“Hagerty Price Guide shows the values of 1970s Cadillacs to be up 25 percent in just the last three months.”
It’s well known that men of a certain age have an insatiable appetite for Martin Scorsese films.
Few films lend themselves to repeated viewings like the modern classics Goodfellas and Casino. As Gen-Xers (who make up much of the fanbase of 1990s Scorsese films) start to come into some real disposable income, a good number of them seem to have been inspired to collect the cars of their favorite unsavory screen characters – guys with names like Ace Rothstein, Nicky Santoro, Paul Cicero and Johnny Roastbeef. Call it the “Goodfellas Effect” if you want, but the Hagerty Price Guide shows the values of 1970s Cadillacs to be up 25 per cent in just the last three months. Here are four favorites:
The 1967 Eldorado was the second shoe that GM dropped after the magnificent 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado. Another big GM front-wheel-drive car with fantastic styling, many of its styling cues — particularly the knife-edged rear end treatment — still show up on today’s Cadillacs. Not surprisingly, ’67 Eldos are particularly menacing in black. Although Robert De Niro’s “Casino” character Sam “Ace” Rothstein was fond of newer Eldos, several of the gorgeous older cars show up in the background of the film.
1971-78 Cadillac Eldorado
The 1967-70 Eldo was a paragon of Bill Mitchell good taste. Let’s just say that the 1971-78 Eldo was a bit more Superfly than Don Draper. Still, with its massive 500-cubic-inch V-8, this was a car with more presence than Big Paul Castellano. They’re all over the film “Casino,” as they were in real life in 1970s Vegas. It’s hard not to start humming Tony Bennett’s “Rags to Riches” when you see one.
1971-76 Cadillac DeVille
At a tick over 19 feet long, the 1971-76 DeVille was one of the largest cars of the decade in exterior dimensions and the largest in terms of interior volume. Trunk size was off the charts — just the thing for “The Simpsons’” resident goodfella “Fat Tony” (voiced by the great Joe Mantegna) to transport his suspiciously body bag-shaped “yard trimmings.” The full-size DeVille was available with an equally massive 500-cubic-inch Cadillac V-8 (incidentally, that’s 0.6 cubic inches for each time the f-bomb was dropped in “Goodfellas”). Not surprisingly, many of these cars were assembled in North Jersey at the Linden Cadillac assembly plant, a stone’s throw from Fort Lee, where part of “Goodfellas” was filmed.
1977-86 Cadillac DeVille
While the DeVille was significantly downsized for 1977, it lost none of its swagger and appeal. The initial engine offered still displaced 425 cubic inches and somewhat amusingly, the “yard trimming” capacity went up when the trunk size actually increased. A Coupe de Ville (hot pink with a white vinyl top) led to the demise of Johnny Roastbeef and his wife in “Goodfellas” when Johnny ignored Robert De Niro character Jimmy Conway’s direction not to do anything flashy with the Lufthansa heist money. The window sticker was still on it when Johnny took his last ride
Rob Sass writes for Hagerty Insurance. Hagerty is the world’s leading specialist provider of classic car and boat insurance. Learn more at hagerty.ca.
“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.
“Comparatively few celebs over the years have actually been obsessive enough in their enthusiasm for cars and motorsports to be considered accomplished drivers or lifelong gearheads…”
It’s no surprise that celebrities gravitate to cool cars.
For the vast majority of them though, cars are just fashion accessories. Comparatively few celebs over the years have actually been obsessive enough in their enthusiasm for cars and motorsports to be considered accomplished drivers or lifelong gearheads. Here are six with real cred:
Jay Leno is probably one of the best-known celebrity gearheads. His “Jay Leno’s Garage” website is well trafficked and his videos garner thousands of views on YouTube. Leno is no poser; he’s a consummate car guy and he has a very independent collecting philosophy – he’s out to impress no one. He buys what he likes and what he finds technically interesting, and he even has been known to turn a wrench or two.
The King of Cool, the late Steve McQueen owned some of the greatest collectible cars of all time, from a one-of-16-built Jaguar XK SS to a Ferrari 250 GT Lusso. Whenever any of the movie actor’s former cars hit the auction circuit, they sell for several multiples of what a non-McQueen car could expect to garner. Hell, even the guy’s sunglasses once fetched $70,000 at auction.
