Only the best for the experienced ghost hunter.
"It's the car, right? Chicks dig the car."
Heroes need to be able to get to where the action is. And when they have to get from point "A" to point "B", no ordinary vehicle will do. The Hero's ride has to be just as unique and awesome as he/she is, namely, a Cool Car.
It looks cool
, it goes fast, it might be modified to go even faster, it may even be bulletproof and contain an assortment of weapons and gadgets
. A really
Cool Car can Fly
Most Cool Cars, even ones that have no inherent super abilities, will be curiously immune to breakdown, physical damage or a realistic fuel range. No matter what manner in which the hero drives, as long as he's determined to stay on the straight and narrow and fight for the forces of good, his car shows an Empathic Weapon
's ability to never get scratched, dented or even dirty. It may also be able to outperform similar or even superior vehicles simply by virtue of having the hero behind the wheel. Driving one also seems to ensure you'll have Rock Star Parking
privileges. If you're really
lucky, you'll have a Cool Garage
to park it in.
Sometimes, the car is cool enough that it actually can become a protagonist in the series — e.g.
KITT in Knight Rider
and the General Lee in The Dukes of Hazzard
are arguably the main
protagonists of their respective shows and are as iconic to the audience as the human stars.
When a car literally
becomes a character, see Sentient Vehicle
. For a living creature that serves as both a vehicle and a character, see Sapient Steed
In Real Life
, many types of the Cool Car actually have quirks in control or handling that can get an inexperienced or drunk or distracted driver into an accident
, and/or can quickly reach lethal speeds and have less crumple zones and bulk due to being built for speed or appearance over safety. A common example of the former is called "Lambo brain," where people overwhelmed with the Cool Car factor yet inexperienced with steering in a Lamborghini (or who are distracted/drunk and going too fast when they take a turn) spin out, crashing into whatever is in the way
. An example of the latter is that with many
of the Cool Cars built for speed and lightness, they have fewer crumple zones, some have fuel systems that catch on fire post-engine fire/internal fire or post-accident in ways that rival a Pinto, and many are convertibles - all of which makes them cool, but all of which makes them far more dangerous in accidents and a fire danger. Most supercar drivers are actually advised due to the increased fire/explosion risk to both carry fire extinguishers in the event of engine or dropped cigarette/electrical wiring/etc fires and to abandon the car
and run as far away as soon as possible if the fire extinguisher doesn't work immediately or they survive a wreck.
Contrast The Alleged Car
, as well as Rice Burner
— but compare What a Piece of Junk
. See Improbably Cool Car
for cars that are just too
cool for the setting or the characters.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- The Mach 5 from Speed Racer is so goddamn cool it's even listed as a Super Robot. Other cool cars graced Speed Racer too, of course, such as:
- Racer X's car, the Shooting Star, while not explicitly equipped with an arsenal of super gadgets, was shown jumping from one clifftop to another in flagrant violation of the Earth's gravity.
- The Car Acrobatic Team all sported miniature wings which turned them into gliders.
- The "evil twin" of the Mach 5 had full-blown airplane wings and a jet engine, in addition to a Death Ray.
- The Mammoth Car was the size of a passenger train, and made of solid gold.
- The GRX could go faster than human reflexes could handle, necessitating use of V-Gas which reacts badly with water and simultaneously dehydrates the user.
- The X3 Melange was driven by remote-control (with a robot dummy driver) by the revenge-fueled son of a dead racer.
- The "assassins", who were clearly ninjas, drove around in ninja cars.
- In one episode, Speed even test-drove a supersonic rocket car.
- Just about every single race car in Future GPX Cyber Formula in its many iterations. The main car, the Asurada series of racers, is able to shapeshift (especially in its much later versions) has 6WD (except for GSX, which has the standard 4 wheels), rocket boosters, and needs an AI supercomputer to be driven properly. Its rivals over the years are just as colorful, including, but not limited to:
- The HG Series (known as Steel/Stil,) a family of electric-powered super-racers that leans like motorcycles into curves.
- The Missionel series of cars, the final version of which looked like if Unit 01 has been turned into an automobile.
- The Spiegel Series (from the HG family), a windowless racer that has the driver lie in it like a closed-cockpit luge sled.
- The Issuxark Series, which has a rotating roter on it.
- The Ogre AN-21, which is the Super Prototype to the Al-Zard thus far.
- Rally Vincent's Shelby /GT500/ from Gunsmith Cats. The licence plate number has a Blues Brothers Shout-Out: the car number is BRD 529.
- Hinako's car in Murciélago.
- Misato's Renault Alpine A310 in Neon Genesis Evangelion certainly qualifies, even when it's so badly driven.
- In Riding Bean, Bean Bandit has a stylish car, called the Roadbuster, that not only has a high performance engine that can match most race cars, but it can orient its wheels to move sideways or extend brake blades for extremely rapid stops.
- The Sprinter Trueno from Initial D is a nice subversion: Takumi, arguably the fastest racer in the series, owns the second-most uncool car in the series, the AE86, while beating an armada of EVOs, RX-7s, and R32s Granted, it was heavily modified halfway into the series, resulting it larger horsepower and lightened weight. It proved so popular it pushed the AE86 Corolla coupes from "old used car" to "sought-after classic" almost singlehandedly - in Japan, it did this before the newest examples were even 10 years old! As a matter of fact, you can also see the original Hachi-Roku in the PS2 iterrations of the Gran Turismo series (the Sprinter Trueno Shuichi Shigeno Edition), as well as in Need for Speed: Underground 2 and Carbon (the Toyota Corolla).
- It's really not a bad car, just considered outdated by the majority of racers in the series. Takumi's character model, the original Drift King Keiichi Tsuchiya, started out with this car, and still considers it his favorite.
- The award for most uncool car of the series goes to Itsuki's AE85. Itsuki attempts to buy the Corolla Levin variant of Takumi's AE86 and gets ripped off with an authentic POS.
- Not necessarily Truth in Television. These now being 20-plus-year old cars and engine swaps being easier than extensive rust repair, condition is more important than original spec.
- In the Kirby anime, King Dedede starts with Escargon driving him around in a military ATV (complete with BFG), but eventually orders a huge old fashioned limousine loaded with gadgets and weapons (described as a 'Demon Beast On Wheels') for an episode of Wacky Racing (in the same episode, Meta Knight races in an old-fashioned Formula 1 car, and Kirby in his spaceship). They crash spectacularly by the end of the episode, but they are seen driving around in the car for the rest of the series.
- In Wangan Midnight, Akio Asakura drives a heavily-tuned vintage Nissan Fairlady Z (specifically, a model that was sold as the Datsun Z on this side of the Pacific Rim), known widely as the "Devil Z" for a very good reason.
- Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 2 and its sequels let you drive a Toyota HiAce. Which is a van. That, like any other car, can be tuned to upwards of 800 horsepower.
- Lupin III has two to his name:
- A Fiat 500, complete with a turbocharger and practically indestructible. It suffers a grenade hit and the only thing destroyed is the glass.
- While the Fiat has it's charm, it pales in comparison to his other car: The Mercedes-Benz SSK. That sound you just heard was the collective noise of car enthusiasts jaws dropping in unbridled envy. That said, it often and rather hilariously suffers from being a Chronically Crashed Car.
- Roger Smith's Griffon in The Big O definitely qualifies. It has surveillance equipment, machine guns, a big beefy engine, and it can change color.
- Iina from Kokoro Library drives what appears to be a Volkswagen Schwimmwagen amphibious car used in the second world war by the German army. Hers is white with cute cat print seat covers. The huge rear propeller isn't only for show though, since it functions perfectly fine as a boat.
- It could be an Amphicar, an actual 1960s-era German car inspired by the Volkswagen Schwimmwagen. Ampicars are cute, collectible, and handle like dogs both on the road and in the water.
- It could also be a civilian Schwimmwagen. VW supposedly sold some leftover Schwimmvagens on the civilian market after the war.
- The G2 in Science Ninja Team Gatchaman not only transforms from a Nissan Skyliner into an awesome-looking racer, it's equipped in later episodes with a Gatling gun.
- All the racers in Takeshi Koike's REDLINE are cool cars taken Up to Eleven and then some, from Sweet JP's yellow TRANSAM, to a pink dragster styled to look like a woman lying on her back with her legs in the air, and a giant montrosity where the driver becomes part of the machine.
- The team's car in Black Lagoon is a 1965 Pontiac GTO, and is one of the most well-known, highly sought-after and collectible classic American muscle cars in the world. Not only is it cringe-inducing to see the kind of abuse it gets, but it's valuable enough to where they could sell it and have more than enough money to buy a brand-new car that's faster, more fuel-efficient and more comfortable, but, well, then they wouldn't be driving around a freakin' 1965 GTO.
- In the first and second seasons, Benny owns a 1969 Dodge Coronet R/T (fitted with a hood from a 1969 Plymouth Roadrunner). Another very valuable and sought-after piece of muscle-car history that is destroyed by Lagoon Company.
- Supercar Gattiger was all about its titular Cool Car.
- Anpanman has Uncle Jam's... thing... and Shokupanman's van, both of which can do, well, all sorts of things. Shokupanman's van has wheels that are basically extendable legs, and both vehicles can punch and jump.
- Sheryl Nome's Ferrari California in Macross Frontier Nyan Cli, a cool car by definition. Every detail inside and out was exactly drawn, from the 8000 RPM red line tachometer to the shiny Ferrari badges to the six-speed manual shift column. Yes, that's right, Sheryl Nome drives a stick.
- Intriguingly, Ferrari has reportedly still not built one with a six-speed manual, instead all of them have a paddle-shifted seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Sheryl probably picked a manual because it's Bad Ass (or because she's Playing To The Fetishes again).
- Ozma Lee is seen driving a Lancia Delta Integrale. It may not look as impressive as Ferrari, but, nonetheless, it definitely qualifies as a cool car.
- Panty And Stocking With Garter Belt: Panty and Stocking's Hummer H1 named See-Through and Scanty and Kneesocks's G-Wagen limo named G-string are both capable of some very awesome action.
- Bad Boys 2 has the Ferrari 550 Maranello and the Hummer H2.
Films — Animation
- Il Tempo Gigante from Pinchcliffe Grand Prix. The other cars in the race are also cool, but not quite up to the same level as the protagonists' car.
- Cruella de Vil's car in 101 Dalmatians. It steers like a brick and the chassis flies off like it's paper near the end, but it still pulls off the oh-so-sinister Rich Bitch look.
- Her car also made a cameo appearance at the very beginning of The Rescuers, where it is now driven by Madame Medusa.
- The Patty Wagon in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie is pretty cool. It can drive even though it's just a stack of unattached pieces, some of which probably aren't even mechanical, and every part of it is fast food-themed. It runs on frying oil, its wheels are pickle slices, it has actual sesame seeds, etc.
- Speaking of wagons, the Reptar Wagon fom The Rugrats Movie is, as Stu Pickles described it, the "perfect children's toy". Seriously, besides being designed as the eponymous dinosaur himself, the Reptar Wagon is a multifunctional ATV with flashlight headlight eyes, mechanical moving claws and can automatically double out as a flotation boat via "Aqua Reptar" mode. And, to top it off, it's voiced by Busta Rhymes in a Darth Vader-esque voice. Now Defictionalized!
