10 Iconic Movie Cars—And How Much They Cost in Real Life
From 007's legendary luxury car to Herbie the Love Bug, here are 10 iconic movie cars—and how much they actually cost today.
1963 Aston Martin DB5
If you were either wise or lucky enough to purchase a ’63 Aston Martin DB5 just as the luxury car made its first appearance in a James Bond 007 movie (1964’s Goldfinger) you would not only go on to see it featured in four more Bond films—Thunderball (1965), GoldenEye (1995), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) and Casino Royale (2006)—you’d also have seen a staggering 11,000-per cent increase in your car’s value! The original sale price was just over $5,500 USD ($45,000 in today’s money) and modern-day sales of Aston Martin DB5s have fetched upwards of $620k! The actual DB5 used in the filming of GoldenEye was recently sold to Spyscape, a New York City spy museum, for a whopping 2.6 million USD, reports Hemmings Daily.
1967 Shelby Mustang GT500
Owners of this iconic 1967 Mustang will never bemoan a movie remake again after seeing the value of their ride rise by over 4,000-per cent because their Shelby Mustang GT500 was used in the year-2000 version of Gone in 60 Seconds. In the original cult classic flick from ’73, a Mustang Mach 1 from the same year was featured as Eleanor, but the remake’s Eleanor II sent automotive resale figures skyward as moviegoers flocked to see the new film at the turn of the millennium. The ’67 Shelby, originally worth $4,195, is now being sold for a cool $178,200 USD, per CompareTheMarket.com’s research.
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1970 Dodge Charger
No recent film has increased interest in and prices of cars quite like The Fast and the Furious movies. When the first film in the franchise debuted in 2001, the 1970 Dodge Charger quickly became the it car when Dominic Toretto claimed he could race a quarter-mile in nine seconds. With an original value of just $3,711 and a 1,120 per cent increase in less than 20 years, this model year Dodge Charger has recently sold for around over $82k USD.
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1963 Model 117 Volkswagen Type 1
First featured in The Love Bug, the famous little Herbie VW beetle with that legendary racing stripe and number down the centre of its bulbous hood had a lucrative Hollywood career with five sequels over a sprawling 31-year span. Not only did that first movie help to make this cute car an iconic vehicle that would stay super popular with young people for over a half-century, it may have also contributed to the Type 1’s 931 per cent price increase since 1963, going from an original sticker price of $1,595.00 to around $16,493.40 USD in automotive resale markets today.
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1966 Ford Thunderbird
Providing they didn’t drive it off a cliff in a dramatically cinematic moment of their own, owners of a ’66 Thunderbird made famous in the movie Thelma & Louise would’ve seen their car’s value increase 630 per cent in the nearly three decades since the Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon film was released. The actual car from the film sold in 2008 at auction for $71,500 USD. The only way your decades-old car will be able to grow in value is with some serious TLC.
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1977 Chevrolet Camaro
There’s nothing like a blockbuster summer action flick to give rise to car prices! One of the stars of the 2007 Transformers reboot is the ’77 Camaro with bright yellow paint and evocative black stripes running the length of its body. The car will forever be known as “Bumblebee.” With an original price tag of $4,233.00 and an average recent sale price of $12,012 USD, there has been just a modest 183 per cent increase, although to be fair the film is less than 20 years old. One would expect the value to only be going in one direction from here! Fun fact: the more recent movie Bumblebee, starring Hailee Steinfield, features not a muscle car Camaro but a yellow VW Beetle. And as we’ve learned above, that is an adorable ride rich in cinematic history and price increases!
1981 DeLorean DMC-12
For people of a certain generation, it can be argued that there isn’t a more iconic movie car than the 1981 DeLorean. The funky ride played a pivotal role in getting Michael J. Fox Back To The Future but you might be surprised to learn that on-screen success has done practically nothing to help lightning strike and electrify the price of the DeLorean. Maybe this is because the car originally cost an inflated $25,000 ($69,000 in today’s dollar adjusted for inflation) or maybe because it simply wasn’t a good enough or practical enough vehicle in the first place. Christopher Lloyd’s little speedster is fetching only $32,378 USD in recent sales according to CompareTheMarket.com. It is worth noting that special editions of the DeLorean DMC-12 either used in the movie or modified to look like the famous time machine can fetch a lot more on the open market today.
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1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 Fastback
The Highland Green sports car driven around San Francisco by Steve McQueen’s determined cop, Frank Bullitt, in the eponymous thriller has seen a 1,200 per cent price growth since its 1968 launch. Originally sold for $3,500 (a hair under $26,000 today), the Mustang GT390 now gets over $80k USD on the open market some 50 years later. Thanks to being a beloved Mustang model, Ford paid homage to the original Bullitt by introducing a new Mustang GT package featuring the Bullitt nameplate in 2001 and re-fired the Bullitt again in 2008-2009, reports CJ Pony Parts.
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1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder
According to The Drive, “the best cast member [in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off] never said a word, had four wheels and met an untimely demise at the bottom of a ravine. That’s the rosso corsa 1961 Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spider “borrowed” from Cameron’s dad.” There were 56 made in total, and only 37 of which featured those famous headlights, so how much is the car worth if you could throw it in reverse to wind down the mileage? Per AutoBlog.com, “a real deal, not replica, 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider—just like the one we fell in love with watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off—was offered for sale to the public for the first time in its 55-year history in March of 2016, and fetched $17.16 million USD.”
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1977 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition
Surely its star turn in Smokey and the Bandit, and not the underground instrumental post-rock from the 90s called Trans Am, is the reason this vehicle’s price has risen over the past 40 years. Originally costing car buyers $5,456, some ’77 Pontiac Trans Ams evoking memories of that classic film are going for nearly $22,000 USD today. If only that price tag came with even an ounce of Burt Reynolds’ timeless cool factor! For the film’s sequel, again a Pontiac Trans Am was employed but this time a 1980 Turbo model was featured.
Read on to find out the most popular car the year you were born.