Halloween, the annual celebration of everything spooky, is upon us once again, which means a good many of people will watch horror movies in the coming days. While they’re chock full of scary scenes, teenage victims and knife-wielding maniacs, a lot of horror movies feature cool classic cars, particularly those filmed in the 1970s and ‘80s.
Here’s a list of some of the best cars we saw while getting the pants scared off us. Happy Halloween!
1958 Plymouth Fury – Christine
We had to start this list off right. After all, Christine – based on a Stephen King novel of the same name – is a horror movie all about a possessed car responsible for the deaths of a slew of unfortunate characters.
Fun fact: About 20 cars were used in the film, most of which were not Furys. Instead, legendary horror director John Carpenter used two other Plymouth models, the Belvedere and Savoy, dressed to look like Furys.
1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance – Ghostbusters
Not all Halloween movies are terrifying. Ghostbusters was a comedy hit and the Cadillac ambulance in the film has been an object of fan fascination since the film’s release.
We’re serious. Few comic conventions are held without a replica Ghostbusters car parked outside, complete with the correct ECTO-1 license plate from New York. Of course, these probably run better than the original car, which actually died during filming – on the Brooklyn Bridge, of all places.
Aston Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupe – The Birds
The name Alfred Hitchcock is synonymous with horror, just as Aston Martin is with classic cars. While we could write an article just on Hitchcock’s use of vintage vehicles (maybe next year), the DB2/4 Drophead Coupe is likely the crème de la crème.
Introduced in late 1950, the DB2/4 is a later version of the DB2 that had a revised rear chassis and smaller fuel tank. Like the one driven in the film, it was offered as a convertible. It may seem like a bad decision to drive such a car when you’re worried about demonic birds, but just look at those curves…
Oldsmobile Delta 88 – Evil Dead
If you’ve never seen an Evil Dead movie, you’re in for a gory treat. They’re certainly not for everyone, but the Oldsmobile Delta 88 used in every film has a lot of appeal.
The actual high school car of director Sam Raimi, the modifications made to survive Evil Dead’s hellscapes are far from street-legal, unless your local DMV is OK with body armor and spinning death blades. Doubtful.
1977 Chevrolet Monte Carlo – Halloween
We would be remiss to leave another Carpenter film, Halloween, off this list. While the movie contains a bunch of cars made between the 1950s and 1970s, the Monte Carlo has a special, grisly role in the film.
Not to give anything away, but you should always check the back seat, especially in these old classics. There’s plenty of hiding room storage, after all. Does blood stain a blood-red interior? Asking for a friend.
Jeep CJ-5 – Friday the 13th
Camp Crystal Lake is one of the most famous settings for horror movies and the 1980 film launched a series that, somehow, is still going despite a few missteps (read: Jason X was terrible).
Anyway, the original contains some neat cars for the keen-eyed among us, like Mrs. Vorhees’ Jeep CJ-5. It’s tough to lock down the year as the vehicle is not fully revealed, but it’s likely a 1966. You’ll forget about the car pretty quickly though once you see the big plot twist.
1958 Cadillac Series 62 – Nightmare on Elm Street
What is it with Cadillacs and Halloween? This one is a little more sinister than the Ghostbusters ambulance, however. The Series 62 with a custom Freddy Kruger paint job may be the object of your dreams, but you’d better think twice about falling asleep.
One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…
1977 Volvo 245 DL – Beetlejuice
Like all Tim Burton movies, Beetlejuice walks the line between horror and comedy, all with some zany visual twists. One of those (at least on this list), is the Volvo station wagon the Maitlands crash into a river.
Spoiler: The crash is fatal and the Maitlands go to the Netherworld, where they meet Betelgeuse (aka Beetle Juice).
1979 Lincoln Continental Mark III Lincoln – The Car
We saved another car-driven horror film for our final spot on the list. While The Car is more of a cult classic than a horror hit, it features a Lincoln designed by famed Hollywood customizer George Barris.
Four cars were built for the film, with three being used for stunt work, aka killing unwitting people. The movie ended up being bashed by critics, but with such a hauntingly cool hero car, it could be worth a watch this Halloween.
Honorable mention: 1967 GMC TDH 5303 – Hocus Pocus
Given Hocus Pocus’ growing status as one of Halloween’s must-watch movies, it had to be included on this list. We could have added the generic Ford Explorer or the admittedly cool Kawasaki KZ 1000 P, but the bus scene is one of the greatest parts of the movie.
It’s full of lewd jokes, the bus is a unique standout in a 1990s movie and it proves Thackery Binx can’t die. Um, spoiler?