- The Incredimobile from The Incredibles. Too bad it was only seen in the opening.
- The entire cast of Cars.
- Megamind's invisible car. Awesome, but Impractical, since he forgot where he parked it and lost track of it for weeks!
- In Oliver & Company, the evil Loan Shark Sykes actually drives a giant black car whose hood ornament is shaped like a leaping Doberman Pinscher (guess which animals he owns as pets!), and in the climax, it can actually shred apart its own tires so that he can drive on rails!
Film — Live-Action
- The Ford LTD from Men In Black appears to be uncool at first.
- J even notes that the MIB have "unlimited technology from around the galaxy, and [they] have to drive around in a Ford POS". He eats his words when it comes time to push the little red button on the stick shift...
- J's Mercedes in the sequel is a nice upgrade.
- The old police cruiser used by The Blues Brothers was emblematic of the brothers' style and situation. It survived the film's stunts, held together by the very will of The Almighty, until its mission was over. Then it fell apart on the sidewalk.
- The Fast and the Furious is a series runneth over with Cool Cars so hard, they're pretty much about this trope. Just pick a car, any car. Except for the Chevelle and the Ferraris, being the former apparently uncool and the latter portrayed as "already awesome", all these cars are rigged with the most powerful, badass engine upgrades in the world, enough to make them run like Formula 1 cars, and on top of that, all of them are equipped with bangin' sound systems, neon lights, all sorts of sophisticated control computers (except for the muscle cars, of course, which rely on good ol' humongous block), LCD monitors, and, of course, a lot of Nitro Boost. The list includes:
- Two sleek Ferraris (TFATF, 2F2F).
- Four Mitsubishis with an awesome paint job (all movies: two were Evolutions (VII and VIII) and two were Eclipses).
- Three RX-7s (all movies).
- A Dodge Charger (TFATF).
- A Chevrolet Camaro (2F2F).
- A 1970 Dodge Challenger (2F2F).
- A Chevrolet Monte Carlo in primer (Tokyo Drift).
- A Dodge Viper (Tokyo Drift).
- Two Nissan Skylines (2F2F, Tokyo Drift).
- A Nissan Fairlady 350Z and Silvia (Tokyo Drift).
- A green Volkswagen Touran (Tokyo Drift).
- A 1967 Ford Mustang with a Nissan Skyline engine (Tokyo Drift).
- And the list keeps going on and on and on...
- Not Truth in Television. A racer would have stripped his car of everything but the bare essentials to lose weight. Not even rear seats are spared. Not to mention turning off the radio and AC for that little bit of extra power. A giant ICEnote system? Unnecessary weight and power drain.
- Indeed. Anyone who races seriously (either street-legal or not) would remove as much weight as possible, and of course would not add more (ICE, neon, screens). The swapped engines are Truth in Television, but fitting a modern engine to a muscle car would be, at the very least, a MAJOR effort, in both time and money. Rule of Cool applies liberally in these films.
- Herbie the Volkswagen Beetle from The Love Bug and its sequels. Even though the Última Edición version, with its marginal 50-70 hp, is the most powerful version ever made (a stock 1963 model- Herbie's canon age- had 40 hp), it still manages to be as powerful as a stock car.
- Notice, however, that thanks to the Beetle's extremely light weight (~750 kg / 1650 lb) it is possible to turn an ordinary Beetle into something as fast as a stock car without having to use a huge engine.
- Rally-racing Beetles have usually 100-120 hp engines, rarely 150 hp, and they are stripped down to about 650 kg. They outrun Vipers in the twisties. And out-accelerate them in straight lines.
- Reportedly, the version of Herbie used in the track racing scenes was stripped down and outfitted with a Porsche 911's flat-6.
- Pick a Bond film, any Bond film.
- 2012 has the sports cars in Yuri's plane which include a Lotus Elise, Lamborghini Gallardo, Porsche Carrera GT and a Bentley Continental that they use to escape the crash.
- The DeLorean in the Back to the Future film trilogy. The version in Back to the Future The Animated Series had even more gadgets attached.
Doc Brown: The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?
- The Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters and its related material. It may be a bit of a subversion, as the model of car used was shown to be old and junky (and generally used as a hearse, i.e., to transport dead bodies for burial), yet it is still considered a cool car due to its visually striking appearance.
- "The Last of the V-8 Interceptors", the 1973 Ford XB Falcon, in the first two Mad Max films.
- The eponymous vehicle in the horror movie The Car. Just because the thing is a driverless Satanic serial killer doesn't mean it can't be cool.
- Ditto the Plymouth Fury in Christine.
- Every car driven by Will Smith in I Am Legend.
- Bullitt's incredibly badass 1968 Ford Mustang 390 CID Fastback, although it sports no gadgets or gimmicks, is one of the oldest ones in the book, as is the 1968 Dodge Charger R/T he chases around San Francisco.
- Steve McQueen could only out-cool the Mustang by using a real racing car - hence the Le Mans movie in 1970. His timing was fortunate since the Porsche 917 and Ferrari 512, two of the coolest cars ever and frankly the main reason for watching the film at all, were outlawed by new rules in 1972 and Le Mans cars were much less cool for many years.
- Vanishing Point essentially starred an Alpine White 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T.... and Barry Newman.
- Eleanor from Gone in Sixty Seconds (1974) (and most of the other cars being stolen are pretty darned cool, too).
- The Looney Tunes: Back in Action movie had a double subversion of this trope. The first car Brendan Fraser and Daffy find in Timothy Dalton's garage is a beat-up old Gremlin which barely makes it out of the driveway. About a minute after they leave, however, the floor of the garage flips over and a stereotypical spy car is revealed, complete with Bond-esque musical sting.
- Michael Korben's Lotus Esprit in If Looks Could Kill.
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off: The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Spyder California.
Cameron: Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love. It is his passion...
Ferris: It is his fault he didn't lock the garage.
Cameron: Ferris, what're you talking about?
Cameron: Ferris, my father loves this car more than life itself.
Ferris: A man with his priorities so out of whack doesn't deserve such a fine automobile.
Cameron: No. No! Apparently, you don't understand!
Ferris: [ignoring Cameron] Wow.
Cameron: Ferris, he never drives it! He just rubs it with a diaper!
- And then he destroys it at the end. The car is worth between 5 and 10 million dollars - depending on how much a person is willing to spend.
- The pedal cars from Bugsy Malone. What kid wouldn't want one of those?
- The green Gran Torino from well... Gran Torino is an awesome car that kicks off the plot for being too damn cool (aka Theft Bait)
- Greased Lightning!
- Billy's Chevelle in Carrie is a very Cool Car. Shame that Carrie blows it up.
- Say what you will about Son of the Mask, but you must admit... that car Tim (as the Mask) drives at the end, when he's trying to catch up with Loki to get his son back, is made of 100% insta-win awesome.
- The titular hero of Disney's Condorman persuades the CIA to build him a Bond-esque racecar that: starts out disguised inside a rickety truck; boasts rockets, mines, a flamethrower, and a blast shield, among other toys; and converts into a hydrofoil for ocean travel. He gets a Cool Boat later in the film, too.
- Tony Stark in the Iron Man movie had plenty of these. A lot of them are Audis.
- Subverted in 2008's Get Smart. The Tiger Sunbeam Don Adams drove in the first few seasons was part of a Cold War museum display, and after Smart (Steve Carell)'s Prison Break, he takes it to try to catch the bad guys. Unfortunately, though, it runs out of gas shortly thereafter, leaving him needing to find other transportation. Other cars from the series (an Opel GT and Volkswagon Kharmann Ghia) also appear in the movie.
- Frank Martin of The Transporter has used a few these, including a one-off manual BMW E38 750i—or 735i; depends on the interpretation of Tarconi's accent—(the first film), an Audi A8 L, a Lamborghini Murcielago (both in the second) and a W12-powered Audi A8 (the third movie).
- Xander Cage's car in xXx is cool squared. Not only is it a '67 Pontiac GTO, it's also stuffed with enough weaponry and gadgetry for more than half a dozen James Bond movies.
- The Wraith. An unnaturally cool car.
- Based on a Dodge M4S Turbo Interceptor. There's an article about it here.
- Malloy's car in Con Air.
: Beautiful?! Sunsets are beautiful. Newborn babies are beautiful. This? This is fucking
- In Angels Revenge (aka Angels Brigade), the team of "angels" puts together a van that looks like a rip-off from the A-Team, except that this movie was made before the A-Team.
- Death Proof features several cool cars, Dodge Challenger, Dodge Charger, Chevy Nova.
- The Gumball Rally and The Cannonball Run movies: Cool cars in cross country races: Some were just born cool (Shelby Cobra, Ferrari Daytona, Lamborgini Countach) while others (The souped-up Dodge Ambulance) had coolness thrust upon them.
- Speaking of cool ambulances, Mother's customized Chevy in Mother, Jugs & Speed.
- Sam Lowry's car in Brazil - actually a Messerschmitt KR200 - is cool in a similar way to the Steve Urkel/Family Matters example mentioned in Live Action TV, and sometimes shows up at UK car shows.
- The Jet Car from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai. Seriously, Banzai drove it through a mountain!
- The pussy wagon in the Kill Bill is an obvious example to this trope.
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
- Almost every car in Death Race
- Balthazar's car in The Sorcerer's Apprentice can change according to his whims. Naturally, it gets cool.
- The Car (and Nemo's Cool Boat) are probably reasons to watch the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie in and of themselves.
- From the live-action film series of Transformers: Bumblebee as a fifth generation Chevrolet Camaro, Jazz as the Pontiac Solstice, Sideswipe the Corvette Stingray Anniversary concept, and in the third film, a Ferrari 458 Italia. There's also the Wreckers, a trio of NASCAR cars that combine this with More Dakka.
- Centauri's car in The Last Starfighter took the angular wedge design of the DeLorean, turned it Up to Eleven, then made it a transforming Flying Car and Cool Starship.
- Charlies Angels Full Throttle had lots of cool cars, and a special featurette on the DVD to showcase them all.
- A Cool Ship on wheels picks up the main character from the airport in Waking Life. The painted visual effects make it appear to cruise just as smooth as if it were on water (even without chemical assistance for the viewer).
- The lifted, nitrous oxide-boosted, bulletproof 1988 Silverado 2500 driven by Tango and Cash, featuring an on-board computer, mounted machine gun, and 120mm cannon.
Tango: What is that?
Cash: That is an RV from Hell. Care to join me?
- Undercover Brother. The title character's Cadillac Coupe de Ville, with built-in tape launcher and slick sprayer.
- The so called "Durango 65" from Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, actually an M-505 Adams Brothers Probe 16◊ - a super limited edition (only 3 were ever built) supercar built in England in 1969. The car was specifically chosen by Kubrick based on how cool and futuristic it was. It's main party piece was the fact that it was so low (only 86 cm or 34 inches in height) that it couldn't use normal doors, instead driver and passenger ingressed via an electric sliding glass roof.
- Elvira, Mistress of the Dark has Elvira's Macabremobile.
- The Deathmobile in National Lampoon's Animal House.
- The custom-built monster truck in Monster Man. Behind the scenes it was actually unusable for actual driving, as it was hard to steer and ran on expensive rocket fuel.
- It's not precisely theirs (any more than it is all American taxpayers'), but John & Russell drive the world's coolest GMC RV, aka the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle, in Stripes.
