Five Famous Feature Film Vehicles

Hot rods, speedsters and all manners of mean machines have graced the silver screen for decades. Some stand out more than others, and have become iconic symbols of grace, power, and sometimes, just plain fun. Here are some of the more memorable wheeled wonders to be seen on film.

KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) – Knight Rider
This talking car has a special place in the heart of Hollywood car freaks. Not only could it talk to its driver, bit it was articulate, polite and – best of all – stocked with an arsenal of weaponry to put the most militarized country to shame. Among its munitions were flame throwers, missile launchers and machine guns, and don’t forget that it also had rock boosters to bridge the biggest rooftop gaps imaginable. Oh yes, and David Hasselhoff drove it. What’s not to like?

Mach 5 – Speed Racer
Also known as the Mach Go, or just the Mach, this car famous for being the choice vehicle of the hero of Speed Racer, was something of a technological marvel. It was full of weird and wonderful gadgets that the intrepid hero could deploy at any time in a race by pressing buttons marked A through G on the steering wheel. Built on an unforgettably sleek white bodied car, not too dissimilar to Corvettes of old, had a large ‘M’ on the hood, the logo for the family business, Mifune Motors.

Batmobile – Batman
Who can forget the Batmobile. Black, sleek and o so sexy, this car was the dream vehicle of every child who ever saw it – and let’s face it: we all did. However, this car has been conceptualized and reconceptualized since its first manifestation in the Batman television series of the 1960s, all the way through to an altogether very different beast which we see in the high-budget Dark Knight films of Christopher Nolan. One thing stays the same – the bat likes black, and the Batmobile stays true to that!

Greased Lightning – Grease
O Sandy, O Danny, your love was always meant to be, and what better way to consecrate that love than by zooming off into the sunset together in that iconic red hot rod. What Danny Zuko describes as having the potential to be a “major piece of machinery”, first needed some work by him and his gang of T-Birds, but at least that scene in the workshop heralded one of the most memorable movie soundtracks of all time. It’s electrifying…

The DeLorean Time Machine – Back to the Future
Thanks to the mad machinations of Dr Emmet Brown, the humble (and now defunct) Delorean was transformed into a car that knew nothing of the limits of time. It may sound complicated, but all the user needed to do to operate this thing was to sit inside it and toggle the “time circuits”, enter a target date and destination, and drive at 88 miles per hour, or 141.6 km/h, if you prefer. Either way, this thing would shoot you to your desired place and time, leaving nothing behind besides a pair of flaming skid marks.
What does the future hold?
As these fanciful machines start to seem slightly normal in comparison to the cars that are commercially available, who knows what Hollywood writers will come up with next? All there is to do is keep watching!
Jeff is a guest author for REEDS, the largest GM suppliers to South Africa’s Western Cape.