Cars that get “starring roles” in TV shows and movies somehow take on an iconic status and become Hollywood legends on their own. From being just ordinary vehicles, once they are used in a show or movie, they become immediately associated with that project to the point that sometimes people would refer to them as “that car” from “that TV show/movie.”
If you’re a great fan of movies or television shows and you also love cars at the same time, there’s no way that the following iconic cars might have escaped your notice. We present to you the 24 most iconic cars as seen in some of the most legendary movies and TV series.
The Most Iconic Cars in Film and TV
JAMES BOND’S ASTON MARTIN DB5
The Aston Martin DB5 has made so many appearances in the Bond films that it has become synonymous with the fictional and legendary secret service agent himself. Goldfinger, Goldeneye, Thunderball, Casino Royale, Tomorrow Never Dies, and Skyfall are just some of the films in which you’ll catch a sight of this iconic car. Here’s a fun piece of trivia: the DB5 that James Bond drove in Thunderball and Goldfinger were sold at an auction for the jaw-dropping price of £2.6 million.
WAYNE’S WORLD AMC PACER
It is impossible to think of the movie Wayne’s World without also thinking about that headbanging scene in the car where the characters sang and rocked out to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” That scene was so iconic that it made the song shoot up to the top of the charts 17 years after it was first released. The car used in the scene, a custom 1976 AMC Pacer, also achieved legendary status among film fanatics. It was recently sold at an auction for a whopping $37,400!
DUKES OF HAZZARD’S CHARGER
The Dukes of Hazzard was a really popular TV series in the late seventies and early eighties that followed the adventures of the Duke boys, who were all cousins. It wasn’t only the characters who gained a massive following throughout the series’s entire run; the car featured on the show, a 1969 Dodge Charger painted a wicked bright orange, also became a star in its own right. Here’s an interesting fact: around 300 Dodge Chargers were used throughout the entire run of the show!
MIAMI VICE’S FERRARI TESTAROSSA
After the end of the TV show Miami Vice in 1989, the iconic car used in the show, a white 1986 Ferrari Testarossa, was put into storage. It did not emerge until 2015, when it was put on the auction block by Mecum Auctions. The car has been authenticated as the real deal by Ferrari Classiche and Ferrari of North America, and it recently received an engine-out service at the cost of $8,000.
STEVE MCQUEEN’S MUSTANG IN BULLITT
For a long time, people thought the 1968 Mustang GT driven by legendary Hollywood actor Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt had been destroyed, until it emerged after four decades at the North American International Show in 2018.
THE DRIVER’S CHEVROLET CHEVELLE IN DRIVE
One thing most people don’t know about the 1973 Chevrolet Chevelle featured in the movie Drive starring Ryan Gosling is that the car was not the first choice of Nicolas Winding Refn, the film’s director. The original choice was an earlier model, but they had to make the decision not to use it because it had already been used in another movie.
MAD MAX’S CAR
Mad Max was a 1979 dystopian action film starring Mel Gibson as “Mad” Max Rockatansky, an unhinged policeman who becomes involved with a violent motorcycle gang. His car in the movie was a 1973 Ford Falcon xb GT Coupe, which was later on transformed into a police interceptor.
THE DELOREAN FROM BACK TO THE FUTURE
In the movie Back to the Future starring a fresh-faced Michael J. Fox, the DeLorean was a time machine invented by Dr. Emmett Brown that transported the doctor and his young friend back and forth in time. The DeLorean was shown as a DMC-12 sports car that had to gain a speed of 88 miles per hour in order to travel back in time.
The ECTO-1 was the vehicle used in the 1984 fantasy comedy movie Ghostbusters that the characters used to get around New York City while hunting down entities such as ghosts. The specific car they used was a 1959 Cadillac professional chassis.
Christine was an iconic 1983 horror movie directed by John Carpenter based on the novel by Stephen King. It was about a car that seemed to take on a life of its own as well as jealous, possessive personality. The vehicle chosen for the titular role was a vintage 1958 Plymouth Belvedere, although in the movie it was shown as a 1958 Plymouth Fury.
