Rank 'Em: '80s Movie Vehicles

They're baaaaaack! After we ranked our favorites from '80s TV shows just two weeks ago, Hollywood vehicles are back for the all-movie edition of Rank 'Em! Just like television, there were many movies that featured highly unique and downright awesome cars, trucks, helicopters, spaceships, and more.

While visiting Universal Studios in Orlando on my honeymoon, I had the opportunity to get close to a couple of the cars in this list (visit the contact page to see me with Ecto-1.) Seeing these vehicles in person is like being in a fairy tale. We've all fantasized about going back in time, driving through malls, and racing along highways in these iconic vehicles. So when given the opportunity to lean against a fender or even get behind the wheel for a photo op, it almost puts us inside a movie. Let's rank the top 5 '80s movie vehicles you'd like to take for a spin! I've listed several below, but feel free to add your favorites I must have missed.

This week's guest ranker is Cody Mix from Crooked Ninja! Cody is one of the biggest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans on the planet and heads up the Halloween Blog Collective, a new informal group ready to blog about everything Halloween this October. Click on over and also follow @crookedninja on Twitter to connect!
Top 5 Movie Vehicles of the '80s

Here is small list to ponder:
  • DeLorean Time Machine and Marty's Toyota 4 x 4 from Back To The Future
  • Batmobile from Batman
  • Lane's 1967 Camaro from Better Off Dead
  • Axel's 1968 Chevy Nova from Beverly Hills Cop
  • Blue Thunder helicopter from Blue Thunder
  • Bluesmobile from The Blues Brothers
  • Dodge Tradesman Ambulance, Lamborhini Countach and more from Cannonball Run
  • 1958 Plymouth Fury from Christine
  • 1950 Mercury from Cobra
  • 1963 Ferrari 250 GT California from Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • Jack Kate's 1964 Cadillac DeVille Convertible from 48 Hrs.
  • Ecto-1 Cadillac Meteor Ambulance from Ghostbusters
  • 1948 Ford Super Deluxe Club Convertible from The Karate Kid
  • "Tenament on Wheels" RV from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  • Wagon Queen Family Truckster from National Lampoon's Vacation
  • James Bond's Aston Martin V8 from Living Daylights
  • 1986 Chrysler LeBaron from Planes Trains and Automobiles
  • 1949 Buick Roadmaster from Rain Man
  • Lone Starr's Winnebago and Spaceball One from Spaceballs
  • Urban Assault Vehicle Motorhome from Stripes
  • Tucker Torpedo from Tucker: The Man and His Dream
  • Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor from The Wraith

Cody's List
  1. Plymouth Fury from Christine
  2. DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future
  3. Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters
  4. Batmobile from Batman
  5. Family Truckster from National Lampoon's Vacation
This was a tough list. Movies in the '80s had some rad rides and cutting it down to a top 5, challenging! The beautiful Plymouth Fury from Christine just had to be my top spot. I adore mid-century cars and the whole "lovingly restored back to its prime" theme hits home. I also sometimes daydream my '64 Mercury goes out and terrorizes people at night. Maybe i'm just really weird. The DeLorean Time Machine is a no-brainer as Back to the Future is such a classic. I have my suspicions the car wouldn't be nearly as popular without the movie, but hey gull-wing doors and a stainless steel body make a statement! The Ecto-1 Caddy is incredible plus that siren is such a trademark. Ray picked a solid ride for the Ghostbusters to cruise in. Batman's slick ride from the Batman movie had every kids attention during the release. The Batmobile had enough gadgets and intimidation to make the bad dudes run for the hills without Batman even needing to get out! Rounding out the list is one of the cars I feel doesn't get enough credit, the Family Truckster from National Lampoon's Vacation. The 80's were to station wagons as SUV's are to parents today.

