While Top Gun: Maverick is on a winning spree at the box office as Tom Cruise’s First Billion Dollar Movielet’s talk about the other winner too, the Porsche cars that appear in both movies. Tom Cruise as Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell loves to perform aerial stunts, pilot his fighter jets and ride his Kawasaki motorcycles. But when it comes to the road, it was the Porsches, driven by the women of Top Gun who stole the show.
The only thing about these cars is that everyone loves a Porsche, especially a classic one. When they’re powered by stunning, fiery-tempered women, that’s the icing on the cake. In the original 1986 Top Gun movie, Charlie Blackwood, played by Kelly McGillis, drives a black 1958 Porsche 356 Speedster. But the 2022 Top Gun: Maverick sees Maverick’s new love interest Penny Benjamin, played by Jennifer Connelly, who drives a 1973 Porsche 911 S. We love them both. Plus, the Porsches stand out to us better than the Darkstar, and we’ll tell you why…
Charlie Blackwood’s black 1958 Porsche 356 Speedster
As one of the most desirable and fast cars ever built, the Porsche 356 was the favorite ride of racers and car enthusiasts in the open air, especially in the US. Astrophysicist Charlie Blackwood drove the same beautiful 1958 Porsche 356 Convertible in the first Top Gun movie that chases an evil Maverick as he flies down the road in his Kawasaki GPZ900R.
As she swerves and comes to a stop in front of him screeching, the love story begins. In the movie, it’s Blackwood and Mitchell who heat things up. But for the viewers, it’s the Porsche that gives us all the stars.
Oddly enough, the car used in this classic 1980s movie is a replica and not an original. However, given that these Porsche Speedsters are among the most counterfeit cars ever, the Top Gun Porsche Speedster from 1958, looked just as good as the original. It came from the house of Intermeccanica, the best of 356 replica makers. Most of the replicas are Porsche fiberglass bodies built over VW Beetle platforms, but the good sound effects would have left the public none the wiser.
Penny Benjamin’s Silver Porsche 911 S from 1973
In the latest episode of Top Gun, Maverick has grown older. Charlie Blackwood is no more, not even as a distant memory. And Maverick’s new love interest is an old flame, Penny Benjamin (Connelly), who runs a bar near the Top Gun base and is the daughter of an admiral.
There are glimpses of the ’86 movie in the new one. There’s Goose, his wife (Meg Ryan) and their son, of course. There’s the Kawasaki motorcycle, upgraded over time, and then there’s a Porsche.
Benjamin cruises around in her ultra-cool 1973 911 S classic, which comes with an air-cooled, rear-mounted 2.4-liter six-cylinder. From 1967 to 1973, the 911 S made about 190 horsepower, which was quite respectable for the time. The long, slender front also added extra charm to the car, as did the transmission of the Porsche 908 Type 915 race car. The 911 S was Porsche’s first engine derivative and emitted 160 horsepower from the 2.0-liter six-cylinder at launch. The displacement increased to 2.4 liters after 1969 and the power also got a jump. With a smoother ride and lower curb weight, the 911 S became the choice of many Americans who liked to drive their cars fast and hard, and the Fuchs wheels with the iconic five-spoke design added to the allure of this Porsche. Today it is a rather covetable classic and being in a movie only adds to its charm.
The movie car is an authentic one, a loaner car owned by Nick Psyllos, a resident of San Diego. It rides on Fuchs wheels and Jennifer Connelly drives it in the film, which, given its extreme success, could add some spice to the car’s resale value. Being a car to match the numbers makes it a true movie star in its own right.
Better than the Darkstar?
Why do we compare Porsches to a Mach 10+ experimental jet? Let’s count the many ways in which the Porsche car outperforms the Darkstar.
First, the Porsches are all too real. Given some relatively deep pockets and an auction of classic cars, it’s easy for any of us to get one of the cars in our garage. The Darkstar is an impossibility because it is not real. Even if it did, it is a military aircraft, so inaccessible to civilians. And while Tom Cruise may be able to fly airplanes, most of us can’t. The Darkstar is a utopia, while the Porsches are a beautiful reality. Again, the Porsches are fun, almost as fun as Cruise’s Kawasaki bikes in the movie, and given the franchise’s huge success, both the 911 S and 356 Speedster are likely to get more expensive on the collectible market. So what’s not to like about them?