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A-List Cars: Top 10 Most Recognizable Automobiles in Hollywood

Mar 11, 2014

A-List Cars:  Top 10 most Recognizable Automobiles in Hollywood


There are many influences out there that have shaped, molded and inspired the auto industry, and Hollywood is definitely one of them. Paving a great interest, both movies and T.V. shows have created some of the most iconic and recognizable cars in history.  Lets see how many of them you know… 


#10:  The Love Bug: 1962 Volkswagon Beetle


Probably easily the most recognizable of all the cars, Volkswagon’s Beetle, in 1962 while car companies were going bigger, wider, longer and more powerful, VW asked buyers to “think small” with this curvy, petite and charming car design.   It’s rear mount engine was selling fuel efficiency at 32-50 mpg.   

In 1969 Disney came out with a motion picture called The Love Bug, where Herbie, the movie’s 1962 VW Beetle not only had a mind of his own, was capable of driving himself and was a serious auto race competitor.    With his signature #52 and red, white and black racing stripes, Herbie is easily one of our most recognizable movie heros.  

The early 1980’s cartoon Transformers also made this car very recognizable with it’s character Bumblebee, a robot who transformed into a yellow VW bug.  Unfortunately due to the car’s “coolness” factor, or lack there of, along with a little automotive sponsorship from Chevrolet, he was replaced in the most recent movie with the Chevy Camaro.  But for those of us 80’s babies, Bumblebee, you’ll always be a VW to us! 

#9: James Bond’s Aston Martins 

Aston Martin was the car of choice for international spy James Bond, and for good reason.   With luxury, elegance, performance and a ton of really cool high-tech spy gadgets, we pined as the world’s most famous British Secret Service Agent film series swapped out Aston Martins as often as it swapped out James Bond Actors.  


Gold Finger – Aston Martin DB5

On her Majesty’s Secret Service – Aston Martin DBS

The Living Daylights – Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante

Golden Eye – Aston Martin DB5

Tomorrow Never Dies – Aston Martin DB5

Die Another Day – Aston Martin V12 Vanquish

Casino Royal – Aston Martin DB5 & Aston Martin DBS V12 

Quantum of Solace – Aston Martin DBS V12

Skyfall – Aston Martin DB5


#8: Fast and the Furious: 1970 Dodge Charger

Despite promoting import sales to the younger market due to all the high tech, nitrous charged, imported Honda Civics and Mitsubishi Eclipses, the Fast & The Furious brought us back to our roots with some real American Muscle.   Vin Diesel’s 1970 Dodge Charger with it’s V8 & block hood 


#7 Christine: 1958 Plymouth Fury

Hell have no fury like… a Fury?  In 1983 when John Carpenter came out with Stephen King’s automotive horror flick Christine, we all thought second twice before we walked into our garage.  More than 20 1958 Plymouth Furys were purchased, customized to look identical and destroyed during the movie’s production. 


#6 American Graffiti:  1932 Ford Coupe 

4 years before the Millennium Falcon was racing through the solar system, and years after the Beach Boys started singing about them, George Lucas was racing classic cars in one of the most iconic high school graduation sends offs of all time.  With an all star cast set in 1962, the movie paired a canary yellow ’32 Ford Deuce Coupe against a black ’55 Chevy in a drag race on “Paradise Road.”   Thanks to this movie, the “Little Deuce Coupe” has always had a “big” name.  


#5 Bumble Bee (Transformers) - Chevy Camaro 1976 - 2011 

As stated earlier, Bumblebee will always be a VW Beetle in our hearts, but because VW didn’t have a sponsorship in the film, and wasn’t deemed “cool enough” our beloved bug transformed into a Chevrolet Camaro.  In the beginning of the film he’s purchased as an old clunker, but by mid movie, at the request of it’s owner, upgrades into the shamelessly self-promoted 2011 model.    Thanks to the movie release, Camaro car sales out performed it’s Mustang competitor.  


