View Full Version : Top Ten Car Stars

03-19-2004, 09:45 PM
Came across this in our local paper (from an American source, read "filler" article)

This is a tribute to those beloved cars that almost functioned as "stars" in their own right, whether on TV or the big screen. This is the top ten according to question asked of American car enthusiasts:

1. "The Dukes of Hazzard", 1969 Dodge Charger "General Lee"

2. "Bulitt", Steve McQueen's green 1968 Ford Mustang

3. "Gone in Sixty Seconds" [I think the re-make], 1967 Shelby GT500

4. "Back to the Future", 1983 DeLorean

5. "Batman" TV series, Batmobile

6. "Goldfinger", James Bond's Aston Martin DB5

7. "Smokey and the Bandit", 1977 Pontiac Firebird T/A

8. "Herbie, the Love Bug", 1963 VW Beetle

9. "Starsky & Hutch" TV series & movie, 1974 Ford Torino

10. "The Green Hornet" TV series, Chrysler Imperial "Black Beauty"

What do you think? keep in mind they asked Americans, I know you guys would nominate more British "car stars", I suppose the basic criteria is that the car had to feature quite prominently.

My comments off the top of my head... I've always loved the Smokey and the Bandit movies (except the last movie... dud!) and Herbie's funky too especially when "he" raced at Monte Carlo. Some of my favourites not on the list (these are fairly obscure mind you), the "Coyote" kit car from Hardcastle & McCormick TV series and Columbo's ratty old Peugeot convertible from the TV movies, and for honourable mention... Rick Simon's old Dodge 4x4 pickup from Simon & Simon. OK... I'm a 1980's child as you can tell...

03-19-2004, 09:55 PM
Clark Kent drove a Nash Healey in Superman. Not really a car star, but cool, nonetheless.

I'm surprised they didn't name the 'Kitt' car, from Knight Rider.

03-19-2004, 11:00 PM
Funny, the yellow Ford hotrod from American Graffitti pops right into my head. As does the Mystery Machine....and the Gremlin (or was it a Pacer?) from Wayne's World and the all famous Shaguar...

03-19-2004, 11:16 PM
How could they miss "Kitt" from Knight Rider?


03-19-2004, 11:20 PM
One of the other ones they were surprised didn't show up was Magnum's Ferrari 308, who can see a red Ferrari 308 and not think of Magnum P.I.

Wayne's World... good pick, yeah an AMC Pacer nicely decorated, loved that movie! Especially the opening scene with the Queen song...

03-20-2004, 02:18 AM
OK I’ll admit it I never really cared for Nightrider. But I agree that KITT should be on the list. As for the rest I have a few grips.

The Gone in 60’s seconds car: While I liked the car, I think it's placed a little high on the list. IMHO It probably only made the list because the movie is somewhat contemporary. Who knows if you asked the same question back when the original Gone in 60 Seconds the old POS Mach 1 Mustang might have made the list too.

The Green Hornets’ Black Beauty is boarder line forgettable. That's all I'm gona say.

Here are some of my suggestions:
1) The old 1960 Corvette from Route 66. With Martin Milner of (Adam 12 fame)

2) Speaking of Adam 12 & Martin Milner surely the 68 or 69 Plymouth Satellite Police Cruiser would have to make the list. “One Adam 12 – 211 in progress – handle code 3”

3) Can’t forget Ironside’s (Raymond Burr) old Modified Police Van that was his kind of rolling crime lab. FYI I’m talking about the old converted Dodge Power Wagon Military Ambulance used in the first season. I never thought that the Ford Econoline conversion Van used latter on was near as nice as Ironside’s first ride.

4) And last but not least: Jim Rockford’s (Rockford Files) plain Jane late 70’s Pontiac Firebird. James Garner’s show had much better car chases & action sequences than most and he never had to “jump” over things (broken down bridge, rivers etc) or have to worry about the likes of Sheriff Roscoe P. Coletrain. The only shortcoming of the entire show was no Daisy Duke.


[ 03-19-2004: Message edited by: Bret ]</p>

03-20-2004, 08:03 AM
The "Ferrari Daytona" (really a Corvette-based kit) used in "Miami Vice".

The "Beverly Hillbillies" truck (a Ford, I think).

"My Mother, The Car" (I forget what type of car that was).

Jack Benny's Maxell.

Car 54 (Where Are You?)

Those cool little skycars in the Jetsons

Mrs. Peel's Elan in the Avengers

Fred Flintstone's "Log Car".

