24 June 2015

The Cars Of Goodfellas

It’s hard to believe, but the Martin Scorsese classic “Goodfellas” just celebrated its 25th anniversary. It’s one of those movies that stops your channel surfing dead in its tracks. It doesn’t matter if you catch it near the beginning — when Ray Liotta (as Henry Hill) is explaining that all he ever wanted to be was a gangster — or near the end when everyone remotely involved with the Lufthansa heist is getting whacked, you’ll watch it. If for no other reason than the fine assortment of cars. Here are five “Goodfellas” favorites:

  1. 1966 Chevrolet Corvette: This red 1966 big-block Corvette convertible had a brief but memorable part early in the film. It belonged to a spoiled Long Island kid who assaulted Henry Hill’s girlfriend Karen (played by Lorraine Bracco). After delivering a Sonny Corleone-style beating to the owner, Liotta (as Hill) leaves the car thankfully unharmed.
  2. 1979 Cadillac Coupe DeVille Custom Phaeton Coupe: This metallic brown Cadillac was the last car that Hill would own in the film prior to being shipped off to the witness protection program. An impaired and paranoid Hill is seen driving the car at breakneck speed through suburban Long Island and demonstrating the impressive body roll for which these cars were famous when pitched into a corner.
  3. 1979 Coupe DeVille: On the topic of last cars, Johnny Roastbeef was foolish enough to ignore the admonition of Jimmy Conway (Robert DeNiro) to lay low after the Lufthansa heist. Instead, he buys this hot pink Coupe DeVille for his wife and pays the ultimate price, both for bad taste and defying the boss.
  4. 1980 Volvo 244: An odd choice for a mobster’s wife, this brick-like Volvo sedan would have looked more at home in a Fairfield County prep school parking lot than as part of Henry Hill’s drug-smuggling enterprise. At least someone was following Jimmy Conway’s advice to remain low-key.
  5. 1961 Chevy Impala convertible: This lovely white Impala, with a white convertible top with rear fender skirts, was used by Joe Pesci as psychopath Tommy DeVito. With a small-block V-8, power was ample. The body-carrying capacity of the trunk however, was off the charts.

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