The most iconic movie and TV cars of all time

4th February 2022, 10:54am
8 min read
The most iconic movie and TV cars of all time

TV series and movies are rarely remembered for the cars that they featured - but when they are, you know it's a cracker. From talking cars to just plain beautiful beasts, the world of TV and cinema has demonstrated some fine examples over the years. Let's take a look at what we believe to be the most iconic.

1. "KITT" - Pontiac Trans Am (1982) from Knight Rider


When we're talking about iconic TV cars, they don't come more iconic than KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand). Growing up in the 90s watching re-runs of Knight Rider was a delight. I don't really remember anything about the show or the story lines except the magnificent black Pontiac Trans Am which possessed a mind and personality of it's own - with it's suite of switches and controls, the front mounted red lights, and of course, driven by Hasselhoff.

Some of the features that made this car so iconic were;

  • In-car entertainment system able to play music, movies and arcade games.
  • Front mounted Anamorphic Equaliser, able to see in all visual wavelengths, as well as X-ray and infrared.
  • Knight Industries turbojet engine, with afterburners.
  • 0–60 mph in 2 seconds, standing to quarter mile 4.286 seconds.
  • Plus a whole array of weaponry and defence systems.

2. Toyota Supra (1994) from Fast and Furious


If the Toyota Supra MK4 wasn't already a cult icon - it was after it first appeared in the 2001 movie, Fast and Furious. With it's garish orange paint work, decals galore and massive wing - it was one Supra you wasn't going to forget any time soon. Driven by the late Paul Walker, it was a car that made it to many desktop wallpapers.

Fast and Furious was perhaps the first movie with a focus on the world of aftermarket car modding and illegal street racing to gain international success. There is currently a total of 9 movies in the franchise, with more in the making. Although not all are quite as good as the first (in our opinion), the franchise has done a lot to showcase the world of cars.

1 of the 8 Supras used in the movie was recently sold for $500,000 back in 2021, a hefty sum to pay, but a true era-defining and recognisable car that is guaranteed to turn heads.

3. Aston Martin DB5 (1963) from Goldfinger


When you think James Bond, you think Aston Martin, and the DB5 is what sparked the great history between them, making Aston Martin the characters quintessential car of choice.

There were 2 Aston Martin DB5s used in the filming of Goldfinger, and 2 used for promotional purposes. One of the filming cars, chassis number DP/216/1, also driven by Roger Moore in The Cannonball Run was famously stolen from it's owner in 1997 and has never been found.

Of the 2 promotional cars, 1 currently resides at the Louwman Museum in The Hague, the second was auctioned in 2010 and gained a staggering $6.4 million.

Some of the features that made this secret agent's car so cool were;

  • Machine guns mounted behind the front indicators.
  • Extendable bumpers for use as battering rams.
  • A smoke dispenser.
  • An oil dispenser.
  • Passenger ejector seat.
  • Revolving number plate to show different registrations.

4. "Eleanor" - Ford Mustang GT500 (1967) from Gone in 60 Seconds


Say what you like about Nicolas Cage, but the 2000 remake of Gone in 60 Seconds is perhaps the greatest vehicle heist movie produced. The star of the show was undoubtedly the 1967 Ford Mustang GT500 with it's gorgeous black and silver paint job.

Eleanor came equipped with a 400hp 5.8L small-block V8 connected to a 4-speed manual transmission, upgraded suspension and double pipe exhaust system. However, it was the harmonious curves and lines of the car that really made it special and a real treat for the eyes.

Out of the 11 cars built for the movie, only 3 are known to still be in existence. 1 of which was sold at auction in 2020 for $852,000.

5. DeLorean DMC-12 (1982) from Back to The Future


Instantly recognisable - the Delorean DMC-12 is what most people will picture when they think time machine.

Powered by a plutonium fuelled nuclear reactor producing 1.21 Jigowatts - this car seamlessly carried it's passengers through time by way of it's mysterious flux capacitor, roof-mounted wormhole emitter and accelerating to 88mph.

The actual road going versions of this car were powered by a V6 engine with a top speed of just 109mph, and a speedometer only reading up to 88mph - it has been criticised by many for being severely under-powered for a V6 engine. If it wasn't for the Back to The Future movies, this car may have never made it to this history books.

6. "Herbie" - Volkswagen Beetle (1963) from The Love Bug


Herbie is an anthropomorphic Volkswagen Beetle able to think, and drive on it's own. Starring in a number of movies in a franchise that begun with the 1969 movie, The Love Bug. Despite not actually being able to talk, Herbie still manages to communicate with humans by other comical means.

Herbie famously wins the final race of the movie after being severely damaged and split in to 2 - the rear half of the car carrying the driver, crosses the finish line first.

Sporting the famous racing number 53, it'll be hard to come by someone who does't know who Herbie is.

7. "Mirthmobile" - AMC Pacer (1976) from Wayne's World 1 & 2


If you've seen Wayne's World, you'll know the Mirthmobile. If you haven't seen it - go watch it! The iconic blue 1976 AMC Pacer with flame decals on the side appears in both Wayne's World movies and is owned by Garth Algar, although driven by both Garth and Wayne.

Perhaps the most famous and instantly recognisable AMC Pacer, it features a dashboard mounted CD player, red rope liquorice dispenser, and a disposable drinks cup dispenser.

8. Mini (1977) from Mr Bean


Who doesn't know and love Mr Bean. This list wouldn't be complete without the addition of this acrid green Mini.

There isn't much to say about this car other than it was driven by perhaps who is the most globally recognised comedian of our era. Mr Bean just wouldn't be Mr Bean without his Mini.

Although several variations of the Mini were used throughout the series and movies, we quite enjoy the one that features a padlock on the door.

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Written by Raymond Burrett

Raymond is the quintessential car enthusiast. Motorsports and sports-cars have played a prominent role since a young age. He can now be found tinkering with his Japanese sports cars, at local car meets or out on a track-day.