#1 (for me) The Lotus Seven in "The Prisoner".

I liked the Sky King's twin-enigine plane and the Bell-47 in "Whirlybirds" too.

[ 03-20-2004: Message edited by: aeronca65t ]</p>

03-20-2004, 12:42 PM
A couple more I thought of are the Sanford & Son Ford pickup, and the CHP Buick that Broderick Crawford drove in Highway Patrol. "2150 to headquarters."

Which one of the "Songbirds", Nial? The "Bamboo Bomber", or the 310?

[ 03-20-2004: Message edited by: Bugeye58 ]</p>

03-20-2004, 01:00 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by aeronca65t:

Those cool little skycars in the Jetsons

Fred Flintstone's "Log Car".


I hate to be a nitpicker but do Cartoon cars really count? If so (not that I’m a fan) where is Speeds’ Mach 5 or Tom Slick’s Jalopy – the “Thunderbolt Grease Slapper”? BTW I always thought that Super Chicken’s (with side kick Fred) flying egg look suspiciously similar to the Jettsons flying cars? Copy rights infringement case maybe?

Forgot to add The Munsters Cars: The Koach! A hotroded, stretched Motel T (I think?) And the Dracula Coffin Car (Grandpas ride).

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Not exactly sure what kind of car (or cars) was used to put the movie car together I suspect several where actually used. Anyway who could forget the ever-funny Dick Van Dyke as inventor Potts?


03-20-2004, 01:20 PM
Cartoon cars... I suspect they probably don't count. However... there was the Flintstones movie that used real actors and had a real "log car" in it, so that is one cartoon car that definitely counts graemlins/thumbsup.gif Good call!

[ 03-20-2004: Message edited by: Sherlock ]</p>

03-20-2004, 03:02 PM
Simon Templar's Volvo P1800.
Maxwell Smart's Sunbeam Alpine.


03-20-2004, 03:38 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Sherlock:
Cartoon cars... I suspect they probably don't count. However... there was the Flintstones movie that used real actors and had a real "log car" in it, so that is one cartoon car that definitely counts graemlins/thumbsup.gif Good call!

Not that I agree or disagree with you Sherlock, but I think you bring up a good aspect of the original question, in order to make the list – what is a real TV Star Car?

Personally I think that the “none-animated” Flintstones car from the Movie is more of a “cartoon car” than any of the other examples listed thus far. Without getting too deep –can it really be “driven” in the conventional sense on the street? It is for this reason that I think that the Flintstones car is actually more of a studio prop than a “real” car. Not unlike sugar glass bottles or balsawood chairs that ya see getting shattered over someone’s head in a TV bar fight. I.e. A Cartoon.

That said to the best of my understanding most of the cars listed thus far can actually be driven on the roads should someone decide to do so.

Also what about BRUM? That cute little children’s program from the UK I see on PBS from time to time (Julia my 4yr old loves it). Is it a cartoon car? A real Star car? Or is it just a fancy RC car, as I’d tend to categorize it?

Are we having fun yet?

03-20-2004, 03:52 PM

Never seen that show, don't have kids either so that might be why.

But pushing the envelope a little further... I loved a TV commercial that was around back in the 1990's (forget who it was for...) with a mouse hopping into a mouse-sized Nissan 300ZX in the house and out-running the cat to the mouse hole. Great ad! graemlins/thumbsup.gif I think that one won an award.

Real car star? images/icons/grin.gif Not really... Having fun? Yes! images/icons/grin.gif

[ 03-20-2004: Message edited by: Sherlock ]</p>

03-20-2004, 06:52 PM
I believe that the car from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was custom built for the movie, and was not based on a vintage car. Both the Munsters cars were built by George Barris, as was the original Batmobile (originally the Lincoln Futura show car) and the Green Hornet's ride. Interestingly, to help draw crowds to drag races, slick-shod versions of both the Batmobile and the Hornet Car were built and toured the nations strips giving demonstration runs.

03-21-2004, 08:20 AM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bugeye58:
Which one of the "Songbirds", Nial? The "Bamboo Bomber", or the 310?

[ 03-20-2004: Message edited by: Bugeye58 ]<hr></blockquote>

The 310.
By the way, there is a family that flies around the east coast USA in a Bamboo Bomber and goes to many airshows. Mom, Dad and kids....neat! I've seen them at McGuire AFB, my local show (Sussex) and other places.

