Five Movie Cars that petrolheads will never forget
We've seen the stars, but do we really know the cars?
5. 1979 Lamborghini Countach LP 400S | Cannonball Run
The popular but illegal challenge known as the Cannonball Run challenges those who dare to race from coast to coast of the USA in the fastest possible time. The opening scene of the 1981 film starring Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore and Jackie Chan (to name a few) made way for the appearance of the 1979 Countach in the first and most arguably famous scene of the first movie.
But the thing that makes this Countach particularly special is the inverted front wing on the hood. Unusual to some but definitely one way of remembering the car for what it was - all whilst being driven by two women who use sex-appeal to outwit the law. And Lamborgini's 3.9L V12 was about the only source of noise that could possibly drown out the wails of the highway patrol sirens.
4. K.I.T.T | Knight Rider
Based on a 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am and modified in the movie by Knight Industries, it is safe to say that K.I.T.T was way ahead of its time on technological terms - Equipped with a Knight 2000 Microprocessor acting as the "brain" of the car, it was also the center of a "self-aware" cybernetic logic module that allowed K.I.T.T. to think, learn, communicate and interact with humans. And for good measure, Molecular Bonded Shell plating was fitted, protecting the driver from almost all forms of conventional firearms and explosive devices. On a more motoring-focused front, K.I.T.T's Turbo Boost capability which consisted of a series of rear mounted undercarriage rocket motors which allowed the car to accelerate to speeds in excess of 200 MPH. The rockets could fire both forwards and backwards as needed. Definitely worthy of a spot on the list.
3. 1969 Dodge Charger "General Lee" | The Dukes of Hazzard
It's one of those car-comedy films that is always a good one to rewatch - with the main character being the most obnoxiously orange Charger you'll ever see. But it served its purpose by being one of the most memorable movie cars to date. Completing a whole host of impressive stunts throughout the movie, all while sporting the controversial confederate flag exhibited on the roof - and of course, topped off with its distinctive and outlandish horn.
The rear-wheel-drive, front-engined bootlegger of a car was perfect for running moonshine around the depths of the Deep South, but it was later found to be equally as good racing on the dirt tracks of Hazzard County. It's a hillbilly-esque film that pays tribute to the original Charger in the best possible way.
2. 1982 DMC DeLorean "Time Machine" | Back to the Future
A highly recognisable and unique car both on and off set, the DeLorean from one of the most well-known Trilogies to have come out of Hollywood proves its worth to fans everywhere around the world. Seemingly infested with the worst cable management you'll ever see, the DeLorean is much more technical than it is messy. The car requires 1.21 gigawatts of power and needs to travel 88 miles per hour to initiate time travel - figures that have to be met in order to fulfil one of the most key elements across the films. The DeLoreans were interestingly finished in a stainless steel paint job, and were fitted with a plethora of external visual modifications, including a retrofitted flux capacitor - all the way to the little things such as the license plate that is embossed with "OUTATIME". Replicas of the car are now so sought after that even Jay Leno forked out $750,000 for one.
1. 1976/77 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am
It hails from the second-highest grossing film of 1977, and is an American icon of Automotive history. Covered almost entirely at the hood by a golden eagle and outlined in tron-style by gold paint, the Trans-Am speaks for itself when it comes to recognition. Acting as a distraction for an illegal bootlegging mission in an attempt to deliver Coors beer, the Trans-Am really went trans-america. At the helm of the wheel was Burt Reynolds as "Bandit" - who fitted the role of a charming "sex symbol" of America, or at least what Wikipedia likes to refer to him as. Aside from this, the famous split-glass roofed, 6.6-litre, 300-horsepower icon of nostalgia remains one of the greatest and most talked about movie cars of all time. Across three iterations of the film, the Trans-Am took centre stage with Reynolds making the memories. It may be speculated, but the movie could have been responsible for the Trans-Am eventually surpassing sales figures of the Chevrolet Camaro. It's one we have all come to have great affection for, even if like me, you weren't exactly alive when the movie debuted.
Are there any other cars you would consider as icons of movies until now? Let me know in the comments!
Olie Funnell | Student Journalist, Coventry University