- Every car in American Graffiti.
- Every car in Drive Angry.
- The Team America Hummer, in all its star-spangled glory. It even has hidden weaponry for when that terrorist just needs to get taken care of.
- Played with in Revenge of The Pink Panther with the Silver Hornet. For 5 seconds, it's an incredibly cool-looking car ... then it falls completely apart.
- 48 Hours has Reggie Hammond's Porsche 356 (replica) convertible, in contrast to Jack Cate's 1964 Cadillac Coupe deVille ragtop.
- The Red Skull's six-wheeled Hydra Coupé in Captain America: The First Avenger. Scratch it at you own risk. This was inspired by the real six-wheeled Mercedes W31 G4, which was created specifically as an off-road limo for high-ranking Nazis and Wehrmacht officers.
- The sequel had Nick Fury driving around in a SHIELD issued SUV, complete with armor, an AI, BFG, a med-kit, and it apparently had flight capability but it was damaged in an attack.
- The movie Smokey and the Bandit prominently featured the badass new 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am Special Edition, which went on to sell like hotcakes thanks to the film.
- In The Dark Knight Saga, Bruce Wayne owns several sports convertibles as part of his "billionaire playboy" cover he uses to hide from others the fact that he is Batman. In Batman Begins, when he is complimented by the valet while showing up at a Wayne Enterprises dinner, he merely tells the guy, "You should see my other one," referring to the Tumbler. In The Dark Knight, Bruce gets a Lamborghini Murciélago (which must mean a lot to Bruce because the car name is Spanish for "bat"). In The Dark Knight Rises, Bruce uses the Murciélago's successor, the Aventador. There is a funny scene early in the movie where Selina Kyle kisses Bruce, in the process palming his valet ticket, then steals his car by pretending to be his wife. The sly grin on her face when we see her behind the wheel of the Aventador sells it.
- In Two Lane Blacktop, the two main protagonists are street racers who tour the country in a monster Chevy 150 painted primer-grey. One of them is responsible for driving it, while the other maintains it. They get challenged to a cross-country race by a man in a cherry 1970 Pontiac GTO.
- Harper drove a Porsche Speedster - as befits the low-rent detective, it's painted a couple shades of primer (and presumably, in the mid-1960s, Speedsters were still affordable for low-rent detectives).
- Ironically, Drive had very little driving compared to many movies that feature a "driver" as the main character, but it did have a couple pretty cool cars in the main chase sequence. A black 5th Gen (second body style) Mustang and a modern Chrystler 300 giving chase.
- Played straight in Gattaca: Despite being set in the future, it features, because of Rule of Cool, a Rover 3.5 l, a Studebaker Avanti, a Jaguar E-Type Superlight and for maximum coolness a Citroën DS Convertible. All of them seemed to be powered not by the original combustion engines but by some sort of turbine or electrical motor.
- Pretty much all the cars in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World for their mid-century flash, but especially Dick Shawn's '62 Dodge - as he furiously drives it while blubbering for his mama, he gets it airborne over a road dip.
- The villain's Hannibal 8 and the hero's Leslie Special in The Great Race. Both were custom-made for the movie.
- The villain's Auburn and the hero's Duesenberg in The Great Gatsby. Both were Anachronism Stew for the movie.
- The Ramones arrive at their concert in a cool, possibly custom, pink Cadillac convertible, and Eaglebauer provides Tom with a cool custom Chevy Van as a part of his date package in Rock 'n' Roll High School.
- A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Tatra 603 and 1959 Chrysler Imperial in The Film of the Book.
- Illuminati assassins in Duumvirate have the shapeshifting, fusion-powered Deathmobile. There's a crematorium under the hood for body disposal.
- Crowley's Bentley in Good Omens. His infernal powers literally protect it from damage, at least until he drives it through a wall of fire formed by a highway shaped like a diabolical sigil. He continues to drive it all the way to his destination, holding it together through sheer force of will, until it no longer resembles a classic Bentley, or a car for that matter.
- Being a pulp hero Expy, Pendrake from War of the Dreaming has one of these. It's bulletproof, radar-invisible, has a max speed of around two hundred MPH, and comes equipped with its own CMOA.
- The Great Red Shark and The Great White Whale from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The Great Red Shark is arguably the fourth biggest character (behind Raoul Duke, Dr. Gonzo, and Drugs).
- Stephen King has written not one but two novels about haunted Cool Cars - Christine and From a Buick 8.
- The Deliverator from Snow Crash. Probably the only Cool Car with its own pizza warmer.
- Ng, a weapons dealer who plays a central role in the book's plot, also has a "wheelchair" which he converted from a German airport firetruck and outfitted with all sorts of goodies, such as a spy helicopter, guided missiles, and cybernetic attack dogs.
Ng: I tried prostheses for a while—some of them are very good. But nothing is as good as a motorized wheel chair. And then I got to thinking, why do motorized wheelchairs always have to be tiny pathetic things that strain to go up a little teeny ramp?
- While the main character of The Dresden Files has a Blue Beetle that barely qualifies as a car (except maybe for other wizards), Thomas' Hummer is cool.
- And Lara's loaner is the stuff of legends.
- Grevaine's ride ain't half bad—it's a classic Cadillac with a souped-up sound system used to power the living dead.
- In Skulduggery Pleasant the title character starts off driving a classic Bentley, but when it gets wrecked is forced to temporarily replace it with a hideous yellow hatchback.
- The third book reveals that Skulduggery has uncool cars stashed all over the place. This suggests that he is either very fond of his car (and doesn't want to drive it into situations he knows will be dangerous) or it gets damaged a lot.
- Vigilante Man Mack Bolan uses a decidedly uncool GMC motorhome, which does however have the advantage of being the last thing anyone would expect a One-Man Army to be driving. It has advanced electronic surveillance capabilities, an onboard computer system with phone link (in the 1970s!) and a retractable 4-shot guided missile launcher, but no armour except for some steel plates around the driver's seat, as Bolan only uses it for long-range combat.
- Perhaps a prototype of the EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle "borrowed" by Privates Winger and Ziskey, referenced above.
- Tom Swift, Jr.'s Triphibian Atomicar was a convertible that could transverse land, sea and air.
- The Saint had a Hirondel, which probably doesn't qualify; once, on a trip to Italy, he found himself using a classic Bugatti, which does. In spades. When he finds a bomb strapped to the bottom by the Mafia, his initial reaction is something along the lines of 'a bomb would be bad enough under my normal car, but this is a Bugatti.'
- The Hirondel DOES qualify; in the story referenced above, "Vendetta for the Saint," even the Italian mechanic who has made it his life's mission to preserve the Bugatti Type 41 Royale is awed when Simon Templar tells him he used to drive one.
- The villain of Scarecrow owns a Ferrari Modena, a Porsche GT-2, an Aston Martin Vanquish, a Lamborghini Diablo and several Subaru rally cars. They all get stolen and most are destroyed in what is probably the biggest car chase of any medium, which involved the above supercars, a pair of big rigs, a helicopter, two fighter jets, and a French destroyer. By the end of it, only one car, one truck, one helicopter, and the destroyer are still intact, and several miles of the French countryside are missing. The author himself drives a Delorean.
- Subverted in Charles Stross's The Jennifer Morgue: Bob's company Smart Car is suited for city cruising. It is emphatically unsuited for driving on the Autobahn, where every passing Mercedes and Porsche sets it rocking in the turbulence. It is further unsuited for the offroad driving that he has to do, where the suspension manages to make him nauseous. That is, until Pinky and Brains manage to make a couple of Q-style upgrades to it, which boosts the coolness rating waaay up. And then it's finally subverted again at the end when the engine locks up and demands to be returned to the factory for maintenance.
- Lord Peter Wimsey drives a succession of V12 sleeve-valve Daimlers that he names "Mrs. Murdle," after a character from Charles Dickens (the character was famously against "row", and sleeve-valve engines were famously quiet for the time period, at the cost of considerably worse emissions). He likes to drive fast, too, but is fortunately very good at it.
- The standard Cool Car in Kim Newman's Diogenes Club stories is the Rolls Royce ShadowShark, only five of which were ever made. Dr Shade had one. Derek Leech has one (which may be the same one Dr Shade had). Richard Jeperson has three.
: Mine plays the theme from Jaws
when I press the horn. Jeperson
: Mine, I'm delighted to say, doesn't.
- The Three Investigators rode around in a gold Rolls-Royce, complete with a cool chauffeur, Worthington.
- The Great Gatsby: Possibly parodied with Gatsby’s car: The car attracts attention, but Fitzgerald’s narration is ambiguous: We don’t know if it’s because his coolness or only because it reflects Gatsby's crass tastes:
He saw me looking with admiration at his car.
"It's pretty, isn't it, old sport." He jumped off to give me a better view. "Haven't you ever seen it before?"
I'd seen it. Everybody had seen it. It was a rich cream color, bright with nickel, swollen here and there in its monstrous length with triumphant hatboxes and supper-boxes and tool-boxes, and terraced with a labyrinth of windshields that mirrored a dozen suns. Sitting down behind many layers of glass in a sort of green leather conservatory we started to town.
- John Lanchester uses expensive cars in Capital in much the same way as Fitzgerald: as a symbol of the wealthy characters' materialism and Conspicuous Consumption.
- James Bond
- Bond drove a series of Bentleys and a modified Aston Martin in the original Ian Fleming novels.
- In Thunderball, Bond drives "the most selfish car in England," which he calls "my locomotive;" a Mark II Continental Bentley that Bond buys from a salvage yard, has Rolls fit with a Mark IV engine "with 9.5 compression" and twin two-inch pipe exhausts, and has Mulliners (a now-defunct custom auto body manufacturer) put on a 2 seater rough grey convertible body with black morocco upholstery.
- Bond's CIA friend Felix Leiter drove an old Cord in one novel, and a Studillac (a real car, a 1953-era Studebaker coupe-turned-roadster with a powerful Cadillac engine) later on in Diamonds Are Forever.
- In John Gardner's novels, starting with Licence Renewed, Bond drove a tricked-out Saab 900 that was later nicknamed the "Silver Beast".
- Phryne Fisher drives a red Hispano-Suiza.
- Men Stephanie Plum is acquainted with consider Uncle Sandor's Buick, Big Blue, to be this. Women do not.
- Dirk Pitt has an entire aircraft hanger full of classic automobiles (Along with two airplanes, a train car, a boat, and a bathtub fitted with an outboard motor). The author actually owns many of the vehicles that Dirk is shown driving, which are on public display in a museum in Colorado.
- Clarice Starling is described as a "car buff" in Hannibal, and she is quite fond of her Roush Mustang. More than she can really afford, but she got it cheap at a police auction.
- Jerry's Mustang in Instinct Rising. Modified with off-road tires, raised suspension, and a mounted spotlight. It was red at some point, but age, rust, and countless abuses (including running over werewolves) have worn it down some. He doesn't take very good care of it apart from keeping it in excellent running condition, even shooting it several times with his Hand Cannon just to make a point to another character.
- The only indulgence Tom Broadbent of Tyrannosaur Canyon made upon his multi-million dollar inheritance was to buy a classically restored 1957 Chevy pickup. It's considered his signature around town.
