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Top 10 Cars from T.V. and Movies

Some TV and film vehicles have been like cast members Some TV and film vehicles have been like cast members
Some TV and film vehicles have been like cast membersSome TV and film vehicles have been like cast membersWe’ve all seen cars in movies and TV shows and thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could get my hands on that!” Whether it was something completely imaginary or a vehicle you could hope to own one day, everyone recalls a hot ride from a favorite film or TV show.

Here’s a look at 10 of the most memorable cars from both the big screen and the small screen:


10. Back To the Future: Doc’s DeLorean DMC-12

Eventually, Doc had the DeLorean flyingEventually, Doc had the DeLorean flyingThe doors open upward! If you were a kid in the ‘80s you remember the DeLorean’s gull-wing doors as much as anything about the sleek silver sports car belonging to Emmett “Doc” Brown, played by Taxi’s Christopher Lloyd.

But the thing that lands Doc’s car on this list has nothing to do with the real world – Doc’s DeLorean was a time machine. Time travel fantasies are universal. Who hasn't wanted to go back and fix a mistake or even just be a tourist in another era?

Or if you’re Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, part of your time traveling adventure could include inadvertently inventing rock n' roll and discouraging a teenaged version of your mother from getting incestuously freaky with you.


9. The Dukes of Hazzard: The General Lee

The car of choice for good ol' boys The car of choice for good ol' boys The ’69 Dodge Charger is a pretty badass car in itself. But paint it orange and weld the doors shut, and you’ve really got something really special. Plus it handles great on dirt roads and can out run virtually any police vehicle.

The General Lee got Bo and Luke Duke out of a lot of trouble, mostly by doing wicked jumps over stuff. Bridge out? Jump it. Pile of gravel in the way? Jump it.

Also, if the front of the General Lee crumpled on impact following a jump, it appeared miraculously unscathed seconds later in the next frame. So you never have to pay for body work.

Many one-hour action shows of the ‘70s and ‘80s featured hot cars. The vehicles were as much like cast members as the actors on the show. The General Lee might have been the best of them, but Magnum P.I.’s Ferrari 308 GTS, Starsky and Hutch’s Ford Gran Torino, and Hardcastle and McCormick’s Coyote X were other memorable standouts.


8. Death Race 2000: Frankenstein’s modified Corvette

King of the Death RaceKing of the Death RaceThe 1975 cult hit Death Race 2000 showed a dystopian vision of the future, and in fine science fiction tradition, made social commentary about modern society.

But forget all that. How cool was David Carradine’s car? Carradine played Frankenstein, a champion of Death Race, where racers compete to kill pedestrians during a cross-country race. His car was a modified Corvette with eyes, scales, giant fangs, and a ridge down the middle like a dragon.

Not only does Frankenstein’s ride look cool, but he uses it to great effect, such as when he displays his morbid sense of humor and heart of gold on euthanasia day at the geriatrics hospital.

The 2008 remake, Death Race, featured some cool cars itself, but the film lacked the charm of the original, making the appearance of those vehicles less memorable in the end.


7. Ghostbusters: Ecto-1

The Ecto-1 meets all your ghostbusting needsThe Ecto-1 meets all your ghostbusting needsThe Ghostbusters gang acquired this Cadillac Miller-Meteor that had been converted into an ambulance for use as their own emergency vehicle. Dan Ackroyd as Ray Stantz purchased the vehicle and he and Egon Spengler, played by Harold Ramis, fitted it with a bunch of gizmos and a custom paint job.

It’s not really clear what all the Ecto-1 can do, but it is definitely the car of choice if you’ve got to face down some paranormals. Plus, if you’re in the Ecto-1, you’re rolling with one of the greatest comedic characters of all time - Peter Venkman, whom Bill Murray played to perfection with his trademark deadpan sarcasm.


6. Scooby-Doo: Mystery Machine

The Scooby-Doo gang practically lived in the Myserty MachineThe Scooby-Doo gang practically lived in the Myserty MachineAt first it seems like the T.V. van of choice might be the iconic black and red-striped GMC Vandura driven by B.A. Baracus and the A-Team. That was cool for sure, and if you like firing guns with unlimited ammo, gargantuan but invariably harmless explosions, and being pursued by the U.S. Military, then the A-Team van is the one for you.

However, Scooby-Doo fans might have a different agenda. Would you enjoy any of the following?:

A. Solving mysteries and debunking hogwash claims about the supernatural by unmasking criminals disguised as phantoms and specters.

B. Devouring burgers, hoagies, and ice cream in mass quantities accompanied by man’s best friend.

C. Making time with a hot redhead in a short purple dress.

If you answered yes to any of the above, then the Mystery Machine is the ride for you.


