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The Most Iconic Cars In Steven Spielberg's Movies

Spielberg has a Jaws-sized appreciation of cars

Leo Shvedsky
September 29 2021
Steven Spielberg is single-handedly responsible for some of the most recognizable moments in cinema. Whether it’s Indiana Jones being chased by a giant boulder, a shark fin cutting ominously through shoreline waters, or a giant dinosaur peeking through our car window, the moments in Spielberg movies have left an indelible impression on all that have seen them. When we think Spielberg we think of iconic imagery and resonant storytelling.

But there is something else that we think of when we think of Spielberg – cars. The man has some serious car enthusiast chops if you watch his movies closely. Let’s take a look:

The Sheriff's Car:

The Sherriff’s car in 1975’s 
Jaws may not seem like the obvious first choice given that some very exotic cars have been featured in his movies. But, as always, we wanted to show how the decision of using certain cars to play certain parts not only affects the movie itself but also freezes an important moment in car history forever. It’s not always about showing pretty pictures (although it’s often about that).

In this case the 1975 Chevy Blazer. The Blazer was GM’s answer to the Ford Bronco, and boy was it. The model featured in Jaws was the first truck that also turned into a convertible, which is so fitting for Martin Brody the laid-back Sherriff of this sleepy beach community who is completely unprepared for a massive shark attack. The idea of this rugged car that transforms into a carefree summer romper is so apropos.  

Incidentally, it continues to resonate. Recently a replica of the car sold for over $24,000 at auction, proving that the little things can make a big impression.  

Lexus 2054: 20th Century Fox 

The Lexus 2054 is a concept car specially built for 2002’s Minority ReportBefore iPhones and Tony Stark, this movie introduced the concept of someone pinching and expanding images with two fingers, or swishing hologram computer interfaces by waving their palms around like an orchestra composer who’s had too much caffeine.  

The film starred Tom Cruise and envisioned a future where a crime was predicted before it could happen. It was also a world where advertisements were customized to you based on your eye scan. The coolest thing about this world though was that cars in this world were not flying ones. We really appreciate that.  

The car was designed by the film’s production designers along with Lexus. Apparently, Spielberg was a fan of Lexus at the time. But this car made such an impact that someone out there actually built a working model. You can buy it! We’re thinking about it, but we’re holding out for a working time machine Delorian from Back to the Future. 

Jeep Wrangler: Universal Studios

There are so many more cars to go, and maybe one day we’ll do a part two of the Spielberg collection, but we decided to finish this one with what we consider the pièce de résistance of cars used in the Spielberg lexicon - the 1993 Ford Explorers that were absolutely trashed by T-Rex and the generally mercurial climate of the tropics. The best part was that they were all self-driving.  

Yeah, we get it, it’s not the first thing you think of when you think Jurassic Park. The first thing you think of are the dinosaurs, and then the second thing you think of is the cutting edge interactive CD-Roms featured in the Ford Explorer. But these cars presaged self-driving cars! When Musk was still expanding his horizons in college, Speilberg was already there!  

Incidentally, Ford Explorer sales dipped slightly the year following this movie’s release. We wonder if it’s because people were afraid they’d get eaten by a Triceratops if bought one. Just kidding. Everyone knows the Triceratops is a herbivore!  

Also, and this should come as no surprise by now, people have recreated these amazing machines and yes you can buy one if you want. The movies themselves can bring us together in fright and suspense, and the cars in them can reach beyond the screen and remind us that we all want a Lexus in 2054…  



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