- John D. MacDonald's "salvage expert" Travis McGee drove Miss Agnes, the world's only custom-made hybrid of a Rolls Royce and a pickup truck. An unknown previous owner did the custom work. Trav named the car after one of his elementary-school teachers because the paint job reminded him of the color of her hair.
Live Action TV
- Given how many of the examples below he created, famed car customizer George Barris may deserve his own Creator page. His site features pictures of many of them here.
- Derek's 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and Stiles' Jeep CJ-7 in Teen Wolf.
- The General Lee from the The Dukes of Hazzard
- KITT and KARR in Knight Rider.
- Emma Peel's Lotus Elan from The Avengers
- Not to mention Mrs. Gale's white MGB (admittedly cooler today than it was then); Tara King's Cobra; and of course Steed's stable of fine Bentleys.
- Ray Vecchio's 1972 Buick Riviera and Ray Kowalski's GTO from Due South
- Duncan MacLeod's black 1964 "Flair Bird" convertible Ford Thunderbird from Highlander: The Series, the Seacouver half. (He had a Citroen and then a Land Rover in Paris)
- Also, Tessa's classic Mercedes in the first season.
- A different Ray's Corvette in Stingray (1985).
- The Dodge Viper in Viper
- The A-Team had a cool black GMC van.
- FAB-1, Lady Penelope's six-wheeled Rolls-Royce from Thunderbirds. While the original was only a model, it was actually built for the 2004 Live-Action Adaptation (though in an egregious example of Product Placement, it was no longer a Rolls Royce but a custom Ford Thunderbird).
- Miami Vice had many cool cars. Sonny Crockett first drove a black Daytona Spyder, then a white Testarossa, then a red F430 in The Movie.
- In another Don Johnson reference, the title character in Nash Bridges drove a 1971 'Cuda Hemi ragtop. There were only 7 of them made, one in each color offered on the Barracuda, of which 6 survive to this day. It's worth a couple million dollars at auction, pushing this into Improbably Cool Car territory.
- Speaking of Ferraris, there was of course the red 308 borrowed by Magnum, P.I.
- The Gran Torino from Starsky & Hutch. Ironically, it was totally stock except for the vector stripe, which Ford later offered on several models - even the Pinto.
- Gene Hunt's Ford Cortina GXL from Life On Mars
- One of the first things to go into the script, which had the working title of "Ford Cortina".
- Later, in Ashes to Ashes, Gene Hunt has a bright red Audi. "Fire up the Quattro!"
- The actual car is a 1983 Quattro (in 1981, the Quattro wasn't available in a native British format). Phillip Glenister admitted in an interview that the producers knew it, but They Just Didn't Care, because...well, it was a Cool Car.
- Sam Tyler's Chevelle SS in the American version.
- Steve Urkel's BMW Isetta, from Family Matters, isn't cool. In fact, it's so terrible and antiquated that it may punch through the bottom, wrap around to the top and become cool. Or maybe not. He thinks it's cool, anyway, but he's an Extraverted Nerd.
- May be so uncool it's cool? You've never seen the action around one at a car show!
- Gladys Crabtree (aka "Mother") from My Mother The Car is likewise not a Cool Car.
- Accidental subversion: as part of a Product Placement deal, Hiro and Ando treat the Nissan Versa as though it were a cool car in Heroes — when unfortunately, it's just a mundane family compact. And being from Japan, they wouldn't even know it as a "Versa" — in Japan and Latin America, they call it "Tiida" (that last bit can be explained away by the fact that they read it in the ad for an American comic book. And it's a rental car bought in America).
- Used somewhat inexplicably in Torchwood, given that the titular organisation is meant to be a secret, making the decision to drive around in a very distinctive and eye-catching vehicle with the name stenciled onto it a rather strange idea.
- The 1967 Chevy Impala, known by fans as the "Metallicar", driven by the Winchesters on Supernatural, which, some have argued, has achieved co-protagonist status, along with Sam and Dean. Some fans believe it to be sentient, as seen in this webcomic, which is quite popular in the fandom.
- On Frank Devereaux's advice to be less conspicuous, the boys temporarily trade the Impala in for a GM Acadian. Dean treats it as The Alleged Car. In reality an Acadian, which was produced from 1962-71 for the Canadian market, would raise some eyebrows on its own.
- The cars of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse also qualify. War drives a red 1965 Mustang, Famine a black Cadillac Escalade, Pestilence a green 1972 AMC Hornet with the license plate "SIKN TRD", and Death a white 1959 Cadillac with the license plate "BUH*BYE".
- The old Krofft series Wonderbug combined the titular Cool Car with a Secret Identity as an old junker of a dune buggy called "Schlep Car". The buggy's secret identity was so junky that even the letters on its license plate were crooked, while its superpowered form was sentient, had an actual face (made by its headlights and bumper), and could fly.
- In Doctor Who the Third Doctor spent much of his time on Earth driving around in 'Bessie', an antiquated canary-yellow roadster which on first glance would look the furthest thing from 'cool' you could think of. It's quickly revealed, however, that the Doctor's constant tinkering and playing around have made it a super-powered car that anyone would kill to drive.
- He later traded up for a weirdly incongruous The Jetsons-style flight-capable bubble car, which rapidly acquired the Fan Nickname of 'The Whomobile'.
- Plus, an antique car fit rather well with his...let's say "classic" opera cape stylings.
- The Land Rover Defender in Survivors.
- The Coyote in Hardcastle and McCormick.
- The Middlemobile [and other vehicles] from The Middle Man and to a lesser degree, both of Dub-Dub's mundane cars.
- The Mythbusters treat their cars as cool cars, when most are junkers they got because they knew they would be ruined. Various cars have been fitted with RC rigs, prompting Adam to point out that he and Jamie should cruise for chicks in them, while remaining in the backseat. Their very first myth involved a rocket car, and when speed is a factor in the myths, they tend to call on expert drivers and very cool cars to help.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Angel:
- Angel's sleek black convertible, not to mention Gunn's vampire-hunting truck (for which he literally sold his soul)
- Angel had a whole fleet of Cool Cars in season 5. Spike destroyed a few of them.
- Giles initially drove a potentially cool but very run-down Citroen DS but after Spike wrote it off in a car chase he acquired a shiny red BMW convertible, which was seen as a sign of his mid-life crisis and ridiculed by everyone. And Oz had a van which occasionally got close to being the Mystery Machine.
- Spike's 1959 De Soto is super cool.
- Played straight with Cordelia's (Chrysler Cirrus) convertible (QUEEN C) and Xander's (uncle's) 57 Chevy Bel Air.
- Since Kennedy spearheaded the idea of Slayers becoming bodyguards in Season 9 she cruises around in a red Audi that rivals Giles' Midlife Crisis Car for style.
- Mel's classic Mercedes in Tracker, before she sold it to help Jess out.
- The Core Striker from Tomica Hero Rescue Force, which, due to its AI, also doubles as a Robot Buddy.
- Hurley's Volkswagen Bus, which he found in the jungle during the third season of LOST.
- The Equalizer drove a black 1984 Jaguar XJ6 Series III, much to the dismay of potential clients who naturally assumed his services were highly expensive.
- Stephen Colbert parodies this with his build-a-bear parody build-a-car workshop. It's a tank on monster truck wheels, has a sail and a sidecar attached to it,an American flag on the back and "You steer it with your balls."
- There actually is a shop like Build-A-Bear, only with model cars. It's called Ridemakerz.
- In several third and fourth season episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Solo and Kuryakin got to drive an "U.N.C.L.E. car", which was a concept car developed from the Bertone Pirana.
- The 1962/4 Volvo P1800 from ''The Saint'', driven by Roger Moore. When they decided to make the movie in 1996, the Volvo coupe had been so well connected to the character of The Saint that Val Kilmer drove the definitely less cool Volvo C70 because it was a Volvo coupe.
- The Gerry and Sylvia Anderson live-action series UFO had Commander Straker's gas-turbine car (in reality an impossible-to-drive prop whose gull-wing doors had to be opened by an off-screen stagehand), the SHADO Mobiles (tracked armored personnel carriers with radar sets on top) and the missile-bearing Lunar Interceptor. All of them just crying out to be made into Dinky toys.
- The Black Beauty from The Green Hornet. In the TV show, a customized 1966 Imperial Crown sedan with green headlamps. Generally stored upside down in Britt Reid's garage.
- The film pretty much takes this Up to Eleven there's at least three of them, all of them armed well enough to destroy several city blocks, and to top it all off it can change color. Possibly the only car cooler than the Batmobile.
- The car from the show Automan. In the show it's a hologram so it apparently doesn't have to follow the laws of physics. Possibly the only car that could really use inertial dampeners.
- Semir's 3-Series BMW in Alarm für Cobra 11.
- Alex Tully's Dodge Challenger from Drive.
- Inspector Morse drove a Type 2 Jaguar, but for a while every policeman in a British show seemed to drive a classic car.
- The Prisoner: Patrick Mc Goohan's Lotus Seven, which, apart from the opening title sequence, only appears in one episode in the series.
- Get Smart: the Opel GT was nice and the Shelby Mustang very impressive, but Max's Sunbeam Tiger was the trademark car with lots of style.
- Say what you will about The Monkees, that wild custom GTO was pretty cool.
- And say what you will about The Munsters, the Munster Koach and the Dragula racer were also pretty cool.
- George from Dead Like Me drives a Mustang that was owned by one of her reaps.
- On Burn Notice Michael Westen's black '73 Dodge Charger is a pretty, pretty thing. Even though it didn't run when he first got it. It's too bad he had to blow it up, but it came back in early season 5 with Fiona behind the wheel, serving as Michael's getaway vehicle. Seeing the charger run again really melts car-loving tropers hearts, and the fact that Michael refers to it as his friend.
- Pretty much every car seen in Mad Men. After Betty inherits her late father's 1961 Lincoln Continental it's noted in-series that that is a Cool Car for a thirtysomething housewife and mother even in its day, it's not just the Gorgeous Period Chrome.
- The Batmobile in the campy 1960s Batman series was the coolest thing on the show.
- Kamen Rider Black RX (and its notorious adaptation, Masked Rider) had a car for the titular protagonist.
- Kamen Rider Double has a car-like vehicle (it doesn't actually have controls, instead being remote-operated by his cellphone), but it holds the parts for his Cool Bike and is indeed pretty cool.
- Kamen Rider Drive not only has a car motif, but his personal ride, Trideron, is actually capable of Multiform Balance.
- The vehicle the boys use to traverse the titular road in Route 66: it starts off as a '60 Corvette Convertible, but gets updated every season to the latest, sleekest model through means undetermined in-universe.
- Dan Stark from The Good Guys has a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am of which he is very protective.
- Every car in the 1980s Rat-Pack era Crime Story, especially Torello's 1957 Chrysler 300.
- Some Super Sentai series would have a Cool car, mostly ran by the Red Senshi. Here's examples:
- The Russo family's flying carpet in Wizards of Waverly Place.
- Metalder's Metal-Charger, a Mazda Familia with the ability to transform into a Flying Car.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Radbug. A modified Volkswagen Beetle with flight capability and super speed capability while airborne. Technically came from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, but it was used more often in American footage.
