Movies let us escape reality and embrace a fantasy that most of us will never live. The action, the girls, and the superheroes let us fulfill our wildest dreams. When a producer adds enthralling car chase scenes to the movie, it elevates our excitement to the next level. Watching the movie to see if Bond or Starsky and Hutch will catch the bad guys in a thrilling car chase has us on the edge of our seats. A good movie car can make or break a scene. With some movie cars, the producer featured in several films and gained eminence amongst audiences. Sports cars such as Bond's Aston Martin DB5 or the Batmobile aren't only vehicles that the producers featured in movies but are cars that most of us want to own.
The producers used some cars in crash car scenes and wrote off the vehicles. Other vehicles have maintained their pristine condition since the cars appeared on our screens. When the director yelled "Cut!" the cars were taken off the set, and we haven't seen the vehicles again. What most movie and car enthusiasts are wondering is what happened to those vehicles after filming ended. We decided to go back in history and find out where the vehicles ended up after the cast and crew disbursed. Our list features the most prominent movie vehicles in history and their whereabouts.
19 "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" Ferrari
If you had watched the 1980s teen movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, you would've been shattered when the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California got wrecked. Fortunately, the car wasn't a real Ferrari but a replica, as that would've put the producers in a tight financial corner and upset the Italian car manufacturer. The producers used three replica cars during production. One of the vehicles headed to the Mecum Auction this month during the 2018 Monterey Car Week, currently taking place. The producers fitted the replicas with a 5-liter V8 engine from Ford.
18 "The Love Bug" Herbie
Producers used numerous vehicles to shoot the movies in the '70s and the '80s. Fans of the vehicle will be pleased to know that numerous vehicles are housed in museums around the world. Museums in Korea, Germany, England, and the US house the vehicles. Of the numerous cars used throughout production, only seven vehicles are in private ownership. Alex Micakovski, an Australian gentleman, bought one of the vehicles in 2012 for $150,000. Micakovski's Herbie was one of several vehicles that appeared in Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, shot in 1977, and Herbie Goes Bananas, shot in 1980.
17 "Dukes Of Hazzard" Dodge Charger
Dukes of Hazzard was an action-comedy series that aired from 1979 to 1985. One of the most appealing aspects of the show was watching the Dodge Chargers get destroyed. Producers of the show used numerous 1969 Dodge Chargers in the program to perform remarkable stunts with the vehicle. While the producers wrote off many vehicles, some cars made it onto the market.
Bubba Watson, a US golfer, bought the Dodge Charger dubbed "General Lee" and used in the first episode in 1979 for $110,000.
In 2007, another model with less history than General Lee sold on eBay for $9.9 million.
16 "Mad Max" Pursuit Special / The Last Of The V8s
When director George Miller shot the original Mad Max movies in 1979, he had a small budget. Miller was so strapped for cash that he couldn't pay his staff. He gave the Ford Falcon to mechanic/stuntman Murray Smith as payment. Smith held onto the car until Mad Max 2 when it returned to the screen. When production ended, the director sold the hero car to a junkyard, and the stunt cars were blown to smithereens. The wrecker maintained the vehicle until it reached the hands of Bob Fursenko in the '80s. Fursenko restored the vehicle to perfection.
15 "Diamonds Are Forever" Ford Mustang
The 1971 James Bond movie featured Sean Connery as the beloved spy who drove amazing vehicles. One of the vehicles that producers featured in the movie was the Ford Mustang Mach 1. After the shooting of the movie, Mike Alameda bought the vehicle in the '80s and kept it for more than twenty years. Alameda wasn't aware that the vehicle was from the popular movie until he decided to sell it at the Barrett-Jackson Automobile Auction held in Los Angeles. Although Alameda wanted more for the vehicle, he let it go at the peak price of $23,000.
14 "Thelma And Louise" Ford Thunderbird
Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon were two ladies on a mission trying to figure out their lives but ended up in a heap of trouble. While on their journey, the two ladies drove a 1966 Ford Thunderbird to shoot the 1991 movie, which would become an Oscar-winning classic.
