As many TV show and film makers have learned, choosing the right car for a project can pay off in a big way. Many distinctive automobiles have even managed to achieve a level of worldwide fame that would make most A-list celebrities envious. Here are three famous cars that have dazzled audiences around the world, all released before 1970.
1. Aston Martin DB5
The DB5 is the signature car of the James Bond film franchise and one of the most recognizable cars in the world. Its name was derived from the initials of David Brown, the English entrepreneur who owned Aston Martin at the time it was developed. The DB5 made its debut in 1964 when the first prototype was featured in the movie “Goldfinger,” and other DB5s have appeared in recent installments like “Casino Royale” and “Skyfall.” Much of the credit goes to special effects wizard John Stears for turning a luxury grand tourer into a mobile weapon fit for a super spy. Stears and his crew added 300 pounds of gadgets and equipment, including oil slicks, an ejector seat, revolving license plates, and mounted machine guns.
Here is the Ashton Martin reveal scene from the most recent Bond film, Skyfall:
2. 1961 Ferrari 250 GT Spider California
Some of the most memorable scenes in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” revolve around a classic Ferrari 250 owned by Cameron’s father. Only 55 of the cars were made, and they sold for a whopping $350,000 at the time of the film’s release. Ferris makes the questionable decision to take the Ferrari for a joyride, and it ends up crashing through a window. Luckily, the cars used in the film were fiberglass replicas built by a company called Modena Design using MG convertible frames. The imitations are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, and Ferrari later won a cease and desist order against Modena. The company went out of business soon afterward.
3. 1969 Dodge Charger
Dozens of Dodge Chargers were used to portray the Duke boys’ customized General Lee on “The Dukes of Hazzard,” and they took a serious beating in the process. Of the estimated 240 Chargers used during production, only 18 survived the stunts, chases, and explosions that made the show successful. The first season used 11 Chargers purchased from used car dealerships in Georgia. The Chargers used in subsequent seasons included some 1968 and 1970 models that were altered to look like the original 1969 model. By the mid-’80s, Dodge Chargers had become scarce, and the use of plastic replicas for the show’s final season was a major factor in its cancellation.
Here is the General Lee doing one of its classic jumps:
David is an author at getdirecttv.org and grew up loving the vehicles that made his favorite TV shows come to life – Kitt (Knight Rider), Airwolf (Airwolf), and a GMC Vandura van (A-Team). This mild childhood obsession has turned into an adult hobby where his interest in TV, film, and cars can all hang out and be friends.