- In the BBC cop show Bergerac, Jersey detective Jim Bergerac's 'maverick' personality was expressed by driving a Burgundy 1947 Triumph Roadster. The producers thought it looked cool but, as many a critic and viewer noted, it was a car supremely unsuited to Jersey's narrow, winding roads and 40mph speed limits. It still set a trend in 80s/90s British crime shows for any "quirky" cop, PI, or amateur detective to drive some kind of collectible car.
- The Mentalist's Patrick Jane drives a classic French car - a metallic grey Citroen DS.
- Mike And Molly has Mike buying a 1957 Chevy Bel Air. It turns in a lemon through dialogue alone, and is sold back to the previous owner.
- Forever Knight: Nick's 1962 Cadillac Convertible, which has it own fandom faction, the 'Caddywhackers'. He chose it for the trunk space, so he could fit inside if he got caught away from home in daylight. (incidentally, in the original film it was a '59 Caddy).
- JAG: Harm owns a '70s Chevy Corvette. It gets stolen and stripped for parts, but he eventually builds a new one. Mac buys herself a more modern Corvette at one point. Something of a Kick the Dog moment, however, as this was in the same episode that Harm's Corvette was stolen and stripped.
- In season 6 of NCIS, Gibbs is required to return to his hometown to solve a case. Whilst there the car he drove up in (an NCIS company car) is fire-bombed to prevent his investigation. Then his father reveals he fixed up the old '70s Challenger he left behind when he joined the Marines. Needless to say, awesomeness ensues.
- Abby drives a bright red 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe with the Vanity License Plate "4NS CHIK." The car before this one was a hearse.
- On the show Third Watch, NYPD Officer Maurice Louis "Bosco" Boscorelli's off-duty ride, a blue 1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1, is significantly cooler (not to mention massively more valuable) than his on-duty patrol vehicle.
- The Battletram in The Aquabats! Super Show! serves as an impossibly-large mobile home for the team.
- Amos Burke's 1962 Rolls Royce Silver Phantom II on Burkes Law. It became such a trademark of the character that he kept driving around in it even after he became a Tuxedo and Martini secret agent (he just bulletproofed it and equipped it with some special spy gadgets).
- Tom Hanson's '67 Mustang Fastback in 21 Jump Street, which he inherited from his father before the beginning of the series.
- Judy Hoffs' '58 Triumph also qualifies.
- The various versions of Adam-12 's police cruiser.
- Home Improvement had a couple hot rods that Tim Taylor built from the floor up - not to mention Jill's Nomad station wagon and Austin-Healey.
- Only Fools and Horses: The Trotters' Reliant Regal three-wheel van is the So Bad, It's Good of the automotive world, belonging under this heading as well as The Alleged Car.
- Frasier: Something of a subversion in that the brothers pride themselves on having top-of-the-line saloons, but they often break down. This eventually led to the episode "Motor Skills" where they attempt to improve their practicality.
- Lola, Coulson's flying Chevrolet Corvette, from Agents Of Shield.
- Police Woman takes place in 1970's Los Angeles, so there are plenty of cool cars around. It is not surprising that the drug dealers and other crime bosses drive flashy cars, but the detectives also drive brand-new Lincolns and Cadillacs, contrary to the cliché of the police always driving The Alleged Car.
- The ahead of its time New Old West / Cattle Punk series Bearcats featured a 1914 Stutz Bearcat, of course. George Barris created 3 replicas for the series, one for stunts, one for regular use by the human stars, and one for show promotion. The promotional car also featured what appear to be a forward-firing Vickers machine gun and a rear-firing Lewis machine gun.
- Rush's "Red Barchetta", itself inspired by Richard S. Foster's short story "A Nice Morning Drive".
- Ironically, a car built as solidly as the one described in the short story would be a greater, not a lesser, hazard to its driver since a vehicle with a fully stiffened body will collapse around the largest void space - that being the passenger cabin. Oops. Crumple zones exist for a reason.
- Doesn't help the case any when this troper's seen full-body steel cars BOUNCE instead of denting...
- Prominent in Rap. According to Xzibit, his first album introduced him on the scene, his second album established his place, and his third album paid for his car.
- ZZ Top's Eliminator hot rod.
- John Lennon's Rolls Royce, famous for its psychedelic paint scheme.
- The Beach Boys' song "409" praised a muscle car with a 409 cubic inch engine.
- As well, the car Deep Purple was praising in "Highway Star".
- "Weird Al" Yankovic has been asked on multiple occasions about the car he drove in UHF and the video for 'All About the Pentiums': a Nash Metropolitan. Notably, it's the same car in both cases.
- Dick Dale sang about street races and cool hotrods rather frequently.
- The Dangercar. That is one Badass Trans-Am.
- Yoshiki Hayashi collects these (or did to a certain point anyway), and owns 20 of them at last count including one of almost everything listed under the Ferrari or Lamborghini or Porsche marques in the Real Life section below (and he and his band X Japan even sponsored a Le Mans race team in Japan once). As a result the Cool Car tends to appear often in X Japan and Violet UK videos made after The Nineties, as well as in interview or Real Life footage of Yoshiki.
- The buggy in Project 0 is essentially this for Aatu.
- Warhammer 40,000 — Imperial cars. Look like fucking tanks. They look like something Hitler would drive, and that's no coincidence.
- Misfile is chock full of cool cars, virtually every single character has one. The fact that almost every character is a street racer probably has something to do with it. However, it's also realistic in that many of these cars weren't inherently cool: they're the sort of cars High School kids could actually afford made cool through modification for their "Run what you brung" street races.
- Sluggy Freelance has the Displacement Drive Vehicle, which teleports any object it runs into out of its way, leaving you and your car undamaged while causing untold havoc on the world around you. And it's a Mole Chick magnet!
- In DOUBLE K, Kamina has the Gurrenrod. Unfortunately, it doesn't last very long.
- Parodied in Yehuda Moon And The Kickstand Cyclery with Thistle's bakfiets (cargo bicycle). It's the envy of kids because it's not the usual soccer mom transport.
- In Impure Blood, Mac geeks out over their car. and crawls under for a good look to pronounce it cool
- The Trenches: Isaac's car.
- A minor aversion in Cockeyed Comix; the hero isn't into cars, but a supporting character has a classic
- The Time... Car from the pilot episode of The Time... Guys. Unfortunately, it was lost between Episodes I and II in a Noodle Incident.
- Katie in Oktober is a very interesting case. Not only do none of the characters see Katie the same way, but it appears her trunk is some sort of bizarre interdimensional portal.
- Classic Game Room
- 1972 Chevrolet El Camino.
- Mark's Audi A4 Avant daily-driver counts too.
- YouTube channel Star Cars features videos of fans who have recreated Cool Cars from films and television shows.
- Half the point of the show Roadkill. Take a cool car, and go on some crazy journey with it. Notable mentions to the Crusher Camaro and the Super Bee.
- C.A.R. from The Replacements is sentient, can fly, and is a lot smarter than his alleged driver, Dick Daring.
- Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats have the "Catillac", a 1950's era Cadillac that on the surface would appear to be The Alleged Car, but is possibly the fastest vehicle on the planet. And most of the time it doesn't even have wheels! It can also transform into an airboat and a camping trailer. It also has a trophy for a hood ornament. In one episode, they even add a submarine transformation.
- The Gadgetmobile from Inspector Gadget.
- The golf cart from Regular Show.
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: Madame Foster owns a black Firebird. Even with the stylized artwork it can still be clearly identified as either a 1977 or 1978 model.
- The Question's car in Justice League looks to be a 60's Pontiac GTO. Extra points for using it to drive over some bad guys.
- Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 is all about this trope!
- The Mystery Machine from Scooby-Doo.
- Speed Buggy had helicopter & submarine modes. Also, he never lost a race he was in despite competing against race cars.
- Pretty much every single car of the agents in M.A.S.K..
- Transformers Generation 1: The Autobots, when in their vehicle modes. All of them.
- G.I. Joe: Renegades features the Joe's method of transport, The Coyote, and Major Bludd's Mad Max inspired ride. Both also count as a Weaponized Car.
- Kim Possible gets herself a cool car in season 4. It starts out as an ancient, rusty piece of junk, but her brothers customise it. It ends up with rocket boosters, aquatic capabilities and eventually a flight mode, as well as other useful spy gadgets.
- The Chan Van from The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, which doubles as Transforming Mecha thanks to Alan.
- Dick Dastardly may have been the token villain in Wacky Races, but his Mean Machine was the coolest car in the group. Also it was apparently the fastest, it had to be for Dick to get far enough ahead of everyone else to stop and lay traps for them.
- The Phooeymobile from Hong Kong Phooey. With the strike of a gong, it can change into anything.
- The Flintstone Car from The Flintstones, which for some reason is actually powered by the driver's feet. His neighbor Barney Rubble has a cool one too; made entirely of one hollowed out log, it's a very early example of green technology.
- The Lunamobile, from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, is basically a pegasus-with-batwings-pulled flying fourteenth century Batmobile.
- Captain Planet and the Planeteers had the Geocruiser, which was solar powered. They also had an eco-friendly plane as well.
- Speed Racer: The Next Generation: The powerful Mach 5 itself is found by Speed Racer Jr. and restored for two final races. After it ends up totaled, its successor the Mach 6 is built. Speed's brother X's car, the Shooting Star, is also cool. The Mach 6 eventually gets an air-powered engine.
- The Legend of Korra
- In the first season, the new Team Avatar patrols republic city in Asami Sato's car, a kickass black roadster that fans have dubbed "The Korramobile". Unfortunately, it is destroyed near the end of the season in a day-saving bit of Car Fu.
- It's not just that either, the series is full of them. But special mention has to go to the race cars in episode 7.
- Mr. Magoo bought a 1910-era Baker Electric in one of his 1950s cartoons. His nephew Waldo considered it an Alleged Car, but Magoo was proud of it — and it held up fine after a detour into the ocean. Driving an ancient electric car when everyone else was in two-ton dreadnoughts — Magoo was so anachronistic that he was 50 years ahead of the curve. Very cool.
- Mike Chan's car in Sym-Bionic Titan.
- All the cars in Motorcity.
- The Megas XLR has a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda (already a Cool Car in and of itself) for a head. Megas is a giant robot. Somehow, the giant robot qualifies as a car for legal purposes due to this, and is street-legal.
- In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "The Clock King", instead of the Batmobile, Batman travels through Gotham into Bruce Wayne's limousine.
- In Breadwinners, the main character's form of transportation is the Rocket Van, a delivery van that has a large Rocket on top of it, which allows it to fly. It also has an extremely high-tech security system that includes Frickin' Laser Beams.
- Jaguar's E-Type. To the point that Jeremy Clarkson called it the beating heart and soul of England.
- Most Formula One cars easily fall into this trope.
- Special mention to the McLaren MP4/4 driven by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost for the 1988 Formula 1 season. The car was one of the last of the cars of its era.
- Almost any Italian Car easily falls into this trope, though it's not surprising to see them also fall into The Alleged Car territory.
- As Enzo Ferrari himself allegedly said, before all Ferraris, Lamborghinis or Lancias THE Italian Car Itself can only be an Alfa Romeo. (Enzo Ferrari had begun his racing career at Alfa Romeo.)
- Speaking of Ferraris, most of them were cool because they had to be cool. The Dino 246GT was freezing cool.
- Ferraris are only cool when they're not on fire.
