Ten of the Most Famous Cars in Movie & TV History

Ten of the Most Famous Cars in Movie & TV History

Movies have engrained actors, characters, stories, and events into iconic parts of our culture. They’ve also done this for cars—as such a critical part of American culture, cars have played heavy and prominent roles in movies, television shows, and so much more. Many of these cars have become so famous that they’ve continued to influence the automotive industry even today and encouraged imitations and recreations alike.

Here are ten of the most famous cars in film and television history.

Ford Deluxe

Everyone has their own opinions about musicals, but nearly everyone agrees about one thing: Greased Lightning is arguably the most famous car in movie history. Heck, they even wrote a whole song about it. To be more specific, the white Greased Lightning that John Travolta’s character drove in the movie Grease was a 1948 Ford Deluxe, and thanks to its appearance in this film, a large number of these vehicles still survive today and are a popular restoration project.

Pontiac Trans-Am

The 1980s were all about cool action-packed shows like Magnum P.I. and MacGyver. Among that lineup is a show that few people remember for its substance, but everyone remembers for the car—Knight Rider. KITT (short for Knight Industries Two Thousand) was a car packed with all of the coolest gadgets and artificial intelligence as well as one of the strangest-looking steering wheels ever seen.

Dodge Challenger

At the height of the golden era of the muscle car, there was one that stood out above the rest: the General Lee. The iconic burnt-orange 1969 Dodge Challenger was as big of a star of The Dukes of Hazzard as the rest of the cast was. Sporting a beefy engine measuring either 318, 383, or 440 cubic inches in size, this car had the power to pull off the massive number of stunts the show put it through.


When it comes to iconic superheroes, Batman is arguably the king. First debuting in Detective Comics #27 in 1939, the character has exploded into an intellectual property mega-giant with multiple movies, a television series, video games, and so much more. His car is nearly as famous as he is—the Batmobile has been played by a number of classic cars. Arguably the most famous is the one from the TV series, which was a modified Lincoln Futura concept.

AMC DeLorean

Great Scott! There’s one car whose image has long withstood the test of time—mainly because of its ability to literally travel through time. The AMC DeLorean was the signature car-turned-time-machine in the Back to the Future series, making an important appearance in all three movies. To date, it’s estimated that no more than a few hundred still exist, and those kept in showroom condition are considered treasures by film fanatics.

Volkswagen Beetle

These clunky German imports were made famous not only by the fact that they were so inexpensive and easy to work on that they were everywhere in their heyday, but they’ve also been immortalized in film as well. Most famously as Herbie, the car with quite a personality under the hood.

Aston Martin DBS V12

James Bond is known for being a debonair, suave, and larger-than-life spy in Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and his job puts him behind the wheel of some truly iconic cars. While we could pick just about anything for this list, it’s hard not to pick the modern classic that is the Aston Martin DBS V12, which made its first ever public appearance in Casino Royale. However, the car was not actually completed at the time of the filming, and the car destroyed in the horrendous crash scene was actually a modified DB9, made to look like its counterpart.

Shelby Cobra Daytona

Steve McQueen was as famous for the cars he drove in movies as he was for collecting some of the world’s most rare and expensive vehicles. The 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona that he drove in Redline 7000 is one of those cars. While the model was famous for being the first and only American car to beat Ferrari in a race, the specific car he drove in the film was auctioned off for a mind-blowing $7.25 million.

Mini Cooper

Long adored for their compact size that makes even small individuals seem comically large, these little British boxes have seen quite a bit of famous screen time. They played a central role in the famous car chase scene through the streets of Rome in The Italian Job, served as transportation for another famous British spy in Austin Powers: Goldmember, and were even a source of comedy for some of the most memorable sketches by Rowan Atkinson’s famous character Mr. Bean.

Ferrari 250 GT California

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off may be more of a cult classic than an icon in cinema history, but the car that played such a prominent role in the film certainly isn’t. The 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California that Cameron’s father was so over-the-top obsessed with is one of the rarest and most treasured models Ferrari has ever produced. And don’t worry—the filmmakers didn’t actually destroy one of these exceedingly rare cars for the movie—an MGB roadster with a dummy fiberglass body served as the stand-in for the famous shot in the film.

Let us help you turn your car into a famous ride of your own. Call HP Motorsports today at (281) 231-9950 today.

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