Most people remember the late James Garner as the laidback private eye Jim Rockford who drove an equally cool Pontiac Firebird and devised the trademark Jim Rockford “J turn.” The owner of numerous classic cars over the years, Garner starred in the 1965 John Frankenheimer racing epic Grand Prix, where the real drivers serving as technical advisers told him that he had serious talent. As a team owner in the 1960s, his cars had frequent successes included taking five of the first seven places in the brutal Baja 500 race.
As a New Yorker, it seems odd that comedian Jerry Seinfeld would turn out to be one of Hollywood’s most accomplished gearheads. Conventional wisdom holds that New Yorkers don’t own cars, and to the extent that they interact with them, they’re yellow and have a light on the roof. But Seinfeld has over the years become one of the world’s premier Porsche collectors. The exact extent of his collection is not widely known, but it is said to include some of the earliest Porsches from the late 1940s as well as some of Porsche’s most famous racing cars. Not a subscriber to the trailer and velvet ropes philosophy of collecting, Seinfeld actually drives most of his cars on a regular basis.
Grey’s Anatomy actor Patrick Dempsey is a fixture at many of the big collector car auctions, particularly Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale sale in January, and he maintains a serious collection of vintage cars. But Dempsey’s biggest footprint is in the motorsports world. He’s competed at serious venues like Le Mans and Daytona and in the Baja 1000. At this point, it’s difficult to say whether Dempsey is an actor who races cars or a racer who acts.
Paul Newman was no stranger to cool street cars. We loved him in the hockey epic Slapshot in a Gold 1970 Pontiac GTO and in the Porsche Speedster from Harper. Out of films and on the street, he tended to be more low-key though, famously taking to the streets of Westport, Conn., in an innocuous-looking Volvo wagon that hid a fire-breathing GM V-8. But it was on the race track that Newman earned his gearhead cred – successful showings at The 24 Hours of Le Mans, Daytona and numerous races in the SCCA Trans Am series were among his major accomplishments. Respect for him as a driver was universal and he was posthumously inducted into the SCCA Hall of Fame in 2009.
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
by Grant Stoecker
Sequels are rarely as good as the first, but give this second round of clunkers from film and television a chance.
Each of the following cars was selected based on reader comments.
Uncle Buck, 1975 Mercury Marquis Brougham
We all have that oddball relative – if you can’t think of one, well, it’s probably you. In 1989’s hit comedy, Uncle Buck, John Candy portrays Uncle Buck, an unemployed gambler charged with caring for his wealthy suburbanite brother’s children. While the children might find Uncle Buck a bit odd, they find his ’75 Marquis downright revolting — and terrifying if standing anywhere near it when it backfires.
Columbo, 1959 Peugeot 403 Cabriolet
This popular television series starred Peter Falk as disheveled detective Lieutenant Columbo. While most cops would opt to drive a service car, Columbo chooses to drive his personal car, a faded Peugeot 403 Cabriolet that often suffers from mechanical problems at inopportune moments. And just one more thing: The car was personally selected for the show by Falk, after he spotted it in a parking lot at Universal Studios.
Wayne’s World, 1976 AMC Pacer
Ah, the “Mirth Mobile”! This 1976 Pacer was the ride of choice for public-access cable stars Wayne and Garth in 1992’s cult classic Wayne’s World. While the Mirth Mobile, with its mismatched wheels and flame decals, is sure to make any car lover go “schwing,” the Pacer is often noted for its unique styling, courtesy of the famous designer Richard Teague.
Harper, 1956 Porsche 356 Speedster
Who would have ever thought of Paul Newman driving a Porsche on the big screen? Sarcasm aside, Paul Newman’s eponymous character, Harper, is a wisecracking private investigator tasked with tracking down a kidnapped millionaire in the 1966 film of the same name. Harper’s decrepit Porsche 356 Speedster makes several appearances in the film, including a horrific tumble down a hill (at least for a Porsche-phile like myself). Fortunately it was not a true 356A Speedster, but a shell with exhaust tips attached.
