Maxim’s 2012 Movie Cars of the Year

From sexy Chevys to physics-defying Dodge Chargers, these are the best rides to hit the big screen last year.

Coolest Car Of The Year: The 1973 Chevy Malibu (Chevelle) from Drive

Photo: FilmDistrict | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Ryan Gosling must be an awful good sport, because he didn’t mind being out-shined by three beautiful co-stars in Drive: Christina Hendricks, Carey Mulligan and a modified 1973 Chevy Malibu. The exact model of the car has actually sparked some online chatter. ’73 was something of a transition year, so there has been debate about whether the car is a Malibu or if it’s actually a proper Chevelle. Whatever you call it, Gosling loved it. He rebuilt it himself to prepare for the film and kept it after the movie was over. Apparently he wasn’t allowed to do the same with Christina Hendricks.

Luckiest Passenger Car Seat: The 1969 Dodge Charger from Drive Angry

Photo: Summit Entertainment | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

It doesn’t have the big blower on the front like the ’70 Charger Vin Diesel drives in the original Fast and the Furious movie, but it’s still a fine example of American muscle. Yeah, the movie kind of blew and if you want to see Nicolas Cage messing around with old cars, you’re probably better off watching Gone in 60 Seconds, but then you don’t also get the bonus of Amber Heard.

Best Disregard of Physics: The Cars of Fast Five

Photo: Universal Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

As with any of the Fast and Furious franchise, there’s plenty of car eye candy to be had in Fast Five. But, the real stars are the murdered-out black Chargers used to pull off the movie’s main heist. Paul Walker and Vin Diesel drive them to tow a bank vault weighing several tons on a wild ride through city streets. The whole thing make absolutely no sense, and will give a high school physics teacher a rage-induced seizure, but it’s a hell of a chase scene. That’s what we’ve come to expect from this franchise. Well, that and gratuitous shots of butts walking in bikinis.

Best Reagan Era Beauty: The 1983 Datsun 280z from 30 Minutes or Less

Photo: Columbia Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Jesse Eisenberg starts off this underrated comedy in a fast, but clapped-out old Mustang. Later, however, he and his partner Aziz Ansari end up stealing a sweet Datsun 280z. It’s not necessarily the typical flashy movie sports car, but that’s part of what makes it so cool. Plus, we’re suckers for anything with T-tops. (Though we call them “Sort Of H-Tops” because they look more like H’s, right?)

Best Off Road Vehicle: Lunar Rover from Apollo 18

Photo: Dimensions Films | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

It’s unclear how many horsepower it has or whether or not it has heated seats, but you can drive it on the moon, which is a lot more than you can probably say about your Toyota Prius. (Moon travel voids the warranty.)

Best Re-Painted Dead Guy’s Car: Steve McQueen’s Ferrari 250 GT Lusso from Tower Heist

Photo: Universal Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

The actual 250 GT Lusso owned by McQueen was a dark brown color, but that apparently didn’t pop when it was dangling out a skyscraper window, so they made it red instead. We would’ve preferred them to be a little more loyal to the original, but we appreciate that the car wasn’t played by Eddie Murphy in a fat suit. [Tower Heist hits Blu-ray and DVD on Feb. 21st!]

Best Reason to Watch a Crappy Movie: The 1965 Chrysler Imperial from The Green Hornet

Photo: Columbia Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

This movie has tons of amazing cars in it, from classics like the ’61 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder to modern day road-rockets like the Bugatti Veyron. But, the real star is the ’65 Chrysler Imperial, fully kitted out with James Bond-grade weapons. Even if it didn’t have all that firepower, it would still be a beast of a car. In fact, the Imperial is built so burly that it’s outlawed in most demolition derbies because they’re almost impossible to kill. You know what else is outlawed in demo derbies? Wait here while think of a hilarious punchline.

Best Car That Your Girlfriend Thinks is “Adorable!”: 1972 Formula V VW Beetle from Footloose

Photo: Paramount Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

VW has seriously overhauled the Beetle this year to the point where it’s actually kind of cool. But, for the remake of Footloose, the producers used the exact same model found in the original. It probably won’t get you all fired up like the rest of the muscle on this list, but it’s nice to see a movie paying that much attention to the automotive details. Now, if they could just get rid of all the dancing, it might be worth watching.

In Memoriam: The 1967 Jaguar XK-E from Straw Dogs (Cue the solemn applause)

Photo: Steve Dietl / Screen Gems | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

It was a good year at the cinema for old Jag aficionados. This silver ’67 is as pretty as they come, but if you’re squeamish, you might want to skip this movie all together. Spoiler alert: the car gets blown up in a huge fireball. Horrifying.

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