<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>:

Simon Templar's Volvo P1800.
Maxwell Smart's Sunbeam Alpine.

How could I forget those?!?! Good call.

03-26-2004, 10:35 PM
How about
- Mad Max/Road Warrior's Ford Falcon XB
- Vanishing Point's '70 Dodge Challenger
- Two Lane Black Top's primered '55 Chevy
- John Steed / Avenger's Bentley
- Original Gone in 60 Seconds 1973 Mustang Mach 1
- The horrible customized star car of Corvette Summer
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off's Ferrari 250GT California Spider

03-27-2004, 09:08 AM
What, no "Monkeymobile" from the monkeys? If we do allow for cartoon cars, my vote is for DangerMouse's ride, but only if it comes with the watch and penfold.

03-28-2004, 09:48 PM
I'm pretty sure Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was really a Ford Transit van.

03-28-2004, 09:51 PM
James Bond's Lotus Esprit submarine?

MGA Steve
03-29-2004, 12:14 PM
<blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by William: Funny, the yellow Ford hotrod from American Graffitti pops right into my head. <hr></blockquote>

I agree that "American Graffiti" had some great cars--Harrison Ford's black '55 Chevy and Ron Howard's '58 Impala--but the star of that movie was the white '57 T-Bird with the porthole windows. In fact, it was the running plot point--finding the beautiful girl (Suzanne Somers) in the white T-Bird took the entire movie!

Who can forget "Christine", the most frightening MoPar ever built?

How about the Austin Powers XKE? And Minis/MINIs have certainly had major parts in plenty of movies, both in the '60s and more recently.

03-29-2004, 06:47 PM
Anyone remember Speed Buggy?


or Jim Rockford's Firebird

or maybe best of all, Nick's Vette from Riptide

[ 03-29-2004: Message edited by: lawguy ]</p>

A. Salnick
03-30-2004, 05:56 PM
How about the Series 1 Land Rover "Anti-Christ" from the Gods Must Be Crazy. Being a rover owner myself, I will vouch that it is all true....

03-30-2004, 06:41 PM
the corvette in ROute 66?

03-30-2004, 09:41 PM
A favourite with the ladies is Grace Kelly's Sunbeam Alpine in To Catch a Thief. That's what my wife fancies she looks like when we're out in our Alpine - even though we've got the later finned type of Alpine!

Izual Angel
03-30-2004, 11:44 PM
To further the "cartoon car" debate. I like Jay Sherman's red XKE in the old series "The Critic".

BTW - The coolest car in "gone in 60 Seconds" was the Jaguar XJ220 that you only see for like 2 seconds.

03-31-2004, 09:43 AM
Mr. Bean's Mini!

Dave Thielke
04-01-2004, 11:49 AM
WHAT, nobody remembers Professor Fate and the Hannibal Twin8 from 'The Great Race'?
Dave T graemlins/driving.gif

tony barnhill
04-01-2004, 11:54 AM
Dave...wasn't that the diesel car with 6 wheels & the pointed front end...had a Jolly Roger flag?

04-01-2004, 06:00 PM
I can't believe that nobody's mentioned the 3 Mini Coopers from (the original) "The Italian Job".

04-01-2004, 06:27 PM
Steve Mcqueen's Mustang in 'Bullet' is my all time favourite show muscle car.We had a 'Boss' 302 which would do commpetitive lap times at Mosport with your favourite radio station playing.
Jimmy Clark's Lotus Cortina(mark 1- my all time best car)
Healy 3000-grunt to red line!!
Jag XK150- the end of the line in 'trad' sports cars
MGTF 1500- the other 'end of the line'
Morgaan plus 8- the other'end of the line'
Ford GT40-!!!
Could do more but---

04-14-2004, 10:48 AM
"Looking for another TR7 to keep my '76 company. Maybe if I leave them alone long enough they'll have a Mini images/icons/grin.gif "

More likely a Spitfire! images/icons/wink.gif

04-14-2004, 09:49 PM
I see alot of cars which deffinately should be on the list. But I think there is one more that no one has mentioned. The Blues Brothers old police dodge. When I think of movies with cars in them that pops to mind just after the Italian Job Bullit and James Bond.

Cheers, graemlins/thirsty.gif graemlins/driving.gif

Izual Angel
04-15-2004, 09:35 PM
Huck6 &gt; No one else notices my humourous sigs. Thank you images/icons/grin.gif