decades or so, the mighty Crown Vic takes out top billing on the Internet Movie Car Database, with a thoroughly whopping 6,228 movie appearances putting it firmly in the lead. The ancient ladder-chassis behemoth was finally put down by Ford a few years back, but its sheer resilience has seen it staying in the starring role. Well, for background cars that is...
Doing double duty as both a ubiquitous background car in US flicks and a fairly common hero car, the Mustang sits in second on the IMCDB list with a healthy - but still significant amount down on the Crown Vic - 4,704 appearances. The go-to car if you want something for the everyman hero to drive, Ford also churned out enough crappy ones in the 80s to supply the loveable loser role as well.
Like the Mustang above it, the third-placed Impala spans the range from huge and heroic to bland wallpaper car, ensuring it a longevity necessary to appear in 4,394 movies. Unlike the Mustang, its de-evolution into a generic FWD meant it slipped into an awkward and uncomfortable middle age, usually performing the role of unloved government car that nobody cares about. Fitting, really.
Like the Crown Vic, the Econoline was a default choice, this time for delivery drivers, TV vans, surveillance vans and creepy psychotic types in the movies, hence its strong showing here. The number of movies where people feature in the back of an Econoline watching other people/having tense conversations/screaming in terror currently stands at 4,047. Pretty impressive for a van that you will have seen hundreds, if not thousands of time and yet never known its name...
Of course the world’s single biggest selling car would have to feature in a list of “most cars” in whatever form it may take. The Corolla has appeared in 3,634 movies, just ten ahead of that other most ubiquitous of ubiquitous cars, the VW Golf. Interestingly, if you don’t count “background cars” and “cars with an unknown role”, the Corolla plummets to 18th place, meaning it literally is the ultimate background wallpaper car!