Home Cars Hollywood’s Most Iconic Movie Cars of All Time (You Forgot About Number 3)

Hollywood’s Most Iconic Movie Cars of All Time (You Forgot About Number 3)

Cameron Eittreim October 14, 2023

Motion pictures are one of the oldest forms of entertainment, and one of the most important aspects of any movie is the cars. Cars often play an important part in the movies we watch. Movies like Gone in 60 Seconds and The Fast and The Furious franchise showcased dozens of interesting classics all crammed into one motion picture.

There’s a reason why movie cars have been such an important part of history. Cars resonate with people in unique ways, and certain aspects of a beautiful car make a movie quite memorable. So we looked at some of the most iconic movie cars in film history. These cars changed the way that we thought about Hollywood and many of these cars are worth boatloads of money today. Remember the most iconic movie cars of all time below.

Aston Martin DB5
Photo Credit: Aston

James Bond’s 1964 Aston Martin DB5

The James Bond movies changed the motion picture industry forever. The films showcased a dapper British secret agent who was very fond of expensive, exclusive rides. The Aston Martin has been a pinnacle of the Bond films since the franchise’s early days. The DB5 was one of the original trademark cars that defined what the Aston Martin brand truly embodied. With sculpted lines and a beautiful interior, the DB5 oozed the kind of class that a smooth talker like Bond loved (via 007).

Photo Credit: Top Gear

The DB5 was the pinnacle of class because it combined all of the elements of a great sports car into one package. The beautiful styling and the powerful engine propelled the car with authority. An Aston Martin wasn’t a car that you saw every day, so those who knew about the car knew that it was quite rare. The DB5 is still one of the most prominent Aston Martin models ever built.

Batmobile/Tumbler, Batman Begins
Photo Credit: Miramax

Batman Tumbler

The Batman Tumbler was one of the most unique variations of the Batmobile ever built. This particular example is also one of the most advanced versions of the Batmobile ever made because it’s a modern creation. Technology has come so far that movie studios can build their own great cars. The Tumbler immediately captured the minds of moviegoers who wanted to see it again and again. The sound and the performance were unlike anything that was featured in a Batman film prior (via Car Scoops).

Photo Credit: DJ Storms Blog

The original Batmobile was unique enough but the Tumbler took things to the next level. The movie was definitely a lot better because of the Tumbler and people loved so much about the car. Perhaps the most unique thing about this car was the fact that it was actually operational. There was nothing computer-generated about the Batmobile Tumbler. This was an actual vehicle that was featured on Jay Leno’s Garage.

Photo Credit: Mecum

DeLorean DMC-12 (Back To The Future)

There was something truly special about the DeLorean DMC-12 when it hit the silver screen in the first Back To The Future. The style of the car was so ahead of its time that there wasn’t anything else like it. The performance of the car wasn’t anything to sneeze at either as it was a real-life sports car. Unfortunately, it was more of a novelty than a real threat to any of the other sports carmakers in the world (via Hot Cars).

Photo Credit: Architectural Digest

The DMC-12 offered the types of looks that no other car ever did before. Unfortunately, John DeLorean was losing money left and right and the company didn’t survive. Even with the notoriety of the movie the DMC-12 just didn’t sell very well. Nevertheless, this is undeniably one of the most iconic movie cars that was ever built.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1968 Ford Mustang Fastback (Bullitt)

The movie car world was turned upside down when Bullitt arrived on the scene. Ford offered a few special editions of the car but the forest green Bullitt model was something special. The 1968 Fastback GT was an iconic model of the car for a few reasons. The styling was the most obvious thing, but also the performance that changed the game. The car starred in the movie Bullitt with Steve McQueen and an entire generation of young drivers was in love with the movie (via Britannica).

Photo Credit: Mecum

While there were a lot of unique Mustang models that hit the market over time, the Bullitt was perhaps the most notable. The movie became a smash hit and Ford has released a few incarnations of the car over the years. Some iconic aspects truly separated this car from the pack.

