Start Your Engines! Famous Vehicles in Film and Television

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As you probably know, the latest James Bond film Spectre has landed on British shores. It’s seen huge success since its release (even if Rotten Tomatoes hasn’t been as kind) and features many of the Bond film’s hallmarks… including amazing cars.

Spectre has seen the creation of the Aston Martin DB10, a new supercar produced exclusively for the film. Only 10 examples of the car have been produced, all of which have been earmarked for use in Spectre. In that light, we thought we’d take a look at some other iconic, one-of-a-kind vehicles that are closely associated with the stories they appear in.


Ghostbusters’ Ecto-1

Who ya gonna call? The legendary comedy film celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, and it’s packed to the rafters with iconic elements, from the proton packs to its absurdly catchy theme tune. The Ecto-1 is amongst its design icons, providing transport around New York and accompanied by its distinctive wailing siren.

An ambulance/hearse in its original form, the Ecto-1’s distinctive white colour scheme is a matter of practicality. Since some of the original film would be filmed at night, the white paint job helped the vehicle stand out in low lighting. Like Mario and Superman before it, working within constraints helped cement the Ecto-1 as a design classic.


Back to the Future’s DeLorean

Powered by plutonium and sporting some slick 80s lines, Back to the Future forever tied the DeLorean DMC-12 to the film series. It’s a scrappy yet remarkable machine, famously providing travel through time at 88mph. It’s also a showcase for many dream technologies- its flying-car modification and Mr Fusion reactor have become inextricably associated with it, despite their brief appearances in each film.

Early scripts for Back to the Future were very different from the finished product. Rather than using a DeLorean, Marty would have travelled through time in a refrigerator; this idea was abandoned after fears that children, mimicking the film’s events, would clamber into old fridges and get trapped inside. The eventual appearance of the DeLorean, though, has cemented the car’s iconic presence, and made real-world DeLoreans highly collectible.


Mr Bean’s Mini 

Naive and simple-minded Mr Bean is a beloved British TV icon. Bumbling through life, he is accompanied by his raggedy teddy bear… and more relevantly, his bright green British Leyland Mini 1000.

Besides its distinctive colour scheme, the Mini stands out for Bean’s usage of it. The car is famous for its use of a padlock to defend the car from intruders, with Bean’s tendency to remove the wheel a further anti-theft measure. The car was actually destroyed in an episode of the show, before an identical one was swiftly located. The original car was also on display to the public for several years, in the Cars of the Stars museum in Keswick.


Breaking Bad’s Pontiac Aztec

Cars like the DeLorean are famous for their sense of style. Walter White’s staid Pontiac Aztek is known for anything but. The car topped the list of the Telegraph’s 100 ugliest cars, and it’s infamous for its jack-of-all-trades approach to car design; taking elements from both minivans and SUVs, it ends up failing to satisfy either one’s requirements.

Breaking Bad revived interest in the vehicle, and it functioned as something of a shorthand- a way of encapsulating Walter White’s initial pathetic nature. Still, this didn’t keep it out of trouble: the car’s windshield gets shattered several times over the course of the show, before getting into a rather unpleasant crash in the above video. It’s not the only iconic vehicle in the show, however, with the Fleetwood Bounder RV and Chrysler 300 making key appearances too.


The Dark Knight’s Tumbler

Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman added a layer of grit and realism to the Caped Crusader. Opting for a more utilitarian design, the Tumbler barrels through the streets of Gotham… and over them, thanks to its powerful jet engines. Though its heavy armour and varied arsenal pack a punch, it’s not indestructible, and Batman is forced to use its detachable ‘Batpod’ to beat a hasty retreat.

Like its owner, the Batmobile has undergone a number of dramatic changes. The first car to have the title was a nondescript red convertible, before it was replaced by the sleeker, black designs we typically associate with Batman. Other notable versions include the 1960s version driven by Adam West, and the sleek Gothic model in Tim Burton’s adaptation.

Got any classic cars to share with us? Think there was something important we missed? Let us know!


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