Cars have played a huge part in popular culture throughout the past century. For some they are even seen as central characters of a story on television or in film, alongside the famous actors who were supposed to be the real stars of the show.
In no particular order, here are my suggestions for the top ten most iconic cars in TV and film history:
[singlepic id=1230 w=70 h=60 float=left]KITT stands for Knight Industries Three Thousand and was a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. But of course KITT was more than just a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am, it was a TALKING 1982 Pontiac Trans Am – a practically indestructible one at that. ‘He’ was also protagonist Michael Knight’s (David Hasselhoff) companion as he fought crime.
Key features: Computer AI, an Alpha Circuit (meaning KITT could drive itself), a turbo boost and flame thrower.
The Batmobile (Batman)
[singlepic id=1233 w=70 h=60 float=left]The Batmobile is, of course, Batman’s car, and has gone through several incarnations as the superhero went from comic book, to television to film. In its lifetime it has been a Sedan, Lincoln Futura, Cadillac, 1949 Mercury and ex-military armoured vehicle.
Key features: Anti-theft device, Batcomputer, automatic tyre inflator, smoke screen.
The Mystery Machine (Scooby-Doo)
[singlepic id=1231 w=70 h=60 float=left]The Mystery Machine is the psychedelic van driven by the Mystery, Inc. Team that took them to the location of the latest mystery they were charged to solve. That’s about it.
Key features: Spacious…?
[singlepic id=1234 w=70 h=60 float=left]The pink, six-wheeled car owned by aristocratic agent Lady Penelope and driven by obliging chauffeur Parker. It is said to be based on the chassis of a Bedford Duple Vega coach.
Key features: Oil dispensers, grappling hooks, heavy artillery, hydrofoils.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
[singlepic id=1226 w=70 h=60 float=left]The once-wrecked racing car that is the focal point of the musical film of the same name.
Key features: Flotation device, wings, propeller.
Herbie (The Love Bug, and more)
[singlepic id=1229 w=70 h=60 float=left]Herbie was a Volkswagen Beetle that had a personality of its own and could drive itself in films such as The Love Bug, Herbie Rides Again and Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo.
Key features: A personality that could successfully attract female cars.
DeLorean DMC-12 (Back to the Future)
[singlepic id=1225 w=70 h=60 float=left]The super-cool DeLorean DMC-12 was Doc Brown’s time-travelling machine, and my personal favourite from the list.
Key features: Ability to transcend space and time, flux capacitor holder, gull-wing doors.
1975 Ford Gran Torino (Starsky and Hutch)
[singlepic id=1232 w=70 h=60 float=left]Starsky’s pride and joy, the red-and-white-striped Gran Torino is arguably the true icon of the series.
Key features: AM-FM radio, the bright colours and subtlety befitting two undercover police officers.
Greased Lightning (Grease)
[singlepic id=1228 w=70 h=60 float=left]The T-Birds’1948 Ford that they eventually turned into a street race champ against all the odds.
Key features: Lightning graphic on sides, good suspension.
Del Boy’s 1972 Reliant Regal (Only Fools and Horses)
[singlepic id=1227 w=70 h=60 float=left]The hustler’s trusty three-wheeler, transporter of spectacular wares to New York, Paris and Peckham.
Key features: Attention-grabbing paint job, spacious boot, furry dice.
I know this list is not exhaustive. There are so, so, so many iconic cars from the small and silver screen and it was tough to leave out motors like The General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard and The Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1, for example. Especially because in retrospect The Mystery Machine and Herbie, while iconic, were actually a bit rubbish…
If you have suggestions as to the most iconic cars from film and TV, please leave a comment below.
Unfortunately in real life we can’t all drive cars with as much personality as some of those mentioned. But if you’re looking for top-of-the range models that are perfect for getting you from A-to-B, albeit without firing weapons or flying, why not try car leasing? It could save you some money on buying outright!