Jason's List
  1. DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future
  2. Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters
  3. Bluesmobile from The Blues Brothers
  4. Batmobile from Batman
  5. Lone Starr's Winnebago from Spaceballs

For me, it begins with the DeLorean Time Machine. It's instantly recognizable and so much a part of my childhood. The body style, the stainless steel, the gullwing doors...to a 10 year old boy, it was cool even without the flux capacitor! Ecto-1 is a very close second on my list. I never figured out what all the stuff on the roof was for, but it just seemed to fit the Ghostbusters like proton pack. Every time the Blues Brothers came on cable, I was watching for two reasons...the mall scene and the 100 police car chase at the end. Watching the Bluesmobile being chased has always been good cinema. I also have to include the Batmobile, because who doesn't want pop-up machine guns to cut through walls? Plus, it could drive itself with voice commands almost like K.I.T.T. And finally, I always have to put Spaceballs on a list when given the opportunity. Lone Starr's Winnebago spaceship was totally ridiculous with its jet wings and "I Love Uranus" bumper sticker. Loved it.

Now it's your turn! Leave a comment with your Top 5 '80s Movie Vehicles below! If you want to be the guest in future Rank 'Em post, leave your Twitter handle and you might here from me this coming week. Compile more Top 5 lists by visiting the previous posts in the Rank 'Em Archive!

Photo credits themarkeworld.com, moarpowah.com, themovieblog.com

Post a Comment


  1. Again, I published my list earlier this year combining TV & Movies ( http://oldschool.tblog.com/post/1970160729 ). Here were my Top 5 from movies:
    1. BTTF DeLorean
    2. The Batmobile
    3. The Bluesmobile
    4. Cameron's Dad's Ferrari
    5. Griswold's Family Truckster

    This is definitely not based on which ones I would want to own personally and the full list has some fun choices beyond those top 5.

    1. That's a good point. You can rank based on the most iconic or like to own. I think I went more with the latter.

  2. Here's the list from me, the Infamous WB!

    1) Ecto 1
    2) BTTF DeLorean
    3) Batmobile (although I still prefer the 60's "Futura" Batmobile)
    4) Griswold's Family Truckster
    5) Chrysler LeBaron from Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

    Love Ecto 1 and the siren. I want one of those sirens in my van next to the General Lee dixie horns! The BTTF DeLorean is nearly equal and just as unmistakably an 80s staple. Michael Keaton's Batmobile was actually the greatest of the "modern" Batmobiles even the Tumbler, yet to me the best Batmobile was the original from the 60s. Though I do not regularly watch Christmas Vacation as my colleague and friend does, however who can ever forget the double-lighted Ford station wagon! Yet, I still remember the General-like jump that I loved. Finally, although it's not fancy or filled with gadgets and lights, seeing the burned out Chrysler being pulled over with the highway patrol man asking if they feel it's safe for travel is classic to me!

    Much like oldschool80s, I don't think I'd like to own the last 2 personally. I gotta have KITT, General Lee, and Airwolf. :)

    1. Which colleague would that be, hmm? So close to adding the tenement on wheels

  3. 1. DeLorean from Back to the Future
    2. Centauri's Starcar from The Last Starfighter
    3. Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters
    4. Mad Max's Interceptor
    5. 1976 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from Smokey and The Bandit

    The first two obviously take the top spots because one is a time machine and the other is a spaceship. Ecto-1 is just cool and has a wicked paint job. Mad Max's Interceptor looks badass. And although the Bandit's Trans Am is a 'normal' car it just looks cool as hell.

    Honourable mention definitely goes to the Bluesmobile because that car had a cop motor, a four hundred and forty cubic inch plant, cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks, it was a model made before catalytic converters, so it would run good on regular gas. And it took a jump like a mothertrucker.

    1. Nice. I guess smokey and the bandit 2 and Mad Max sequels were in the 80s so nice job sneaking those cars in!

    2. Yep, I double checked so I new I could get them in on a technicality ;-)

      Beautiful Firebird that the Bandit had.

  4. Great googly moogly, so many choices! I really hate to narrow it down to just 5 but I'll do my best:
    1. F-14 Tomcat from Top Gun
    2. Delta MK 4 Megafighter from Megaforce
    3. Flying Bicycle from E.T.
    4. Flying Police Car from Blade Runner
    5. Ecto-1

    Really could almost do separate lists for air, land, space, real, fantastic etc. So many movies have vehicles as integral characters.

    1. Nice! Some underrated gems in your list! Thanks for posting.


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