Cars in Film
Cars have been in movies almost as long as movies have been made. Cars give attitude and status to the characters in film. Car scenes lend excitement and drama to settings. The American public has a particular connection with the automobile, and this translates to movies and TV shows that center on the characters with their cars. The shooting of a film centered on a specific car requires several identical cars for the shoot. In some series or films, several dozen cars may be required for one feature.
Some movie cars are uniquely identified with the protagonists or the car as the star of the movies. These are known as a "hero cars." Examples of Hero cars are: the Green Mustang from Bullitt, the Gran Torino from Starsky & Hutch, Eleanor from Gone in 60 Seconds, the General Lee in The Dukes of Hazard, the Thunderbird from Thelma & Louise, and Bumblebee and Optimus Prime from Transformers. Hero cars driven by James Bond included the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger, the Lotus Esprit (that changed into a submarine) from The Spy Who Loved Me, the Land Rover Defender from Skyfall and the Aston Martin DB10 from Spectre. Any cars driven by Vin Diesel or Paul Walker in any of the Fast and Furious films are also "hero" cars.
Cars that are the central character or the main ride of a "bad" character are referred to as "villain cars." These include Christine from the film with same name, "The Car," the Charger used to chase Steve McQueen in Bullitt, and any cars of the villains in the Bond films. Chick Hicks from Cars and the majority of the cars from Mad Max: Fury Road are good examples of villain cars.
When featuring a hero car, the car that is kept in the best shape for still shots and for simple moving scenes with no stunts is called the "star car." These cars are kept in fairly pristine condition so promotions and later displays show the vehicle looking its best.
Films that feature cars that jump or crash require "stunt cars." On the outside, stunt cars look like hero cars. Internally, they are "gutted." The interior is removed or radically altered to accommodate the stunts by installing roll cages, special drive trains, and other devices for special effects.