Gangs and gangsters have throughout history held appeal for those seeking an adrenaline rush and looking for a place to fit in. Sometimes young people join gangs for a sense of protection and as a means for obtaining some of the necessities of life. In order to obtain new recruits, gangsters often immerse themselves in a flashy lifestyle including wearing the latest fashion trends, throwing parties, and driving image-conscious vehicles. The following are thirty of the greatest gangster movies cars glorified on the screen.
In 1931, The 1929 Studebaker President FB
In Little Caesar, a must-see classic gangster flick, Caesar (Rico) Bandello, climbs the ranks of the Chicago underworld but dies poor and alone. The 1929 Studebaker President FB makes one of its first appearances on the big screen.
In 1972, The 1940 Lincoln Coupe
In The Godfather, Sonny Corleone gets ambushed by the Barzini gang, and he and his 1940 Lincoln coupe get riddled with bullets. At least he goes out in style.
In 1973, The 1972 Imperial LeBaron
In Scorsese’s Mean Streets, starring Keitel and De Niro, a 1972 Imperial LeBaron is visible throughout the movie, which was filmed in Manhattan’s Little Italy. The story traces a young guy (Keitel) trying to move up in the local mafia.
In 1983, The 1963 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible
In Scarface, Tony Montana and Manolo cruise around in this 1963 Cadillac Series '62 convertible before becoming Miami’s drug kingpin. This movie highlights the kingpin mobster lifestyle in America.
In 1987, The 1931 Buick Series 50 Sedan
In The Untouchables, Brian De Palma’s classic, Capone (De Niro) cruises around in a 1931 Buick sedan during the prohibition era, while Elliot Ness (Costner) tries to take him down.
In 1990, The 1979 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
In Goodfellas, an all-time classic gangster film features a pink 1979 Cadillac Coupe DeVille in one of its many iconic scenes. After a heist, De Niro’s character warns the others to lay low and instead, one mobster goes out and buys a pink Cadillac paying the ultimate price with his life.
In 1990, The 1990 Lincoln Mark VII
In an often-cited scene in King of New York, Laurence Fishburn rolls up in a 1990 Lincoln Mark VII. The movie depicts a New York drug kingpin who controls the city with extreme violence.
In 1991, The 1991 Jeep Wrangler
In New Jack City, the Wrangler was a sign of success in the film, which inspired the Jeep Wrangler trend of the early 1990’s. Plenty of rappers were found cruising around in these.
In 1991, The 1963 Chevrolet Impala Convertible
In Boyz n The Hood, a coming-of-age story set in Los Angeles, Doughboy (Ice Cube) drove around getting into and avoiding trouble in a 1963 Chevrolet Impala convertible.
In 1992, The 1966 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
In Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Blonde, a cutthroat who would murder in a heartbeat, cuts off a police officer’s ear and drives off in his 1966 Cadillac Coupe DeVille.
In 1993, The 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado
In True Romance, an all-star cast is featured including Christian Slater, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Chris Penn, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Walker, etc. It is a love/gangster story, and in it, Slater drives in a 1974 Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado.
In 1993, The 1991 Mustang GT Convertible
In Menace II Society, a movie about violence and drugs in the hood, the 1991 Mustang GT convertible makes numerous appearances driven around by popular hustlers Caine and O-Dog.
In 1993, The 1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
In A Bronx Tale, set in the 1960’s, a young man is initiated into the mobster lifestyle, and the gangsters are often seen driving around in a 1968 Cadillac DeVille convertible.
In 1994, The 1992 Acura NSX
In Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Harvey Keitel plays the cleaner named The Wolf, who aids Travolta and L. Jackson. He’s seen cruising off in his 1992 Acura NSX.
In 1995, The 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow I
In Casino, casino-owner, Sam Rothstein (De Niro) gets chauffeured around in a 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow. This classic mobster flick portrays the Chicago mob during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
In 1997, The 1979 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
In Donnie Brasco, Depp’s character gives Lefty (Pacino) his Cadillac. The 1979 Cadillac Coupe DeVille was a full-sized sedan, very popular with the mob during the 1970’s mostly for its intimidating looks.
In 1998, The 1995 Mercedes-Benz S 420
In Belly, the opening scene with the black S-Class peeling away from Tunnel nightclub, sets the tone for the rest of the film, hooking you into the gangster underworld.
In 1998, The 1974 Rover 3500
In Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, the enforcer’s vehicle of choice was the 1974 Rover 3500. In one memorable and typically violent scene, another character’s head gets smashed in with the driver’s side door.
In 2001, The 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
In Training Day, Denzel Washington in an Oscar-winning performance plays a corrupt narcotics officer in L.A. and drives around in a blacked-out 1979 Chevrolet Monte Carlo throughout the entire movie.
In 2002, The 1986 BMW 315 Convertible
In Paid In Full, movie-goers were thrilled to see a white 1986 BMW 315 roll across the scene in the opening and ending of this gangster movie.
In 2002, The 1929 Buick
In The Road To Perdition, a gangster played by Tom Hanks drives cross-country with his son in a 1929 Buick in order to get revenge on another mobster who murdered their family.
In 2002, The 1987 Saab 900 Cabrio
In Paid In Full, the glamorous Saab 900 Cabrio is a gangster status symbol that showed the world you had made it in the mobster ranks.
In 2002, The 1987 BMW 325i Cabrio
In Paid In Full, Mitch receives a welcome-home gift from Ace in the form of a cherry-red 1987 BMW 325i Cabrio. The car is a symbol of their friendship and loyalty.
In 2004, The 2003 Audi RS6
In Layer Cake, a popular British gangster film, Daniel Craig portrays a drug-dealing Englishman. He was always creeping around under the radar of law enforcement, cruising in his 2003 Audi RS6.
In 2005, The 1980 Mercedes-Benz SL
In The Business, a British gangster movie set in the southern part of Spain, all the gangster bling including the gold Benz makes for many eye-catching scenes.
In 2005, The 1992 Mercedes-Benz 400 SE
In Get Rich Or Die Trying, a semi-biography based on the rise of rapper 50 Cent, 50 goes out and purchases a white Benz with a knapsack full of cash.
In 2006, The 1967 Ford Mustang
In Running Scared, a 1967 Ford Mustang is Paul Walker’s constant companion. In this violent mobster movie, Walker’s character speeds through scene after scene in his 1967 Ford Mustang.
In 2007, The 1966 Shelby GT 350 H
In American Gangster, Josh Brolin’s character drove around in a 1966 Shelby GT until it got unceremoniously blown up by Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) who wanted to show Brolin who was the boss.
In 2008, The 1968 Cadillac DeVille Convertible
In Mesrine, France’s infamous bank robber and kidnapper, Jacques Mesrine, is played by Vincent Cassel. The movie based on a true story outlines the criminal career of Mesrine, and in it, he speeds around in a 1968 Cadillac DeVille convertible.
In 2009, The 1936 Chevrolet Standard
Classic Fords and Chevys are visible throughout the gangster film Public Enemies, but the 1936 Chevrolet Standard was the highlight of one of Dillinger’s car chase scenes.