Classic cars of the movies – the 1990s

In our latest look at classic cars of the silver screen, we’re turning to the 1990s.

However, whilst it wasn’t the most sensational decade by a long shot, we have managed to find a few corkers to share with you below.

Top Gun takes to the track

First up, there’s plenty of muscle on show in Tony Scott’s Days of Thunder (1990), with star Tom Cruise hurtling round NASCAR tracks in a 1990 Chevrolet Lumina. However, outside of the races there is also plenty of eye candy for petrol heads to enjoy.

What a way to go!

Who remembers two ladies flying off a cliff at the end of a famous film in 1991? Yes of course, it’s Thelma and Louise, but can you remember the car? A 1966 Ford Thunderbird.

In welcome contrast, comedy genius Mike Myers brought us the cult classic Wayne’s World the following year (1992), with Garth’s fiery Mirth Mobile, otherwise known as a 1976 AMC Pacer.

Heritage’s top pick

For us, the ultimate 1990s film for cars and car chases is Ronin (1998).

From director John Frankenheimer (of Grand Prix and The French Connection fame) and starring Robert De Niro, this film boasts what is for many one of the absolute best in the history of car chases.

The film is named after the Japanese word for Samurai without a master, as explained by the character Jean-Pierre as he stitches up a bleeding De Niro in the crime caper, crew-for-hire story about betrayal and a stolen suitcase.

The car chases take us through the streets of Paris and includes the following, with some world class stuntwork, technical brilliance and editing.

  • Mercedes-Benz SW116
  • Peugeot 406
  • BMW 535i
  • Peugeot 605
  • Audi S8
  • Citroen XM,

The movie was helped by Frankenheimer’s decision to avoid computers and a traditional musical soundtrack, instead opting to let the cars make all the noise as they do best. He even imported the same European cars over to the USA to make the soundtrack as true as possible.

Next up, the 2000s

We’ll be back soon with the next instalment, which we just can’t bring ourselves to refer to as the ‘Noughties’. In the meantime, to catch up on our previous articles click here for the 60s, here for the 70s and here for the 80s.

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