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

1970 Dodge Charger (The Fast and the Furious)

One of the most iconic rides of The Fast and the Furious franchise was Dom Toretto’s Dodge Charger. The car was featured at the start of the first movie and made an appearance at the end of Tokyo Drift. The Charger is one of the most iconic muscle cars that was ever built. It pushed all kinds of boundaries during the muscle car era. Of course, this isn’t your average Charger either. It has a blower on top of the engine and a slick black paint job. The design that went into the car was definitely at the top of the game (via Auto Show Austin).

Photo Credit: Motor Trend

The Dodge Charger was a sheer testament to the excellent design of Mopar muscle cars back in the day. The beautiful styling and performance of the Charger were the two things that made it stand out. The Fast and The Furious wouldn’t be the same without this car. Its awe-inspiring performance and look fit well with Dom’s personality in the series.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off probably isn’t the first movie that comes to mind when you think of iconic performance cars. But it was one of the first big-screen showcases for the Ferrari 250 GT SWB nonetheless. The car had all the styling that you’d come to expect from a high-end Ferrari. Its beautiful red paint job was synonymous with Ferrari models at the time. This was one of the earliest examples of beautiful Ferrari engineering, the kind that we see today on modern models as well (via The Drive).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Perhaps it’s not quite as iconic as other cars on this list, but the Ferrari 250 was nothing to sneeze at. The short wheelbase and beautiful styling of the car made it unlike anything else at the time. There were a lot of similarities to early Porsche models of the time. But this was all Ferrari and is one of the original and most coveted models on the road.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

1969 Mustang Boss 429 (John Wick)

The Mustang has been a focal point of the movie industry and there were quite a few different famous examples of them on screen. The Boss 429 was one of the most powerful production models on the road. The John Wick franchise is currently one of the most popular movie franchises in the world and the Boss 429 was Wicks’s car of choice. The look and feel of the car made it stand out from the crowd, but it wasn’t just the styling of the car. The performance of the Boss 429 was on par with some of the best performances of the decade (via Muscle Car).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Even though the Mustang got destroyed in the movie it stands out as one of the most iconic models in real life. John Wick had a great script and special effects, and the Mustang just made it that much better. The car had the kind of style that keeps you glued to the screen hoping that one day you can own one too.

Photo Credit: Auto Evolution

1976 Lotus Esprit Series I (The Spy Who Loved Me)

The Esprit was one of the most underrated sports cars on the market as it offered the biggest bang for the buck. When it came to the car in The Spy Who Loved Me, there had to be something to make it stand out. This was because the car was converted into a submarine for the underwater scenes of the movie. Even though this wasn’t practical in real life, it made for an exceptional scene in the movie. In real life, the Esprit Series I was one of the most capable sports cars on the road (via Hot Cars).

Photo Credit: Auto Evolution

The movie was the definition of the early James Bond flicks and had the type of action that fans craved back then. The beautiful car added all of the features that made for a memorable movie. Of course, Bond wouldn’t drive just any vehicle and this one was something very unique, to say the least. It added more to the legacy of notorious James Bond cars of the past.

Photo Credit: Motorious

1966 Ford Thunderbird (Thelma & Louise)

Perhaps there wasn’t as well-known of a movie that featured a Ford Thunderbird as Thelma & Louise. The movie had the right amount of suspense with a deep story, and one of the most notable things was the car. The 1966 T-Bird Convertible in a beautiful blue color was a game-changer. Young women everywhere fell in love with the characters and the car. This movie was by far one of the most important movies of the decade and the car was equally important (via Pinterest).

Photo Credit: Motorious

This blue T-Bird was a wonderful example of the beautiful Ford design and engineering that went into each car. The Thunderbird had an iconic role in the convertible segment and the Ford lineup in general. There aren’t a lot of cars that blended performance and style as well as this one did. The convertible Thunderbird was an excellent car in every sense of the word.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1969 Dodge Charger General Lee (The Dukes of Hazzard)

There arguably wasn’t a TV show that was more important for automotive history than the Dukes of Hazzard. There was just something about the orange General Lee that reinvigorated the industry. The car was every inch of fun that Dodge intended for it to be. The Duke brothers drove the car through various chases and stunts during the time of production. The Charger was one of the most iconic Dodge muscle cars that was ever created. The incredible performance left strips of rubber wherever the car went, even in real life.