- On the subject of Alfa Romeos, there's the 33 Stradale. One of the sexiest looking cars ever built, especially for its time, whose looks can rival that of the Dino 246GT above, it was the first production car to use butterfly doors (not to be confused with scissor doors, a feature first innovated by another Alfa Romeo car, the Carabo [whose design is also based on the 33's chassis], and would later be made famous by Lamborghini), which were used by later cars such as the McLaren F1, Saleen S7, Enzo Ferrari, and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. It reached a top speed of 260 km/h (160 mph), which was unheard of at the time, and was rated by the German Auto, Motor und Sport magazine as the fastest commercially available car in 1968. As a Bilingual Bonus, "Stradale" is Italian for "road-legal" and/or "road-going". A heartbreaking shame that only 18 of them were ever made.
- Ford GT, the Spiritual Successor to the legendary GT-40, the greatest car that Ford has ever made.
- Slides close to The Alleged Car territory, if Jeremy Clarkson is to be believed. His GT spent more time in the shop, almost always due to electrical faults, than on the road, but he once said that when it was working, it was quite good.
- "Halo" cars are built around this trope: car companies showcase their technical prowess by building a really unusual low production vehicle. In turn this makes their regular vehicles look better. Supercars are the most popular (Ford GT-40, Dodge Viper, Honda NSX, etc.) but sometimes high tech cars like the Chevy Volt or the original Honda Insight can fit this category.
- as would Mazda's Wankel-engined models.
- Jay Leno owns an awesome collection of these. He also owns a lot of cool motorcycles too. In fact....Jay has a rather Cool Garage in general. Jay Leno's Garage shows this to the extreme. In case of doubt, fire up Gran Turismo 4 and look at his Tank Car.
- See Yoshiki Hayashi listed in Music? As a car collector in LA, he once outbid Jay Leno on a Cool Car during an auction. The result was a small-scale feud between the two, that actually managed to hit racist Unfortunate Implications that became Hilarious in Hindsight and an Insult Backfire. As in, Leno dedicated a segment of one of his shows to mocking Yoshiki's "bedroom eyes" and Asian appearance in general. This, however, became Hilarious in Hindsight with a bit of Fridge Logic applied: how much more likely is a rock musician to get laid than a late night show host?
- Liberace was fond of these, and often had them decorated in his signature gaudy style (including, yes, a rhinestone-covered car).
- The Tornado Intercept Vehicle, built by IMAX filmmaker Sean Casey so that he could drive into a tornado, film it, and survive while doing so.
- Reed Timmer's SRV Dominator. To the average outsider (and to Sean Casey, apparently) it comes off as a cheap knock-off of the TIV. But your average engineer can spot the differences. Timmer studied the TIV to determine the main areas in need of improvement and concluded that the TIV's main disadvantage was mobility - it is extremely heavy and travels in a huge convoy. Reed built a lighter, more maneuverable vehicle and travels in a much smaller convoy, resulting in his higher rate of success in intercepting tornados. His planned improvements (air cannons for parachute probes, side scanning radar) follow down this design path to the point where he has nearly condensed an entire storm-chasing convoy into one vehicle.
- These cars even got featured in Mythbusters in a proof-of-concept test to show that these vehicles will stay put to winds up to an EF-5 tornado and even past that, the TIV's ground spikes warped and the Dominator slid around but neither of them were severely damaged nor did they flip over or get flung around by the 747 that produced the test winds.
- Stephen Fry drives around in a London black cab (don't ask how he doesn't get people hailing him all the time). Perhaps realizing just how cool the idea of Stephen Fry as a cabbie is he even took one on his recent American travelogue.
- There's something about British actors- Rupert Grint's daily driver is an ice cream truck.
- Top Gear has the Cool Wall, where new cars 'coolness' is rated by Clarkson and Hammond. One of the rules is that any car actually owned by the presenters must be uncool. Hence the Fiat Panda 1.4 being halfway across the studio at the 'Uncool' end - James May has one.
- Don't forget, Aston Martins have a special fridge reserved just for them located beyond the Sub-Zero end of the cool wall.
- They also featured at least two whole episodes where they tried to destroy a red Toyota Hilux pickup truck, but in the end the car kept going every time they restarted the engine. Eventually, they decided with an unanimous decision that the car needed more than a cool wall for its legacy, so they set it on a plinth where it's still on display today.
- Clarkson and Hammond revealed in series 14 that they think the car company that has made the most great/cool cars is... Lancia. Considering they made the Stratos, Delta Integrale, Monte Carlo, Gamma, Fulvia, etc. and went rallying with most of them, you can see where they're coming from.
- But, as the episode shows, every very cool feature Lancia cars had - turbo-supercharged engines, extreme rallying performance, and that sleek, sleek look - were neatly balanced out by some seriously WTF design features. I mean, fixing a braking problem by removing the brake servos entirely? Check for the Montecarlo. Passenger having the pedals and the driver having the wheel? Check-check, Stratos HF. Awesome cars, utterly strange design department.
- Alex Roy's Team Polizei BMW M5. Very possibly the coolest car on the planet - it did go non-stop from NYC to LA in 31 hours without being busted after all.
- Not only is President Obama's official car really tough, but his Secret Service escort vehicle is even more badass with popout gatling gun turret! Just check this baby out!
- This custom car was built around a Rolls-Royce Merlin engine. That's right, it's a car powered by the same engine as a Spitfire. Here it is on Classic Top Gear.
- As was this '55 Chevy, with the ol' Merlin running 3 thousand Horsepower! Here's a video of it.
- Just to complete the Rule of Three - other performance car projects focus on modding the injection or swapping engines. Charlie built himself a Rover with a Merlin tank engine. Windscreens are for other people.
- The crown for aircraft-powered cars probably goes to Quad-Al, a dragster with FOUR Allison V-12 engines, totaling 12,000 horsepower. Unfortunately, the car was never completely finished, and never raced. Instead, it was sold off to a guy named Tex, who was promptly shot to death before he could finish it himself.
- A particular model of Porsche uses an air-cooled engine which, by pure fluke, is the exact right size and shape, with exactly the right mountings, that it can be used as a replacement engine in the original Volkswagen Beetle if the rear shock were strengthened slightly, resulting in a Beetle that can out-accelerate many sports cars.
- The Porsche family (Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and his son Dr. Ferry Porsche) founded both companies and are responsible for Beetle and the 911. In addition, they both use air-cooled flat engines and have shared technology for years, and will soon merge. It would be surprising only if the VW couldn't fit a Porsche engine.
- This particular stunt is used succssfully by the protagonist robber in one of the Parker novels by Richard Stark (i.e. Donald Westlake).
- The Porsche is the 2.0-litre engined 911 (1964-1969) and the engine can provide in stock form from 110-130 hp in milder versions to 180-190 hp in the European non-catalyzed 911S. And a 7000 rpm redline. Good luck.
- Speaking of Ferdinand Porsche's brainchilds, the humble VW Beetle aka Type 1, Herbie's Real Life counterpart, might have been the sub-zero on the scale of coolness. Most upgradable, tunable and modifiable car in human history, it went from a 1938 puny, below 1-liter engine which was still specifically designed to run for all day at 100 kph, not freeze because it was air-cooled and not overheat while pushing a four-man small Jeep in the North African Campaign at 80 kph... to modern drag-racing monsters running 1000hp from 2.3 liters and rally-racing Beetles which out-accelerate Vipers. And most mechanical parts like gearbox or brakes are so overbuilt and over-engineered they do not need further upgrades to support engine power. And it stayed in series production for 65 years. This Troper owns a 1966 one and is very proud of it.
- It gets better. The Type 1 is still in production! So many were sold that Volkswagen still makes every single part, in sufficient quantities that there's a company in Mexico that buys the parts in bulk and builds brand-new Beetles from said parts.
- actually they recently ended production.
- No mention of the Porsche 924/944/951/968 line? A design joint venture between Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche resulted in 20 years of evolution of a car which the subframes, engines, and drivetrain are all swappable. A history of having been raced in Le Mans, IMSA GT, Trans-am, and rally, having 3 racing series of its own along with racing and beating the fabled 911's in Porsche Cup series, and as of 2011, raced alongside modern GT-3 cars in the Nurburg 24hr. Absolutely loved by Jeremy Clarkson, has the largest production automotive 4cyl in the world (the S2 came with the 3.0L DOHC inline 4) and yet a perfect to near perfect (depending on model) 50/50 weight balance because of a front engine-rear transmission drivetrain. Somehow this car hasn't caught on with the tuner and drifting crowd, which makes this owner and racer relieved. Oh and the car that saved Porsche from going bankrupt, probably the only reason why new versions of the 911 still race today.
- The Ford Nucleon◊ Awesome, but Impractical turned Up to Eleven, and dosed with a lovely green glow.
- The Citroen DS was a car so revolutionary that Citroen was worried that its future models wouldn't live up to its coolness (they were right). It had, in 1955, power steering, aerodynamic cornering headlamps, front-wheel drive, crumple zones, collapsable steering columns, disc brakes, and a hydropneumatic, self-leveling suspension that gave it an unbelievably smooth ride (and wound up saving Charles de Gaulle's life from an assassination attempt in 1962 — the car had suffered two flat tires from bullets but was still able to escape at high speed thanks to this unique suspension system) — all features that would take decades to show up on other cars. Plus, its aerodynamic outer body design was so slinky and smooth that it would inspire Perverse Sexual Lust out of almost anyone (it is, after all, a French car). It would later be ranked as the third most influential car of the 20th century (behind only the Ford Model T and the Mini), and it is still, in some aspects, a car way ahead of its time.
- The Classic Saab 900 was the Nordic counterpart of the Swiss Army Knife. Might have looked Boring, but Practical in the age of flashy Ferraris and turbocharged Lancias, but its quirky design, turbocharged engines, well-thought suspension, superior ergonomics, very efficient HVAC and long life even in the Scandinavian climate provided an everyday supercar for whomever was brave enough to live with it. Not incidentally it become James Bond's personal car in The Eighties.
- The Lunar Rover/Moon Buggy. Makes one kinda miss NASA's old Scavenger World aesthetic.
- Most American Muscle cars could fall under this category, the Ford Mustang comes to mind when this troper thinks about it.
- As are the Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Pontiac Firebird, Plymouth Barracuda, etc.. Pretty much every manufacturer back then took their standard cars, gave them a bright orange coat of paint, and stuffed a massive V8 under the hood. You'd be surprised the amount of cool it results in.
- Two words: Bugatti Veyron. Three words: Mansory Bugatti Veyron. Four words: Bugatti Veyron Bleu Centenaire. Four words and a number: Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport
- One more number: 1,050 horsepower. (Bugatti lists the engine power as 1,001 bhp, presumably because that number is easier to remember.)
- Not quite so. The request had been to generate "over 1000 bhp" regardless of the measurement system used. 1001 PS (metric hp) means 987 bhp, while 1001 bhp means 1015 PS. To be true to their word, the manufacturers made each engine to generate between 1020 and 1050 bhp, so it's still "over 1000".
