Cool Hollywood cars

Cool Hollywood cars  
Filed under:
on 06/02/2008

Delorean from Back to the FutureJames Bond's Aston Martin DB51973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 from Gone in 60 secondsHerbie VW Beetle from Love Bug1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 from Bullitt2003 Mini Cooper S from The Italian Job

Cars and Hollywood always come together to give audiences fast and action packed movies. Some of the movies have been life changing for individuals who made them and the fans love to see and read about the cars that featured in such movies. Here is a compilation of star cars that injected action and adventure into some of Hollywood's biggest hits.

Batman's Batmobile

Cartoonist Bob Kane created the first Batmobile way back in 1939 for the Batman comic strip series. Batman uses the Batmobile for fighting villains who come in various shapes and sizes, and also protecting citizens of Gotham city. It shares its garage space with a Batwing, a Batjet and a Batcopter.

But don't think Bob Kane conceptualized the bat themed, stealth jet like machine along with Batman. The initial Batmobile was a basic red colored automobile and its appearance shares quite a few similarities with the cars the Jetsons drive (I feel!).

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Batman's Batmobile

Many Batmobiles have been built for Batman and perhaps the most notable one is the version built for the American television series which spanned two and half years from 1966 to 1968, which captured the hearts of millions watching.

The Batmobile which appeared in that TV serial was based on the Lincoln Futura, basically a concept car from Ford. The body of the Futura was designed and fabricated by Ghia, a talented design and coach building firm based in Italy.

Here is an interesting compilation of the Batmobiles over the years:

1944 - The first Batmobile ever to be featured on the cover of the comics, and clearly a product of its era.

1966 - The popular George Barris-designed, Lincoln Futura-based batmobile from the classic TV series.

2005 - Alex Ross' version is distinct, sublime and controversial too.

1987 - A Batmobile based on the Chevrolet Corvette! Easily identifiable as there is little attempt made to mask the car's shape. Custom wheels and scoops were a lame effort.

2005 - Featured in Detective Comics #809, and heavily influenced by the Opel Speedster.

1989 - The Anton Furst Batmobile from the Tim Burton films. Tailor made for a new generation of audience, this car is as iconic as the 1966 TV Batmobile.

1993 - The Batmobile version of Speed Racer.

1997 - Another radical and stylish Batmobile is born courtesy of Warner Bros. The sleek coupe will be the base on which future Batmobiles will be based on (At least we hope!) and some Chinese concept cars too.

Cool element: This might take all year to fill up as there are tens of thousands of stunts and feats the bat can perform with the endless list of gadgets it has in its archive.

A driver-side ejector seat and autonomous driving system is for starters. Under the hood, expect to find a nuclear reactor instead of a conventional internal combustion engine. Step into the car and you would find a computer dwelling in the dashboard that's connected to the bat cave (Batman's garage). Bullets? What bullets?! The windshield is coated with advanced polymers which will guard away all the bullets.

But the pick of them all is this simple but neat technique. The Batmobile can emit a puff of black smoke from its discreetly shaped exhaust to temporarily blind the trailing drivers. Ultra-Cool!

Doc Brown's De Lorean

Doc Emmett Brown's time machine was such a sensation that it gave the Delorean a whole new identity. The Delorean never made it big in reality but movie buffs will relate Back to the Future with the Delorean and vice verse.

Cool element: The Time machine could run on beer, bear cans and banana peels. It could take off and land after paying a visit to the year 2015 and undergoing a few changes.

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Doc Brown's De Lorean

The DeLorean featured gull-wing doors and its under-body was constructed using fiberglass. Unpainted stainless steel panels were fitted to the body which gave it unique looks and styling. Over 9,000 of them (no, not the time machines, I mean the DeLoreans!) were made out of which 6,500 are estimated to be on the roads even today.

Uncool element: The founder of DMC (DeLorean motor company) was arrested on accounts of drug trafficking followed by stagnation in production in the factory. Mass production sadly came to a standstill in the later half of 1982. The time machine was also destroyed in the climax of the sequel, which is so uncool from this article's standpoint.

James Bond's Aston Martin DB5

Bond, James Bond and Aston Martin DB5 are synonymous. Many of the James Bond flicks-Goldfinger, Thunderball, The Cannonball Run, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies and Casino Royale feature the DB5. Through the years the DB5 has seen Sean Connery, Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig behind its wheel or driving its wheels off should I say?.

Although the DB5 never featured in any of Ian Fleming's novels, it was used in the initial movie Goldfinger simply because it was the latest one available at that time and the trend followed from there on. In January 2006, one of the original cars was auctioned in Arizona for a mind boggling US$2,090,000.

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James Bond's Aston Martin DB5

Cool element: The list is self explanatory. All of them are strange, and only possible and non-humorous when fitted and featured to a Bond car and in a Bond movie.

* Front firing Browning .30 caliber machine guns behind the front indicators
* Retractable blades in the tire spinners
* Rising bullet-proof rear screen
* Radio telephone
* Radar scanner and tracking screen
* Passenger ejector seat
* Oil slick spray from rear light cluster
* Caltrops from rear light cluster
* Smoke screen from exhaust pipes
* Revolving number plates — "BMT 216A" UK, "4711-EA-62" France, and "LU 6789" Switzerland- coolest one
* Front and rear extending rams
* Gun cabinet under driver's seat
* Bullet-proof windshield and rear windscreen
* A rear water cannon

Uncool element: Err..Hmm...what!!??

