We’d like to propose a new Academy Awards category: Oscar for the Best Supporting Vehicle.
Everyone knows the real star of Twister wasn’t Bill Paxton or Helen Hunt but Dorothy, the storm-chasin’ four-by-four. And what would Clint Eastwood be without his white pickup truck co-star in Gran Torino?
Whether in a lead role or merely a memorable cameo, here are seven famous Hollywood pickup trucks...
2007 GMC Topkick C4500, Transformers
Originally a Japanese toy line from the mid-80s, Transformers came to the American big screen in 2007 with a GMC Topkick C4500 playing the super-menacing autobot Ironhide. Jeff Mann, the vehicle designer, said Ironhide was the least modified vehicle of the movie. No wonder. The truck looks like sci-fi battle robot even pre-facelift.
1972 Ford F100, Gran Torino
Gran Torino is essentially about Clint Eastwood pointing guns and pistols at people and telling them to get off his literal and proverbial lawn. But the real weapon is his take-no-guff ‘72 Ford F-100. Indeed, nothing turns gangsters to schoolboys like a man in a crawling white pickup. Eastwood has an affinity for vintage trucks: in Bridges of Madison County, he drives a ‘50 GMC; and in Every Which Way But Loose he rides a ‘55 Chevy.
Dodge Ram 2500 Club Cab SLT, Twister
Dorothy, the storm-chasin’ red Ram of the hit movie Twister, should have been awarded an Oscar for her role in the 1996 extreme weather drama. Or a Medal of Honor, at the very least. A box office smash, America’s roads allegedly saw a noticeable uptick in red Dodge Rams in the years after the film’s release. A few years ago, a man built an exact replica of Dorothy, complete with weather instruments, and joined the Kansas City Storm Chasers. True story!
1995 Dodge Ram 1500 Club Cab SLT, Walker, Texas Ranger
Ram and Norris – name a more iconic duo. The mid-90s were peak product placement for Dodge, as evidenced by the Ram’s lead role in the crime series Walker, Texas Ranger. And what better endorsement than Chuck Norris, a man who can kill two stones with one bird. The actor also promoted his truck outside the show, in this perfectly 90s TV commercial.
1972 Chevrolet C10, Dazed and Confused
Nothing screams hilarious-in-hindsight teen insecurity like attaching your identity to the car you drive. Case in point: Benny O'Donnell’s timeless black ‘72 Chevy C10. What it lacks in screen time, it makes up for in style – there is simply no cooler pickup to spend the most important summer of your life in. Also, shoutout to Darla’s head-turning teal ‘55 Chevy 3100.
1987 GMC Suburban, Dante’s Peak
Another natural disaster flick co-starred by a truck on a mission. The premise is basically, how does an ‘87 GMC Suburban stack up against an erupting volcano? Pretty well, as it turns out. For a while there, like when snorkeling through a river, the ‘burb looked destined for a happy ending. Then it was swallowed by lava flow. Can’t win ‘em all.
1963 Dodge D200 Crew Cab Sweptline, Christmas Vacation
You know the scene: The Griswolds are on the road singing ‘Deck the Halls’ when all of a sudden they’re accosted by a couple of road-raging hecklers in a beat-up Dodge. The lemon is a ‘63 D200 Crew Cab Sweptline in beautiful baby blue and rust. And, like Clark’s sanity, it’s on the verge of completely unravelling. Fun fact: Kurt Russell drives the same truck in the movie Overboard.