Earth Day is upon us and the bright green banners are set to fly with pride for this annual celebration. It’s a color that means as much to the automotive industry as it does to the nation. From British Racing Green to Metallic Pea, some of cinema’s most iconic cars came ready-dressed for an Earth Day treat.
Here are 5 of the best green movie cars of all time.
1. Bullitt - 1968
Car: Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback
The car chase from Bullitt is generally considered the finest in cinema history. Steve McQueen took the wheel of a dark green Ford Mustang and turned the car into a movie icon.
Even part-time racer McQueen, who raced in the Le Mans 24 Hours, couldn't handle the intense chase through the city streets and handed over the wheel to the stunt team. They made full use of two reinforced cars donated by Ford in a spectacular product placement deal.
Even casual fans remember the Mustang and Dodge Charger launching off the crests of San Francisco’s famous hills in a legendary Hollywood moment. It's a 9 minute adrenaline ride that will never be forgotten.
2. Vacation - 1983
Car: Wagon Queen Family Truckster
There never really was a Wagon Queen Family Truckster, but it was the perfect automotive foil for loveable loser Clark Griswold in this smash hit 1983 comedy. The car was actually based on a 1979 Ford Country Squire, before legendary movie car creator George Barris got his hands on it.
It was designed as a sight gag, a horrendous compilation of every 70s station wagon. That explains the Metallic Pea green paint paired with real wood veneer panels. It’s also the reason the car has eight headlights and an airbag created from a trashcan liner.
3. The Fast & The Furious - 2001
Car: 1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse
The boy racer movie that spawned an epic franchise started out with this heavily modified Mitsubishi Eclipse that Detective Brian O’Connor swiftly destroyed in the line of duty.
It was the car the late Paul Walker’s character drove to a valiant defeat against Vin Diesel, which then exploded in a fireball after gangsters hit the Eclipse with a volley of gunfire.
That set the scene for a franchise that has crossed the world and become the most successful automotive movies of all time.
4. Jurassic Park - 1993
Car: Ford Explorer
The producers opted for a green and yellow vinyl wrap for the Ford Explorers that played an integral part in one of the biggest movies of all time.
The 1993 epic adventure through a dinosaur amusement park ended badly for several of the Ford Explorers.
In one of the films most dramatic scenes the drinking water shaking on the dashboard, the torchlight from the car window and a Tyrannosaurus Rex smashing through its plexiglass roof assured the Ford a hard-fought place in cinema history.
5. Cars - 2006
Car: 1987 Buick Grand National NASCAR
Chick Hicks is the veteran with a chip on his shoulder, who races dirty and has earned the unfortunate nickname ‘The Runner Up’.
He is Lightning McQueen’s main rival in the first film and makes an appearance in the third. Hollywood legend Michael Keaton provides Hicks’ voice and the car is actually based on on a legend in NASCAR circles.
The King is also another in-joke the world of oval racing, as the Plymouth Superbird is based on Richard ‘The King’ Petty’s race car. These 'Easter Eggs' litter the film and hardcore racing fans love it more than you might think.