We’ve all seen it in movies: a classic car, maybe something cherry red and gleaming from a fresh wax and rubdown with a chamois cloth. The hero, possibly with a buddy or love interest in the passenger seat, sends the beautiful vintage automobile flying down the streets of a major metropolis, looking awesome.
And then. Oh, man, cover your eyes, because then that beautiful antique vehicle, worth a hundred thousand dollars or more but really priceless because it can’t ever be totally replaced … crashes. Metal, glass flying everywhere — maybe the car even sinks into a lake or the ocean. Either way, it’s like watching someone setting fire to art. Just heartbreaking.
But, if we’re going to be honest, also totally fun to watch. Here are five movies that committed unforgivable acts of cinema violence to beautiful classic cars, and kept millions entertained while they did it. And luckily, there’s a place like auto repair shop to repair any kind of car from any kind of drama, onscreen or off.
1. The Porsche 928 from Risky Business
Oh, Tom Cruise, you irresponsible son, you. In 1983’s Risky Business, not only does The Man Who Would Be Famous fool around on his parent’s stairs with a floozy, and not only does he touch the stereo, but he sends his father’s beloved Porsche 928 to a watery grave in Lake Michigan. Cruise says in the film: “Porsche. There is no substitute.” Maybe a boat might serve better. Just sayin’. Damage: $107,000.
2. Starsky & Hutch’s 1974 Ford Torino
One of the big differences between TV shows and the movie adaptations they inspire is that the latter sport much bigger budgets. This means that car crashes on TV tend to happen offscreen with either recycled footage from the one car the stuntmen were allowed to wreck or simply sound effects and reaction shots instead of showing the destruction. In 2004’s movie of Starsky & Hutch, not only do audiences get to see an immaculate Torino jump right past villain Vince Vaughn’s boat and into the ocean beyond, but they also get outtake footage of a slightly sloppy stunt driver accidentally shredding the front end of one of the film’s classic cars. Don’t look; it’s too painful. Damage: $32,000.
3. The 1963 Modena Spyder California from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This is a car so beautiful, so rare, so classic that even the big budget Matthew Broderick film couldn’t afford to destroy the real thing. That lovely vehicle that crashes through the window of Cameron’s dad’s display room was a replica — the real thing cost $350,000 in 1986 ($750,000 today). But here’s how you know a car is something special: when its replica sells for over a hundred grand. And that’s after it was towed away, destroyed, from the Bueller set and completely restored. Damage: Real thing, $750,000. Replica, $120,000.