Best Muscle Cars

Muscle Car Crashes In The Movies

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By Dave Ashton

In our covid ridden times, I’m probably doing the same as many, watching too much TV and movies. However, after watching ‘Rim of the World’ on Netflix, which is actually a fun little movie, I came to a realization. Why is it nearly all muscle cars depicted on-screen end up being smashed up in some way?

In ‘Rim of the World’ the kids who are the main focus, walk into an apocalyptic-looking parking lot halfway through the movie. There they just so happen to find a pristine 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 hanging about amongst the other derelicts and burning vehicles. Anyways, in what seems less than a minute’s time, the immaculate pony car gets jumped on by a rather angry alien, taking it from show vehicle to one of those videos you see online of Mustangs getting smashed up.

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The Best Example of Muscle Car Smash Ups

I then wondered why muscle cars in general always tend to get at the least bruised and battered on-screen. Is it from the nature of their name that they can take more punishment than other vehicles? Muscle cars have always been getaway or chase cars, so do they have to always take damage to ramp up the action?


The ubiquitous Vanishing Point from 1971 which Quentin Tarantino paid homage to in Death Proof, sees a white Dodge Challenger get smashed up. Bullitt from 1968 shows a Mustang and Dodge Charger taking a few hits. Even in the Fast and Furious movies muscle cars take a battering. In the Transformers 3 movie of 2011, 532 cars were destroyed which were probably mostly low-cost vehicles, but I bet one or two muscle cars took a hit along the way.

Cars getting destroyed or smashed up on screen has been around since the inception of cinema and it’s not hard to see why. You can feel the adrenaline spikes and extra alertness provided by an on-screen crash. The effect is memorable, which means the movie will likely be as well.

Since the late nineteen sixties and the birth of the classic muscle car era, it stands to sense that these huge vehicles would look spectacular taking hits on screen. When you have a vehicle that looks like it can smash through a brick wall, why not film it doing so. If you look at a movie such as the ‘Italian job,’ all those cute little Minis we want to see being agile as a chipmunk and coming out unscathed. Nobody wants to see something cute get hurt.

On the other hand, when you look at the dimensions of a 1969 Dodge Charger or Plymouth Road Runner, they have the presence of Ronnie Coleman in his prime and the menacing nature of the Mountain from Game of Thrones. With those pre-requisites, we want to see the average muscle car get into a bit of a rough-and-tumble.

Anyways, it would be interesting to find a list of muscle cars committed to screening that lasted to the end of the story unscathed. No scratches, no dents, just a leisurely meandering to the end of the movie, with a cup of tea along the way. They are going to be few and far between, but I’m sure there are some out there.

 

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