Goodfellas' main titles—naming just the principal cast—come zooming in like cars. Fittingly, they're accompanied by car noises.
"This film is based on a true story" flashes on the screen before we switch to a giant sedan driving at night. That explains the automotive audio.
Time for some more on-screen text. This time, it's the setting: New York, 1970. That explains the boat-size automobile.
In the car, Henry is behind the wheel while Jimmy and Tommy doze. There's a rattling, thumping, not good sound coming from somewhere in the car. Henry is afraid he has a flat.
He pulls over, and the three guys go to the back of the car. It's not a flat. It's something in the trunk.
Jimmy has a shovel at the ready. Tommy reaches for his gun. We're pretty sure that's not a woodchuck in there.
Henry pops open the trunk. Inside, there's a bloody dude wrapped in a sheet. Tommy is ticked that he's still alive and stabs him several times. Then, Jimmy makes sure he's really dead and shoots him. These guys are nothing if not thorough.
"As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster," Henry tells us in voice-over as he shuts the trunk. The film freezes on his face.
Then, we get the rest of the opening credits as Tony Bennett's "Rags to Riches" plays. And with that, Goodfellas is bloody off and running.