Since the era of music videos began, cars have been a part of them in some way, somewhere.
There’s been quite a lot of cool cars that have appeared in music videos over the years and I’ve picked 10 of what I think are the coolest!
1. Chevrolet Camaro (I Disappear – Metallica)
Metallica’s contribution to the Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack is better known for the controversy that surrounded it being leaked early on Napster, leading to one of the most infamous lawsuits in the history of the music business.
This means that one of the coolest parts of the big-budget video for I Disappear (the modified 1967 Chevrolet Camaro) sometimes goes forgotten.
TAKE OUR QUIZ: Can you tell which movies these cars are from?
This gorgeous black Camaro was actually one of Metallica frontman James Hetfield’s own cars! Papa Het is a big car guy, with a fondness for all types of classic and heavily customised Americana.
A big part of his car collection recently went on display in the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles and it included some proper unicorn examples of American hot rods, including a few that Hetfield worked on himself!
As for the Camaro you see in the music video, he put it up for auction on eBay three years after the video was filmed. It sold for over US$70,000 (more than US$90,000, adjusted for inflation), with all of the money going towards charities that help to provide music education for children.
2. Lamborghini Diablo, Ferrari F355 and Ferrari F40 (Cosmic Girl – Jamiroquai)
Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay is probably one of the world’s most famous petrolheads.
He’s been on motoring-related shows several times, is a regular attendee of events at Goodwood and he sampled the roar of his own Lamborghini Diablo SE30 to open up the title track to Jamiroquai’s classic album Travelling Without Moving.
So, it’s not surprising that the video for Cosmic Girl (also from the Travelling Without Moving album) has three classic supercars in it!
The entirety of the video for Cosmic Girl is a car chase featuring a Lamborghini Diablo, a Ferrari F355 and a Ferrari F40, with Jay Kay himself driving the Diablo.
It’s likely not a coincidence that these cars specifically were featured, as Jay Kay has owned an example of all three of them at some point!
The whole thing is a glorious piece of 90s nostalgia (with the inclusion of one of the greatest supercars of the 80s) and I’d imagine it was really good fun to film too!
3. Dodge Challenger R/T (Show Me How to Live – Audioslave)
For the video for this song, the American supergroup decided to pay tribute to the classic film Vanishing Point. Of course, that means that the film’s iconic car (a white Dodge Challenger R/T) also had to make an appearance!
The late, great Chris Cornell stepped into the role of the film’s protagonist and played it to near perfection.
Combine it with a very faithful and loving tribute to the film in all other aspects (as well as adding that bit of rock and roll showmanship!), Show Me How to Live became cemented forever as a fantastic tribute to Vanishing Point.
4. Austin Healy 3000 (Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears For Fears)
The video for this 80s classic somehow gets forgotten quite a lot. That’s something that shouldn’t be the case for car enthusiasts as it features a gorgeous British racing green Austin Healy 3000!
The quaint and quintessentially British sports car (possibly very apt, as Tears For Fears themselves are a British band!) is a focal point of the video as it takes a trip through various scenes of classic Americana, creating a great juxtaposition between two of the world’s biggest English-speaking cultures.
Even in the bigger and chintzier world of middle America, the comparatively little Austin Healy never seems to feel out of place either!
5. Jaguar XJ (Here I Go Again ’87 – Whitesnake)
The music video for this glam rock classic is perhaps one of the most infamous of the 80s. The image of the white Jaguar XJ with model Tawney Kitaen (who at one point was married to Whitesnake’s lead singer David Coverdale) prancing across it has become the stuff of legend, thanks to it rocketing up to the top of MTV’s playlists at the time.
Much like James Hetfield’s Camaro mentioned earlier, the car was actually owned by David Coverdale himself.
Coverdale put the car into storage not long after the video was filmed and, after an extensive restoration process three decades later, it appeared as the star of another Whitesnake video!
I think many of us can agree that we’re very glad that Coverdale not only kept the car all this time, but also spent rather a lot of time and money on bringing it back to the condition it was in back in the 80s.
6. De Tomaso Mangusta (Can’t Get You Out of My Head – Kylie Minogue)
For the first single for her 2001 album Fever, Kylie Minogue got behind the wheel of a yellow De Tomaso Mangusta.
The often-forgotten late 60s to early 70s Italian sports car was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and powered by a Ford small-block V8, giving it a great combination of Italian styling flair and good, honest American engineering.
It certainly looks great in its opening shot right at the start!
The Mangusta hasn’t just had a very visible role due to this music video, either.
A silver one is driven by Bill in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (another classic of the early-mid 00s), whilst the original 1974 version of Gone in 60 Seconds features a white one.
I guess the great Giugiaro design of the Mangusta just lends it well to being a car that has a starring role on the screen!
7. Jaguar E-Type (One (Always Hardcore) – Scooter)
Scooter’s frontman H.P. Baxxter is a huge fan of classic British motors.
He trained as a mechanic in Birmingham before he landed fame fronting the legendary techno band and his automotive anglophilia has bled into his music career a few times.
One of those times where it happened was when he took his own personal Jaguar E-Type to a beach to use in the video for One (Always Hardcore).
His particular E-Type is a red Series 3 roadster with the V12 engine.
It’s perhaps not the purist’s choice, as the most desirable E-Types tend to be the straight-six Series 1 models, but one that’s still definitely really awesome!
8. The Eliminator (various ZZ Top videos)
Perhaps one of the most famous cars to be linked with music is the Eliminator.
Commissioned by ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and based on a similar car he saw in The California Kid, it went on to star in several of ZZ Top’s music videos.
Perhaps the most well-known videos that featured the Eliminator are the ones for Gimme All Your Lovin’, Sharp Dressed Man and Legs.
Billy Gibbons still owns the Eliminator to this day, as well as several other pieces of heavily-customised Americana including a 1948 Cadillac Series 62 (named “CadZZilla”), a 1932 Highboy Ford, a 1962 Chevrolet Impala (which he calls the “Slampala”), a 1933 Ford Coupe (known as the “Whiskeyrunner”) and a 1936 Ford truck, which he turned into a rat rod. Very awesome indeed!