Some of the most iconic sports cars over the decades have given these movies its magic moments
Le Mans (1971)
The movies Steve McQueen was best known for are arguably Bullit, and this film, Le Mans. This is the movie that launched countless ad campaigns. It immortalised TAG Heuer, the Gulf Racing livery of orange and powder blue, as well as put Porsche on the map of Pop Culture.
McQueen plays Michael Delaney who races the No.20 Gulf-Porsche 917. Much like Grand Prix (1966), the racing scenes for Le Mans were also filmed on location during the 1970 race of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. More incredibly, the camera car No. 29 was in the actual race as well! It too was a Porsche race car, a 908/2 which McQueen previously co-drive to a second place finish at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
The film is also notable for another Porsche. The Slate Grey 1970 911S is beautifully shot driving around the idyllic French countryside and the town of Le Mans in the first 3 minutes 43 seconds of the movie. McQueen was said to own this car personally, but his was a 1969 model that was safely parked in his home in California while this identical but newer car was purchased for the production of this film.
Bad Boys (1995)
For petrolheads, the original Bad Boys is the best of the three-film buddy cop comedy/action franchise. The car chase scenes were pre-CGI and the exhaust notes were authentically recorded from the Porsche 911 3.6 Turbo. For the last rear-wheel drive 911 Turbo, the exciting finale with an AC Cobra 427 was a fitting send-off.
The second instalment of the series used a Ferrari 550 Maranello. However, Porsche made a return in last year’s Bad Boys for Life. A 992 Porsche 911 stars prominently in the trailer.
No Man’s Land (1987)
“I only steal Porsches,” is a memorable line from a young, fresh-faced Charlie Sheen who plays Ted Varrick, professional auto thief. He unknowingly befriends and leads undercover cop Benjamin ‘Benjy’ Taylor (D.B. Sweeney) into an underworld of car grand theft ring.
Wait! Isn’t that the plot for The Fast & The Furious and Grand Theft Auto as well? Similarly, No Man’s Land could also be inspired by any number of car heist movies before it. Still, we’ll watch them anyway because they’re always fun. The film however, deserves special mention for its focus on one particular car brand which serves as a wierd homage.
The numerous Porsches are the real stars of the show here. Also, the unmistakeable 80s soundtrack takes us back to a time of Miami Vice and synthesiser pop.
This little known Disney feature would have been as campy and forgettable as Ishtar if it weren’t for a memorable chase seen that involved a convoy of black Porsche 911 Turbos led by a 935 Slantnose race car!
Condorman is about a comic book writer Woodrow ‘Woody’ Wilkins. He fantasies about becoming an actual superhero sees him getting mixed up in a world of espionage and dangerous scenarios. Think of a cross between Batman and James Bond with a sprinkling of Fletch and you get the idea.
The Last Chase (1981)
We’re getting into some really deep cuts here. The Last Chase is was a made-for-TV movie. It starred Lee Majors as Franklyn Hart, a race car driver who lost his family to a devastating viral pandemic (sound familiar?) in the year, 2011!
Democracy has fallen across of America. The new dictatorship has outlawed motor vehicles because it claims that the world is running out of fossil fuels. (Some might say this would be eerily prophetic as well!)
The hero Franklyn Hart however, has secretly stashed his old race car, a Porsche 917 CAN-AM roadster in his basement. He reassembles his old car to eascape the totalitarian regime and drives to “Free California”, an independant breakaway state.
The cabal is not going to just let Hart get away with his plan of course. They bring a retired fighter pilot, J.G. Williams (Burgess Meredith) and his F-86 Sabre fighter jet out of retirement to stop Hart and his Porsche.
In today’s world, the thrilling duels between the fighter jet and car would almost certainly be done with CGI; knowing they actually had to do those stunts is impressive in a way that may never be done again.