Most Iconic Cars in Film and TV

Most Iconic Cars in Film and TV

Over the years, a selection of sensational cars have graced our screens. So, to separate the best from the rest, we've put together a list of the most iconic cars from film and TV

Throughout history, Hollywood has birthed a variety of iconic cars. From action packed thrillers to family favourites, cars have played a massive roll in film and TV.

So, to celebrate the most acclaimed automobiles, we put together a list of our favourites.

Miami Vice/Wolf of Wall Street – Ferrari Testarossa

Miami Vice/Wolf of Wall Street – Ferrari Testarossa

Packing a 12-cylinder engine in the centre, this rear-wheel drive sports car can reach 180mph, with a 0-60mph of 5.5 seconds. So obviously, the car would be fitting for a couple of undercover cops cruising around downtown Miami in the mid-80s.

Miami vice ran for five seasons, making the Ferrari Testarossa one of the most desirable and iconic vehicles of the decade.

The car was also featured in Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street, where we see Leonardo DiCaprio play Jordan Belford – a Wall Street stockbroker who embezzled money during the 1980’s. One of the film’s most iconic (and hilarious scenes) sees DiCaprio crawl to the Testarossa before trashing the white Italian classic in a drug-fuelled drive home.

Goldfinger – Aston Martin DB5

Goldfinger – Aston Martin DB5

The 60s saw the Aston Martin DB5 cement itself as one of the most iconic vehicles in Hollywood ever.

Playing charismatic MI6 agent James Bond, a young Sean Connery utilised the elegant masterpiece of British motoring to pursue affluent criminal Auric Goldfinger.

Equipped with a smoke screen, oil spray, bullet screen, ejector seat and machine guns, the silver coupe was a force to be reckoned with, helping Bond battle Goldfinger’s Henchmen.

In 1997, the original Bond DB5 was stolen from Boca Raton airport in Florida, and the location of the car, to this day, is a mystery. Although we’ll never know the exact modern value of the car, the insurance pay-out was rumoured to be around 80 per cent of the cars agreed value -  a whopping $4.2 million.

Herbie – Volkswagen Beetle

Herbie – Volkswagen Beetle

Family favourite Herbie saw the Volkswagen Beetle make its way in to the Hollywood Vehicle Hall of Fame. Playing a race car with a mind of its own, Herbie’s films have centred around competing in major races alongside its human companion.

Since the 60s, Herbie has had several Disney remakes including the modern re-boot featuring Lindsey Lohan.

Still, to this day, the Volkswagen Beetle remains one of the brands most iconic and best-selling vehicles. Although interior and engineering features may have changed, the distinctive round shape has somewhat kept the Beetle’s character.

Starsky & Hutch - Ford Gran Torino

starsky and hutch gran torino

One of the biggest television series of the 70s, cop thriller Starsky & Hutch ran for four seasons, with a total of 93 episodes.  Featuring police detective Starsky and partner Hutch, the TV show seen the cops patrol the streets of Bay City in their classic red Ford Gran Torino.

With the cars earning such an iconic status during the 70s, Ford decided to create over 1,000 replicas of the recognisable red and white Gran Torino.

During the production, several cars where used to film the detecting duo – one of which was sold in 2014 for a bargain price of $40,000. However, the car did lack any concrete validation papers, and with original documentation, could have fetched a considerably higher price.

Italian Job – Mini Cooper

The italian job mini cooper

The Mini Cooper – a symbol of British motoring heritage. But was it the 1969 Hollywood blockbuster the Italian Job that made this car so iconic?

In all fairness, the iconic vehicle can thank an accumulation of 60s and 70s pop culture in general, but cockney criminal Charlie Croker, played by Michael Caine, definitely boosted its popularity in the comedy crime classic.

Used as the getaway vehicles, Croker and the gang all pile in to a red, a white and a blue Mini Cooper and embark on a hilarious cat and mouse chase with the Italian cops.

The makers of the Italian Job used 16 Mini Coopers in total while filming, but only three made it back to England – the rest were scrapped and left in Italy.

