Top 10 Coolest Modes of Transport in Film

Rodney Twelftree travels through time and space on every known vehicle known to Hollywood. But which one is his favourite? Find out in the top 10 modes of transport in film.

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Any good action, adventure or sci-fi film worth its salt has some kind of cool transportation device to keep audiences in it.

Doctor Who has his TARDIS, The Dukes of Hazzard have their General Lee, and Luke Skywalker has his X-Wing – when it comes to the great modes of transportation, is seems there’s no limit to how cool filmmakers are prepared to be to keep audiences engaged.

We’ve narrowed down the one we think represent the 10 best ways of getting about in both time and space, so hang on and prepare to clamber aboard the top 10 best modes of transport in film!!

10. Bill & Ted’s Phone Box (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure)

Yeah, I know, it’s a blatant rip-off of the TARDIS, but there’s something about Bill & Ted’s journey through time in their telephone box that’s awesome-cool. While it must have been difficult squeezing all those historical figures into such a confined space, especially if somebody farted, there’s no denying it’s a stylish way of traveling.

9. Ecto-1 (Ghostbusters)


If you’re fighting the ghosts of the recently deceased, what better way to get to your hauntings than in an old hearse. The Ecto-1, primary mode of transport for 80’s heroes The Ghostbusters, clunks about New York City with that screaming siren blaring, indicating yet another egregious entity is about to bite the big one.

8. Air Force One (Air Force One)


When Harrison Ford punches Gary Oldman in the face and tells him to “get off my plane”, it’s one of the coolest moments in 90’s cinema – right up there with Will Smith bitch-slapping the alien in Independence Day. The President’s plane, Air Force One, is not only a cinematic icon, it’s a real-world icon to boot, and has become synonymous with the power and prestige of the office of President. Plus, the cool gadgets the plane has on it make you wish all aircraft were built like this.

7. The Sulaco (Aliens)


When you want to cart a bunch of gung-ho marines into space to a distant hostile world, you do it in the Sulaco. Sure, Ridley Scott’s mining ship in Alien might have been bigger, but as we all know, bigger isn’t necessarily better. The Sulaco, which debuted in James Cameron’s sequel to Alien, Aliens, is shaped after some kind of massive weapon – it just looks mean. We never saw it in action other than in transport mode, but had it fired up the weaponry, there’s no doubt it’d give Darth Vaders Death Star a run for its money.

6. The Bluesmobile (The Blues Brothers)


When you pick your brother up from a stint in prison, surely doing so in an ex-police car is Alanis Morrisette-ironic. Jake and Elwood Blues set off on their “mission from God” in this souped up, near-indestructible cop car – it’s got cop tyres, cop brakes, cop engine, and yet even the cops can’t catch it. And when you see it screaming about a shopping mall demolishing everything in its path, you can’t help but smile… just a little bit.

5. The Batmobile (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight)


Sure, Bataman’s cinematic vehicles have always been cool, but to us, there’s none better than the Christopher Nolan era’s Tumbler – a former army vehicle converted to Batman’s needs by his technological adviser, played by Morgan Freeman. It’s built just like Batman himself – lean, mean and filled with tricks, whether its escaping capture by driving across the top of Gotham’s skyline or battling the Joker in Gotham’s underground freeways, the Tumbler is the one car you’d like on your side when road rage takes hold.

4. The Starship Enterprise (Star Trek)


You want to dispute this? Go right ahead – decades of history and millions of fans are right there to smash you down.

3. Bumblebee (Transformers)


Everyone’s favorite Autobot came into his own in Michael Bay’s tech-heavy iteration of Transformers; in the original cartoon series, Bumblebee was a Volkswagon Beetle, and in the modern film versions he arrived on Earth as a beaten-up-then-concept-car-cool Camaro, and his role as protector human lad Sam Witwicky endeared him to kids everywhere. He was like the ultimate toy, the pinnacle of vehicular uber-ness, and remains rightfully one of the coolest of the Autobots. Yes, even more than Optimus Prime – there, I said it.

2. The DeLorean (Back To The Future)


So the TARDIS and Bill & Ted are away for the weekend? What’s a guy to do to go back in time? If you’re anything like Marty McFly, you befriend the local scientific nutjob and go back into the past via a souped-up DeLorean – a vehicle using nuclear power to do so! I’m not sure that a real DeLorean would survive being struck by 1.21 gigawatts of electricity like it does in the film, but at least you’d be comfortable. Even when your own mother is trying to seduce you.

1. Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


The easy winner in this top ten is Han Solo’s famous spaceship, one of the coolest modes of transport ever seen in cinema – it can do the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, as we all know. We’re not sure how it works, or exactly why it’s so awesome, it just is. Perhaps it’s that forward pointing dual bow, the massive propulsion system at the rear, or the fact that the cockpit looks like it would barely fit two people, let alone four or five, but the Falcon not only keeps the Empire at bay, it also makes a great place for Han to seduce Leia. Yeah, if the Falcon’s rockin’, don’t come knocking.

Written and compiled by Rodney Twelftree

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About the Author
An Aussie lad with a love of cinema, Rodney Twelftree parlayed his interest in films into a website dedicated to reviewing them. Currently Editor In Chief at fernbyfilms.com, Rodney spends much of his time watching films, television, reading science fiction novels and trawling the internet for news and reviews on all things film.

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  1. Avatar
    mark Reply

    Interesting list good sir …. ‘ere are some alternatives.

    (10) The passenger hovercraft at the beginning of Westworld – you don’t really see any exteriors of this beastie, but it would probably provide an interesting ride.

    (9) The railway work car in Tarkovsky’s Stalker – the stalker, writer and professor have already passed the armed guards in an old landrover during a black and white sequence shot on old Russian military film stock … now they sit in silence as they quietly travel by rail into the heart of the zone. Mesmerising.

