By Rob Sass
Published January 06, 2013
This 1970 Pontiac GTO was driven by Reg Dunlop (Paul Newman) in the sports classic “Slap Shot”. (Universal Pictures)
We all know the movies where the car is the star — the James Bond Aston Martin DB5 from “Goldfinger” and “Thunderball” and the Mustang that tears up San Francisco in “Bullitt.” But like a great character actor who can steal a scene or two from an A-List star, there have been some great automotive cameos in movie history. Here are a few of our favorites:
“Slap Shot” (1977): In this cult classic about a down-and-out minor league hockey team, player/coach Reg Dunlop (played by the great Paul Newman) drives a not-too-shabby Baja Gold 1970 Pontiac GTO when he’s not trying to keep the infamous goons, the Hanson brothers, under control and out of jail.
“Office Space” (1999): Ummmm … yeah. Clueless, suspender-wearing boss Bill Lumbergh (played by Gary Cole) drives what appears to be a quite nice 1982 Porsche 911SC coupe with a “whale tail” rear spoiler in the very desirable color of Minerva Blue. Like “Slap Shot,” it’s another underappreciated cult classic film that’s well worth the rental.
“Used Cars” (1980): An early film by Robert Zemeckis (of “Back to the Future” and “Cast Away” fame) featured a two-tone Larkspur Blue and India Ivory 1957 Chevy 210 sedan in which used car lot owner Luke Fuchs (played by great character actor Jack Warden) took his last ride. The film is full of great (and not-so-great) old cars being flogged mercilessly by a crew of amoral used car salesmen led by Kurt Russell.
“The Blues Brothers” (1980): Everyone remembers the famous Dodge Monaco ex-cop car known as “The Bluesmobile.” Fewer people recall its nemesis, a red 1977 Ford Pinto wagon driven by a vengeful group of “Illinois Nazis” led by Henry Gibson. Legend has it that the film producers had to get a certificate of “un-airworthiness” from the FAA before dropping it from a crane.
“Dazed and Confused” (1993): Perennial high schooler David Wooderson, played by Mathew McConaughey, drives a very sweet 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS nicknamed “Melba Toast” in a movie that plays like the “American Graffiti” for children of the late 1970s. Set in the Summer of 1976, the soundtrack features some indispensible classic rock tunes that can almost make you forget that disco was happening at the same time.