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Top 10 Greatest Cinematic Beaters

by dsussman   September 09, 2011 at 11:00AM  |  Views: 3,387
Badass automobiles stacked to the gills with the coolest modifications known to man have always been a staple in cinema. But it’s the old beat-up junkers that have more personality and are more near and dear to our collective hearts.

10. 1958 Plymouth Fury – Christine

1958 Plymouth Fury – Christine
Source: Columbia Pictures

Before the 5.7-liter V-8 1958 Plymouth Fury that is Christine fell head over heels for Arnie Cunningham and started taking out fools left and right, she was a crusty old jalopy sitting in some old dude’s yard just waiting for a lucky feller to get behind the wheel and take her for a spin just one more time.

Fist and foremost, this car is a godsend for any small-town geek feeling out of place and completely isolated. Not only is classic Christine a set of bitchin’ wheels for cruisin’ the local strip, she’s also one of the baddest bodyguards imaginable. We all know what happened to those idiots who tried to bust up Christine to get back at Arnie Cunningham, right? Road kill city, yo. Screw Batman’s Tumbler, I’m taking Christine into battle.

9. 1963 Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle – The Love Bug

1963 Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle – The Love Bug
Source: Buena Vista Distribution

Herbie, an anthropomorphic Volkswagen Beetle from the 1968 Disney classic The Love Bug, is one of the coolest beaters a studio has ever produced.

Basically possessed by what seems to be some kind of human spirit, the VW Beetle known as Herbie starts out as a used and abused automobile on a random car lot. Luckily for him, down and out racecar driver Jim Douglas was also in need of a new pal. The Love Bug instantly filled that void and the odd pair would go on to shock the racing world with a string of insane victories. Herbie also caused a little hijinks along the way. The little dude is just a badass.

8. 1964 Chevrolet Malibu - Repo Man

1964 Chevrolet Malibu - Repo Man
Source: Universal Pictures

With a trunk filled with the bodies of a few radioactive aliens, the 1964 Chevy Malibu being tracked down by Otto Maddox and almost everyone in Los Angeles in the 1984 cult classic Repo Man is a punk rock beater for the ages.

What can’t this car do? Seriously. It can fly, fry up anal retentive police officers, and even withstand a trunk load of gnarly radioactive outer space beings. It’s also only allows really radical people to ride in her. Nice. One second the car is setting government scientists on fire and the next it’s taking Otto and his grizzly junkyard pal Miller for a ride in the smog-filled skies of LA. Not too shabby at all for an old 1964 junker.

7. 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe – The Road Warrior

1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe – The Road Warrior Top 10
Source: Warner Bros.

Better known as the Pursuit Special, the 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe originally made famous and driven by Mel Gibson in Mad Max had seen much better days when audiences eventually got another look at it in the opening of The Road Warrior sequel.

Sure, the 1973 Ford Falcon was totally badass all cleaned up with some snazzy modifications in the first Mad Max installment, but the apocalyptic sequel presented by George Miller showcased the GT Coupe during its final days and it still went out kicking a whole lotta ass. This classic beater does eventually get wrecked in an awful crash, but there’s just something so special and sentimental about the older version of this dented and bruised Pursuit Special that overshadows the much tricked-out version. Age builds character, guys.

6. 1959 Cadillac Ambulance – Ghostbusters

1959 Cadillac Ambulance – Ghostbusters
Source: Columbia Pictures

The one we all know and love. As seen in the insanely popular ‘80s comedy classic Ghostbusters, the Ectomobile, also known as the Ecto-1, was a total down-and-out beater up until Peter Venkman, Raymond Stantz, and Egon Spengler spiced her up a bit with a few sirens and a fresh new paintjob. The Ray Parker, Jr. jams didn’t hurt matters either.

This movie proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that you could take a crusty old junkyard beater and transform it into a movie icon. Featuring the rad Ghostbusters logo, the revamped Cadillac Ambulance caused a bit of a happening everywhere it went around New York City and for good reason. I ain't afraid of no ghosts.