5. The Love Bug (and its many sequels): Herbie

Herbie may not be the coolest ride, but he can find you true loveHerbie may not be the coolest ride, but he can find you true loveOkay, not the most macho pick, and not the car with the largest cache of cool either. But for anyone who ever rooted for the underdog, a Volkswagon Beetle with a precocious charm and wise-ass disposition that can win road races has got to have a place in your heart somewhere.

Plus, in the first of the Disney movies about the little car that could, The Love Bug, Herbie helps his owner Jim snare the girl of his dreams and sees them through to their honeymoon.

How many other cars on this list can help you find true love?


4. Spy Hunter

Road rage with impunityRoad rage with impunityThis one isn’t from a TV show or movie (although a film has been in the works for several years), but we’re going to bend the rules a bit to include one of the most badass rides of all time – the car from the arcade classic, Spy Hunter.

Spy Hunter used a sort of James Bond car theme, but compacted all the best features of battle cars into one game when it hit arcades in 1983. Players grabbed a U-shaped steering wheel with triggers to operate machine guns and missiles, as well as unleashing oil slicks and smoke screens.

Drivers went up against enemy cars, but also had free reign to run average motorists off the road or blow their cars to pieces just for being in your way. And in one level, the car turns into a speed boat with all the same weapons. Top that!


3. Knight Rider: KITT (1982 version)

Believe it or not, there was a time when David Hasselhoff was considered coolBelieve it or not, there was a time when David Hasselhoff was considered coolIt’s hard to remember a time when David Hasselhoff was something other than a human punchline, but in 1982, he starred in Knight Rider as a hero named Michael Knight and he rolled in one of the hottest cars on TV – KITT.

KITT was the name given to the Knight Industries Two Thousand, a Pontiac Trans Am controlled by a wise-cracking computer with artificial intelligence. KITT and Hasselhoff tracked down criminals and solved mysteries, but more than that, they helped turn the Trans Am into the coolest car of 1982.

There have been a few attempts to revive the Knight Rider concept over the years, but sometimes an idea that was captivating 30 years ago doesn’t translate so well to the modern day.


2. Batman Begins: Batmobile

The front of the newest Batmobile can convert into the BatcycleThe front of the newest Batmobile can convert into the BatcycleThe Batmobile has always been one of the sweetest vehicles on four wheels, whether it was the campy ‘60s TV show, the animated Superfriends, Tim Burton’s films, or the comics.

But when Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman film franchise, he also reimagined the Batmobile. Also known as “The Tumbler” (and never referred to as the Batmobile in Noaln's films) the vehicle is more like a cross between a tank and a Lamborghini than the sleek road vehicles that preceded it.

Besides being outfitted with various weapons and devices, the Tumbler has the added feature of being able to convert to a motorcycle, as seen in 2008’s The Dark Knight.

One look at what Batman does with his updated Batmobile and it’s hard to deny that this is one of the coolest vehicles of all time.


1. The Transformers: Various autobots

Even Bumblebee would make for an awesome car/wingmanEven Bumblebee would make for an awesome car/wingmanIt’s never going to bet better than having a giant, super intelligent, gun slinging, shape-shifting robot on your side. The only real argument here is which of the Transformers is the coolest.

Back in the day, you pretty much had to have one of the sports models. Jazz was a white Porsche 935, and Sideswipe was a red Lamborghini Countach, while his brother Sunstreaker was a yellow Lamborghini Diablo.

But the pick of the litter may have been Wheeljack, a Lancia Stratos, which is an inspired car with a little more character and uniqueness than the above models.
Add to that the fact that Wheeljack was probably the coolest looking Autobot in robot form and a super scientist, and you have pretty much the best of the best where Transformers are concerned.

Think about it: you get a badass ride and a genius warrior robot who can think or blast you out of any situation.


Worst Cars

Christine was literally the car from hell.Christine was literally the car from hell.While we’re at it, let’s include a short bonus list of the TV and movie cars you’d least like to have.

Fred Flintstone’s car, whatever it was called, is probably the furthest thing from a chick magnet you can imagine. Besides having to be propelled by foot, it also had to be stopped by foot.

Christine was the queen of vehicular homicide. Straight from the warped imagination of Stephen King, this red 1958 Plymouth Fury was a thing of beauty. The downside was that it was a supernaturally possessed murder machine that would kill you and your family and friends.

Speed Buggy was the star of a 1970s animated TV show of the same name. The talking dune buggy was basically a cross between Herbie and Scooby-Doo, only super annoying. Bonus points to the show’s creators for trying to cash-in by mashing up two of the most popular kids’ characters of the era, but Speed Buggy just didn’t work (despite being voiced by animation legend Mel Blanc).

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Last modified on Wednesday, 10 November 2010 18:46

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