1. Lamborghini Muira – The Italian Job
From the original 1969 movie where Michael Caine orchestrates a robbery of gold bullion in Turin, Italy. Escaping across the city in three Mini Coopers in a traffic jam.
The Lamborghini Muira was built between 1966 and 1973 and in my eyes it was the father of the modern supercar. The first production high performance road car with the mid-engine layout.
The Muira in the movie was a 1968 400S. It had a 4 litre V12 engine mated to a 5 speed gearbox. It produced 360 bhp with a top speed of 171mph and 0 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds.
The model also came with power windows and air conditioning – a must when you remember the engine is just a few inches behind you.
The Muira is only in the opening scene where it is driven by Roger Beckermann across the Italian Alps. Majority of the scene is shot onboard and through the windsceen to the films credits rolling.
The Muira, it’s engine note, against the Matt Munroe song, and the colour contrast with the scenery makes this my favourite opening scene of all.
I cringed when i first saw how Beckermann meets his end at the hands of the Italian Mafia. They did not take a thief, planning a major robbery in Italy, too kindly.
The car meets it’s demise when it collides with a bulldozer and is pushed over the side of the Alps.
If I am perfectly honest it was the supposed destruction of the Muira that was more disappointing for me. Two Muiras were used for the movie. The pristine car from the previous shots and the rolling shell used for the the death of Beckermann.
Omitted Notable Mention Cars
de Tomaso Mangusta – Kill Bill 2
Triumph Stag – Diamonds Are Forever
Jensen Interceptor- Fast and Furious 6
Jaguar XK150 – Blue Ice
Porsche 911 – Condorman
Chevrolet Corvette- Less Then Zero
Jaguar XJS – Speed Zone
Pontiac Trans Am – Smokey and the Bandit
2. Lamborghi Islero S – The Man Who Haunted Himself
The mysterious car from the movie where Roger Moore plays Harold Pelham, a business, who briefly dies in the operating theatre after a car accident.
The Lamborghini Islero seen prior to the accident and turns up more after Pelham returns from hospital. Sitting outside his home, driving passed and following Pelham in his Rover.
The driver being revealed as Pelham’s doppelganger who proceeds to turn Pelham’s life upside down.
The finale is Pelham being chased in the rain by the doppelganger in the Islero, climaxing with an interesting end to the movie. Was the doppelganger real or all a part of Pelam’s mind. Watch the movie and you decide.
The Lamborghini Islero was made from 1968 to 1969 with 225 cars produced. It’s was named after the bull that killed matador Manuel Rodriguez in 1947. The Islero S, was released in 1969 with an upgraded 350 bhp 4 litre V12 engine mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. Top speed of 161 mph and acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. It was the favourite of Ferruccio Lamborghini himself.
3. Porsche 911s – Le Mans
The Porsche only appears in the opening scene of Le Mans but it helps set the tone for the character of Michael Delaney which is played by Steve McQueen.
The 1970 Porsche 911S is powered by a 2.2 litre horizontally opposed six-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. The 200bhp gives a top speed of 155mph and 0 to 60 in 6.6 seconds. Independent suspension for both front and rear with factory-installed Fuchs alloy wheels.
The Porsche slips quietly through the French countryside where it arrives early morning in the city of Le Mans. A woman is buying flowers as the car continues through the streets and out to part of the track still open to the public.
The Porsche eventually stops opposite a new section of guardrail. Delaney gets out, thinks back to his accident here before climbing back into the car and driving off.
4. Aston Martin DBS – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service brought about not only a change in car for the super spy but also a change of James Bond himself.
The new Bond is George Lazenby and the car is a 1968 Aston Martin DBS. Unique in itself in that it’s got no gadgets except for a snipers rifle in the glovebox.
The Aston is fundamentally remembered for two scenes in the movie. The opening teaser where Bond drives the car down onto the beach to save his future wife from drowning herself in the ocean. Ironically, the other is at the end of the movie where Bond stops to remove the wedding flowers and his wife is shot dead in a driveby by Burnt with Blofeld driving.
The Aston Martin DBS is a 1968 six cylinder triple carb engine. Performance was still quite impressive at 141 mph and 0-60 in 7.1 secs. A new body style from the DB6 to go with a new Bond. Interior was lush and an almost true 4 seater.
5. Porsche 928 – Risky Business
The Porsche makes a big splash in the 1983 comedy/drama starring Tom Cruise as Joel Goodson, a teenager, who opens a brothel in his parents home.
The 1979 Porsche 928 boasts a very un Porsche like front water cooled 4.7 liter V8 engine that pumps out 295 bhp mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. A top speed of 152mph and 0 – 60 in 6.2 seconds. Porsche utilized a transaxle system where the transmission was situated at the rear axle and the car achieved perfect 50/50 weight distribution.
In Risky Business Joel borrows his father’s Porsche and experiences some amazng highs and lows while his parents are out of town for a few days. From the excitement of a thrilling car chase to the devastation of the Porsche ending up fully submerged underwater when a jetty collapses under it’s weight. Luckily the money earnt from the temporary brothel at his parents house enables him to get the 928 all fixed up before his father gets back.
6. Ford Falcon XBGT (Interceptor) – Mad Max
The Ford Falcon XBGT hardtop is synonymous with the Mad Max films. Mel Gidson played Max a police officer seeking revenge for the murder of his wife by a gang of bikies.
The XBGT was released in 1973 with a 5.8 litre 4 barrelled carburetored Cleveland V8 mate to either a 4 speed manual gearbox or 3 speed automatic transmission.
It was the first locally produced vehicle to offer power-assisted front disc brakes as standard items, the horn and high/low beam headlights integrated into the turn signal and color coded bumpers.
The Interceptor started out as a standard white 1973 XBGT when purchased for Mad Max in 1976. The movie’s art director Jon Dowding designed the Interceptor and it was modified by Graf-X International of Melbourne. The main modifications were black paint scheme, roof and boot spoilers, wheel arch flares, revised front, right side exhaust pipes and of course the most famous mod, a Weiand 6-71 supercharger protruding through the bonnet.
The XBGT was also the star of ‘Love The Beast.’ A film by, and also co-starring Eric Bana, about the full restoration of his first car. It has been modified with a 6.7 litre Windsor V8 engine mated to a 5 speed TKO Tremek gearbox, suspension and exhaust upgrades. Unfortunately the ‘Beast’ was written off in an accident during 2007 Targa Tasmania which was a backdrop for the movie.