1970-Dodge-Challenger-Vanishing-Point Helicopter Filming

Why The Vanishing Point Car Chase Was The Most Expensive In Hollywood History

We love a movie car chase. Everyone does. Some films are just made by their car chases, even if they only have a small portion of time within the film. But they stay in our minds forever. As you might expect though, being able to organize and film a car chase isn’t cheap. In no world are they cheap, but how do we know what the most expensive one is. Well, the most expensive one in Hollywood history, according to the guys at Compare the Market, is the scene from Vanishing Point in 1971.


This is one of the most iconic car chase scenes in Hollywood history. It featured an iconic 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T, which was actually eight different cars loaned by Chrysler for filming. In the film, the Challenger is seen taking on a race against an iconic Jaguar E-Type/XK-E, with the Challenger driven by Barry Newman. There are more car chase scenes in the film, but it is this one that is the most expensive. And it is interesting to see why the chase scene was indeed the most expensive.

The Methodology Behind The Work Of The Iconic Car Chase

Compare the Market have helpfully given us their methodology for the way they worked this out. They collated data from various sources to determine what the most well-known movie car chases were. They ranked them using YouTube views of the most relevant and most viewed video per each car chase. Following that, they worked with Car & Classic’s head of editorial, Chris Pollitt, to estimate the cost of the vehicles that we see in each car chase scene. The movie scenes are then ranked based on the estimated cost per car chase scene.


As the Compare the Market team were keen to point out, several of the featured movies used either custom or specially modified vehicles. But where the studio wouldn’t release the cost of the cars, the figures are calculated on the cost of an unmodified version of the vehicle. The Compare the Market team also took into consideration inflation with the ranking, given the deprecation in value of each older car model featured in the scenes. This led to the inflation-adjusted estimated cost, and the umber of cars involved in each movie was taken from IMCDB, the Internet Movie Cars Database.

RELATED: This Is What Happened To The ‘Vanishing Point’ Challenger


The Vanishing Point Car Scene

Vanishing Point is ranked first on the list of the car chase scenes, and there is good reason for that. The scene is estimated to cost a staggering $1,464,454 million, a huge figure which is over $1 million clear of Fast Five, which ranks in second place. On YouTube, the video in question has 301,292 views and the Compare the Market guys worked out that 103 cars were used to shoot the scenes within the film. The Dodge Challenger R/T from 1970 was of course the main car, in its iconic clear white livery.

There is plenty of speculation as to why that livery was chosen. Over the years, it was speculated that it was simply to represent a ‘clean slate’, but apparently the producers chose white as it just stood out well against the background the film would be shot on. Nevertheless, it is nice to speculate on what might have been the reason. It is so, so impressive in a way how much more expensive the scene from Vanishing Point is compared to all the other scenes on the list. Not one film comes close, and even though Baby Driver has 82,027,075 views, it sits at the bottom of the list with $11,548.


The Clip Used By Compare The Market

The video that Compare the Market used in their research from vanishing point was the one that features the incredible chase with the Jaguar E-Type. In that scene, Barry Newman is engaged in an epic contest with a classic Jaguar, and it involves a bit of bumping and rubbing that sees Newman in the Charger go off the road. At the end of the scene, with a tight and narrow bridge approaching, the Jaguar rolls up over a mound and wrecks, while Newman manages to get away from the approaching cops in his Challenger.

RELATED: Famous Movie Car: Why We Love The 1973 Porsche 911 S From Top Gun

Amazing Car Chases In Movies

There are so many other amazing scenes in the Compare the Market research that will no doubt feature on HotCars at some point. The Fast Five is featured, Mission Impossible: Fallout is in there as well as The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Identity. But above them all, is that one scene from vanishing point. The whole movie is one of the most incredible out there, with some amazing scenes as well as so many incredible cars. So if any movie deserved this title, then it surely has to be Vanishing Point.

Source: Compare the Market

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