The producers used five cars while shooting the movie. One of the vehicles went to an auction, and an undisclosed buyer bought the vehicle for $65,000 in Italy.
The car is a rear-wheel drive with an automatic 3-speed gearbox and has a V8 engine that pumps out 315 horsepower.
13 "Christine" Plymouth Fury
The producers of the movie used twenty 1958 Plymouth Furies to shoot the movie in 1983. Only four vehicles of the twenty are still around. Three of the vehicles hit the road to promote John Carpenter's horror flick and subsequently sold at an auction to collectors. The producers wanted to recycle the fourth Fury but sent the vehicle to the crusher. Martin Sanchez, a fan of the movie, purchased the vehicle for $900. Sanchez befriended the owner of the junkyard and harvested undamaged parts from the executed cars to restore the vehicle. The second vehicle is at the Volvo museum in Illinois. The second belongs to Bill Gibson of Florida, and the third is in the U.K.
12 "Starsky And Hutch" Ford Gran Torino
Paul Michael Glaser, who played Starsky, and David Soul, who played Hutch, gained a tremendous amount of fame from the series. They weren't the only ones who garnered fame as the red Ford Gran Torino with white stripes caught the viewer's attention as well. Ford provided numerous Gran Torinos during the filming of the show, ranging from 1974 to 1976 models.
The US manufacturer claimed that it produced 1,300 Gran Torinos, which it sold through dealerships to capitalize on the show's success.
A 1976 Gran Torino, originally used on the show, sold for $40,000.
11 "Get Smart" Sunbeam Tiger
First, it was a series that became popular on television; then, producers decided to make a movie. Get Smart was a movie that made the Sunbeam Tiger popular, as it was the preferred choice of Agent 86, otherwise known as Maxwell Smart. The car is a high-performance V8 version of the British Rootes Group's Sunbeam Alpine roadster. The movie features a Ferrari and an Aston Martin, but the Sunbeam Tiger stole the show. The producers featured the Tiger in the 2008 film adaptation of the popular series. If you want to see the vehicle, you'll have to go to the Smithsonian museum.
10 "Batman And Batman Returns" Batmobile
Michael Keaton was the talk of the town in the late '80s and early '90s when he portrayed the savvy businessman who's afraid of bats in Batman and Batman Returns. The Batmobile enthralled audiences, but producers used plywood and fiberglass to assemble the vehicle. Flames shot from the rear of the vehicle but didn't propel it forward. Producers used a remote-controlled vehicle to show the vehicle traveling at blistering speeds. Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham bought the film prop, which the producers had mounted on a Chevy Impala body for $500,000 in 2015. Dunham spent another half a million to make the vehicle roadworthy.
9 "Knight Rider" Pontiac Trans Am
Before David Hasselhoff was running on the sunny beaches of California to show off his hairy chest in Baywatch, he was cruising around in a car that spoke to him. Hasselhoff drove a car dubbed 'Kitt' in the popular '80s program Knight Rider. The vehicle that Hasselhoff drove was the 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. A collector bought the original vehicle and wanted to sell it in 2011. The undisclosed collector advertised the vehicle on eBay and later withdrew the vehicle when he received an overwhelming response from fans of the show who wanted to buy the car.
8 "Batman The Movie" Batmobile
Christian Bale drove a Tumbler in The Dark Knight, but the actor who played Batman in the 1966 film drove a vehicle that wasn't as glamorous.
The caped crusader began his journey to fight crime in Gotham in a non-functioning 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car.
A concept car is reserved for display purposes and scheduled for destruction. The car made its way onto the set of It Started With A Kiss starring Debbie Reynolds. George Barris, auto customizer, bought the movie prop for $1 and sold it at an auction to businessman Rick Champagne for $4.6 million in 2013.