Photo Credit: Silodrome

Even though there were a lot of great examples of the Charger that hit the market, the General Lee had all of the notoriety. Everyone who watched the show wanted one and so there are lots of clones out there. The General Lee left an indelible mark on the entertainment world and the automotive world with its unique personality and performance.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Ectomobile – 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor (Ghostbusters)

The ‘Ectomobile’ was the quintessential movie car in the 1980s. This ordinary Cadillac wagon was transformed into something undeniably cool. The Ghostbusters had all kinds of interesting tools for their job. Needless to say, this Cadillac was decked out with all kinds of gear and sirens. Perhaps one of the most famous station wagons in the world the Cadillac Miller-Meteor was generally used for funeral home work. But, when it came to tracking down ghosts this car was ready and able to tackle the job head-on (via Quatrell Cadillac).

Photo Credit: Mecum

There were very few iconic cars that made as much of a cultural impact as the Ectomobile did. The car was every bit as unique as the rest of the Ghostbusters franchise and that’s why it was so popular. These days, dozens of fans’ve built themselves Ectomobile replicas. Station wagons aren’t as cool as they once were but the Ectomobile will always be cool.

1973 XB GT Ford Falcon, Mad Max
Photo Credit: Sixpacktech

1973 Ford Falcon XB GT Pursuit Special (Mad Max)

There was a time when Mel Gibson could do no wrong and starred in some of the biggest blockbusters of his era. The Falcon XB GT was one of the most notable muscle cars of all time. It had a powerful engine that consumers wanted during the period and also very aggressive styling. But it was also a great car for Mad Max to drive as well. The Pursuit Special included an intimidating black paint job and bodywork that looked like it was made for the end of the world. Very few cars have managed to captivate an audience like Mad Max’s Falcon XB did (via Fandom).

1973 XB GT Ford Falcon, Mad Max
Photo Credit: Sixpacktech

The Mad Max franchise will always have a special place in the hearts of fans, but one of the things that made the movies great was the variety of interesting rides. There aren’t a lot of movies that could pull off what Mad Max did without seeming too cheesy. It goes without saying that the original Pursuit Interceptor was one of the most awesome movie rides of the decade.

Photo Credit: VW Owners

1963 Volkswagen Beetle (Herbie)

This iconic little Volkswagen was beloved by millions of people. So much so that Disney even reinvigorated the franchise with Lindsey Lohan in the 2000s. ‘Herbie’ was unique in that it added a racing dynamic to the otherwise mundane Volkswagen Beetle. Even though the real-life Beetle couldn’t do the things that Herbie did, it was still an interesting franchise. Generally when new enthusiasts purchase a classic Beetle one of the first things that they want to do is dress it up like Herbie (via Auto Evolution).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Herbie was an iconic car that managed to appeal to an entire generation of kids. The fun-loving Volkswagen was the perfect blend of fun and storytelling joy. In real life, any Herbie Volkswagen is equally exciting. It wasn’t named the “People” car for no reason as the Volkswagen Beetle was something special. Very few cars have managed to be a cultural phenomenon like Herbie was.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

1967 Shelby GT500 “Eleanor” (Gone In 60 Seconds)

The Shelby GT500 was one of the most iconic versions of the Mustang, and there were a lot of them. But what exactly made this one stand out from the crowd? It’s because it was specifically featured in the hit movie, Gone in 60 Seconds. The look and feel of the car were the first two things that made it stand out from the crowd. The performance of the GT500 was also awe-inspiring, to say the least, taking average performance numbers to the next level (via Fusion Motor Co).

Photo Credit: Edmunds

If the GT500 doesn’t look like any other Mustang on the road, that’s only because it isn’t. The sheer power and substance of this Mustang redefined what people were looking for in the iconic pony car. The GT500 resonated with performance enthusiasts and excited drivers alike because it was beautiful and full of the horsepower that you want and need in a car.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1971 Volkswagen T2 Microbus (Little Miss Sunshine)

Who could forget Little Miss Sunshine? The movie had a great message and a very in-depth story and it also had a noteworthy VW Microbus. The T2 Microbus was the epitome of style back in the day. These vans were used to transport buses of hippies and fun-loving people everywhere that they wanted to go. The T2 Microbus was an especially unique offering thanks to its yellow paint job and interior features. This truly was a miniature RV in every sense of the word, offering a mobile home on wheels without the fuss (via Hemmings).

