Hot Fuzz is a brilliant film. Sandwiched between Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End in Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, Hot Fuzz is arguably the best of the three.
Simon Pegg leads an ensemble cast featuring former Bond Timothy Dalton and future Queen Olivia Colman. The film passes Kermode and Mayo’s patented ‘six laugh test’ long before PC Nicholas Angel (played by Simon Pegg) and his Japanese Peace Lily (played by itself) arrive in the fictional village of Sandford (played by Wells).
Part of its appeal, aside from the comedy, is the familiarity of its surroundings. The action plays out against a backdrop of British life and culture. The Edinburgh Woollen Mill, a National Trust shop and the former Somerfield supermarket suggest that Hot Fuzz could have been set in a village near us.
Although the cars of Hot Fuzz aren’t the main attraction, they’re certainly part of the action. As time goes by – the film was shot in 2007 – the cars are becoming increasingly PetrolBloggy. Grab a Cornetto as PetrolBlog celebrates the best cars of Hot Fuzz. This s*** just got real!
Having seen PC Danny Butterman’s Volkswagen Jetta GTI for the first time, you’ll spend the next 15 minutes doing one of two things. Either wondering when you last saw a Jetta GTI on the road or firing up eBay to see if there are any for sale. Spoiler alert: there aren’t.
The Jetta survives its encounter with the fountain remarkably well – they don’t make ’em like wot they used to – only for it to reappear in the final act when it fares less well in a battle with a Jeep Cherokee. This is around the time your mind had finally stopped drifting off into the world of three-box Golfs.
A bit like the characters Martin Blower and Eve Draper, you’ll lose your head when the Monte Carlo Yellow Saab 900 Convertible appears on screen. It’s the right car, the right spec and the right colour. The fact that it’s wearing number plates belonging to a 1992 Volkswagen Golf provides a subtle hint that the Saab isn’t long for this world.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Saab went to great lengths to ensure the safety of its cars. Unfortunately, the Swedes didn’t consider the possibility of death by Hot Fuzz. The 900 had its top removed quicker than PC Doris Thatcher in a lay-by.
The final scene sees Angel and Butterman behaving like 2 Bad Boys in a Subaru Impreza WRX police car. Ten years later, Edgar Wright would use another Impreza to star in the epic opening to one of the best films in recent years: Baby Driver.
There are two references to Hot Fuzz on the Subaru, with ‘HF’ written on the roof and the gear knob.
For every Citroën ZX police car that’s been wrecked in the name of a film set in France (hello Ronin and The Bourne Identity), a Vauxhall Astra ‘jam sandwich’ has responded to its final call in a British film or TV drama. According to IMCDb, a total of five Astras were used during the filming of Hot Fuzz.
Timothy Dalton said the film, particularly the sequence where his character (Simon Skinner) and PC Angel are shooting at each other during the car chase, was the most fun he’s had on a film. A passenger ride in a MkIV Astra is more fun than driving an Aston Martin on a frozen lake – who’d have thought it?
There are two Jeep Cherokees in Hot Fuzz. The K-reg car is used as a background vehicle, while a later N-reg Cherokee is owned and driven by James Reaper (Kenneth Cranham).
The latter was wrecked by the aforementioned Jetta, when PC Angel returned from his drive to Heston Services on the M4. The night-time drive was a homage to Lost Highway and Mad Max.
According to IMDb, the seats in Simon Skinner’s Jaguar XKR Convertible alternate between a pre-2000 model year and a post-2000 model year car. The difference being adjustable headrests, which are present following the Saab 900 ‘traffic collision’ but not after Merchant’s death. A third of people think this is interesting…
The IMDb website also says that the role of Skinner was written with Timothy Dalton in mind. Both Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg were thrilled when Dalton said yes.
There are a few things to mention about this Saab 900 V6. As a 1994 car, it’s a really early example of the GM900/NG900. Those three-spoke alloy wheels are underrated. Metallic green (Eucalyptus?) is a great colour. And the car was last taxed in 2006, a year before Hot Fuzz was released.
The Volvo 240 GLT is the automotive equivalent of Sandford. A car that appears safe, dependable, unassuming and tranquil on the outside, yet it’s hiding a dirty secret. Launched in 1980, the GLT (Grand Luxe Touring) was a more sporting take on the 240 recipe – note the stylish five-spoke alloy wheels.
Again, Hot Fuzz was the swansong for this car – it was last taxed in 2006.
A Rover 416 SLi is a rather appropriate car for a doctor. In the trigger-happy final act, Dr Hatcher opens the boot to reveal a stash of weapons and ammunition hidden below a tartan blanket. “You’re a doctor. Deal with it.”
The 1996 Ford Fiesta is little more than a bystander. An extra. A car that takes this look at the best cars of Hot Fuzz up to a round 10. It’s also a reminder that the MkIV Fiesta is fast becoming a rare sight on the roads of Britain.
Hot Fuzz is available to rent or buy via the Amazon Prime website, which is where the screen grabs were, er… grabbed. Watch it for the greater good. The greater good.