Dude Where’s My Car, 1979 Renault Le Car
In 2000’s so-bad-it’s-funny comedy Dude, Where’s My Car, Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott wake up from an eventful night only to find they’ve forgotten where they parked their beat-up Renault Le Car. In an effort to find it, they encounter an unlikely group of UFO cultists, two races of aliens, and a universe-destroying Rubik’s Cube. After saving the universe from guaranteed destruction via the Rubik’s Cube, they discover that their car has been hidden behind a double-parked mail truck the entire time.
Content provided by Hagerty Insurance. Hagerty is the world’s leading specialist provider of classic car and boat insurance. Learn more at hagerty.ca.
It’s a lucky thing that ‘Cash for Clunkers’ was enacted after any of these movies were made.
These films would each have been a bit less amusing without their “star” cars.
*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.
“Sadly, Bond’s Aston is strafed into Swiss cheese. Happily, the car was actually a prop made to look like a real DB5.”
They crash and smash many cars in Hollywood.
A few months ago we looked at five dramatic destructions here are some more to make you weep.
1964 Aston DB5 Martin (Skyfall)
In the rebooted James Bond world of Daniel Craig, Bond is seen to have won the DB5 in a card game in the movie Casino Royale. The film’s villain, played by Javier Bardem, puts its nose-mounted machine guns to good use in an attempt to repel an assault.
Sadly, Bond’s Aston is strafed into Swiss cheese. Happily, the car was actually a prop made to look like a real DB5.
1985 Corvette (The Big Lebowski)
A 14-year-old kid named Larry Sellers has likely stolen Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski’s (Jeff Bridges’) battered Ford Torino, possibly containing a large sum in ransom money. The Dude and his extremely anger management-challenged bowling buddy Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) head for little Larry’s house. On the way in, they’re dismayed to find a red 1985 Corvette parked in front of the house and they figure the kid has already started to blow the money. When standard interrogation techniques prove fruitless, Walter takes a crowbar to the Corvette’s glass. The Corvette turns out to be the neighbour’s car.
1941 Lincoln Continental (The Godfather)
You could always count on the hot temper of Sonny Corleone. The Barzini Family certainly did. They also knew that when Carlo, the abusive lowlife husband of Sonny’s sister Connie, would hit her, Sonny would respond by unleashing the Hiroshima of beatings on Carlo. The most direct route from Sonny’s fist to the jawbone of Carlo would take him through the tollbooth at the Jones Beach Causeway on Long Island, where the Barzini’s hit men were waiting with Thompson sub-machine guns. The result was not pretty for either Sonny or the Lincoln.
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 (Fast Times at Ridgemont High)
The Camaro was owned by intimidating high school football prospect Charles Jefferson (played by the great Forrest Whitaker in one of his earliest roles). Jefferson’s little brother and surfer/stoner Jeff Spiccolli (Sean Penn) take the car cruising one night in the San Fernando Valley and wreck it. Spiccolli pops the classic line, “My old man is a TV repairman, and he has an awesome set of tools. I can fix it.” Ultimately, no repairs are undertaken. Rather, the damage is blamed on car thieves from a rival high school whom Ridgemont is playing in a big football game. An incensed rhino-like Jefferson is seen later delivering paralytic revenge hits in the subsequent game.
1969 Mercedes-Benz 280 SE convertible (The Hangover)
Future father -in-law entrusts his non-Car Guy future son-in-law with his treasured Mercedes convertible for a pre-wedding jaunt with friends. Granted, they were supposed to be heading to sedate California wine country, but they go to Vegas instead. The extreme body damage that the handsome Benz suffers is predictable for anyone who has seen Animal House. The damage done to the interior by Mike Tyson’s pet tiger? That’s novel.
*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
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
The much-loved CBS comedy “Green Acres” featured a then-new red 1967 Ford Bronco as the official vehicle of scatter-brained county agent Hank Kimball…
Vintage pickups and SUVs are among the hottest things in the collector car world.
Not surprisingly, they are also popular on the big and small screen. Here are five fine examples.
1. 1973 Ford F-250 (The Blues Brothers) (Photo above)
After stiffing the proprietor of Bob’s Country Bunker on a huge bar tab, Jake and Elwood Blues take off in the Bluesmobile with “The Good Ole Boys” — the country and western act that they’d impersonated at said bar — in hot pursuit. Love the shot of two of the angry musicians in costume glaring out of the front windows of the camper shell, just before the truck winds up on its side.
