Updated: Aug 7
Every man and his dog understands why we like crime films. It’s to see all the great criminals in their element… and of course, the great cars that helped them pull off their nefarious schemes. Now, a lot of criminals throughout history have become known solely from their criminal records but their automobile accomplices are afforded the same admiration.
In the return of The World According To Movies series, (check out the premiere post here), I’m going over some of the film industry’s greatest criminal cars from over the years and finally giving them their due.
It all comes down to a simple question… which one of them has the worst criminal record.
3. Ford Mustang Shelby GT 100 “Eleanor”
Last Seen: Gone in 60 Seconds (2000)
Crimes Committed: Grand Theft Auto (50 Counts), Starring in a Nic Cage movie (1 count)
Eleanor assisted the criminally underrated fugitive Nicholas Cage in a grand theft auto spree of fifty of the fastest and most luxurious cars located in the greater San Francisco area. Among the cars stolen were a 97 Porsche 911 Twin Turbo, a 95 Ferrari 355 B, and a 69 Camaro Z28 to name a few.
Apart from the thefts, she is also believed to have faked her death after leading officers on an increasingly elaborate and ludicrous chase through the local San Francisco area. Nicholas Cage was apprehended shortly after and has been forced to serve community service in the form of The Family Man and Shadow of The Vampire.
2. The Classic Red 1965 Chevy
Last Seen: Pulp Fiction (1994)
Crimes Committed: Homicide/Manslaughter (1 count), Accessory to kidnapping & theft (1 count)
The 1965 chevy were the wheels of choice for crime boss Marsellus Wallace’s infamous hitmen Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega. “Classic Red” as it’s known in the darkest corners of the criminal underworld may not have the smoothest ride, especially if you’re in the back seat but it was cemented as a legend thanks to the pothole surprise of 1994.
Little is known about this car before or after the events of 1994 or its whereabouts during these times. The only thing that is known is that it disappeared in mysterious circumstances late one night and only emerged in 2013 in equally mysterious circumstances.
Details are sketchy as to what the car was up to during this time but I can only assume it was living a great life on the run enjoying the sights and sounds of a beachside car park or whatever cars do to relax.
1. The Mini Cooper
Last Seen: The Italian Job (1969, 2003)
Crimes Committed: Theft (1 count), Traffic Infringements (Multiple counts), Vandalising Property and Landmarks (Multiple counts), and promoting pro Michael Caine sentiment
Years before 1969, any self-respecting criminal wouldn’t be caught dead using a Mini Cooper as their getaway vehicle. It was tiny, you couldn’t have a crew of more than three and it always looked like it would have struggled to clear any unusually large speed bumps.
Where most cars would have just shut up shop and let themselves be relegated to the dustbin of history, the Mini decided otherwise. It decided to lend its talents to one of the most ambitious heists ever devised.
$4 Million worth of gold stolen from Turma Italy with both the Italian and French underworld after them, this was going to take some work. The Mini surprised everyone and underwent stringent physical training and managed to get through the job unscathed and disappear from the public eye.
Now, if this was the end of the story the Mini wouldn’t be getting the top spot. However, some 35 years later the son of the Mini (Mini Jr?) announced itself to the world and took on another daring heist just like its dear old dad.
If there’s something I hate more than murder, it’s generational legacy crime families so I guess the Mini takes the day… or it would if it wasn’t for the surprise entry.
BONUS - 1974 Dodge Monaco Sedan “Bluesmobile”
Last Seen: The Blues Brothers (1980)
Crimes: Treason (1 count), dangerous driving causing public endangerment (Multiple counts), and aiding and abetting known fugitives
This entry might be surprising after the previous entries but throughout history, only one other crime has been treated more seriously than murder and that’s treason. They even punished traitors with death, they committed a crime as punishment for that crime.
Make no mistake, the Bluesmobile commits treason. It accepted dirty money from two criminals, turned against their brothers in blue and joined these two fugitives, and embarked on a cross country chase that resulted in massive casualties of a kind never seen by the force… all for money.
The Bluesmobile was never brought to “justice” in the typical sense but there are some that contend that they received some in the form of cosmic justice…
So, at the end of the day through that convoluted mess, we’ve got a winner and it is The Bluesmobile!
Which car from film history would you have picked? Let me know down in the comments below.
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