Here, we look at some of the most famous of all time and also examine the costs involved of getting your hands on one yourself.
Aston Martin DB 5 – James Bond
One of the most famous British cars of all time, the instantly recognisable Aston Martin DB5 was a car with the looks and sophistication to match its suave secret agent owner. Despite its iconic status, it was built for only two years from 1963-65 and a mere 1,023 were produced, making it well sought-after today.
It was built as a convertible, a two-door shooting brake and, the one most remembered, a 2+2 coupe. Its 4.0-litre made for a top speed of 143mph and 60mph in eight seconds. For James Bond, who has largely stuck with Astons to the present day, the car was, of course, heavily modified with weapons and gadgets.
It first appeared in Goldfinger in 1964, varying from the novel in updating the car from a DB 3. Two cars were used in the film and one was used again in Thunderball. The original cars have made cameo appearances in several films since, right up to Skyfall. One of the originals used in the film sold for £2.6 million at auction a few years ago.
And getting your hands on one isn’t cheap – you’ll need at least £500,000 and maybe twice that.
DeLorean DMC-12 – Back to the Future
Probably one of the most memorable movie cars of recent decades, the DeLorean DMC-12’s looks ideally suited a futuristic time machine, even if Marty McFly questioned Doc Brown’s logic in the movie when he exclaimed: “You built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?” Its brushed stainless steel bodywork and gullwing doors were ideal for the part and the car was modified to allow it to travel through time when it hit 88mph.
It saw further modifications when it was converted into a flying car when Doc and Marty travelled to 2015. And for that reason we couldn’t leave it off this list. As that year has now rolled around for real, it seems that the film was optimistic about mankind’s progress. The car itself has a colourful story attached, being as it was the only model ever produced by John DeLorean’s DeLorean Motor Company in Northern Ireland from 1981 to 1983. But only 9,000 were made before the company went bust.
The car’s real life performance wasn’t stunning, with its 2.9-litre V6 managing 140mph top speed and 60mph in nine seconds. But that stainless steel body did at least mean that the car was built to last and plenty survive now.
For that reason, they can be had for around £30,000.
Ford Consul – The Sweeney
No-nonsense Detective Inspector Jack Regan, played by John Thaw, and Detective Sergeant George Carter, portrayed by Dennis Waterman, were seen in a host of cars over the years, mostly Fords, but their primary steed was a Ford Consul GT. The name, which is more widely known for Ford’s cars of the 1960s and 1970s, was revived by the firm in 1972 to be the name for cheaper and lower spec versions of the Ford Granada, which was new at the time.
It was built in Dagenham, as well as in Germany, and Consuls could be distinguished from Granadas by their cross-mesh grille, rather than the horizontal grille fitted to the Granada. There was a Consul and Consul L alongside the GT model driven by Regan and Carter and there were two-door and four-door saloons, as well as a two-door coupe and a five-door estate. Power came from 1.6 and 2.0 engines, as well as a 2.5 V6 and, in the Consul GT, a 3.0 V6 producing 138hp. It was the choice of the daring detectives thanks to it being lighter than the Granada and therefore quicker. It managed 60mph in 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 113mph.
The Consul name disappeared a few years after it was brought back. The Consul GT is quite hard to come by, with one selling at auction recently for around £5,000.
The Granada from the period can be found more easily in the region of £3,000 to £7,000.
Mini – The Italian Job
The use of Minis in the Italian Job was inspired and meant the film went down in history as a classic British crime caper. The car itself was built for more than 40 years, from 1959 to 2000, and by the time the film came around it was 10 years old and well cemented as an icon of British 1960s culture. It was a hit due to its ingenious design, its space-saving front engine, front-wheel-drive layout meant that most of the car’s floorpan could be used for passengers and luggage. Millions were made over its lengthy life.
BMC, which made them at the time of the film, only provided a small number for production and the crew had to buy more at trade price. Several were destroyed during filming, notably during the famous sequence where the cars were driven through a sewer. But it was the cars’ agility and under-dog status in the film that elevated it yet further in the nation’s hearts.
Today, they command classic prices and you’ll do well to find one for much less than £3,000 – and you can pay many times that for classic models from earlier years.
Dodge Charger – The Dukes of Hazzard
One of the most famous TV cars from across the pond, the General Lee driven by Bo and Luke Duke in the series was a Dodge Charger. It was the car that they used on their adventures around Hazzard County as they evaded the county commissioner Boss Hogg. The Charger has been produced in many variants since 1964 and is back on sale today. The one in the show was a 1969 model, a rear-wheel-drive coupe.
It is estimated that more than 300 Chargers were used during the show’s run of 145 episodes from 1979 to 1985. Only a handful of those are still known to exist, although one sold at auction in 2008 for $230,000.
Examples from the 1960s and 1970s command decent money on today’s classic market, with £20,000 to £50,000 not uncommon.