In one of my very first articles written for BMWBLOG, I wrote about how my love for BMW really started when I saw The Transporter, the first film of the trilogy. In The Transporter, Jason Statham stars as Frank Martin, a former military man who decides to become a bit of a getaway driver and a man who will deliver some unsavory things for some unsavory people. But the reason the movie jump-started my love for BMWs, as well as it did for many enthusiasts, has nothing to do with the plot, but the car he drives — an E38 BMW 7 Series.
Technically, the E38 BMW 735i Statham drove in The Transporter never existed, as it was made for the movie and was never a production vehicle. That doesn’t matter, though. It was a black on black E38 7 Series with a manual gearbox and it was absolutely ace. It showed off BMW’s Ultimate Driving Machine ethos in full force and it was quite possibly the best advertisement for the BMW 7 Series in history.
What’s more, Statham’s Martin took meticulous care of his 7er. The Transporter would clean, maintain and care for his car himself after each and ever drive and it showed an enthusiasm for his car that you don’t see in other movies that feature such cool driving. In fact, in most movies with great car chase scenes, the cars, no matter how fantastic or expensive, are treated as disposable items, action-scene fodder. Not so in The Transporter. Sure, his 7 Series ends up exploding thanks to a failed assassination attempt on Martin (Spoiler Alert), but that enrages him and it wasn’t treated as a trivial plot point. They destroyed his car and he’s pissed about it. Oh and they tried to kill him, too. But killing his precious 7er was the real crime.
Aside from BMW Films’ “Star“, which featured Clive Owen hooning an E39 M5 with Madonna in the back seat, I don’t think there’s been any film, short or otherwise, that made me want to own and drive a BMW more than The Transporter. Being that it’s Friday and the weekend is upon us, you should watch it at some point during. The movie itself is pretty campy and absurd and, as a whole, not very good. But the 7 Series and the opening car chase scene are worth it alone.