Most iconic cars on film

DeLorean number plate from Back to the Future

Jessica Taylor Yates

Posted November 23, 2021


From James Bond’s classic Aston Martin to the Doc’s time-travelling DeLorean, we take a look at the best cars from movies on screen. 

Whether you’re a car lover or not, there’s certain models that have become synonymous with the characters who ride in them. Batman's Batmobile, for instance, or the Interceptor from Mad Max have become almost as famous as the films themselves, increasing sales and value for the prestige version used on film, and those who want a slice of the action with a similar model. Many of these cars are still in existence, whether on display or fetching millions at private auctions. So, where are they now – and how much are these famous cars worth?  

Let’s take a daydream drive and find out what has happened to the most famous movie cars.


Famous cars from movies

 

The Aston Martin DB5 – Goldfinger (1964)

“The name’s Bond…James Bond.” 

Can anyone take a ride in this car and not picture themselves as 007? While Bond has had a few variations on the old spy mobile, the classic Aston Martin DB5 (the first being in Goldfinger) has appeared in 11 Bond films in the series, signaling what Aston Martin call ‘the start of a relationship…which spans nearly 50 years of cinema history,’ and cementing itself as the prestige car of choice for the world’s number one secret agent. As Bond himself says…he likes to do some things the old-fashioned way. 

Current value: Sold at auction to a private bidder for a whopping $6.4 million.

The Aston Martin from James Bond. Image: Getty.

The Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger - James Bond 1964. Image: Getty. 


 

The DeLorean – Back to the Future (1985)

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” 

Everyone’s favourite time-travelling mobile was, in fact, almost a fridge – that is, until director Steven Spielberg was worried kids around the world would start hopping into their freezers in the hopes of reaching 1955. Enter, the DeLorean DMC-12! The time-traveling car with gull-winged doors later became immortalised as a ‘historically-significant vehicle’ on the National Historic Vehicle Register and is currently on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Great Scott! 

Current value: not for sale, but replicas can start at $500K. 

The DeLorean from Back To The Future. Image: Getty.

The DeLorean from Back To The Future. Image: Getty. 


 

The Interceptor – Mad Max (1976) 

“Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves.”

Whilst many cars from the film are arguably iconic and have gone up for auction, The 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT from the original Mad Max and nicknamed ‘the Pursuit Special’ became the poster car for bad boys everywhere. The vehicle, at first only exclusively sold in Australia, was also used as a home for Max and his dog in the film, and later went ‘on tour’ as promotion for the movie around the country. It has now settled at the Orlando Auto Museum in Florida. But I’m just here for the gasoline. 

Current value: the car is for sale, although an offer of $2 million was already knocked back…

The Interceptor from Mad Max. Image: Getty.

The Interceptor from Mad Max. Image: Getty. 


 

The Batmobile – Batman (1966)

“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.”

Synonymous with pretty much every Batman movie, the Batmobile (clever naming and marketing there) has appeared in many iterations of Batman, from his early comic books to the latest dark film offerings. Whilst not a particular make or model (although the original is a Lincoln Futura), the ‘Batmobile’ is known for its sleek and curved design, bat wings, an array of gadgets, and dark exterior when Batman fights crime in Gotham City. After all, as Batman says, ‘I am vengeance, I am the night, I am Batman!’ 

Current value: The original Batmobile last sold for $4.6 million to a private bidder in 2013.

The original Batmobile

The original Batmobile. Image: Alamy. 


 

The Volkswagen Beetle – Herbie the Love Bug (1963)

"It’s fully loaded." 

Everyone’s favourite little love bug Herbie had over 50 variations over the franchise’s successful film and television offerings, where the car also doubled as the star of the show. Disney’s car also has a ‘personality,’ as a cheerful and funny car that wants to help its driver(s). it is currently owned by Volkswagen enthusiast Tony Alonzo, who is looking to get Herbie back into shape. Go 53!

Current value: Last sold in 2018 for $128,700.

The original Herbie vehicle. Image: Getty.

The original Herbie vehicle. Image: Getty. 


 

The Bluesmobile - The Blues Brothers (1974)

"There are 106 miles to Chicago. We have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.”

The original Bluesmobile, a 1974 Dodge Monaco sedan, was used by Blues Brothers Jake (John Belushi) and Elwood (Dan Akroyd) who set off on a road trip to save their previous orphanage by raising money at gigs they play along the way. As chaos ensues, the Bluesmobile, a decommissioned police car, is used as they ride along from state to state and perform crazy stunts on the way. It currently resides at the Volo Auto Sales and Museum in Illinois. Shake a Tail Feather! 

Current value: Not for sale – you’ll just have to visit!

The Bluesmobile from The Blues Brothers. Image: Getty.

The Bluesmobile from The Blues Brothers. Image: Getty. 


 

The Ectomobile – Ghostbusters (1984)

"Who you gonna call?"

Everyone’s favourite ghost-busting team rides around in the famed Ectomobile, or Ecto-1, which was actually a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Metero Futura Duplex created especially for the film. The movie version has gadgets and cannons, and was made into toys and replicas sold the world over. It resides, when not on tour, at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. So if you want it, who you gonna call? 

Current value: $294,000.

The Ectomobile from Ghostbusters. Image: Alamy.

The Ectomobile from Ghostbusters. Image: Alamy.  


 

The Modena GT Spyder – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

The 1985 Ferrari-inspired convertible from the classic coming-of-age film is perhaps most famed for the classic ‘take flight’ scene when it gets airborne – that is, until Bueller’s friend Cameron accidentally pushes his dad’s Ferrari off a cliff! Three models were actually used in the film as Ferrari ‘replicas’ that were built by Modena Design and Development. While two went for private auction, one was destroyed. You killed the car!  

