By John Mayhead
For those of us who also love automobiles, the best romantic films are those that feature an interesting car or two.
Pretty Woman – 1989 Lotus Esprit SE
Richard Gere’s high-flying businessman Edward was bound to own an exotic “foreign” classic, but when both Ferrari and Porsche declined to be associated with a film linked to prostitution, Lotus stepped in. The gamble paid off and sales of the Esprit (actually a modified 1990 model SE).
Notting Hill – 1967 Park Royal AEC Routemaster Bus
OK, so it’s not exactly a star in the film, but we love the old Routemaster, brought into service in 1967 by London Transport, and now available for weddings and special events!
When Harry Met Sally – 1976 Toyota Corona Station Wagon (Estate)
Meg Ryan’s character Sally drove the least-exciting car on our list. The RT119 Toyota Corona had the 2.2-litre 20R engine, that generated a modest 96 hp.
The Graduate – 1966 Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider
When a young Dustin Hoffman was cast as Benjamin Braddock, his uncle offered to supply the character’s car. The uncle was the legendary U.S. car importer Max Hoffman, and the car was the newly released Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider.
Dirty Dancing – 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
Patrick Swayze’s character Johnny Castle drove one of the most iconic American cars of all time in Dirty Dancing – the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air 2-door hardtop.
Love Actually – 1992 Saab 900 XS
Colin Firth’s character Jamie famously learned Portuguese in order to woo his housekeeper, but we all know it was his Saab 900 that really attracted Aurelia, played by Lucia Moniz.
The Love Bug – 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
With his big personality and amazing speed, Herbie cemented the VW Beetle as an iconic car. Ironically, Volkswagen did not support Disney’s use of the car, and as a result, all VW badges and logos were removed.
The Notebook – 1946 Hudson Commodore
Through the tears, you may be able to spot the 1946 Hudson Commodore Eight Club Coupe driven by Rachel McAdams’ character.
Bridget Jones’s Diary – 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Convertible
Hugh Grant’s smooth-talking Daniel Cleaver had the coolest car. His 1969 Mercedes-Benz 280SE Convertible in blue has the 2778cc inline-6 M130 engine and is an earlier “high grille” car.
True Romance – 1988 Porsche 911 Flachbau Cabriolet
The white Porsche 911 Flachbau (Flat Nose) cabriolet was perfectly cast – it was ostentatious, noisy and flashy, matching Elliott Blitzer’s character as a movie executive and aspiring actor.
John Mayhead writes for Hagerty Insurance. Hagerty is the world’s leading specialist provider of classic car and boat insurance. Learn more at hagerty.ca.