    (8) Peter Fonda’s chopper in Easy Rider – pity he had to reach such a sticky end.

    (7) The armour-covered bus in The Gauntlet – it might get shot to bits, but it still gets Clint and Sondra to the steps of city hall.

    (6) Barry Newman’s white 1970 Dodge Challenge in the original Vanishing Point – its pursuit by the cops captures the attention of America’s south west.

    (5) The landmasters in Damnation Alley – probably the best part of the film (unless you were a fan of the A Team TV series or Jan Michael Vincent).

    (4) The red cadillac in Fear and Louthing in Las Vegas – a boot full of booze and drugs with nothing but the open road before it … Gilliam captures the opening of Thompson’s book perfectly.

    (3) James Woods’ beat up red open top in Salvador …. sure, it’s taken straight out of the Thompson book, but it still provides a lot of fun for its degenerate passengers.

    (2) The transporters in Cronenberg’s The Fly … now there’s something I’d like to try.

    (1) The navy patrol boat in Apocalypse Now – a central character in the film … not only does it enter the heart of darkness but, in the end, it also manages to leave.

  2. Avatar
    Chris Reply

    I had that Ecto-1 Ghostbusters vehicle as a toy, so that would have to be my pick.
    I think I prefer the Batmobile from Burton’s Batman films, maybe because I could see myself behin the wheel, and I saw it in Cars of the Stars museum once, I see online the attraction is closed now…I saw the De Lorean too, ahhh, those were the days ( :

  3. Avatar
    Jack Deth Reply

    Hi, Rodney and company:

    Excellent list!

    But, white walls on a De Lorean?…. Really?

    I’ve always had a soft spot for Rocky Jones’ spaceship, ‘The Orbit Jet’. The coolest looking space ship ever.

    Nice catch with the brown water Navy PBR (Patrol Boat, Riverene), mark!

    The boats were made of fiberglass and plastic. Had diesel water jet engines instead of screws to move rather nimbly through water and were made in Annapolis, MD.

    Would also posit the inclusion of the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T driven by Peter Fonda in ‘Dirty Mary Crazy Larry’. Also GTO’s GTO in ‘Two Lane Blacktop’.

  4. Avatar
    Pete Reply

    Great list, perfect selections, I’d just tweak the order! Delorean’s number one for me! Love it that the phone box is in there!

  5. Avatar
    Scott Lawlor Reply

    HAHA I thought the Tumbler would have been higher, until I saw Number One and slapped my forehead for being dumb!!

    Great work matey

  6. Avatar
    Evan Crean Reply

    A great list. I don’t have any complaints! Everything deserves to be on here and I can’t think of any other vehicles off the top of my head worth adding.

  7. Avatar
    Justine Reply

    The Millenium Falcon will always be the #1 of most filmgoers’ dreams. Although I would also include Serenity.

    It won’t be long before The Bat is included in this list though. That is definitely going to be something to see in IMAX.

  8. Avatar
    Rodney Reply

    @ Mark – I’d be hard pressed to include the boat from Apocalypse Now…. the brief was for “cool”, not “brave”….;)

  9. Avatar
    Rodney Reply

    @ Chris – Any inclusion of the Batmobile was never going to be easy… after all, it’s such an iconic vehicle and everyone’s got their favorite. I chose the Tumbler because of all the versions of this famous vehicle, it’s easily the meanest. And that’s what Batman’s all about.

    @ Jack – Not my choice of pic for the DeLorean, my friend, but as long as it gets me back to 1985 (or wherever I need to go) I’d be happy if it had a sunroof and tail fins.

    @ Pete – Glad I could accommodate the Phone Box.

    @ Scott – there’s a line there about slapping you in the head, but I’m not gonna take it. 😉

    @ Evan – Really? Not one? Darn, and here I was trying to be controversial…. LOL!!

    @ Justine – I re-watched Serenity (the film) only last week, and I admit it came quite close to being included…. but my heart belongs to the ones in this list….

  10. Avatar
    DEZMOND Reply

    and the flying skateboard was also cool in BACK TO THE FUTURE 🙂 I also loved all the improvized vehicles in MAD MAX movies too! I love me a good upgraded anti-zombie vans and lorries …. And the Borg cubes…

  11. Avatar
    Matthew Reply

    Awesome list! I’ve always loved the design of the Millennium Falcon, such a cool ship with all its compartments. I think one that wasn’t listed that would be legit is the Iron Man suit. How cool would it be to suit up into that and fly wherever you want whenever you want.

  12. Avatar
    mark Reply

    Rodney – point taken.

    Nevertheless:

    (1) They stole Kilgore’s surfboard (in Redux)

    (2) There was acid and pot on board (at the bridge; during the purple haze sequence)

    (3) Water skiing while listening to Satisfaction…

    All of that looked pretty cool.

  13. Avatar
    Reid Reply

    Don’t forget the Falcon has the cool chess board too.

  14. Avatar
    Raghav Reply

    So glad you added the Bluesmobile… that is such a classic and hardly ever appreciated especially since those guys are on a Mission from God.

  15. Avatar
    Fitz Reply

    The Millenium Falcon. No matter what Lucas does with his films, he will never touch that beauty.

  16. Avatar
    mark Reply

    Jack Deth: “Would also posit the inclusion of the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T driven by Peter Fonda in ‘Dirty Mary Crazy Larry’.”

    Or what about Vic Morrow’s police helicopter .. at least it didn’t crash.

  17. Avatar
    ruth Reply

    Cool list, Rodney! I think all these rides are cool but my fave has to be the Batmobile (Tumblr) and Batpods, I mean they are AWESOME!! I wish the TDKR vehicle tour made it to my town but it never did 🙁

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