culture

What was that car from that movie? A guide to the Internet Movie Car Database.

We’ve all been there.

You’re 78 minutes into a Scorsese masterpiece and out of the corner of your eye, to the left of the frame and just behind De Niro’s head, you catch a tail light or a bumper. Was that a…? did I just see…?

If you are as immersed in car culture as much as we are here at CarAdvice, then the next best thing to spotting a specific car on the road is spotting a car in a movie. And if like us, you want to swiftly validate your ability to pick the pop-up lights from an Australian-built Ford Capri, sold under the Mercury banner in the US, in your annual showing of Night at the Roxbury, then the Internet Movie Car Database (IMCDb) is for you.

Independently run by a small team from France and Belgium since 2004, the IMCDb boasts an archive of 1,336,877 on-screen roles, covering 5199 manufacturers across 69,198 movies, documentaries and TV shows.

Cars in each film are ranked by their importance to the story, with an eager community of forum participants and moderators curating screenshots to confirm the car’s provenance.

Being community-run, the list of movies isn’t exhaustive, but it is diverse.

For example, if you want a nostalgic trip down the Australian television memory lane of the late ‘90s, head on over to the Blue Heelers page to spot such gems as a Holden Adventra in Mount Thomas police livery, or perhaps an entire alphabet of E-Series Falcons running from the law.

The site allows you to search by film or vehicle, and then sort by year or importance, which makes finding your specific celluloid crush reasonably easy.

Those cool Land Rover Defender SVR pickups from Spectre? Easy. The heavily modified Nissan GT-R that doesn’t survive Elysium? It’s here too,

It also allows you to find some special stars in the background – like the white 1964 Abarth 850 on yellow wheels in the original Italian Job, or perhaps some cars that look a little out of place. Fancy seeing an EA Falcon and NC Fairlane in the middle of downtown Metropolis in Superman Returns...

So if you have spent time in front of the box and can think of a time you've seen or wondered about a car in a movie, or simply want to cheat during a Trivia competition, then IMCDb is the time-sucking black hole your life needs.


Found any hidden gems or perhaps settled any old scores? Let us know in the comments below!

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