Bullitt - Ford Mustang Fastback GT

Bullitt - Ford Mustang Fastback GT

For many film buffs, Bullitt is one of the best cult-classics ever made. Starring Hollywood legend Steve McQueen, the film features one of the biggest and best car chases in movie history.

Playing cop Frank Bullitt, McQueen races through the hilly streets of San Francisco in a high-octane chase between his Green 1968 Ford Mustang GT Fastback and the crooks’ 1968 Dodge Charger.

Although the film provided both classic cars with the spotlight, the Green Mustang took the crown as the famous “Bullitt Car”.

There are believed to be two original Bullitt cars driven by Steve during filming. Whilst one stays stashed in a private collection, the other recently surfaced in a Mexican junkyard. After careful examination, experts believe the car to be the primary stunt vehicle. Considering the impact of the “Steve McQueen Factor” we could see a record-smashing auction price for the iconic cult classic.

The Dark Knight – Tumbler Batmobile

Throughout film history, the Batmobile has been a distinctive feature of the crimefighting vigilante. Helping Bruce Wayne speed through the streets of Gotham, every film has featured an iconic car to compliment the hero.

Although it could be argued that every Batmobile is iconic enough for this list, we decided to go with the modern entry that is the Tumbler. Featured in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, the Tumbler got Christian Bale’s Batman around the roads and roofs of Gotham whilst fighting the Joker, Bane and Ra’s al Ghul.

Completely custom built from the ground up, the bridge-jumping, tank like Tumbler is a fully functional vehicle, capable of reaching speeds of up to 85mph!

Knight Rider – Custom Pontiac Trans AM

Custom Pontiac Trans AM

The 80s TV show Knight Rider featuring David Hasselhoff was a huge success across the globe. Partnering up with K.I.T.T. – an advanced artificially intelligent Pontiac Trans-Am, the team are called in when “direct action might provide the feasible solution.”

The show lasted four seasons and aired 90 episodes, even inspiring a number of spin off films and TV shows.

In April 2007, an original KITT used for close ups of Hasselhoff behind the wheel, was sold for a reported $100,000.

The Spy Who Loved Me – Lotus Esprit

Ok, so we’ve already listed one vehicle from Bond, but we obviously couldn’t miss out the iconic Lotus Esprit S1 from The Spy Who Loved Me.

Capable of turning from a road racing sportscar to an agile submarine, this was one of the coolest movie cars to ever grace our screens.

Driven by Roger Moore in the 1977 spy classic, the car was purchased by no other than Tesla Founder Elon Musk in 2013. Speaking to press, Musk stated: “It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me drive his Lotus Esprit off a pier, press a button and have it transform into a submarine underwater.”

However, the tech billionaire did express his disappointment at the fact the car couldn’t actually transform before pledging to “upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real.” If there’s one man who can do it, it’s Elon Musk!

Back to the Future - DeLorean DMC-12

Back to the Future - DeLorean DMC-12

Upon first release, the DeLorean DMC-12 bombed and sales were not what the company expected. Owner John DeLorean ran the company into serious financial trouble, causing the company to close in 1982.

But the 80s sci-fi comedy classic Back to the Future saw the rejuvenation of the stigmatised DeLorean DMC-12. Using the car as a time machine in the films, Dr. Emmett L. Brown and Marty McFly travel to different time periods in the history of Hill Valley, California.

Heavily sought out as collector’s items, the DMC-12 can now fetch prices of $50,000 plus, highlighting the correlation between film popularity and car sales. In 2011, one of the original cars used to film Back to the Future was bought at an auction for $541,000.

Fast and Furious – Dodge Charger and Toyota Supra

Becoming one of the biggest movie franchises on the planet, the Fast and Furious saga has gone from hit to hit. Now on the eighth film, Dom Torrreto and his team of advanced drivers have gone from street racers to government special forces, defeating a range of different adversaries along the way.

Although there have been some stand-out automobiles throughout the series, the cars from the original film are considered to be the most iconic. From Vin Diesel’s 1970 customised Dodge Charger to Paul Walker’s tuned-up 1993 Toyota Supra, the cars have solidified themselves in movie history.

Join the newsletter

Get the latest news, reviews and guides every week. Update your preferences at any time.