Throughout cinematic history, there have been numerous cars that have achieved cult-like status, much like the films they were featured in. From the DeLorean to the Batmobile, plenty of vehicles that have appeared in movies have gone on to become famous in their own right. We’re of course referring to the most iconic cars of cinema.

Which are the most iconic cars and motor brands in cinema?

Researchers at Carwow have discovered what the most iconic and most recognisable car brands and models are in cinema history by crunching the numbers on over 97,000 movie appearances made by cars that are listed on the Internet Movie Cars Database (IMCDb). The study considered cars that appeared in films from 27 different countries since the 1920s – the birth of early cinema.

To no one’s surprise, the most iconic vehicle in movie history is the time-travelling DeLorean DMC-12 featured in the sci-fi hit Back to the Future.  The flux capacitor-powered time travel machine created by Doctor Emmett Brown in the 1985 hit is the most iconic vehicle in cinema history according to the research.

The War Rig of Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) is the second-most iconic. In terms of price, the Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder from the movie Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow in 1963 is the most expensive car ever sold in auction. It fetched an astonishing US$17.1 million at a Sotheby’s auction in August 2021.

When it comes to brands, Ford has the edge over the rest. Ford has had 10,363 appearances in movies – more than any other make. The Ford Crown Victoria is the most used model in cinema as a police car with 1,019 appearances on the silver screen. In second place is the Ford Mustang with a total of 932 appearances.

Jaguar is by far de most popular British car brand used in cinema. The sleek Jaguar XJ has appeared in more movies (428) than any other British car model. The Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud comes in second place with 194 movie appearances, followed by the Jaguar Mk (182).

Here Are The Most Iconic Cars In Cinema

DeLorean DMC-12 (1082) – Back To The Future (1985)
The War Rig (2015) – Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Ford Gran Torino Sport (1972) – Gran Torino (2008)
Chevrolet Camaro Z28 (1977) – Transformers (2007)
Volkswagen Type 2 (1978) – Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Ecto-One (1984) – Ghostbusters (1984)
Batmobile (1966) – Batman (1966)
Batmobile (1989) – Batman (1989)
MINI Cooper R50 (2003) – The Italian Job (2003)
GM New Look Bus (1966) – Speed (1994)

For the full list, check out the research here.

(Main and featured image: Sotheby’s)

written by.
Richard Augustin
Former chef turned writer; Richard has tip-toed around the publishing industry for two decades. When not busy chasing deadlines, you can still find him experimenting with recipes in the kitchen.

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