Photo Credit: Mecum

The Microbus is the quintessential form of transportation from the bygone era. Most notably any movie that you saw one of these in was likely trying to portray a wholesome message. Few cars have managed to cultivate the type of reputation that the original VW bus did, and it still manages to be a cultural icon thanks to its unique styling and fun.

Photo Credit: Teakbraun

2008 Audi R8 (Iron Man)

The Audi R8 was launched as an alternative to other supercars on the market. It wasn’t like anything else on the road, as there was a method to its madness. When the original R8 hit the road in 2008 it was a game-changer and there were many media appearances by the car. Iron Man was one of the first movies that it was showcased in. The car became a hit thanks to the beautiful Porsche-influenced styling and the awe-inspiring performance coming from the wheels (via Fandom).

Photo Credit: Honest John

Iron Man was kind of an anti-establishment superhero movie. The high-end tech and cars featured in it took things to the next level, arguably launching the long-running Marvel movie run that continues to this day. Every movie car has a unique story behind it and why the production crew chose it, and the R8 was the perfect Iron Man movie car. The high-end technology and beautiful styling of the car were an obvious addition to the hit movie.

Photo Credit: Mecum

1967 Austin Mini Cooper S 1275 (The Italian Job)

The Italian Job was one of the most iconic remakes in recent memory. The cars in the movie were very memorable and one of the reasons that people still talk about it. One of the most memorable cars in it was the classic Mini Cooper S. The car had all the iconic styling that an original Mini Cooper has, which still looks authentic today. Few cars were as iconic as the original Mini Cooper was. The Mini Cooper S was the performance variant of the car and there were a lot of upgrades (via Hagerty).

Photo Credit: Mecum

Things that made the Mini Cooper unique were the diminutive sizing of the car and its fun performance. You wouldn’t think that a pint-sized ride handled as well as the Mini Cooper S did. The car was a cultural phenomenon when it was new and the company brought the car back for the 2002 model year in a modern version.

Photo Credit: Edmunds

2007 Chevrolet Camaro Replica (Transformers)

When Chevrolet canceled the Camaro for the 2002 model year, enthusiasts never thought that the popular car would return. But when the Camaro concept car was featured in the first Transformers movie, it reignited the brand completely. The first and most notable thing about the Transformers Camaro was its bright and bold color. The previous generation of the Camaro never had many special editions and that’s why it became sour in contrast to the Ford Mustang, which had plenty of special edition cars (via Camaro 5).

Photo Credit: GM

Most people forget that without the success of the Transformers franchise, there wouldn’t be a fifth generation of the Camaro. GM was taken aback by the positive response to the car and the production was green-lit. The car had everything that enthusiasts had been hoping for and it became a surprise success for GM and got the pony car wars going once again.

Photo Credit: National Auto Museum

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

Few movie cars have become as iconic as the ‘Bang Bang’. The car in question was designed by Count Louis Zborowski and was based on a functioning group of real-life race cars. The beautiful styling of the car was made like that for a reason as it was supposed to be a magical ride. The Bang Bang had all kinds of features on it which included wings and other magical things. There is no denying that even though the actors were good, the car definitely made the movie a memorable one (via TCM).

Photo Credit: National Auto Museum

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was a memorable American movie that resonated with people everywhere. The child-like humor and the fun of the magical flying car were something that worked throughout the movie world for years to come. Although this wasn’t an actual production vehicle, it was a unique piece of automotive and Hollywood history nonetheless.

Photo Credit: Hagerty

1977 Pontiac Trans Am (Smokey and the Bandit)

Smokey and the Bandit and Burt Reynolds were two of the most well-known icons of the 1970s. There was something truly special about that blacked-out Trans-Am flying down the road at incredibly high speeds. The car was an actual production model and it had a lot of special features for the period. The Trans-Am separated the Pontiac brand from the rest of the muscle car world (via Rotten Tomatoes).

Photo Credit: Hagerty

Smokey and the Bandit was such a hit that the car generated a legion of fans. There are plenty of well-known trim packages on the Trans-Am, but the black and gold from the film was iconic. With the flaming bird logo on the hood, this car meant business. Even when you think of a pony car to this day, the Trans Am is one of the first models that comes to mind.

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