The Most Iconic Cars in Movie History
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Since the release of the first movie in the “Fast and Furious” series, movie cars have become something trivial. While we may see some brands show up here and there, movie cars have lost a lot of their significance. How could they stand out in a movie world where a single franchise (with eight feature-length series, an upcoming spinoff, and a short film) has more cool sets of wheels than America’s biggest used car depot? Before this overload of fuel-guzzling monsters invaded the silver screen, many movies came with iconic cars to complement the personality of their protagonists (a little like the case of John Wick and his 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1). So, let’s take a look at some of the coolest movie cars in history.
Lotus Esprit S1 (A Spy Who Loved Me)
The James Bond series often seems like an unofficial commercial for Aston Martin’s upcoming models. In almost every movie, Bond drives an Aston Martin sports car – usually fitted with a variety of gadgets and weapons, thanks to the ingenuity of Bond’s faithful Q. His most iconic car was not an Aston Martin, though, but another British legend: a Lotus Esprit S1 capable of going underwater. To be honest, the car that Roger Moore’s Bond drove underwater in 1977’s “A Spy Who Loved Me” was not an actual Esprit S1 but a custom-built submarine called Wet Nellie, built using an Esprit S1’s bodyshell. Wet Nellie has become a piece of movie history – it was bought and sold for years before Elon Musk acquired it for his personal collection in 2013.
DeLorean (Back to the Future series)
Few cars have become such icons as the DeLorean turned into a time machine by Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and used by Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) to visit the past, the future, and the distant past. Having taken on such an iconic role in a highly successful movie trilogy, one might expect to have seen the brand return to the market. Unfortunately, by the time the movie was released in 1985, the company behind the DeLorean was already defunct. The DeLorean was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of the Italian studio Italdesign. One of the things that make this amazing sports car stand out is that none of the thousands of cars produced were painted – all of them left the factory proudly wearing their iconic brushed stainless steel panels.
Volkswagen Beetle Type 1 (the Herbie franchise)
Last but not least, let us mention one of the most iconic cars that still roam the land (and one of the most recognizable ones to this day): the Volkswagen Beetle (Type 1) that “played” the role of Herbie, the sentient race car, in several movies. The first time Herbie made it to the silver screen was in 1968, in the Disney production “The Love Bug” – it was “played” by a 1963 Model 117 at the time. Since then, it has “played” in several sequels, becoming one of the best-known movie cars ever. Other Beetles have shown up in several movies ever since, most notably in last year’s Transformers origin story “Bumblebee”, where it plays the title character (at least for part of the film, before transforming into a Camaro).