- And just to make things clear, the Super Sport is currently the fastest Production car in the world, it was apparently purposely designed to reclaim its title as fastest production car in the world from the Big-Fast-Shelby-American-Car-Thingynote which was the title holder of the time at 256mph. The Bugatti team were expecting it to go at least 258mph, but as the onboard-speedometer showed (which read in Kilometers) it ran at 414kph (which was the target speed) and kept climbing. 2 Runs later and after getting an Average speed it could went at 431.81kph which -translated into miles- is roughly 267mph beating the old record by a mile (or to be precise, 11).. And to think it still has all the luxuries of a normal Veyron makes it even more amazing.
- The coolest number associated with the Veyron is 120. That's how many feet it needs to accelerate from zero to 60 mph.
- The 16.4 Grand Sport, that's the worlds fastest convertible sports car car, most other cars of it's type don't have a soft/hard, removable roof to preserve their high speed and aerodynamics.
- Bugatti doesn't seem to be the easiest motoring company to satisfy, as shown in their rumored project called the SuperVeyron; it's 250 kilograms lighter and has scaled up the firepower from 1200 to 1600 horsepower and can go from 0-60 in 1.8 seconds and they're planning to take it all the way up to a top speed of 280 miles per hour. You'd think that at some point even Bugatti will have to call it quits but clearly that point hasn't been reached yet.
- The Mclaren F1 , it may not hold the title of fastest production car anymore, but who cares? its still one of the prettiest, and coolest cars ever to exist (plus the driver seat is in the middle, with a passenger seat on either side, that's one more person you can carry in it when compared to other sports/super cars)
- Actually, it still holds the title of fastest naturally aspirated car, as the Bugatti Veyron, Konigsegg CCR and SCC Ultimate Aero TT exploit forced induction (turbochargers and superchargers) to reach their top speeds.
- How cool is the F1? The engine bay is lined with gold. This is not some vanity feature, though. The F1's carbon fibre body panels and monocoque required significant heat insulation. No common material was really up to snuff, so Gordon Murray used gold for its superior heat reflection capabilities. In other words, the bling literally keeps it cool.
- The company also had the law changed just so the car could have its center driver seat. This car is filled with moments of awesome.
- Further, the mother of all hippie buses.
- Racing cars in general, such as Formula One and Le Mans cars.
- Let's be more specific... How about the Dome S102, Peugeot 905 'Supercopter'◊ (never raced sadly), Audi R8C◊ (only raced once, sadly).
- The 1971 Porsche 917 LH, in Martini colours◊. To quote from the Autosport.com message board; "I asked a teenage Lewis Hamilton fan when this car was from. He said, 'dunno, nineties?'"
- Special mention to the McLaren MP4/4 driven by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost for the 1988 Formula 1 season. The car was one of the last of the "turbo monsters" with a 1.5 litre 1200hp twin-turbo Honda V6 engine. In the hands of Senna and Prost it became the most dominant Formula 1 car ever made winning 15 out of 16 races it competed in (10 of which were 1-2 finishes) as well as 15 pole positions and 10 fastest laps.
- The 1990 Mazda 787B, listed because it's the only japanese car to have won Le Mans, as well as without a piston engine, which produced it's limited max power at 9000 RPM (in an endurance racer!), the true maximum power beeing 930 hp at '10500 RPM(!). The noisiest Le Mans racer ever ?. But the best is that by the end of the Le Mans win, Mazda engineers (after telling the driver to ignore the limiter in some parts) dismounted the engine and found that it could still do another 24 race. The Wankel engine was banned afterwards. To this day, that 787B, still wearing its racing-number, 55, is kept maintained and occasionally brought out at various motorsport ceremonies as a flagship of Japanese automotive sporting prowess.
- It gets better yet. Despite having a reputation for being fuel-thirsty, that same year at Le Mans, Mazda managed to also use less fuel than any other team competing in the race! (at Le Mans, all teams are given equal amounts of fuel and if they use it all up before getting to the finish line? They don't get anymore fuel).
- It may not have won Le Mans, but the Japanese produced an even cooler Le Mans racer. The Toyota TS020, also known as the GT-One. Originally entered in the class for road based carsnote , Toyota used every loophole they could find in the rules to get it into the race, such as claiming that the fuel tank counted as luggage space, and only ever actually building 2 road going models, neither of which were actually sold to the public and were instead kept in museums.
- In 1998, its first year, the TS020 was one of the two fastest cars, along with the Mercedes-Benz CLK LM, but gearbox issues and accidents kept them from finishing any higher than ninth. Both Mercedes' retired early on with engine issues, and Porsche took a 1-2 with their 911 GT1-98's, ahead of Nissan in third (with their R390, Nissan being good sports the road car was designed first, but it was still primarily a racing car), and the fourth placed McLaren F1, an incredible result for an actual road car, even if it was one which had triumphed outright at Le Mans in 1995.
- In 1999, the TS020 was now entered as a Prototype racing car, as regulations had changed regarding the definition of a road based "GT" car, requiring a large number of units to be produced for homologation, however the TS020 required very little modification, as it was basically already a prototype. Mercedes-Benz returned with their vastly updated and vastly more beautiful CLR, along with Nissan, Panoz, Ferrari and BMW. Newcomers to Le Mans were Audi, and we all no how that would turn out for them in the years to come. Former F1 driver and renowned TV commentator Martin Brundle put the #1 TS020 on pole, while the #2 Toyota of Boutsen, McNish, and Kelleners qualified second. Behind them were the #17 BMW V12 LMR, the #6 Mercedes-Benz CLR, the #12 Panoz, the #15 BMW, and the #5 Mercedes. Toyota #3 qualified eighth. In the race the Toyota's and Mercedes' led early on, but Mercedes lost one of their cars after this spectacular incident, where fortunately nobody was hurt, and withdrew their other car in fear of a repeat incident with more severe consequences. The #1 Toyota retired during the night due to an accident triggered by a tyre blow out, and the #2 was also taken out by a similar accident, this one so severe that it led to the driver, Thierry Boutsen, announcing his retirement from motor racing. The #3 Toyota, with an all Japanese crew charged hard for the lead, breaking the lap record in the process, but yet another puncture impeded its progress and handed victory to BMW, their car, piloted by Yannick Dalmasnote , Pierluigi Martini, and "Smokin'" Jo Winkelhock, with the #3 Toyota in second, and, as an ominous sign, the Joest run Audi R8Rs in third and fourth. The next year only Audi and Panoz returned, with Audi taking the first of their 12 victories, and Tom Kristensen's second of nine.
- In any list of cool race cars, there are always 2 cars that are bound to compete for the top slots. The Ferrari 250 GTO and its rival, the Ford GT40. The former is so iconic and nowadays, so rare that when it appeared on Top Gear, it could not be driven simply because the BBC could not afford to pay the insurance for it.
- The older electric cars could be heart-stoppingly ugly, but some of the newer ones are certainly cool looking at least - the Aptera 2 Series, which looks like it was made for George Jetson, and the Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car that managed to impress Jeremy Clarkson (a man who is usually rather disdainful of electric cars).
- For those too lazy to dig up links:
- And while we're on the subject of electric cars, just about anything John Wayland races, such as the White Zombie.
- Speaking of old electric cars, Nikola Tesla once modified a 1931 Pierce-Arrow with an all electric engine, which drew power from the air, letting his Pierce-Arrow hit speeds up near 90 miles per hour. In the 1930's!
- Many official cars used by heads of state fit into this category. The limousine currently used by the President of the United States (often called "Cadillac One" or "The Beast") is a monster, fitted with 5-inch thick armor plating that could take anything short of a direct hit by an anti-tank round, yet can accelerate and move faster than most commercially-available vehicles. Has difficulty with driveways, though.
- The Caterham Super Seven. descendant of the old Lotus Seven. Yes it looks like a cross between a go-kart and a 1930s racer, and yes, its 250-hp 2-liter engine may appear to be a joke by virtue of it being from a Ford Mondeo. Now that you're done laughing, take into account the fact that it is so friggin' light (506 kg, or 1,116 pounds) that it has a power-to-weight ratio greater than the Bugatti Veyron. Let's reinterate: its power-to-weight ratio is better than the Bugatti Veyron, the fastest production car in existence (it actually got around the Top Gear test track a second quicker than the Veyron did). It's also a fraction of tthe cost and is a hell of a lot more fun to drive.
- Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima's Pikes' Peak Suzuki Escudo◊. Holder of the record time up the mountain. Cool Old Guy + Cool Car = Win.
- It also helps the fact that this car is a complete Game Breaker in Gran Turismo 2.
- The agricultural-looking humble Land Rover Defender. It literally started its life as an agricultural implement which could also burn banana oil in 1948, far from the glamorous military career of the American Jeep. Extreme construction simplicity combined with aluminium-alloy bodywork immune to corrosion made it able to outlive modern Jeeps, SUVs and other 4x4 animals by decades, and has remained unchanged in that time (excluding a few engine upgrades). It has become the hallmark of African safaris, the all-enduring donkey able to carry what breaks the camel's back and a bit more. And the British military still clings to it above all the Humvees in the world.
- The Land Rover Perentie LRPV◊, part of the 'Perentie' 6x6 series of Land Rovers developed by and for the Australian army and SASR, it's essentially a Defender put on steroids to cope with the Australian conditions. Features include 2 machine gun mounts (one on a cupola, the other on the passenger's seat), 6x6 drive, a fuel capacity of 365 litres (giving it a range of about 1600 km between drinks), an integrated cab and body structure with stowing facilities for equipment and rations as well as a low profile over the crew area, and a mounting rack so it can carry its own motorcycle for scouting purposes. As demonstrated here◊
- It should be noted, however, that both the LRPV and standard 4x4 110s used by the Australian Army do away with the notoriously unreliable stock engine and install an Isuzu Diesel.
- The American counterpart of the Ferrari... errr... the Studebaker Avanti was a car so cool that it outlived by decades the company who designed it, simply because it was too cool to drop. Although designed by the early 1960s, it was far beyond what the traditional American car was supposed to be: aerodynamic fiberglass body, modern disc brakes, modern suspension, powerful V8 engines, a design straight from Buck Rogers strips. Just after the Studebaker closure of 1964, all it took were a few enthusiastic people and leftover parts to keep production running up to The Eighties, when another company took over, got bankrupt itself, let another one to take over... even when the last owner got imprisoned for fraud the brand still didn't give up. As of 2007, they were still in production. If there is more demand, a few more will be made.
- Ian Fleming got one of the original Avantis. Knowing his taste, it was quite a statement.
- A better example of the American counterpart to the Ferrari is the Pontiac Fiero, being a mid-engine sports car. Especially the Fiero Mera, which looks nearly identical to the Ferrari 308. Unfortunately, Ferrari sued Pontiac and they had to stop producing them. Both the Mera and the Formula models are really cool cars.
- For 1953, some ten years before the Avanti, Studebaker produced a low-slung coupe (attributed to Avanti designer Raymond Loewy) that made everything else from Detroit look heavy, dowdy, and wearing too much chrome. As the company was in increasing financial straits it continued to use the basic design, putting it through several facelifts, the final one being the rakish Hawk GT that sold into 1964. An independent company took the cars, dropped powerful Cadillac engines in, and created the Studillac. Ian Fleming had Felix Leiter owning one.
- Corvette ZL-1 (all of 2 made), and 1964 Corvette Grand Sport (5 built).
- The Renault Espace F1, featured in Gran Turismo 2, is a racing minivan.
- The Ford GT-90 concept car. Too bad it was never produced.
