A recent survey, led by a firm that specializes in collectible and classic car insurance, has picked the top ten cars to have literally starred in movies and television series.
What TV and movie stars steal the best scenes, take the best lines and never get any recognition at Emmy or Oscar time? These stars have names such as Eleanor, Herbie, the General Lee, and K.I.T.T., and are some of Hollywood's fastest movers and shakers.
Yes, automobiles have been featured performers on TV and the big screen practically since these forms of entertainment began. There have been numerous films and shows with cars as stars, including The Italian Job, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Batman and, most recently, a movie based on the popular TV show Starsky & Hutch.
So which of these starring cars are the most popular? Hagerty Insurance, leading US insurer of collectable cars, boats and motorcycles, decided to find out. In a recent online survey of car enthusiasts nationwide, respondents were asked to identify their favourite "car stars" of movie and TV history.
The top choice was the 1969 Dodge Charger from the 1970s sitcom The Dukes of Hazzard. Called the General Lee, this car was often flying through the air while pursuing bad guys-or running from inept law officers-along the highways and byways of the American South.
Finishing a close second was the 1968 Ford Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt. One memorable scene in the film occurs when McQueen races after a Dodge Charger through the streets of San Francisco-arguably one of the best movie chase scenes of all time.
"We thought the top choice would be the Batmobile, or maybe Tom Selleck's Ferrari 308 GTS from Magnum P.I.," said McKeel Hagerty, president of Hagerty Insurance. "We were surprised when the results were tallied and it turned out that General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard was the overall winner."
The top ten TV and movie cars, according to the survey, are:
#1:General Lee, 1969 Dodge Charger—from the 1970's TV show The Dukes of Hazzard
#2:1968 Ford Mustang—Driven by Steve McQueen in the movie Bullitt
#3:Eleanor, 1967 Shelby GT500—from the movie Gone in 60 Seconds
#4:1983 DeLorean Time Machine—from the movie Back to the Future
#5:Batmobile—from the TV series and movie Batman starring Adam West
#6:James Bond's Aston Martin DB5—from the movie Goldfinger
#7:1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am—driven by Burt Reynolds in the movie Smokey and the Bandit
#8:Herbie, 1963 Volkswagen Beetle—from the movie The Love Bug
#9:1974 Ford Torino—from the TV show and now movie Starsky & Hutch
#10:Black Beauty—from the 1966 TV show The Green Hornet
"Each of these vehicles not only played an integral part in a movie or TV show storyline, but each possessed a unique character, an on-screen personality all of its own," said Hagerty. "This allowed the vehicles to become, in viewers' minds, more than just machines, but stars themselves. They became another character with which people could relate. These cars also added visual interest and appeal and we can expect to see more of these 'characters' in upcoming films."