Current value: One was last sold for $396,000 after an extensive restoration by Modena Design’s co-founder, Neil Glassmoyer.

The Modena GT Spyder from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Image: Getty. 


 

The Ford LTD Country Squire – National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

"I was speeding. I was driving like a maniac. We can all be grateful to this man for stopping us."

Fun fact: George Barris, who designed the vehicle, also designed the Batmobile. 

The 1979 Wagon Queen Family Truckster station wagon has become synonymous with daggy dads and family road trips the world over. Gaining fame as the family’s road trip vehicle led by Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase) the car was made specifically for the movie on the family’s cross-country adventure – before the vehicle is destroyed. Five models were actually used in the film – but the location is only known of one, which was sold at auction. It’s a long way down the Holiday Road! 

Current value: Funnily enough, the original sold for $40,000 at auction – but replicas can get well above $100,000! 

The Ford LTD Country Squire from National Lampoon's Vaction.

The Ford LTD Country Squire from National Lampoon's Vacation. Image: Alamy.  


 

The Ford Luxe Convertible – Grease (1978)

“This car could be systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic - why couldn't it be Greased Lightnin'?!”

Whilst a few cars from this film have stayed iconic over the last few decades (Craterface’s Hell’s Chariot, anyone?) we will cheer for the Thunderbirds’ 1948 Ford, White Lightning, that led them to drag race glory at Thunder Road. Greasers will be happy to know that the pink slips were handed over to the Illinois’ Volo Auto Museum for all to admire. Now that’s Greased Lightning! 

Current value: Not for sale – although Hell’s Chariot went on sale for $600,000. 

The Ford Luxe Convertible from Grease. Image: Getty.

The Ford Luxe Convertible from Grease. Image: Getty.


 

The Bumblebee Camaro- The Transformers

“Most have come to destroy us. Some have come to protect us.”

Everyone’s favourite Transformer Bumblebee served as a major character in the Transformers series, spawning a collection of new toy memorabilia on which the films are based, and newer models of the collectible car. Sold by Chevy, there were four versions of ‘Bumblebee’ used in the four Transformers films, each with new upgrades (although sadly, none seem to be able to transform into alien robots just yet). Whilst legally not driveable, all four were purchased by the owner of NASCAR, Rich Hendrick. But hey – there’s more to them than meets the eye. 

Current value: Hendrick purchased the collection for $500,000 in 2019. 

The Bumblebee Camaro from Transformers. Image: Getty. 


 

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

“That’s a curious name for a motorcar!”

The magical film favourite focuses on an inventor (the loveable Dick Van Dyke) who transforms a car into a teleporting flying vehicle. There were actually six vintage racing cars used in the film, the main of which featured a Ford 3000 V6 engine and was manufactured by the Paragon Motor Company. 

Fun fact: The film was written by Ian Fleming, who is famed for authoring the iconic James Bond series. 

Current value: Last sold at auction for $805,000 to Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. Perhaps he knows to ‘never say no to adventures. Always say yes, otherwise you'll lead a very dull life!’

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Image: Getty. 


 

The Mystery Machine - Scooby Doo

"Looks like we've got another mystery on our hands."

When you’re talking about recognisable cars, it doesn’t get more iconic than this. The classic hippie mystery van has had many iterations since its inception in 1969, from the cartoon tv series to motion pictures, bringing the car out of animations and onto the roads. 

The film was filmed right here in Australia, and therefore the hippie van used was a 1972 Bedford CF. You may find many fan replicas out there, as the design has been especially popular with the backpacker and van rental set. The Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine is currently on display at the Volo Museum in Illinois. Scooby Dooby Doo!

Current value: Not for sale, but replicas fetch around $60,000. 

scooby doo  mystery machine

The Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo. Image: Getty. 


 

British Leyland Mini 1000 Mark 4 – Mr Bean (1997)

"Be afraid. Be very afraid. Mr. Bean has a passport." 

Whilst Bean drove many iterations of this model in the series, we are focused on the film, which featured the citron-green Mini #4 in all its glory. The car became an ongoing vehicle for Bean’s many gags (see what we did there?) such as using a padlock to lock his car, driving through London’s iconic Harrod’s department store, and the general visual gimmick of a larger man in a small vehicle. It is currently with a private owner. As Bean would say, doesn’t time fly when you're enjoying yourself?

Current value: It was last sold at auction for $70,000.

The British Leyland Mini 1000 Mark 4 from Mr Bean. Image: Getty. 


 

Shaguar - Austin Powers, International Man of Mystery (1997)

"Groovy, baby!" 

Austin Powers, he’s the man, for you! The 1970 Jaguar E-Type, which Powers affectionately refers to as his ‘shaguar’ (ahem), became an overnight sensation with its iconic British flag exterior for comedy’s international man of mystery. It was even ‘Enzo Ferrari certified’ as one of the world’s most beautiful cars. Little is known about the car’s current whereabouts, other than it was listed for auction on eBay at various times and is said to have been sold to a private bidder.

Current value: Whilst it was sold for an undisclosed amount, it was last listed for around $68,000 in 2010, so watch this space. Yeah, baby! 

The Jaguar E-type 'Shaguar' from Austin Powers. Image: Getty. 


 

Honourable mentions:  The Shaggin’ Wagon’ (Wayne’s World), Eleanor (Gone in 60 Seconds), The Ford Thunderbird (Thelma and Louise), the Lavender Bus (Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) and the Ford Gran Torino (Starsky and Hutch movie). 

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