Music videos go hand-in-hand with cool cars. Here’s a couple of iconic music video cars you may recognize from watching MTV.
Remember when MTV played actual music videos instead of 24 hours of Ridiculousness with Rob Dyrdek? It feels like it’s been a while since I saw an actual piece of music played on the “Music Television” channel. But back when they did run music videos, you could always expect to see some music artists cruising around in a nice car, racing a car, or being caught up in a police car chase. Cars in music videos are like peanut butter and jelly, they don’t need each other, but everything is better when they’re together. We sifted through all of the pop, rock, country, and hip-hop music videos from the 80s to today looking for cars that were the big stars for famous music videos.
Sabotage by the Beastie Boys has the group running around Los Angeles thwarting crime as cheaply dressed detectives who play by their own rules. Their car of choice was a 1983 Ford LTD Crown Victoria with a Starsky and Hutch style roof light. The Beastie Boys did all their own stunts with the car including doing an e-brake turn, hitting dips in the road at full speed, and performing the classic slide across the hood trope. The Crown Vic was already on its last legs before the video and ended up being basically a corpse on wheels by the end of the video shoot, so I guess you could say it was “sabotaged”.
Gonna be honest, not a huge fan of Sheryl Crow’s music, but her song Steve McQueen paid a nice homage to the racing actor. Her music video did it’s best to recreate McQueen’s famous chase scene from Bulitt with a similar Ford Mustang GT 390 Fastback speeding through city streets and getting some serious air. The video also features a Chevy Camaro, Ford GT40, and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
There are countless country songs about trucks, but Lee Brice’s I Drive Your Truck does a nice job of capturing how sentimental an old truck can really be. The music video showcases an old red Ford F-100 as it takes a drive through fields and back country roads. There are a bunch of random items all throughout the cab like old hats, dog tags, 89 cents in the ash tray, and even a half empty bottle of Gatorade, but they all help hold a memory of a loved one who had once owned the old truck.
The animated band Gorillaz always has some interesting stories and concepts within their music videos. For the song Stylo, the members of the band are speeding down a deserted highway in a beat-up Chevrolet Camaro with a big blower sticking out of the hood. They encounter the Bruce Willis in a souped up El Camino resulting in an action movie style car chase that ends with the Gorillaz jumping off a cliff into water and escaping from the Die Hard movie star.
Audioslave’s music video for their song Show Me How to Live features the band placed behind the wheel of a white 1970 Dodge Challenger and into the scenes from the 1971 movie Vanishing Point. The music video has all of the “blue meanies” car chases, the Jaguar XK-E moment, and even has Audioslave performing their song on the same desert stage from the movie.
No dogs barking in the morning, no smog over Los Angeles, and having the Lakers beat the Super Sonics does sound like a good day for Ice Cube, but we’re more interested in the drop top he drove around on that day. In the music video for It Was a Good Day, Ice Cube is seen driving a green 1964 Chevrolet Impala convertible that’s been outfitted with all the lowrider essentials allowing him to hit the switches and let it drop or pop. I’d have a good day too cruising around in that thing.
The iconic 80s hair band Whitesnake is famous for their song Here I Go Again and their classic 1987 music video. The video featured model and actress Tawny Kitaen dancing on the top of 2 cars. Both of them were Jaguar XJ models with the white one being owned by Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale and the black one being the video directors own car. Whitesnake brought the white 1986 Jaguar XJ back for their more recent Shut up & Kiss Me music video too.
I Can’t Drive 55 is a rock anthem that anyone stuck behind slow moving traffic can relate to. For this music video, Sammy Hagar sits in the driver’s seat of a racetrack tuned 1982 Ferrari 512 BB with a 12-cylinder boxer engine. Sammy takes the high-performance car off the track and into traffic where road rage gets the better of him. I’d want to put the pedal down too if I had this sweet ride.
The Weeknd has one of the newest music videos with the newest car on this list. For his song Blinding Lights, The Weeknd hops in a Mercedes-AMG GT roadster and takes the sports car on a high-speed joy ride through empty city streets. This isn’t the only time Blinding Lights has been featured with Mercedes though, as the company produced a commercial using the song to promote their history and their new Mercedes-Benz EQC.
When it comes to motors and music, ZZ Top is at the top of that list. Their music video for Gimme All Your Lovin’ features the most recognized car in music history, the Eliminator Coupe. A hot rodded 1933 Ford Coupe with suicide doors and painted bright red with a yellow “ZZ” graphic on the sides. The Eliminator Coupe also showed up in the music videos for Sharp Dressed Man and Legs. Plus, you may recognize the car from their Eliminator album cover as well.