Hollywood’s leading car couples
A Hollywood blockbuster is rarely complete without a getaway drive or a sexy saloon to take our heroes on their whirlwind of adventures.
In fact, the cars often play just as big a starring role as the main characters, which is certainly the case for these famous five:
Bonnie and Clyde and their 1934 Ford Model, 730 Deluxe Sedan
The infamous duo, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, drove a 1934 V8 Ford Model 730 Deluxe Sedan for their final deadly police chase in May 1934, which ended in a roadblock ambush, a hail of 100 bullets and the grim death of our two star-crossed lovers.
The pair had stolen the now infamous car from the driveway of its Kansas owner a month before their death in1934.
According to records it had originally been bought for $835 but the exact colour of the vehicle is still something of a mystery, with some stating the paint colour was ‘Cordoba Grey’ and others insisting it was ‘Desert Sand.’
Even Ford’s own colour chips seem to be at odds with the actual colour of the car which often appears to change depending on the light, making it the perfect getaway ride!
After the car met its grisly end in Louisiana it was eventually returned to its original owner before being sold to an anti-crime lecturer who toured the vehicle around fairgrounds, alongside the mothers of Bonnie and Clyde who served as sideshow attractions.
It went on to make almost a quarter of a million dollars at auction over its lifetime with a top sale price of $250,000.
A replica of the bullet-ridden Ford V8 was made for the 1967 film ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ and can be found on display today at the National Museum of Crime & Punishment.
James Bond and his ‘Goldfinger’ 1964 Aston Martin DB5
The iconic 1963 Aston Martin DB5 first appeared in ‘Goldfinger’ in 1964, although Bond actually drove a DB Mark 11 in the book, before going on to feature in ‘Thunderball’, ‘GoldenEye’, ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, ‘Casino Royal’, ‘Skyfall and Spectre’.
Luxury British sports car manufacturer Aston Martin designed the DB5 to be a slight upgrade from its predecessor, the DB4, which it achieved by enlarging the engine from 3.7 L to 4.0 L and adding a five speed transmission and three SU carburettors.
Its reclining seats, leather trimmed cabin, wool pile carpets, chrome wheels (and standard issue fire extinguisher) made this the perfect vehicle for a suave action hero with a taste for life’s finer things.
But the now iconic car almost didn’t make it to screen as Aston Martin were initially reluctant to agree to a product placement deal.
They were, however, eventually persuaded to sign on the dotted line and in doing so, sealed its fate as the most recognised cinematic James Bond car of all time.
Marty McFly in ‘Back to the Future’ and his 1981 DeLorean DMC-12
Marty’s 1981 DeLorean DMC-12 was created by a veteran of the Packard Motor Company, John DeLorean, whose dream was to create the ultimate futuristic sports car.
After setting up a factory in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he set about creating his iconic concept car, which eventually featured a rear-mounted engine, gull-wing doors, an unpainted stainless-steel body and a roomy interior to accommodate its 6ft tall maker.
The car was named DMC-12 due to the fact it was originally priced at $12,000, although by the time it eventually came to market the suggested retail price had grown to just over twice that.
Nine thousand of the cars were produced before the company eventually ran out of money in 1982, and only 6,500 of those are still in existence today.
The car went on to feature in ‘Back to the Future’ and its two sequels as wacky scientist Doc Brown’s most successful invention – a plutonium-powered time travelling machine that must reach speeds of 88 mph in order to trigger the nuclear reactor and propel them into the unknown abyss of time.
Starsky & Hutch and their 1975 Ford Gran Torino
The Torino, or ‘Striped Tomato’ as it was known on set, featured in the Starsky and Hutch drama from 1975 – 1979 and gave the two stars of the show a good run for their money as the show’s most popular character.
The makers of the show, Spelling-Goldberg, had wanted a speciality stand-out car for a new series they were producing and, due to Ford’s studio-TV-car loan programme, the Gran Torino was suggested as being a strong contender.
But something was missing, so the producers decided to paint the car tomato red and offset it with striking white go-faster racing stripe, thus propelling the car into superstardom forevermore.
The basic Ford Torino originally went on sale for $4,461 but came with an abundance of optional extras such as air conditioning, white walls and tinted glass.
There was even the option of the ‘Starsky and Hutch’ paint treatment which could be added for the princely sum of $164.20.
Ford stopped production of the car in the late 1970s but it has continued to be a firm favourite within fan clubs and collector circles, with a fresh audience gaining interest following the ‘Starsky and Hutch’ remake of 2004.
Thunderbirds’ Lady Penelope and her ‘FAB 1’ pink Rolls-Royce
‘FAB 1’, is instantly recognisable as the six wheeled, pink Rolls-Royce of International Rescue agent Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, who featured in the original 1960’s series ‘Thunderbirds’ as well as its feature films ‘Thunderbirds Are Go’ and ‘Thunderbird 6’.
The car is driven by her butler Parker whose sheltered from enemies by a bulletproof bubble canopy, but should extra protection be needed, there’s also front-and-back mounted machine guns, a smoke screen canister, an oil slick dispenser, extendable tyre-studs and hydrofoils. Just in case.
Although the Ford Motor Company supplied the car as a full-size prop, it was also made fully functional and roadworthy.
It measured seven feet in length and was made almost entirely of plywood, although Rolls-Royce did insist on providing a genuine radiator grille at a cost of £100 to be used for close up shots and promotional photos.
The overall cost to build ‘FAB 1’ was £2,500 – the equivalent of around £30,000 today – making it the most expensive prop ever made for the series.
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