7 "Le Mans" Ford GT40
We'll never forget legendary car movies such as Le Mans in 1970. If you want to see Steve McQueen in one of his macho roles, then you need to watch him drive the Ford GT40. Although McQueen's vehicle was a Porsche 911 in the movie, most audiences remember him driving the GT40. The manufacturer built only three GT40s, and two have stood the test of time to this day. The car featured in the film sold at an auction. A private collector who wished to remain unnamed bought the vehicle for a staggering $11 million in 2012.
6 "Back To The Future" DeLorean
We'll forgive you for thinking that the DeLorean was a performance vehicle. If you watched Back to the Future in the mid-'80s, you probably got the impression that the car was faster than a Ferrari. The producers used seven vehicles during the shooting of the franchise, but only three survived. Two of the vehicles belong to Universal Studios and are on display at its theme parks. Universal Studios had the third car in its lot for 14 years. The studio auctioned the third car to an anonymous bidder from San Jose, California for $541,000. One car got crushed in the compactor, and two got stripped for parts to complete the three remaining cars.
5 "Ghostbusters" Ecto-1Car
If you were born in the '80s, you probably haven't forgotten the legendary movie The Ghostbusters. Billy Murray and his team cruised around town in a vehicle, which had us in awe, to eliminate ghosts. The Ghostbusters used a 1959 Cadillac Miller-Meteor ambulance, which looked like a futuristic vehicle that most of us weren't accustomed to at the time. The producers dubbed the vehicle 'Ecto-1 Car.' Unfortunately, the vehicle is in disrepair. The car is parked at the Sony Pictures prop lot in Culver City, California. Fans of the movie started a petition to coerce the producers to restore the vehicle.
4 "Gone in 60 Seconds" Eleanor
In 2000, Nicholas Cage was a lucky guy. Not only did his character date Angelina Jolie in the epic car movie Gone in 60 Seconds, but he also got to drive some spectacular vehicles. One of those vehicles was called 'Eleanor.' Steve Stanford and Chip Foose styled the Ford Mustang GT500 to look like a '73 model. Producers used 11 cars during the 2000 film production. The producers used most of the cars to turn into camera fodders, but the 'hero' vehicle, reserved for close-ups, made its way to an auction. The selling price of the vehicle was $1 million.
3 "James Bond" Lotus Espirit Submarine
If you watched The Spy Who Loved Me in 1977, you saw Bond submerge a white vehicle underwater and come up for air as if he had steered a submarine. The crew nicked the Lotus Espirit Submarine Car the 'Wet Nellie.' Two drivers and a four-electric motor powered the submarine car. After filming ended, the producer shipped it off to Long Island, and it remained in a pre-paid shipping container for 10 years. The producers had auctioned the container for $100. In 2013, Elon Musk bought the vehicle at an auction for 550,000 British pounds at a London Auction.
2 Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
It was one of the most horrific-looking movie vehicles to grace the screens, but it left an impression more for what happened to it off-screen than for its aesthetics. Writer Ian Fleming took inspiration for the car from a series of aero-engined racing cars built in the early 1920s.
The original car had a motor from a Zepplin dirigible. UK DJ Chris Evans bought the vehicle in 2012 for $650,000.
If you think that's a lot of money to pay for such an atrocious vehicle, then wait until you see the price at which Evans sold the vehicle at an auction. He got a gargantuan price of $14.3 million.
1 "James Bond" Aston Martin DB5
The legendary actor Sean Connery starred in the early days of the Bond movies. Most say that he's the best Bond ever, and the car he drove in Goldfinger and Thunderball is the most lavish vehicle in all the Bond movies. Connery drove the Aston Martin DB5 while shooting the two movies in '64 and '65 respectively. The British car manufacturer loaned two DB5s during the filming. Aston Martin sold the production model to US radio DJ Jerry Lee in 1969 for $12,000. In 2010, Lee sold the vehicle to Harry Yeaggy, icon collector, for $4.1 million.
Sources: hemmings.com; telegraph.co.uk