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The 80s was a great time for movie cars. Much like today, the 80s featured a great mix of quirky economy cars, muscle cars, and everything in between. People loved cars so much that they had starring roles on major TV shows at the time like “Knight Rider” and “Magnum P.I.” 

Though, television was not the only place where cool cars were front and center. More than a few movies from the 80s featured some of the most movie cars to grace the silver screen. Films like Ghostbusters, “Batman” and “Back To The Future.” There are too many to count but, for our fellow 80s kids, we are naming three of our favorite movie cars from the 80s.

The ‘ECTO-1’ from “Ghostbusters” 1984

A replica of the 'ECTo-1' from "Ghostbusters."
A replica of the ‘ECTO-1’ from “Ghostbusters | Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

There are very few people in America who grew up in the 80s and were not aware of the Ghostbusters films. The original 1984 film was a blockbuster hit and spawned toys, a cartoon, and countless other merchandise. Ghostbusters was easily one of the most successful franchises of the 80s.

The one element of the film and cartoon that stood out to us the most was the “ECTO-1.” The ECTO-1 was the nickname given to the 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor Futura that the Ghostbusters drove around New York City to bust ghosts. The Ghostbusters used an ambulance version of the Futura, so the iconic siren sound is forever ingrained in the minds of Ghostbusters fans. It is truly one of the best movie cars ever made.

The ‘Batmobile’ from “Batman” 1989

The 'Batmobile' from the 1989 film "Batman." Seen here on display in a movie cars exhibit.
The ‘Batmobile’ from “Batman” 1989 | Andrew Beckford, MotorBiscuit

We realize that some may not consider the ‘Batmobile’ from Tim Burton’s “Batman” an “80s car,” but the film did come out in 1989, so technically, it makes the cut. Some of you reading this probably have distinct memories of sitting in the movie theater in 1989 and seeing that Batmobile for the first time. It is easily one of the most memorable film cars from that era.

Despite being such an iconic vehicle, there are many facts that most fans don’t know about the 1989 Batmobile. For example, the original car is built on a Chevrolet Impala chassis and had a V8 engine. It was not really jet-powered as depicted in the film. Another fun fact is that the headlights on the car are actually from a Honda Civic. The Batmobile can still be seen today at the Petersen Automotive Museum, where it is on display in a special movie cars exhibit.

The DeLorean from “Back To The Future” 1985

The DeLorean from the film "Back To The Future." Seen here in a movie cars exhibit.
The DeLorean from “Back To The Future” | Andrew Beckford, MotorBiscuit

There was no way we would make a list about our favorite movie cars from the 80s and not include the DeLorean from “Back To The Future.” The film’s producers chose the DeLorean because the car was in the news at the time and because of its looks. The stainless steel finish and gullwing doors added to the Delorean’s “not too distant future” aesthetic. 

The ironic part about a DeLorean being used as a time machine once it hits 88 mph is that in reality, the Delorean was not a fast car at all. At only 130 horsepower, it would take more time than expected for anyone to reach 88 mph while driving it. That did not matter for the film-going audience. The moment that the DeLorean leaves behind flaming tracks for the first time, millions of people were sold on it. The screen-used DeLorean is also on display right now at the Petersen Automotive Museum.

As previously mentioned, we know that there are plenty of other movie cars from the era that has made an impact on audiences around the world. We just wanted to highlight a few of our favorite 80s movie cars for nostalgia’s sake; even if it does date us.


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