#4: Ferrari: 1961 Ferrari 250 - 1972 Ferrari Daytona/Testarossa – 1977 Ferrari 308 GTS

Many movies have embraced the glory of arguably one of the finest automobiles every in production… The Ferrari.   This car gives meaning to the phrase “Italian Stallion” and while it’s style and body type has changed over the years, performance has always been the same… outstanding.    3 cinema installments have made the general population swoon over this iconic car throughout the centuries.  


Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 1961 Ferrari 250  “It was his love, it was his life, and it was his fault he did not lock the garage…” In this movie classic Ferris Bueller takes the day off from school and convinces his best friend Cameron to let him take out his father’s prized 1961 Ferrari 250.   After parking the car at a garage in NYC, on the way home they realize the attendants have put on over a hundred miles in joy riding.  The boys attempt to take the millage off the speedometer by lifting the car up and letting it run in reverse.   If you didn’t flinch when Cameron gets angry with his father and kicks a dent in the front fender, you definitely cried when the car accidently went flying in reverse through the back of the raised garage landing 15 feet below in a ditch.   And if you’d known at that moment only 55 of these cars were ever built, you may have died.  


Miami Vice’s Ferraris – I’m sure you know that no one made a bigger impact on Ferrari “coolness” than Miami Vice stars James “Sonny” Crockett and Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs, the star detectives for NBC’s 5 season smash with it’s iconic sound tracks and visual effects.   The show featured both a 1972 Ferrari Daytona and a Ferrari Testarossa.  What you may not have known is that the original cars were actually fakes.   They were Ferrari body kits sitting on top of a Corvette chassis.   With a lawsuit surrounding the fake Ferrari manufacturer, Miami Vice blew the Daytona to pieces in it’s season three premiere episode.   Ferrari, however, being the wonderful car manufacturer that they were, donated two brand new, and more importantly “real” Ferraris to the set.  The “fake” Ferraris that were still on set were then only used as stunt cars.  

Magnum, P.I.1977 Ferrari 308 GTS – Oh Tom Selleck, we’re quite confident you can make any car look good, including the 1977 Ferrari 308 GTS.  As Private Investigator Thomas Sullivan Magnum, living in your 200-acre private beachfront estate in Hawaii, we’ll all agree you made a pretty good living fighting crime.  Even though the car was only “borrowed” by Magnum during the series… he was eventually given the title to his beloved ride.  


#3  Knight Rider - 1982 Pontiac Trans Am in Knight Rider 

1982 Pontiac Trans Am in Knight Rider (Kitt) – David Hasselhoff got to spend 4 years driving around this souped up Pontiac Trans Am, better knows as KITT working as an agent for the Foundation for Law and Government (FLAG) after given a new identity, thanks to the miracles of plastic surgery back in 1982.  Cool factor went from “Zero to Sixty” once you realized that the car could talk!   This high tech, crime fighting team was an instant hit on TV and in Pontiac car sales.


#2 Dukes of Hazard’s General Lee - 1969 Dodge Charger

The General Lee was the 1969 Dodge Charger driven in The Dukes of Hazzard by the Duke cousins Bo and Luke.   Known for its chases, stunts, and very suspended jumps that seemed to go on forever, the General Lee is a stock car, most recognized by it’s bold orange-red body color and confederate flag roof.  Over 300 Dodge Chargers were said to be crashed and trashed in the 6 year span of the TV show which started in 1979.  Yee-haw!


#1 Back to the Future’s DeLorean DMC-12


There is no car more tied to a Hollywood Flick than the DeLorean DMC-12.  In fact, we’re surprised they didn’t come standard with Flux Capacitors, because you can’t even see a DeLorean on the road and not instantly think of the movie Back to the Future.  It’s as if the car was solely created just to be “the time machine.”  The car soared in popularity despite the car owner’s biggest fear… if the DeLorean rolled over in an accident, due to it’s gullwing doors, would the driver get trapped inside the car?  (Lotus actually tested this theory and found that escape was possible)  The company unfortunately only stayed in production for 3 years until the founder got into some legal troubles and went bankrupt… one of many mistakes he’d love to erase with a time machine.  While the car made iconic movie history and time travel possible at a mere 88 mpg, the car was capable of a top speed of 130.


Did we miss one?  Leave your favorite "Hollywood" car in the comments below!  

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