This is a guest post by Lee Pickering on behalf of Netcars – the online motoring search engine for popular brands, such as used Mini, Ford, Renault, BMW and Hyundai.
Once you leave the theatre after a movie, you think that everything just goes back to normal, don’t you? Well, for certain aspects of the film you’ve just watched, it does; the actors receive a big cheque, the film sells millions of tickets and you are relieved of £8.00. But what happens to the iconic cars after production? Where do they go? What do they do? Here’s a look at the fates that beheld the most memorable.
Back to the Future: DeLorean DMC-12
When Marty McFly first saw the DeLorean DMC-12 in the 1985 film, Back to the Future, it paved the way for a DeLorean takeover. Everyone who watched the film instantly fell in love with the iconic gull-winged sports car from Ireland, but rather unfortunately, in reality, the DeLorean was one of the biggest flops in the motoring industry.
Produced for just two years between 1981 and 1982, the 2 door sports car looked great but performed about as well as an English athlete in the Winter Olympics. Couple that with the company’s CEO being involved in some cocaine legality problems, it meant the DeLorean, as brand, was destroyed forever. Thankfully, the DMC-12, the company’s only export, is only remembered for its starring role in Back to the Future – which is probably a bit of a relief for the Irish motor industry.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Photo Credit: Daves Portfolio
One of the worst names in motoring history, over 40-years old and about as modern as a Van Gough painting, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang isn’t exactly the most modern or attractive of cars ever seen in cinema. But what it lacked in visual looks, it more than made up for in charisma, and that’s exactly what made the film goers of 1968 fall in love with it.
After the musical film finished, however, Chitty spent a life travelling from motor show to auto show, from owner to owner, until it finally sold last month for a mind boggling £500,000. The value, despite being as ridiculous as Chitty itself, was far lower than the original $1m expected from the sale. Chitty was designed by Ford’s racing team in 1969 and featured a 3.0-litre V6 engine which is, presumably, by now about as powerful as two harnessed sloths.
The Pussy Wagon from Kill Bill
Photo Credit: OpenKiko
With a name as descriptive as the Pussy Wagon, you’d imagine the driver would have to be quite egotistical and cocksure, but when Uma Thurman drove it in Kill Bill Vol 1 it showed that women who kick ass can be just as arrogant and confident as any male killer. After fans fell in love with Quentin Tarantino’s iconic film, the Pussy Wagon managed to continue its career in Lady Gaga’s hugely successful mini-film and music video, Telephone. According to reports, the Chevrolet Silverado SS is now owned by Mr. Tarantino himself. Perhaps he sees himself as a bit of a, ahem, magnet.
The General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard
A modified Dodge Charger; a crazy and vibrant paint job, a confederate flag on the roof and what do you get? One of the most iconic cars from any motoring based film. The General Lee gained cult status thanks to it being involved in hundreds of chases and stunts involving those hillbilly kids. The Lee managed to stay relatively famous after the film ended thanks to a starring role in Jessica Simpson’s very seductive music video; These Boots are made for Walkin’. Simpson was also involved in the film for the modern re-make of The Dukes of Hazzard which managed to help boost the General Lee’s profile to a younger audience.
Mini Cooper S from The Italian Job
Photo Credit: Shaun Tarlton
With the voice of Michael Caine, you could sell pretty much any film, but when you’ve got Caine’s voice and one of the most iconic British cars ever made in the Mini Cooper S, it’s pretty much a recipe for success. Without the Italian Job, it’s debatable whether the Mini would have sold like it did; sure, it was a great car but having worldwide coverage in such a popular film meant everyone wanted a piece of the Italian Job lifestyle.
After the film, though, the Cooper S struggled. Sure, sales were great, but when it was time to make a 21st century version of the Italian Job, the director decided to use BMW’s brand new MINI – which was about as MINI as the Big Show from WWE. So, the original was snubbed, but in a way, we don’t mind, because it meant the original kept its ‘60’s appeal and iconic status.
See, it’s not just actors that move on in their careers after the filming finishes. Do you know of any other iconic motors that went on to pastures new once their film role was over? Or do you want to comment on any of the examples I’ve given here? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.