Movies, especially comedies, can put characters in outrageous situations, and adding a used and unique car into the mix can help heighten the hilarity. From old Volkswagen buses to the Big Lebowski’s Grand Torino, these movies wouldn’t be the same without their beat-up rides. Even watching like-new automobiles getting smashed and beaten during the film is often an enjoyable and funny experience for the audience.
“The Big Lebowski”
The automobile of the Los Angeles bum, Lebowski, is far from new. Among all the used cars, this particular one looks as if it has suffered a lifetime of abuse. The license plate is falling off, it gets run into a dumpster, has Larry Sellers’ homework assignment stuffed in it and even gets lit on fire. There’s no better device to typify the kind of character Lebowski is than his abused ride and the crazy decisions made within it.
“Little Miss Sunshine”
A movie about a dysfunctional family traveling cross-country for a beauty pageant couldn’t take place in a better setting. Yellow Volkswagen buses are rare these days. This unique automobile helps personify these vastly different family members and their inability to get along peacefully. The bus breaks down halfway through the film, and audience members will always remember the cast having to push to get it going. When it comes to used cars, this brilliant bus is at the top of the heap of popularity.
Dumb and Dumber
This wacky adventure of two dim-witted characters is made even funnier by their shaggin’ wagon. An old company truck fashioned to look like a sheep dog is the vehicle they use to traverse across the country. While this automobile doesn’t suffer abuse like some of the others on this list, it’s obvious that it’s nowhere close to new. This vehicle really helps set the tone of this silly flick and the wacky nature of the two main characters.
By the end of this film, Richard’s ride is definitely used. Although this vehicle starts off new, and is the apple of Richard’s eye, it loses its hood, a door and suffers through the wild rampage of a deer trapped in the backseat. Once the movie is over, Richard’s ride can’t even qualify in the category of used cars; it’s simply a junk heap. From spinouts, misplaced oil containers and slobbery dogs Richard’s car gets no break.
This hilarious comedy follows a multitude of scrambling strangers towards a pile of money. Though there are many vehicles throughout the movie (including a truck that gets a wrench and can of paint to the hood), the most memorable is the theft of Hitler’s Oldsmobile from a museum. Though this vehicle technically isn’t new, it’s in pristine condition – that is, until an angry biker gang takes chains and pipes to it.
While we might not have realized it before, these characters are defined by their rides. By using automobiles with character, the director is sure to add humor to any film.