There have been many iconic Ford’s featured in films over the years, from the pioneering Ford Deuce Coupe in the 1973 classic American Graffiti to the high-performance Ford GT40 in the contemporary docu-film Ford v Ferrari. Ford’s Coupes and the idea of what a coupe is has transformed over the years but regardless of the nomenclatures implication, Ford’s cars have always been favorites with car and film aficionados alike. With the significant presence of both the automobile and film-making industries in the USA and considering Ford’s American origins, there’s no wonder to the numerous appearances of cool-looking Ford Coupes on the big screen.
Ford Deuce Coupe
Film – American Graffiti
1932 DeLuxe Coupe Three-Window Configuration
In the classic coming-of-age film by George Lucas, American Graffiti, the 1932 Ford Deuce Coupe is seen taking on the 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air in an illegal drag race on “Paradise Road”. In the short-lived scene, the Deuce is the first of the classics off-the-line but is quickly caught neck-and-neck with the Bel Air at the mid-range. As the Bel Air is about to overtake the Deuce, one of its tires blow out and it begins to careen into a ditch, it overturns and then ignites into a flaming wreck. For a car built 23 years earlier than the Chevrolet Bel Air, the Ford Deuce Coupe proved rather impressive, and for more than just straight-line performance.
The Ford Deuce Coupe was one of Ford’s most progressive and innovative automobiles that changed the entire automotive industry for good. It was also known as the Model 18 or Ford V-8 as Ford’s first-ever commercially sold vehicle featuring a Flathead V8 engine that produced an impressive, for the times, 81 horsepower. It was also constructed atop a steel-reinforced chassis and offered in an array of body configurations. Thanks to its new burly V8 mill and the rumbling soundtrack it created and to the combination of its unforgettable design, customizability, and its affordability, the Model 18 ended up pioneering the post-WWII hot rod mania.
Ford Mustang Fastback
Film – The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
1970 Ford Mustang Fastback
Not many cars can look as cool as the 1967 Ford Mustang did when is was furiously drifted through the winding dirt roads of that harrowing mountain pass in the climactic end-race of Tokyo Drift. It was a modified Mustang, equipped with a Nissan Skyline GT-R engine that was rated at around 500 hp after all the other modifications were applied. It was also outfitted with racing seats, a rear roll cage, seven-spoke wheels, advanced brakes, and with a 430-inch Windsor motor with a nine-inch rear end, and a spool. The front headlights had also been removed to allow for sufficient air supply to the front-mounted intercooler.
The first-generation of Ford’s acclaimed Mustang was produced between the 1964 and 1973 model years. Its arrival marked the inception of the pony car classification and its unique design, with its elongated hood, sharp angles, and relatively short deck lid, was a commercial hit and inspired a myriad of competition. For the 1967 model year, the Mustang underwent a significant redesign, it was repurposed to carry a big-block V8 engine and its cabin size and cargo capacities were increased, too. This is perhaps what led to the pony car’s iconic appearance in Tokyo Drift as an undeniably sexy American symbol that could handle legendary Japanese engineering and tuning.
Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe
Film – Mad Max
1967 Ford Falcon
Also known as either the V8 Interceptor or the Pursuit Special, the Ford Falcon XB GT Coupe featured in the original 1973 Mad Max film as “the last of the V8’s”. It’s first seen in the MFP vehicle garage and, without giving too much away, is used to bribe Mad Max to stay on the Main Force. It was equipped with a dual overhead cam engine integrated with an enormous blower and supposedly ceded up to 600 hp to the Interceptors wheels. Graf-X International also kitted it out with side pipes along with a ton of other body modifications.
The Falcon XB was a full-size vehicle manufactured by Ford Australia between 1973 and 1976 during which 211,971 XB series’ were produced in total. The GT model came equipped with a 304 hp V8 engine and was rated for a top speed of 118 mph. Production of the North American Falcon halted in 1970, leaving Australia in control of the Falcon’s design going forward. The car differed substantially from the American version and was available in sedan, wagon, coupe, utility truck, and panel van configurations. The Falcon became an icon in Australian popular culture and motor racing and the GT model, in particular, was renowned for its engineering excellence and reliability.
Ford Torino Fastback
Film – Starsky and Hutch
First used in the massively popular Starsky and Hutch television series, the 1975 Gran Torino would later also go on to be used in the also very popular 2004 feature-film. Starsky and Hutch was an American action-comedy TV series and film about two detectives, various year models of the Torino were used for “beauty” shots, stunt cars, and even camera cars. The star car was a 1975, 351 Windsor V8-equipped two-door Gran Torino featuring black vinyl front and rear bench seats, rear air shocks, and Ansen Sprint five-slot alloy wheels.
While main actors Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller certainly entertained, the bright red two-door Torino stole the show and would prompt Ford USA to introduce a replicated commercial version of the Torino to the market in 1976. Only 1,000 models were released and it was essentially an appearance package featuring the bespoke bright red paint job with a slightly altered variation of the white “Vector” stripe, it had dual color-keyed sport mirrors and alternative Magnum 500 wheels, however. Apart from its role in the movie, the Torino Talladega was also a big hit in NASCAR Superspeedway racing as its memorable fastback roofline, dubbed the “Sportsroof”, gave it a considerable advantage in aerodynamics.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
Film – Need For Speed
2014 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
The NFS GT500 was based on the 2013 model but was outfitted with a redesigned front fascia, twin-snort hood, larger air intakes, wide-body kit, and 22-inch wheels. While many variations of the model were used in the filming, the star model was claimed to have a whopping 900 hp under the hood, which, with its 5.8-liter supercharged V8, may have been the case. But that was only true for the fictional car. Though various year models and versions of the Mustang have been featured in numerous films over the decades, Its silver paint job and dual blue racing stripes are perhaps what make the NFS Mustang one of the most recognizable game/movie cars out there.
The 2013 Shelby GT500 was equipped with a V8 mill that produced 662 hp, making it the most powerful commercially sold V8 engine at the time. It was also the fastest Mustang ever built with its 0-60 mph time of around 3.5 seconds and top track speed of 190 mph. It would go on to be the last Ford Shelby that founder Carroll Shelby would work on himself before passing away.