Corvettes have always had a certain amount of glamour that translates well onto the big screen. In time, we have no doubt that the new 2014 seventh-generation Corvette will make its fair share of movie appearances. For now, though, we look back at some of the Corvette’s best starring and supporting roles:
1. “Corvette Summer” (1978): In his first post-Luke Skywalker role, Mark Hamill plays a high school loner who manages to build a fantastic custom Corvette. Not surprisingly, in real life, the Corvette was not built by a high school shop student. Two cars were built by famous customizer Dick Korkes and both of the movie cars survive today in the hands of private collectors. (Photos provided by Mid America Motorworks)
2. “Animal House” (1978): “Animal House” was a low-budget sleeper about a raunchy frat house that turned into a mega-hit. Delta house lothario Eric “Otter” Stratton drives a Roman Red with white coves 1959 Corvette convertible with a removable hard top. Since the movie was set in 1962, Stratton was clearly a kid of privilege who no doubt disappointed his parents.
3. “Body Heat” (1981): Sleazy lawyer Ned Racine, played by William Hurt, drives a very tired-looking 1964 Corvette roadster in this neo-noir classic. Then just a 17-year-old used car, both the ’Vette and its driver look like they’ve seen far better days.
4. “Star Trek” (2009): While no one knows for sure if cars will still be on the road in the 23rd century, we like J.J. Abrams’ assertion that they’ll still be around and still be the objects of collectors’ attention. Sadly, we find out that young not-yet-captain James T. Kirk was a bit of a juvenile delinquent, and the 1965 Corvette Sting Ray convertible belonging to his stepfather comes to a bad end at the conclusion of a joyride by Jim Kirk.
5. “Billy Jack” (1971): “Billy Jack” was the title character in an odd series of four rather preachy movies produced by Tom Laughlin, who coincidentally starred as Billy Jack in all of them. The wooden Laughlin made Al Gore look like a natural in front of the camera, and, strangely, while Billy Jack professed to abhor violence, it seems like 100 minutes of the movie’s 114-minute running time consist of Billy Jack beating the daylights out of someone. One such beating culminates in Billy Jack forcing a baddie to drive his Riverside Gold 1969 big block Corvetteconvertible into a lake. Another unfortunate end to a great-looking Corvette.
6. “Apollo 13” (1995): Going back to Project Mercury, there’s always been a strong connection between astronauts and Corvettes. In this Ron Howard classic, at least several Apollo astronauts are seen driving early ‘70s Corvettes. We like the scene with Tom Hanks as Commander Jim Lovell pulling up next to a Shelby GT350 Mustang at a stoplight in a Monza Red 1970 Corvette coupe.