Hollywood has a way of making people famous. Get a role in one movie and you are instantly someone's heartthrob. For car guys however, things are a bit different. Enthusiasts like us are more interested in the beautiful celebrity cars that grace our screens.
The mighty Mustang that represents American culture has graced cinema screens several times over the years and in many movies from different eras, be it the classic 1971 Mustang, the 1968 Mustang GT 390, or the Mustang Shelby GT500. As an ode to the legendary muscle car, let’s look at seven famous Mustangs from Hollywood, but first a bit of history.
The Mustang nameplate was first used in 1964, when a sporty, new coupe was released in the American market. The small car was an instant favorite of motorheads all over the world. Since its release, each new model has been met with the same success, if not more than the first one.
The Ford Mustang is currently in its 6th generation and is still popular in the automotive circle, as well as on the big screen. Its sporty, yet sleek design has always caught the eyes of onlookers, which is why the car easily made its way into the film industry. The 1960s and '70s are touted as Hollywood's Golden Age, when blockbuster movies were being released one after another. There was a need to induct sporty and stylish cars into action movies which could match the personna and stature of the movies’ heroes and villains. Thus, the Mustang got its due chance.
The attractive '68 GT 390 made its appearance in the 1968 Hollywood flick, Bullitt. Steve McQueen, the most renowned actor of the '60s, drove the car in the film and recorded one of the cinema's most famous car chase scenes ever filmed. The green-colored GTO 390 is featured in the movie with its unmistakable long hood, coupe-style body, and dominating front headlights. The bold front matches with the fashionable rear, where rectangular taillights impose a mean look.
The leather seats, an elegant dashboard, and matching steering wheel make the cabin look appealing. However, it is the powertrain that makes this vehicle a head-turner. Under the hood is a 390 cubic-inch V8 that produces 320 hp and 427 lb-ft of torque, impressive for 1968!
The ‘76 Mustang II Cobra II made its appearance in the 1976 hit series “Charlie’s Angels.” The vehicle was driven, and only slightly upstaged in our opinion, by legendary actress Farrah Fawcett, who played the role of Jill Monroe in the action-packed movie. Charlie’s Angels is an unforgettable show that is no less than an icon in Hollywood. Therefore, the Mustang’s appearance throughout the movie and promotional materials makes it the most famous appearance for this era of Mustang.
The Mustang II Cobra II has the same dominant front hood found in every Mustang. The Cobra logo up front in that attractive grille and the huge headlights give the car a dominant aesthetic. The rear end of the vehicle follows the same philosophy of all other Mustangs, with the rear of the car signifying the Mustang's iconic rear view. The '76 Mustang II was available with a V6, V8, or an inline 4-cylinder engine. For the sake of the movie, we can assume the producers would have opted for the V8 version.
The Mustang Shelby GT500 supercar made its appearance in the 2007 hit flick “I Am Legend” starring Will Smith. The movie follows the story of a man named Robert Neville who is the last man on earth fighting for his survival with his trusty dog. The movie shows a post-apocalyptic world that Robert drives through in his sporty, Shelby GT500. The Mustang plays an integral part in the movie, given that in the first half of the film, the only two featured actors are Will Smith and his dog.
The GT500 made an impressive appearance in the movie with its attractive design and sporty performance. You can almost smell the leather-wrapped interior, hear the unmistakable performance of the supercharged 5.4-liter V8 engine, and soak up those gorgeous exterior lines throughout the film.
The '69 Mustang plays an important role in the John Wick movie series. The vehicle is driven by the lead character John Wick, played by famous actor Keanu Reeves. John belongs to an elite band of assassins that make money by performing assassinations of significant figures. John is an avid car guy who loves his Mustang so much that he is not ready to part with it.
Even after the car goes through a horrible accident in the film, the character gets the Mustang repaired and drives it on his missions. We are not exactly sure what was under the hood of John Wick's Mustang. Judging from the movie and the type of scenes the car took part in, we are happy to imagine the Mustang Mach 1 had the Cobra Jet engine.
This one may strike up some controversy. The Eleanor Mustang is a stunning car that was featured in the highly-acclaimed, movie "Gone in Sixty Seconds.” There were two movies with this title and both featured a Mustang, we are partial to the earlier, Toby Halicki version which used a customized 1971 Ford Mustang Sportsroof that had been redressed as a 1973 Mustang.
The vehicle perfectly fits the theme of the movie since the entire film focuses on cars and features enough fast-paced driving to endear any enthusiast. The amount of grueling torture the car is subjected to during the main chase scene is enough to make any Mustang enthuaist shudder though. There is just enough left to still consider the hulk of metal a Mustang, but it had definitely seen better days. Just as the Bullitt Mustang, the chase scene makes the car, even if in this case, it destroys the car in the process.
The '66 Shelby GT350H made its debut in the Tom Cruise film "War of the Worlds.” Known as the Rent-A-Racer, the GT350H has a striking design with bold lines, a dual-tone color with racing stripes and accents of black in some places.
The Mustang Shelby GT350H hides a high-winding 289 V8 engine under its hood which is capable of making 306 horsepower and 329 lb-ft of torque. A 4-speed manual transmission sends power to the rear wheels.
The 2003 Mustang Saleen, which does not resemble its bulky Mustang siblings, was featured in "2 Fast 2 Furious". The Mustang does not appear as the featured vehicle, but it makes an appearance nonetheless.
The Mustang Saleen was introduced between the 4th and 5th generations of Mustangs. The Saleen hid a 4.6 liter V8 under its hood which was capable of making 320- or 550-horsepower in some cases.
The car played a cameo and you can see the Mustang Saleen being blown up in the action scene. The Fast and Furious franchise included other Mustangs in other movies, but with limited screen time.
Mustangs have been a part of American popular culture since the '60s. Sometimes, their presence was intended to get buyers into Ford dealerships, other times, they were used as a means to get enthusiasts into the movie theater. Either way, the played a leading role in making Mustang the icon that it is today. They are still included in many silver screen films today, helping keep the Mustang legacy, and our dreams alive.