Swedish automaker Volvo celebrated 60 years in North America with a special gathering of celebrities and vintage cars at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood.
Comedian and vintage Volvo owner Jay Leno entertained a crowd of more than 300 Volvo owners, executives, retailers, and media amongst an unprecedented collection of new and historic Volvo cars, live music, and Scandinavian fare.
Notable cars on display included a 1928 PV4, Volvo’s first covered car; a 1955 PV444, the first Volvo exported to the U.S.; the 1967 P1800S driven by Roger Moore in the hit sixties’ television series, “The Saint”; and the all-new, award-winning XC90 sport utility vehicle.
Guests explored Volvo’s past and future by visiting a series of Volvo branded shops created in the facades on Paramount’s City Streets back lot.
In the Volvo Cars Art Gallery, for example, was a collection of Julius Shulman-inspired photos starring Volvos past and present taken recently by Ann Street Studios at iconic locations around Los Angeles, where the very first Volvo was imported in 1955. Shulman was an American architectural photographer whose work spread California mid-century modern around the world.
Guests perused the collection of vintage Volvo advertisements in the Volvo Cars History Museum, and in the Bowers & Wilkins Listening Room, audiophiles appreciated the high technology powering the 19-speaker, 1,400-watt entertainment system available in the all-new XC90 sport utility.
“Volvo has had a special place in many Americans’ hearts for generations,” said Lex Kerssemakers, President and CEO, Volvo Cars of North America. “Maybe they grew up riding in a Volvo, or were saved by one, or perhaps they learned to drive in one. Whatever the case, we are celebrating those experiences and now our version of luxury for generations to come.”
Volvo Cars is benefitting from a recent investment of $11billion that is being used to develop an entirely new lineup of luxury vehicles. The company has experienced nine months of consecutive year-over-year growth and is aiming to increase sales to 800,000 cars globally in the medium term.
“The probability of an alien invasion seems just as unlikely as a decidedly unmotivated N.Y. dockworker owning such a rare car as a Shelby!”
Hollywood star Tom Cruise has driven dozens of cars in his 40-plus movies.
Here are the top five coolest cars featured in movies:
In this reality warping, romantic drama, Tom plays David Aames – the head of a New York publishing firm with access to whatever he pleases. In the opening scene, Cruise drives a Ferrari 250 GTO replica through a deserted New York City, ultimately ending in Times Square. Aames’ daily driver throughout the film is a1967 Ford Mustang, and after he falls in love with a different woman, his ex-girlfriend Julie (played by Cameron Diaz) tries to kill them both by driving off a bridge in her 1970 Buick Skylark.
After his father’s death, Charlie Babbitt (played by Cruise), a grey market sports car dealer (seen importing Countaches in the film’s opening), flies home to Ohio to settle the estate. After learning he has an older brother, Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), who is inheriting the full estate, the two set out on a cross-country road trip back to California in their father’s 1949 Buick Roadmaster.
Tom plays Jack Reacher, an ex-Army MP who is investigating the murder of five innocent victims of a sniper shooting. The real highlight of the film is a six-minute car chase in which Cruise drives a 1970 Chevelle SS. He tries his best to chase down an Audi A6 while being pursued by police. The driving stunts are of quite a remarkable quality; especially considering Cruise did all of his own driving throughout the movie.
In this 1983 dark-comedy drama, Tom Cruise plays Joel Goodson, a high school student living with wealthy parents in suburban Chicago. His parents go away on a trip, giving Joel strict orders to not touch the stereo system or his father’s 1979 Porsche 928. Joel’s unruly friend convinces him otherwise, leading Joel into a downward spiral of trouble that includes a car chase in the Porsche, and later some major water damage.
War of the Worlds
Cruise plays Ray Ferrier, a divorced dockworker in New York City. His pride and joy seems to be his 1966 Shelby GT350H rather than his two kids – this all changes after an alien invasion of Earth. The probability of an alien invasion seems just as unlikely as a decidedly unmotivated N.Y. dockworker owning such a rare car as a Shelby!
But then this is the movies.
Nick Gravlin writes for Hagerty Insurance. Hagerty is the world’s leading specialist provider of classic car and boat insurance. Learn more at hagerty.ca.
Bad things often happen to good cars in the movies.
Here are five that make car lovers squirm.
1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
This scene is perhaps the most famous bit of classic car mayhem in all of moviedom. In it, the Ferrari is seen placed on jack stands running in reverse in a hilariously stupid attempt to remove the miles that had been put on the car during the day’s class-cutting good fun in Chicago. In a fit of frustration directed at his misplaced-priorities jerk of a father, Cameron Frye (Alan Ruck) accidentally kicks the car off the jack stands and it sails out of its glass enclosure into the woods below. Happily, as you’ll read with the Miura and the Aston below, it wasn’t a real California Spyder.
1970 Dodge Challenger (Vanishing Point)
The ’70 Dodge Challenger (one of about five used for the film) meets a fiery end when the protagonist of the film (played by Barry Newman) drives it into a bulldozer being used as a police road block.
1967 Lamborghini Miura P400 (The Italian Job)
The Miura is probably the most beautiful mid-engine sports cars of all time. And that’s what makes this scene so hard to watch. In the opening scene of the movie, mobsters destroy heist-plotter Roger Beckerman’s (Rossano Brazzi) Miura with a backhoe and push it over a cliff. A small consolation is the fact that an actual intact Miura wasn’t destroyed. Just body panels over an empty accident-bent chassis. Interestingly, when the producers went to clean up the mess the next day, the remains had disappeared. Neither the chassis tag nor any of the pieces have surfaced to this day.
1979 Porsche 930 (Caddyshack)
This scene is an object lesson as to why you should never park your car with the sunroof open within a half-mile radius of where alcohol is being served: Young Spalding Smails, suffering from a case of ‘affluenza’ combined with Johnny Walker, staggers up to Dr. Beeper’s parked 930 and empties the contents of his upper GI tract into the open sunroof. The squishy sound-effect of Beeper sliding into the seat never fails to make one cringe.
1979 Porsche 928 (Risky Business)
This scene reminds us all why we should use the hand brake. Those of us who are old enough to have seen this in theatres didn’t see this one coming: Tom Cruise is enjoying a night out with the typical Pretty Woman-like, non-drug addicted hooker (played by Rebecca de Mornay) of which Hollywood is so fond. Her handbag strap pulls the gear shifter into neutral as she’s exiting the car. It rolls down a hill heading toward Lake Michigan with Cruise on the hood in a futile attempt to arrest the forward motion of the 3,800-pound 928. It ultimately comes to a stop at the edge of a wooden pier. Just as Cruise breathes a sigh of relief and starts to make his way to the driver’s door, the entire pier collapses, taking Cruise and the car for a swim in the lake. Audiences everywhere gasped audibly. The scene at the dealership where the service manager enters the waiting rooms and asks, “Which one of you is the U-Boat commander?” is priceless.
Rob Sass is the vice-president of content for Hagerty Insurance. Hagerty is the world’s leading specialist provider of classic car and boat insurance. Learn more at hagerty.ca and you can email rsass [at] hagerty [dot] com
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