- To go into detail, this car used two engines fused together, that's two seperate sections with two turbos each, this raised horsepower to 720 at max and gave it 220+ MPH to compete with the F1 at the time, this made the exaust so incredibly hot, it needed space shuttle like ceramic tiles to keep the body from being damaged.
- Almost everything Lamborghini has ever made can qualify as a Cool Car. Some of the most famous names of cars from this company are the Miura, Countach, Jalpa, Diablo, Murcielago and as of late, the Aventador. Special Mention goes to the Reventon, just looking at it is explanation enough.
- The 1995 version of the Lamborghini Diablo SE30, it has most of the accesories removed in exchange for more horsepower and a high enough top speed to rival NASCAR, only 150 were ever made and Jamiroqaui frontman Jay Kay owned one of them, he wanted it shipped overseas so it could appear in the video for Cosmic Girl, too bad for him the car's handler couldn't resist taking the Diablo on a joyride and smashing it up beyond repair.
- On the subject of Lambo's, the Countach would count since it was the first Lamborghini to use their infamous swing up doors. (Fact: They were used because normal doors just would not work with the design.)
- The Miura was still a fast car despite how long time passed since '67. It's that badass of a grandpa.
- The Murcielago, named after the bull that survived 28 sword strokes. "Be assured. It is a fighter" Indeed.
- The Murcielago's heir, the Aventador, is considered to be the best supercar of this generation, if not one of the best cars of all time. It looks amazing and it rolls like a rocket. No wonder even Jeremy Clarkson liked it.
- The Veneno, was a Base Breaker for the Lambo fandom, but face it: only 3 of them were made, all costing well above 3 million dollars (you heard it, THREE MILLION DOLLARS!!!), and it is currently the fastest production Lamborghini, outclassing the Aventador by just 5 kph and losing to the Murciélago RGT (essentially a race-tuned Murciélago, yeah, it's that cool) by 2 kph.
- Last, but not least, the Lamborghini Egoista Concept. Built to celebrate Lamborghini's 50th anniversary, and looking like a combination of a stealth fighter, a Hot Wheels toy, the Mach 5, and a Colonial Viper; its features include a single seat, a fighter canopy, a detachable cockpit, and a friggin' targeting reticle (not that said reticle can actually be used to fire anything, of course). Its name means "selfish" in Italian. As with the Veneno, there's a sharp divide between Lambo fans who think it's the most awesome thing since sliced bread and those who think it's so over-the-top it crosses over into the realm of being lame.
- The 2010 Onyx Ranger Rover, only 300 were ever made and GI Motors gave one of them as a free gift to none other then Lindsay Lohan.
- The Overfinch Holland & Holland Range Rover. A collaboration between Land Rover tuner Overfinch and custom gun make Holland & Holland. In addition to all the usual luxury refinements, the car has the best optional extra ever fitted to any car in the whole of human history - a self replenishing drinks cabinet filled with Vokda, Whisky and Champagne that Overfinch will top up free off charge for the first year you own the car.
- Buick GNX and it's siblings. Not only because it could out-accelerate the magnificent Ferrari 288GTO to 60mph, but because it was a wolf in sheep's skin, so ugly and dated that few people would believe what sort of punch could it pack back then.
- The Buick-powered Turbo Trans Am that paced the 1989 Indy 500. Often claimed to be the best Firebird that Buick built - engine and transmission were nearly identical to the units that were found in the GNX, and engine mods that work with a Grand National/GNX often bolt right up to the TTA without issue. Coupled to the aerodynamic F-body platform, it can not only go fast, but has the suspension to handle turns as well, even today. The three cars needed for pacecar duty out of the 1550-car run were randomly picked and only needed strobe lights and a rear-facing camera added to them in order to qualify for pacecar duty. Remains the only Pontiac Trans Am that came with a V6 engine, all others were V8's.
- Duesenbergs. They were some of the biggest, fastest, and most luxurious American cars ever made and were highly regarded by even the car makers in Europe. The most famous were the Model Js.
- The supercharged "SJ" introduced in 1932 could do 0-60 in 8.5 seconds, hit 104 MPH in second gear, and top out at between 135-140. If that somehow does not impress you, keep in mind that a Duesenberg Model J typically weighed around 5,000 pounds and had the drag coefficient of a barn door—and that in 1932, most production cars couldn't do 60 MPH, period. As the saying went, the only car that could pass a Duesenberg was another Duesenberg—and only with the lead driver's consent!
- Any car that has the title of a famous racer or driver such as the Lamborghini Gallardo 550-2 Valvetino Balboni or the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Stirling Moss.
- The Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Polizia, You read that right, a sports car, in Italy, used as a police interceptor. Once even was the fastest police car in the world. Italians do it better indeed.
- But now, Dubai has an entire fleet of Cool Cars for the local police department. Hold on tight: Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari FF, Bentley Continental, Chevrolet Camaro, Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Aston Martin One-77, Ford Mustang GT, BMW M6. Yeah, they're comparable to the Seacrest County Police Department at this point.
- The Pontiac Banshee concept car. It was designed by John DeLorean to be a two-seat sports car that rivaled even the Corvette in coolness in the early-mid sixties. Too bad it was shot down before production, mainly because anything able to outperform the Corvette (as the Banshee quite assuredly would be) was guaranteed to be met with a swift veto by the heads of General Motors at the time.
- The Caparo T1 (originally Caparo was known as FreeStream). Basically a formula-one car designed from the ground up to be street-legal (fitted with turn-signals, headlamps, tail-lights, a rear-wing to press the tyres to the ground, and a passenger's seat). From a standstill, it takes 2.5 seconds to attain 60 mph speed. Zero to a hundred mph takes 5 seconds. Max speed, 205 mph. They actually chose to omit a roof because to fit it with a roof would require air-conditioning, which would cost enough horse-power to actually render that 205 mph speed unreachable. Problem is, when you travel at sensible traffic speeds, you have so little downforce, the tyres have next to no traction whatsoever. Remarking that "it's possibly the most amazing, maybe the fastest, and almost certainly the scariest car ever made", Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson said this about picking the short straw when the time came to choose who would take one for a test-drive, in one of only a handful (countable on the fingers of one hand) of times that Clarkson has dropped his trademark sarcasm-heavy, blasé façade he wears in most of his reviews.
It hasn't had a particularly easy birth. At a press launch, a Dutch journalist was in it when some aspects of the front suspension came adrift and it speared off into the undergrowth. Then, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed the throttle jammed wide open. And that happened again when Fifth Gear
were testing it. And then, at 150 mile an hour, it caught fire massively, burning the driver, Jason Plato, quite badly on the hand, the neck, and the face...And now it's my
- The Pope-mobile. Only the best for the head of the Catholic Church!
- The Daewoo Lacetti. Average-looking, but now popular again, despite criticism at the time. Its Spiritual Successor, the Chevrolet Cruze hasn't quite got this response, though.
- The Holden Hurricane. So cool that when they found it again in 2006, it was returned to Holden who promptly undertook a massive restoration process (right down to duplicating the original paint) that took 3 years to complete, and was only just revealed recently in October 2011.
- You wouldn't expect a rather mundane car company like American Motors Corporation (aka AMC, now bought out by Chrysler and later turned into the Eagle company) to show up here, but take a good◊ look◊ at the AMX/3. Sadly, this car never reached the market due to exorbitant costs and bumper regulations during the 1970s. However, while the AMX/3 never went into production, they did produce a bunch of other cool cars, like the outlandish red white and blue muscle car, the American Rebel Machine◊. They also made the AMC Spirit AMX - the first American car to compete in the 24 hours of Nurburgring - and it won both first and second place in its class of 100+ cars - also one of the few racing cars to receive a documentary. The Javelin AMX◊, a car designed to compete with the giants like the Ford Mustang Boss, curb-stomped most of the other racers in the SCCA races.
- The Chevrolet Confederate BA Deluxe Sport Coupe was built in true 1950's style, with a large body, chrome all over, whitewall tires, and ridiculous curved bits here and there. The only problem? It was made in 1932, and it generally handled like a '30s car, with the most glaring problem being its low engine power.
- The SSC Ultimate Aero comes to mind, it beat the original Bugatti Veyron as world's fastest car and was American, which is impressive depending on your opinion of American cars (which for at least some is not very high).
- The Ultimate Aero has been discontinued in favor of an even cooler car, the Tuatara. It has been nicknamed by its fans the Batmobile of Heaven, and has been created to challenge the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.
- Three words: Hennessey Venom GT. One review of it says: "The Venom GT scrambles Koenigseggs for breakfast, eats Bugatti Veyrons for lunch and flosses with Pagani Huayras.". Even Steven Tyler owns one of them!
- The Phantom Corsair. A one off concept car made in 1938. Only the designer's death prevented a full production run. Just◊ look◊ at◊ it◊.
- Beside the design, the Corsair got around the clanging associated with 1930s solid-axle cars and dirt-roads by having every single outer panel lined with a layer of cork on the inside. Driving felt like riding a high speed train on rails.
- "Boomerjinks" does car-cosplay (or "carsplay").
- Two words: Hot rods. Take any 1920-1950s era car, slap them with high performance kits, and you've got yourself a car that can compete with modern-era sports cars, even if they won't be able to match their performance. It is not a good idea to call these kind of cars Rice Burners, unless the owner was really thinking that way. This custom 1926 Ford Model T is a great example of a Hot Rod. Yes, even the humble Model T, which actually was an Alleged Car back in the day, can, with the right modifications, be turned into a high-brow, breathtakingly cool speedster.
- The Ariel Atom. The original had a simple 2 litre Honda Engine, but was able to outpace and outmaneuver several hypercars due to having almost no weight. A couple of years later, Ariel released a version with a 500bhp V8 engine, which is currently the second fastest road going car Top Gear has ever tested.
- Ladies and gentlemen, behold... The Pagani Huayra. Designed to be the perfect hypercar, it is astonishing in all point-of-views. Each of the car's components are manufactured from all around the world! And it holds the current record in the Top Gear test track!
- The Superbus is going to be a public bus in the Netherlands that looks like a futuristic limo with gull-wing doors. And its top speed is going to be 250 km/h.
- The fastest land vehicle in the world, the ThrustSSC is most definitely this. It's got two jet engines for crying out loud.
- The Nissan Skyline GT-R R32. When it came out in 1989 it could be just as fast as Porsches and Ferraris of the same era. Also it was equipped with an electronic torque splitting system called the "ATTESA-ETS" which would send power on demand to the front to help stabilise the car. Many people(including reviewers) said it was a "20th century car with 21st century technology".
- The Group-A racecar◊ was even more impressive. In it's debut year it won every single race in the Japanese Touring Car Champinship(JGTC), and won the championship 5 times in a row. In Australia, it earned its infamous nickname "Godzilla" due to its monstrous 650 hp engine, where especially in the 1000km race of mt Panorama in Bathurst, when it dominated the competition. Even in the following year, when it had boost restriction, weight penalty, and even crashed, it still managed to win. This eventually made the officials to ban any kind of turbocharged engines. This car was the very reason V8 Supercars is how it is now.
- The Koenigsegg One:1. It was designed to have a 1:1 horsepower to kilogram curb weight ratio, and it has succeeded.
- In 1938, tractor builder Minneapolis-Moline decided that a cool car shouldn't even need to be a car.