When you think of the cars of the silver screen, which vehicle comes to mind first? Chances are, it will be one of the cars listed below, as these vehicles have it all. Whether it’s advanced technology, ridiculous speed, or the car is simply cool, some movie makers really know what they’re doing!
1. 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 – Back to the Future Trilogy
Is there a more iconic car than the DeLorean? Since the Back to the Future films came out, this car has become something of a cult classic, and new and improved models are still being released. In fact, a completely electric DeLorean is currently in the works, with an unveiling due in August 2022.
The DeLorean DMC-12 was only on the market for a few years - between 1981 and 1983 - and was the only car sold by the fledgling DeLorean Motor Company. While the vertically opening doors were considered to be a brilliant feature of the car, it was also noted that for the price of the vehicle, the DeLorean had a surprising lack of horsepower.
Only around 9,000 of these sports cars were ever sold, but it’s been estimated that about 6,500 remain on the road. This is largely due to the connotations with Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine - who wouldn’t choose this method of time travel if given the chance!
2. 1963 Aston Martin DB5 - James Bond Franchise
There is a reason the DB5 has become a bit of a legend since its cinematic debut. When you take a luxury British car and add loads of gadgets, from revolving number plates to an ejector seat, you can’t really go wrong.
While not the first in the DB series, due to the DB5’s appearance in Goldfinger and subsequent James Bond films, it’s certainly the best known. Four cars were made for the Goldfinger movie, two of which were used during filming, while the other two were only used for promotional purposes. These latter cars were displayed at the 1964 New York World's Fair, where it was proclaimed ‘the most famous car in the world’. Unsurprisingly, sales of the DB5 rose after this.
3. 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor – Ghostbusters
As with the two cars above, this is one of the most iconic cars in cinema history. The model is from the late 1950s, and in order to make it worthy of ghost fighting, the director of Ghostbusters went to considerable expense to transform the vehicle. This included a number of gadgets stored in the roof rack, many of which seemingly serve no purpose!
The Cadillac Miller-Meteor itself is actually a combination car. There were a number of different models that were built on the Cadillac Commercial Chassis, but were customised by other coachbuilders. Generally speaking, these conversion cars were used in small towns as ambulances or hearses, or perhaps a mixture of the two.
4. 1963 Volkswagen Beetle – Herbie
While many of us name our cars, and occasionally talk to them, few cars have a mind of their own. This isn’t the case with Herbie, star of the Disney film series based on his adventures. Herbie was a racing car that could drive himself, winning several races and changing the lives of his owners.
In terms of the car itself, the VW Beetle is officially called the Volkswagen Type 1, and is the longest running car ever made. The design was finalised in 1938 under lead engineer Ferdinand Porsche, though due to the effects of WWII, these cars were not produced for civilians in significant numbers until the end of the 1940s.
The name ‘Beetle’ is due to the fact that the car became known as the Käfer in Germany (which is German for ‘beetle’), and this name was used in brochures in the 1960s. The name stuck, and in 1968, Disney took the analogy one step further, releasing the first Herbie film, ‘The Love Bug’.
5. 1968 Mini Cooper S – The Italian Job
The name of the Mini speaks for itself. And because of their small size, the Mini was the perfect choice for a heist in The Italian Job - they’re agile and can easily squeeze into small spaces. The car chases in this film are about as iconic as the cars themselves, simply because of how crazy they were!
When it comes to the Mini Cooper S, this was released in 1963, a few years after the debut of the original Mini Coopers. They had a more powerful engine than the original, and two S models were even produced specifically for circuit racing.