While motor vehicles might not be the first thing that everyone thinks of when they think of film and television stars, there have been many vehicles throughout the history of entertainment that have become just as big of stars as the humans that drove them. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at the most iconic cars in film and television history.
Back to the Future
The first iconic car that we’ll be taking a look at is the one that takes Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd back in time in Back to the Future and it’s two hit sequels. Of course, the car is a modified DeLorean, which was a popular luxury vehicle at the time that the film was released. Though the DeLorean itself is now considered outdated, it’s iconic design has stayed in the cultural mind due to the trilogy.
The DeLorean was the passion project of a former executive at General Motors, whose name was John Z. DeLorean. Several of the car’s features have inspired more modern car designs, such as it’s door that opens up instead of to the side. If it weren’t for Back to the Future, however, the DeLorean would likely have been lost to time.
While the DeLorean from Back to the Future won over the public with it’s ability to travel back and forth through time, the 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback that’s featured in the classic 1968 police thriller Bullitt only needed it’s skilled driver to help win over the admiration of it’s audience. The car is the focal point of one of the most memorable car chases in cinematic history. Steve McQueen played the titular character, and the car that was used in the film was recently sold at an auction for nearly $4 million.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Those that have seen Ferris Bueller’s Day Off may feel some anxiety when we mention the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder that was featured in the film. Of course, the car didn’t come out of the film in one piece, as the character of Cameron accidentally sent the car flying out of an upper-story window while in a rage over how his father was going to react to some excessive miles on the odometer. Cameron likely would’ve settled for his father’s reaction to the miles.
Before flying out of the window, the California Spyder serves as the vehicle that brings Ferris and his high school compatriots to downtown Chicago so they can experience the joys of their day off. The luxurious nature of the car causes it to be kidnapped by some wily parking attendants, and this is how the car ends up with it’s excessive extra miles. In auction, the vehicle has sold for roughly $18 million.
Thelma & Louise
While Thelma & Louise’s car may not have been named alongside those two female stars in the title, it played nearly as important of a role in the film. The car is a 1966 Ford Thunderbird, and it’s the car that the two women drive off the cliff in during the film’s memorable ending. Before driving off the cliff, we get to see the two out-drive innumerable cops down a desert highway, which proves a sight for the ages!
The Ectomobile that serves as the titular ghost-busting team’s means of service in the film Ghostbusters and it’s sequel is a modified 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor. In the film, the car is something that the titular team pulls out of the garbage and revives because they can’t afford anything better. However, the vehicle went on to become an icon in the eyes of the public thanks to both it’s unique appearance and the team of men that used it to get around.
The original Mad Max featured a 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Pursuit Special that helped the low-budget Australian film win over the audience. In the film, the car took part in numerous exciting car chases, though nothing featured in the film was quite as exciting as the car chases featured in it’s bigger-budgeted follow-up, The Road Warrior. Still, the first film has a charm all it’s own, thanks in no small part to Mel Gibson and the iconic car that his character drives.
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The Love Bug
While the character of Herbie may have stood out more to audiences for the fact that he was alive, his iconic design also didn’t hurt. The car was a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle, and it’s been hard for audience members to look at one of these cars in real life since the release of the original film without wondering whether or not the car has a mind of it’s own.
The Italian Job
While the 1969 film The Italian Job’s star Michael Caine went on to have an incredibly impressive career in the entertainment industry that still lasts to this day, he arguably doesn’t stand as the film’s most iconic star. Instead, the most iconic star of 1969’s The Italian Job is most likely the 1967 Austin Mini Cooper S 1275 that was featured in the film.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
The car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was based off of a series of racecars that were designed by a man named Count Louis Zborowski during the 1920s. The design proved perfect for the film, which was based upon the novel by author Ian Fleming. Ian Fleming is also the author of the James Bond series, the films of which have also introduced us to some incredibly memorable on-screen vehicles.
We’ll take a look at two iconic James Bond cars in this video, the fist of which is the one featured in 1964’s Goldfinger. The car is a 1964 Aston Martin DB5, and the film sees it stocked with a whole range of gadgets to help James outwit the bad guys. The model stands as one of the most prestigious from the Aston Martin brand, thanks in no small part to Goldfinger.
The Spy Who Loved Me
Another iconic car featured in the James Bond film series is the 1976 Lotus Esprit Series I that was featured in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me. Memorably, the car could transform into a submarine in order to allow James to escape underwater, something that the real version of the car couldn’t promise to it’s buyers. In 2013, eccentric billionaire and real-life Bond villain Elon Musk purchased the modified version of the vehicle that was used in the film.
Smokey and the Bandit
The last iconic film vehicle that we’ll be taking a look at before transitioning into iconic vehicles from television is the 1977 Pontiac Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit. Of course, the film featured the vehicle seeing a good deal of action as the two titular bootleggers attempted to outwit the authorities while sneaking alcohol from Texas to Atlanta.
There are also many iconic vehicles that were introduced to the public via television series. One such vehicle was the car that the titular family of monsters drove in the 1960s show The Munsters. George Barris, who was known for his iconic custom car designs, designed the strange and monstrous vehicle specifically for the show, and it took him three weeks.
While there have been several memorable iterations of Batman’s iconic car, the most classic is arguably the one that was featured in the 1960s program simply titled Batman, starring Adam West. This is another custom vehicle that was designed by the great George Barris, and he used the body of a Lincoln Mark II as the base. George ended up owning the vehicle after the show came to an end, and later sold it for the incredible sum of nearly $5 million in 2013.
The Dukes of Hazzard
Although Smokey and the Bandit may have been the first bootleggers with iconic cars, they weren’t the last! Two years after the original film’s release, The Dukes of Hazzard came on the air with it’s beautiful ’69 Charger, which was nicknamed The General Lee by the show’s characters. In the show’s memorable opening sequence, the car can be seeing performing a jump of nearly 90 feet. This jump had to be done using cement to weigh down the car’s trunk.
In 1984, the show Miami Vice premiered. The show featured a cool style that took advantage of it’s unique Miami setting, and it also featured a really cool car. That car was a black Ferrari Daytona Spyder, and the bad guys knew that they were about to get caught whenever they saw the vehicle pull up to their location! The character of Detective Sonny Crockett, as played by actor Don Johnson, drove the vehicle.
Starsky & Hutch
The cops on Miami Vice certainly weren’t the first cops on television to have a cool car. The titular stars of the 1970s cop series Starsky & Hutch could also be seen pulling up to the scene in an iconic vehicle, with there’s being a Ford Gran Torino with a unique red and white paint job.
A year after Starsky & Hutch premiered, Charlie’s Angels came on the scene. The three female agents each had their own Ford car. These cars included an orange Pinto, a yellow Mustang, and a Mustang Cobra II. While the three female stars of the show, including Farrah Fawcett and Jaclyn Smith, didn’t need much help standing out to the audience, their cars certainly proved a memorable addition to the show.
The car featured on Knight Rider is more memorable for the fact that it could talk than for the fact that it was Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, although the latter didn’t hurt. The car’s name is KITT, and David Hasselhoff drives it.
Finally, we would be remiss to leave out the iconic van that served as the titular team’s transportation on The A-Team. The van was a customized G-15 V8 cargo van, but it was the iconic occupants of the van that made it stand out the most.
The aforementioned vehicles represent some of the most iconic in film and television history, but we didn’t have room to include every single memorable media vehicle ever! Comment down below to share if there is a vehicle that you were devastated didn’t make it on this list, or if you were glad to be reminded of any of these pop culture vehicles! As always, like this video to show your support, and subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’d like to be among the first to know when more Facts Verse videos are on their way!