THE NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R R34 FROM FAST & FURIOUS 4
The Fast and Furious movie franchise is synonymous with fast, fabulous cars and thrill-inducing chases and stunts. Thus, any car featured in the movie would need to be on another level. The Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 from the fourth installment in the series is exactly that.
TRANS AM FROM SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT
Smokey and the Bandit was one of the most memorable films of the seventies, and it made its lead actor Burt Reynolds into a certified superstar. Another aspect of the movie that it made iconic and famous is Bandit’s car, a 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.
ELEANOR FROM GONE IN 60 SECONDS
The movie Gone in 60 Seconds by indie filmmaker H. B. “Toby” Halicki gave full title star credits to a custom 1971 Ford Mustang Sportsroof that featured largely in the film. “Eleanor,” as the car was named, is the only known Ford Mustang to ever receive such a recognition.
KITT FROM KNIGHT RIDER
Knight Rider was a TV series that ran from the early to mid-eighties and starring a pre-Baywatch David Hasselhoff, a crime fighter who had KITT, an artificially intelligent and almost indestructible car, as a partner.
STARSKY AND HUTCH’S GRAN TORINO
Starsky and Hutch was a show about plain-clothes detectives in California, and one of the breakout stars of the show was the cops’ customized Ford Gran Torino. The car’s bright red paint with white stripes made it a unique and recognizable TV icon.
THE BATMOBILE FROM THE ORIGINAL TV SERIES
Out of the cars on this list, the Batmobile is probably the best known and most iconic. Here’s a fun fact: the Batmobile, a customized Ford Lincoln Futura, would become so famous that its creator Barris would create replicas of it built out of fiberglass molded bodies to display in exhibits.
THE MYSTERY MACHINE
The Mystery Machine is the primary transportation of Mystery Inc. from the cartoon and live action adaptations of Scooby Doo. Its appearance is that of a panel van from the 1960s, which is painted blue with a distinctive stripe encompassing the length of the van and adorned with two orange flowers.
THE GREEN HORNET’S BLACK BEAUTY
Black Beauty is the name of the vehicle driven by Kato, the chauffeur of the titular character. The car was a customized 1966 Imperial Crown hardtop painted a pure black with a greenish tinge.
THE BATMOBILE FROM TIM BURTON’S MOVIES
The Batmobile from Tim Burton’s movies is vastly different from that used in previous movie adaptations and the TV series, due to the fact that the mood in the Burton was much more brooding and somber compared to the other adaptations.
THE ALFA ROMEO SPIDER FROM THE GRADUATE
The Alfa Romeo Spider was the car driven by Dustin Hoffman’s character in The Graduate, and he receives it as a gift from his rich parents upon his graduation. The two-seat convertible became an instant pop culture icon when the movie became a huge hit.
THE PORSCHE 928 FROM RISKY BUSINESS
One iconic scene of the movie Risky Business, aside from that scene of Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear, is the chase scene with Guido the pimp. The model used for the scene was a 1979 Porsche 928.
THE FERRARI 250 GT CALIFORNIA SPYDER FROM FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF
The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California is the well-known car featured in the classic movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. You don’t have to know much about cars to recognize the iconic vehicle, which was recently auctioned off last August 2018.
THE LAMBORGHINI COUNTACH FROM THE CANNONBALL RUN
The movie The Cannonball Run came out in 1981, and it featured a gorgeous 1979 Lamborghini Countach LP400S. An attorney in Florida instantly fell in love with the automobile that he bought it later on.
THE TUMBLER FROM THE DARK KNIGHT MOVIES
Anyone who’s a fan of the The Dark Knight trilogy of Christopher Nolan starring Christian Bale will recognize the Tumbler, which was a prototype of an armored tank originally designed as a military bridging vehicle but customized for use by the Batman himself.
If you want to see more amazing cars, check out our article about 10 Concept Cars From The 1950s That Were Too Cool To Be True.
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