1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 dubbed Eleanor

The instant you think OF Gone in 60 seconds, the first thing that would come to your mind (Let's forget Angelina Jolie for the moment) would undoubtedly be the Eleanor, a grey colored Ford Mustang that Memphis Cage flicks after a host of other exotic cars. Its 1973 version, the original movie which formed the basis for the recent one, uses a 1973 Ford Mustang in the climax. Two Eleanors were used in that movie- one for driving and another for the stills.

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1973 Ford Mustang Mach 1 dubbed Eleanor

Cool Element: A NASCAR roll cage was affixed to the car for safety and handling reasons. The car was featured in the "Greatest Cars of the Movies" program at the Petersen Automobile Museum. It also proudly had its part in the "California Classic Car Rally" on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and "Cars Are the Stars" museum in England.

Uncool element: During filming, the car met with two major accidents in which the actor Halicki, was injured. But there is a cool quotient to that too as the car and the driver were mended soon enough to resume shooting without much delay.

Herbie, "Love Bug"

The dual striped VW Beetle with human characteristics and No.53 all over its body is the first car with a living element to feature on this, well, interesting list. The movie "Love Bug" revolves entirely around Herbie, a 1963 VW Beetle, which competes in races with serious attitude. Just like its classmate DB5 in this roll call, Herbie's roots are in a story, "Car, Boy, Girl" authored by Gordon Buford in the year 1961.

Herbie got his name after its mechanic, Steinmetz' uncle, whose broken nose, due to his boxing adventures, resembled a Beetle car's nose. Herbie was powered by a Porsche 356' engine.

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Herbie from the "Love Bug"

Cool element: In the list of gadgets the car possesses are doors that open automatically, and gears and pedals in the rear. Has the potential of bringing hearts together too!

Uncool element: We are unfortunately unable to find out which 356 engine Herbie used to power himself.

1968 Ford Mustang GT 390, "Bullitt"

Anyone who has watched Bullitt will remember it for the seven minute chase scene involving Frank Bullitt's Mustang GT 390 and a hit man's 1968 Dodge Charger. Those high speeds were possible because of the Mustang's 325-hp, 6.4-liter V-8 engine which was mated to a four-speed manual transmission.

Steve McQueen's character senses he's being followed and quickly turns left, leaving his pursuers temporarily stuck in traffic. He doubles-back around and edges closer to the Charger from behind. Realizing they've been caught, they try to get away.

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1968 Ford Mustang GT 390, "Bullitt"

There begins what the majority (including us) considered the greatest car chase ever to be caught on tape. Both cars are seen tearing through San Fransisco's streets and highways, sometimes at speeds as high as 110 mph. Mind it, it was real, no special effects or clever editing was involved.

For the filming of Bullitt, two 1968 Mustang Fastbacks were used from the Warner Brothers fleet for actor Steve McQueen's character. The selected Mustangs were worked on by veteran race driver and builder Max Balchowski. He added stronger springs and Koni shocks, and specially fabricated braces for the inner fenders. He also did some minor tuning to the 390-cubic-inch engine for a bit more top-end punch.

After the actions scenes were finished, the primary car turned into junk. What else could happen if a car was toiled constantly for two weeks, minor accidents being a part of the daily routine. Due to liability issues, the car was sent to the crusher. The other car was damaged but not to the extent as the first one. It was then sold to an employee of Warner Brothers' editing department.

Cool element: The Mustang featured a fastback roof and a higher engine note than the Charger which sent shrills through our spines.

Uncool Element: It was a sad ending to the first Mustang. The second Mustang was sold by the Warner Brothers employee and its condition with the current owner is not how a Mustang fan would want it to be. Some claim that they has ample evidence of the car lying in Barn in a rusted condition.

2003 Mini Cooper S, "The Italian Job"

The Mini Cooper was light on its feet and powerful enough to help a group of conspirators get away with their actions. The car rips through parks, crowded streets and even subway tunnels in the "Italian Job". Although audiences will see only three Minis in the movie -- one white, one red and one blue -- filming the escape with the gold during the peak hours of traffic in Los Angeles took 32 cars!

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2003 Mini Cooper S, "The Italian Job"

One of the main Mini's used a 1.6 liter, supercharged, 163 hp engine. Power was filtered through a six-speed manual transmission. This Mini weighed 200 pounds lighter than the stock Cooper S.

Cool Element: A Mini with two steering wheels was used for some of the shooting so that a stunt driver could drive the vehicle while one of the actors performed in front of the camera. This special car can be seen in the MINI factory tour at Oxford, England.

Another cool element was over 500 Mini fans gathered in 250 Minis at the Paramount Pictures Studios lot in Los Angeles, California to see an exclusive preview screening of The Italian Job just before it was released.

Uncool Element: The Mini was used for activities that can be described as unlawful? That was for those who desperately want an Uncool element!

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