Famous Movie Cars and Their Real Life Value
Sometimes, a movie car is more recognized and memorable than the actors in a film, so it should have shared equal billing. After all, they are that iconic.
Due to that status, these famous movie cars have commanded thousands, if not millions, when sold at auction.
10. 'The Love Bug' Volkswagen Beetle
This Love Bug (or Herbie) that went up for auction in 2018 was one of more than 50 Beetles used in the franchise, which spanned film and television.
This specific Beetle was used in "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo" (1977) and Herbie Goes Bananas (1980). With its $128,700 sale, it is now the world's most valuable Volkswagen Beetle.
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9. 'Ghostbusters' ECTO-1
In 2021, a replica ECTO-1 went under the hammer in Las Vegas, Nevada, selling for $200,000. The car is, like the originals, a 1959 Cadillac Superior hearse, replete with signatures from all eight cast members, four proton packs and other anti-ghost gear.
There were three Ectomobiles used in the original films, but they were left outside for 20 years after filming. By the time Sony decided to something with them, one was too damaged and had to be scrapped.
The other two were refurbished, and one is currently on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California.
8. 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder
Value: $350,000 to $407,000
The Ferrari that meets a disastrous end in "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" is up for auction in 2023. This “Fauxarri” was one of four built by Modena Design & Development in El Cajon, California, for the movie.
This isn’t the first time one of the Fauxarri's made it to auction. The first was sold in 2018 for $407,000. Another sold for $396,000 in 2020, and most recently, the crashed version of the car (which was later rebuilt but has no engine) sold for $377,000 in December 2022. The starting price for the latest sale is $350,000.
7. 'Smokey and the Bandit' Firebird Trans Am
There were four Trans Ams given to the original film by Pontiac, which was reluctant from the beginning. Three of the cars were totaled. The fourth was a promo vehicle that didn't run.
The Trans Am that sold for nearly half a million dollars wasn't actually used in the film, but it was gifted to Burt Reynolds from Pontiac as a thank-you for his work on the movie, which increased Trans Am sales tenfold at the time.
6. 'Back to the Future' DeLorean DMC-12
What would "Back to the Future" be without its totally 1980s time machine? While the movie may have given viewers the impression that the DeLorean DMC-12 was fast, it was just the car's flux capacitator that made it that way. (In reality, the DeLorean was one of the slowest sports cars of its time.)
DeLorean built seven time machines for the movie. One of the cars ended up at an auction and sold for $541,000 in 2011. The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research received proceeds from its sale.
5. Hell's Chariot from 'Grease'
Value: $600,000 to $750,000
Hell's Chariot was the infamous 1949 Mercury hotrod used in Thunder Road drag race in the Los Angeles River Basin. It is driven by Leo “Craterface” Balmundo (Dennis Stewart), the leader of the Scorpions, the rival gang to the T-Birds, who takes on Danny Zuko (John Travolta) in “Greased Lightning."
As it belonged to the leader of the Scorpions, it had to look and be mencing — so it has flames and hubcaps with spinning blades attached. After filming, Olivia Newton-John autographed the car's dashboard, making it even more valuable.
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4. 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' Chitty Chitty Car
Six cars were made for this 1968 children's classic, but only one was drivable and intact (the others were in pieces and used mainly for stunts.)
The full Chitty was created by Ken Adam, the film's production designer, and sculptor Frederick Rowland Emett. It was built in 1967 by Alan Mann Racing and has a contemporary (to the time period) Ford 3000 Essex V6 engine. Its body is made polished aluminium and cedar, with a dashboard from a WW1 fighter plane.
It sold in 2011 to "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson.
3. 'Bullitt' Ford Mustang GT
Value: $3.7 million
This beat-up Mustang has cemented itself into the pop culture lexicon due to its driver, Steve McQueen, and its legendary car-chase scenes in the 1968 film "Bullit."
After filming, the car was sold to Warner Bros. employee Robert Ross, who sold it to a New Jersey police detective. In 1974, he sold it for $6,000 to Robert Kiernan of Madison, New Jersey, who turned it into a family car. (Steve McQueen tried to buy it over the years, but Kiernan was never interested in selling.)
After the elder Kiernan died in 2014, his son, Sean, restored it to roadworthiness and decided to put it up for auction in 2020 when it was sold to an anonymous bidder.
2. 'Batman' Batmobile
Value: $4.62 million
There are several Batmobiles, but the original from 1966 remains the most iconic. This car, driven by Batman Adam West to fight crime, is a 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura, a concept car built in Italy.
It was purchased in 1965 by legendary car customizer George Barris for just $1. He, in turn, put $15,000 of work into it to transform into the Batmobile that we all know and love. It is now located in the Hollywood Stars Cars Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
1. James Bond's Aston Martin DB5
Value: $6.4 million
This iconic spy car sold in 2019 for a record-setting $6.4 million, and James Bond (Sean Connery) never even drove it.
It was one of two cars used to promote the 1965 film “Thunderball." Despite its not appearing on screen, it was built with the same specs the cars in the movie had. It includes various spy gadgets, like extendable ramming bumpers, a smokescreen, a bulletproof shield and rotating license plates — all of which work.