Five of the top TV and movie cars ever

Car Culture
Best movie cars - DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future

For some people, this is an incredibly passionate subject which could be discussed for days. But there are a handful of TV and movie cars that stick out like a sore thumb just because they are so iconic and memorable.

You may even have an involuntarily smile when you read and remember some of the beauties we have listed below. Hold onto your hats for this unforgettable trip down memory lane.

1969 Dodge Charger (Dukes of Hazzard TV series, 1979-1985, and movie 2005)

best movie cars - General LeeThis American sitcom ran for 6 years and was full of mishap and mayhem for the “Duke Boys”, cousins Bo and Luke Duke, and their iconic orange Dodge Charger known as the “General Lee”. Every episode featured stunts involving the car and, on average, one to two cars were wrecked whilst filming each episode. There are few of the original cars around today. In 2008, one of the original cars was auctioned for $450,000.

Another notable feature of the General Lee was the air horn added by the boys that played the first 12 notes of the “Dixie” tune. The sound of this tune normally meant chaos was about to descend on those in the vicinity.

1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am (Knight Rider)

Best TV cars - KITT from Knight RiderKnight Rider was another American TV series which ran for four years, but to this day is still a hit. Having been shot in the face, an undercover detective named Michael Long was rescued by a self-made billionaire. His face was reconstructed and he was given a new identity as Michael Knight, along with a high-tech car named KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand).

Based on a 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am, KITT had many high tech features including; Turbo Boost, the ability to drive itself, a scanner bar embedded into the front bumper that gave the car ‘vision’, various weapons and many, many, other features.

Reliant Regal van (Only Fools and Horses, 1981-1991)

Best TV cars - Reliant Regal from Only Fools and Horses

This curious little three-wheeled car from the hugely successful British sitcom Only Fools and Horses is often referred to as a Reliant Robin, but is in fact the closely related Reliant Regal Van. Manufactured from 1953-1973, the Reliant Regal has received cult status through its association with the show.

The original car is currently on display at the Beaulieu National Motor Museum in England alongside other famous TV and movie cars. In 2007, one of the vans used in the show was sold for a staggering £44,000.

Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger, Skyfall, other Bond movies)

Best movie cars - Aston Martin DB5 as regularly used by James Bond“The names Bond, James Bond” and with that, you need not say anything else. This beautiful, sleek, stunning car was made famous by the James Bond movie Goldfinger. Amongst many gadgets and gizmos in true Bond style, this car featured bulletproof glass, machine guns and a radar screen.

There have been many Bond movie cars throughout the history of the franchise, but the Aston Martin DB5 is considered to be the definite ‘Bond car’ and is just too splendid and elegant not to be mentioned.

DeLorean DMC-12 (Back to the Future)

Best movie cars - DeLorean DMC-12 from Back to the FutureWhen Marty McFly took to our screens in 1985, it was an adventure that none of us would forget.  Although the DeLorean DMC-12 was a complete failure in real life, the movie car was built to be a time-travelling device by Dr Emmett “Doc” Brown. It was a petrol-electric hybrid, and used plutonium to activate the flux capacitor which sent the car backwards or forwards through time.

Over three movies, the car also developed the ability to fly and the plutonium requirement was replaced by cold fusion power sometime in the future. The famous gullwing doors, stainless steel bodywork and 16-port twin exhaust boxes make this a special car all on its own.

What are your top TV and movie cars?

So that’s the list of my favourite TV and movie cars of all time. But obviously I had to leave out many others which could easily feature in your Top Five list – maybe one of the Batmobiles, Herbie the Love Bug or the Ectomobile from Ghostbusters? Let us know what your top five would be in the comments section below!

Gail Watkins

This was written by Gail Watkins, a car enthusiast that works closely with L&L Automotive. When Gail is not staring longingly at cars, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

7 Comments

  1. richoeyes

    I’d love to see a run down of famous TV/movie cars per era – although still trying to steer clear of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – ah, now there, I went and mentioned it…

    Reply
  2. andrewtaylor

    What, no Batmobiles? I realise that its tough to pick your top 5 movie cars but only the Delorean would be up there for me. I’d have to have the Tumbler batmobile as driven by Christian Bale, the Ghostbusters Ectomobile, and the Minis from the Italian Job instead of those other cars.

    Reply
    • The white Lotus that comes out of the sea in James Bond.

  3. No Mystery Machine?

    Reply
  4. richoeyes

    Having watched Ghostbusters this week in tribute to the great Harold Ramis, I’d have to say the Ectomobile has to be up there alone as the best movie car ever.

    Reply
    • stuart

      Being a huge fan of Speed Racer as a kid, I’d vote for the Mach 5 to be included…
      Speed Racer's Mach 5

  5. The A-Team van surely needs to be in there! ;-)

    Reply

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