2. 1967 Ford Bronco (Green Acres)
The much-loved CBS comedy featured a then-new red 1967 Ford Bronco as the official vehicle of scatter-brained county agent Hank Kimball, usually seen driven around Hooterville and the Douglas farm (minus doors and top). For most of its run, “Green Acres” was sponsored by the Ford Motor Company, so the Bronco’s frequent appearances were no surprise.
3. 1972 Chevrolet C-10 (Dazed and Confused)
The 1993 Richard Linklater high school cult classic that was set in the mid-1970s featured what appeared to be a 1972 Chevy C-10 pickup in Cheyenne trim. It was driven by paddle-wielding upper-classman Benny O’Donnell (played by Cole Hauser), who freshmen encountered at their peril.
4. 1999 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning (The Fast and the Furious)
Lead actor Paul Walker drove this very special Ford pickup. Produced by Ford’s Special Vehicles Team, the 1999 Lightning featured a supercharged 5.4-litre V-8 that produced 360 hp. It was used as a parts getter in the first of the Fast and Furious movies.
5. 1973 Ford F-100 (The Dukes of Hazzard)
Yeah, it’s a shock, there were pickup trucks featured in the “Dukes of Hazzard.” Uncle Jesse always seemed to have a semi-ratty white Ford pickup. Most of the time it was a ’73 F-100 but in early episodes, he could be seen with a 1968 Ford stepside pickup and in later ones, a late 1970s F-250.
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
Some cars just ooze cool, especially those with a high price tag, sexy good looks and the “right” people driving them.
Here are four of the coolest classics of all time along with the film and music legends who drove them and pushed their cool factor over the top: (more…)
The Ferris Bueller Ferrari is probably the best-known big screen fake…
Hollywood loves to incorporate hot classic cars into movies and television shows. Producers and insurers are also notoriously risk-averse, preferring to use replicas rather than the hyper-valuable real deal whenever possible.
Here are some of our favourite big- and small-screen fakes:
Nash Bridges – 1971 Plymouth Hemi ‘Cuda
The San Francisco cop show revived Don Johnson’s career, pairing him with Cheech Marin (half of the stoner comedy team of Cheech and Chong).
The yellow car that appeared to be an ultra-rare Hemi ‘Cuda convertible was actually what is known as a “clone” or a car that started out as a lesser model but was restored to appear as a top shelf ‘Cuda.
The difference in price is staggering — around $50 grand for the fake, more than $1 million for the real deal.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 1960 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder
The Ferris Bueller Ferrari is probably the best-known big screen fake.
From a distance, it appears reasonably accurate, but Ferrari aficionados can spot the differences in their sleep, from the Triumph-sourced gauges to the MGB taillights. And don’t get them talking about the bogus Italian Borrani wire wheels.
A real California Spyder is a $12 million car today.
Miami Vice – 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona
Don Johnson appears to be a bit of a magnet for fake cars.
His black Daytona Spyder was actually a fake built on a Corvette chassis, and few Ferrari fans shed tears when the car was blown up in sight of Johnson’s character, Sonny Crockett, and his pet alligator, Elvis.
Afterward, Crockett took to driving a white Ferrari Testarossa – a real one this time.
Top Gun – 1958 Porsche Speedster
Kelly McGillis’s character drove this one around San Diego in the classic ’80s movie.
Porsche Speedsters are among the most replicated cars ever — most are convincing fiberglass bodies slapped on top of a VW Beetle platform. The replica featured in Top Gun appears to have been one of the good ones, built by longtime Speedster replica-maker Intermeccanica.
They’re still in business in British Columbia, turning out extremely high-quality vintage Porsche replicas.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – 1935 Auburn 851 Boattail Speedster
Indy’s sidekick Short Round still holds the record for the best automotive chase involving a pre-teen driver.
With blocks tied to the pedals, Short Round takes Jones and a lounge singer on a wild ride through pre-war Shanghai.
The car was, of course, a complete fake, and not a particularly convincing one at that.
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.