The Fates of 5 Famous L.A. Movie Cars
Published on Thu, Nov 7, 2019
By: Collin Morgan
What happened to some of the most famous movie cars to grace the streets of our city?
Los Angeles and cinema are synonymous with each other, and cars are part of the glue that hold them together. L.A. is the capital of car culture and of course Hollywood brings some flashy horsepower to attract viewers. But what about car movies filmed in Los Angeles? Where are they now? Here are the Fates of Five Famous L.A. Movie Cars.
1) ‘Eleanor’ 1967 Ford Mustang (depicted as a Shelby GT500)
‘Gone In 60 Seconds’
This beauty is one of the most cloned vehicles in the world, so naturally there is a bit of skepticism when these cars show up to auction, but this is the real deal. There were originally 11 cars made for filming, but only three of them were used for driving scenes with Nicolas Cage at the wheel. This particular car is nicknamed the ‘Hero’ car, due to its use for promotions and close-ups.
In my opinion, this Mustang is the most beautiful variant I have ever seen, past or present. It is absolutely iconic with its trademark stripes, side vents, and exhaust… And that color scheme couldn’t combine more perfectly. Inside, the timeless red button labeled Go-Baby-Go on the shift knob sprays fully functional nitrous. In May of 2013, this car was sold at the Dana Mecum 26th Original Spring Classic Auction in Indianapolis for a cool one million dollars to an anonymous buyer.
2) 1964 Chevy Malibu
While this car didn’t have a huge appearance during the movie, what happened off-screen is where it gets weird. In 1994 after production for Pulp Fiction had just wrapped up, this cherry red Malibu was stolen from Quentin Tarantino’s front lawn. The car was lost for nearly 20 years until it was discovered in Oakland in April of 2013. The then-owner of the Malibu had no idea the car was stolen, as he had purchased it from a private collector in 2001. The car has since been returned to Tarantino.
The Malibu makes its movie appearance as John Travolta and Uma Thurman pull up to Jack Rabbit Slim’s for the famous dancing scene. The restaurant’s neon sign glints gloriously off the Malibu’s cherry red paint. CAUTION: The video is NSFW.
3) 1963 ‘Touch of Gold’ Chevy Impala
‘Boyz ‘N The Hood’
The fate of this car is veiled in mystery ever since filming for Boyz ‘N The Hood wrapped up. Ice Cube owned it at one point but it has now been sold to a private collector in Japan for an undisclosed amount. Japan is thriving in an emergence of the American lowrider culture, and the Touch of Gold Impala embodies that flawlessly.
4) 1973 Ford Gran Torino
‘The Big Lebowski’
When you think of a famous beater, this car has to be it. Driven by ‘The Dude’ Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski, this rusty clunky car epitomizes Bridge’s character perfectly. This car was an extension of The Dude… man. During filming, the crew had two Gran Torino’s at their disposal. Regrettably, one of these was destroyed during the movie, while the other lived a bit longer. The second car made a surprise appearance in Blue Streak, and then in a season 8 episode of The X-Files in 2001, it was sadly wrecked. So, unfortunately, there are no official movie cars left.
5) 1993 Toyota Supra
‘The Fast and the Furious’
This car needs no introduction. The instantly recognizable Supra driven by Paul Walker was one of my favorite cars growing up, and is credited with invoking a worldwide cultural phenomenon. The massive spoiler, fiery orange paint with the signature graphic, and ridiculous nitrous are so iconic, and it has been replicated relentlessly. The car was in Paul Walker’s extensive collection until his tragic death in 2013, and was sold for $185,000 in May of 2015 at the Mecum Indianapolis Auction.
Bonus: 1968 Mustang Fastback
In a shocking revelation recently, the 1968 Bullitt Mustang Fastback driven by Steve McQueen, will be auctioned in 2020. The Highland Green GT390 is still in its original form and has remained completely unrestored from the abuse endured during filming. Mecum plans to auction the car in January 2020 during the Kissimmee, FL event, and the priceless time capsule is expected to fetch millions, possibly becoming the highest-priced Mustang ever. Although the infamous chase scene is filmed in San Francisco, this car deserves a spot on this list due to its influence on the production of car chases in movies today.