Classic Cars in Cool Movies

Classic movie cars have had co-starring roles in movies and television since the days of the Keystone Cops. A close viewing of television credits thank the manufacturers for providing the vehicles. The brands ultimately benefited from the “product placement”. How many classic movie cars can you reflexively recall in connection with a favorite film? Here are three faves.

Goldfinger (1964) – The gadgetry that Q installed in James Bond’s 1963 Aston Martin DB5 made this classic movie car popular for a generation. Featured in seven Bond films, it enjoyed more appearances than any actor in the starring role. A trivia factoid: The DB series was named honouring Sir David Brown (the owner of Aston Martin from 1947 to 1972). Corgi released a toy version in 1965. Here’s Sean Connery putting the DB5 through its paces in Goldfinger. (Video)

Bullitt (1968) – A 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang GT Fastback with a four-speed manual transmissions was the real star of this thriller. The chase scene down the mountainous San Francisco streets, culminating in the firey crash of the bad guys’ 1968 375 hp 440 Magnum V8-powered Dodge Charger remains an all time favorite. Mustang sales soared with the popularity of the film. Here are a pair of video links to the famous pursuit: (Part 1) (Part 2)

Clueless (1995) – Alicia Silverstone and Justin Walker leave on their date in this classic movie car, a 1954 Nash Metropolitan Convertible (Video). Built between ’54 and 1962, these babies were considered one of the first compact cars. They came standard with map light, electric windshield wipers, cigar lighter, and a rear-mounted spare tire with cover, which were options on most other vehicles of the day.  An AM radio, “Weather Eye” heater, and whitewall tires were offered as optional extras.

Quick Takes:

Remember these kids? The prolific Bill Mumy, Angela Cartwright and the Lost In Space Robot, voiced by ubiquitous 60s VO guy, Dick Tufeld.

From the Archives:  NYT talked about how songs are getting louder. Turns out they are also getting shorter, too. And the economics of streaming are behind the trend. Where bandwidth is concerned, time is money. Via Jeff Smith.

The Rolling Stones at TAMI

Here’s a fascinating podcast deep dive into Alfred Hitchcock‘s 1954 suspense classic, Rear Window. It’s one of four collaborations with James Stewart and introduced Raymond Burr as a post Godzilla / pre Perry Mason. frightening bad guy. (Podcast)

And for you Rolling Stones fans, here’s video of their electric performance at the TAMI show in 1964. (Video)

Today in History:

1965, Frank Gifford announces his retirement from football for broadcasting.

1969, Three thousand uninvited guests showed up to see Lulu and The Bee Gees Maurice Gibb get married at St. James’ Church, Gerrard’s Cross, England. Brother Barry was the best man. The union would last less than 4 years.

1986, An anti-smoking ad airs for 1st time on TV, featuring Yul Brynner, who died of smoking-induced lung cancer on 10th October 1985.

2001. A crash during the last lap of the Daytona 500 race claims life of Dale Earnhardt, prompting sport to implement new safety procedures

Happy Birthday to: Yoko Ono, 1933; Bobby Hart (Boyce & Hart), 1939; Dennis De Young (Styx), 1947; Keith Knudsen (Doobie Bros.), 1948 (d. 2005); Cybill Shepherd, 1950; Juice Newton, 1952; Robbie Bachman, 1953; John Travolta, 1954; Matt Dillon, 1964

Much More Music:

1965, The Kinks were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’, the group’s second UK No.1. According to Ray Davies, the music for ‘Tired of Waiting for You’ was written on the train to the recording studio and the words were written at a coffee shop during a break in the session. (Video)

1965, Working at Abbey Road studios in London, The Beatles recorded two new songs including John Lennon’s ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’. (Video)


1966, Beach Boy Brian Wilson records the future classic song ‘Good Vibrations’, which went on to become the band’s third US number-one. As a child, his mother told him that dogs could pick up “vibrations” from people, so that the dog would bark at “bad vibrations”. It was a lesson he never forgot. (Video)

Today’s Quote Worth Re-Quoting: “I’m not a genius. I’m just a hard working guy.” ~Brian Wilson

We leave you with something from this week in 1967. Harpers Bizarre entered the WKNR Music Guide with their only hit, a gift from Paul Simon, “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).” Among the band’s members was Ted Templeman, who would go on to produce some memorable music for the Doobie Brothers, Carly Simon, Van Halen and Van Morrison. Simon would later tell an interviewer that “Feelin’ Groovy” was his least favorite compostion.  (Video)

Thanks for listening!

Scott Westerman
Host and Producer – Rock and Roll Revisited
Author: Motor City Music – Keener 13 and the Soundtrack of Detroit