Some cars are the heart and soul of the television shows and movies they inhabit — so much so that they can be just as popular as the characters themselves! After all, what’s Batman without his Batmobile, or James Bond without his Aston Martin? Roaring off of the screen and into the checkbooks, these are the most expensive cars from film and TV ever sold.
25. 1961 Volkswagen Beetle – $107,250 (Herbie: Fully Loaded)
Over the years, we’ve seen countless versions of Herbie, the white Volkswagen Beetle that possessed a mind of its own. The first we saw was in the 1968 Disney film The Love Bug, and as audiences fell more and more in love with the little guy, Disney kept bringing him back in subsequent films.
The most recent adaptation of the film series was in 2005’s Herbie: Fully Loaded, starring Lindsay Lohan and Justin Long. For the new and improved Herbie, they took a 1961 model and fixed it up nicely. Nostalgic diehards were impressed, and it later sold at a 2018 Monterey auction for $107,250.
24. 1967 Volkswagen 21-window Samba Bus – $121,000 (That ’70s Show)
When we first see this hippie-van on That ’70s Show, it’s the grand prize of an intense competition with very simple rules: whoever can keep touching the van the longest gets awarded with the van. Kelso ultimately wins the contest, and as can be expected from him, immediately starts using it to flirt with the ladies.
Indeed, this van would go on to appear in a handful of other episodes, cementing it as one of the more iconic cars on the show. This exact car was eventually sold in Palm Beach for $121,000, with one special perk added in — a handbag signed by the members of the cast.
23. 1967 Chevrolet Camaro SS Custom – $167,200 (Transformers: Age of Extinction)
Transformers were some of the coolest toys you could own in the ’80s and ’90s. You had a toy car, and then it would miraculously turn into a toy robot. Honestly, what could be better? But at one point during the turn of the new millennium, someone had the genius idea of making a movie out of it!
This idea ended up working out pretty well for car companies, who knew it meant ample opportunity to promote their vehicles in the movies. Naturally, the Transformers film series had some pretty sweet cars, and this is just one of them. At an auction in Scottsdale, Arizona, this sleek 1967 Chevrolet Camaro was sold for $167,200. (Unfortunately, it doesn’t transform in real life.)
22. 1984 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole – $181,500 (Magnum, P.I.)
When you look at Tom Selleck’s smiling face, with that famous mustache that he never really got rid of, one thing is crystal clear: this is a man who makes everything around him cool. Perhaps this is why the car he drove in the iconic ’80s crime series, Magnum, P.I., has stood the test of time.
With its curved edges and ruby red exterior, the 1984 Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole has the quintessential sports car look. Thanks to Ferrari’s outstanding brand reputation, and the way this show has gone down in legend, it’s no surprise it sold for this price. We can practically taste the whipping air as Selleck cruises through the streets of Hawaii in this baby.
NEXT: More sports cars from your favorite shows and movies — where will they rank?
21. 1958 Plymouth Fury – $198,000 (Christine)
This car may look innocent on the surface, but anyone who’s seen this movie would know better. Based on the Stephen King novel, Christine is a car with an evil presence lurking beneath its shiny hood. We’re guessing that whoever bought it for nearly $200,000 has an affinity for the horror genre — and may be a bit of a risk-taker.
In all seriousness, even though we all know there’s no such thing as cars coming to life, it must be pretty eerie sitting inside that thing. At the same time, it’s also pretty darn gorgeous, so it’s not hard to see why the person bought it.
20. The Beverly Hillbillies Truck – $275,000 (The Beverly Hillbillies)
Anyone who’s ever watched Jed Clampett and his gang knows how special this truck is, and what it symbolizes. The much-beloved ’60s TV show The Beverly Hillbillies is the story of a low-class family who struck oil one day and became millionaires overnight. It was in this truck that they drove to Beverly Hills to live their new life, and that’s where the series takes place.
When the show ended, the truck was donated to the Ralph Foster Museum by producer Paul Henning. Eventually it was transferred to a Barrett-Jackson auction, where it was sold for a gargantuan amount of $275,000. For the 1993 movie, the original car from the show was not used, but rather, an identical version.
19. 2013 Ford Mustang Fastback – $300,000 (Need for Speed)
Any video game-loving child who grew up in the ’90s has played Need for Speed at least once. Similar to how Transformers evolved from toy to film, Need for Speed evolved from video game to film as well. Also similar to Transformers, car companies knew that it was a promoter’s daydream.
Ford took advantage of the situation, selling their 2013 Ford Mustang Fastback to the movie for $300,000. This allowed them to fund the Edith and Benson Ford Heart and Vascular Institute, a non-profit that was started by Henry Ford himself. Need for Speed got their money’s worth as well, using this car for promotional purposes and for countless scenes around the film.
18. Batpod – $338,066 (The Dark Knight Rises)
Sure, you can quibble with us on whether or not you consider this a “car.” But we all know you’d buy this in a heartbeat if given the chance. Of course, you’d have to come by $338,066 to pay for it, but we’ll allow you to indulge in this fantasy if you let us do it as well.
In fact, the bid was so high that it’s one of the steepest amounts ever paid for a motorcycle at an auction. What’s even crazier is that when the motorbike was sold, it wasn’t even in working condition! That should tell you quite a lot about the die-hard fandom of DC Comics’ Batman.
NEXT: Some more iconic speedsters from your favorite films, with prices getting into inconceivable range!
17. 1949 Mercury Series 9CM Custom Convertible – $385,000 (Grease)
Everyone’s chills started multiplying when Danny Zuko and his leather-clad buddies hit us with some Grease lightning back in 1978. Along with the Pink Ladies, they sang their way into our hearts in a handful of soul-churning tunes. But not every moment was about music.
Indeed, cars and racing were a big part of Grease, with no shortage of intense rivalry either. The climactic Thunder Road scene, where Danny races his nemesis Leo, was one of much excitement. In fact, it wasn’t Danny’s car, but Leo’s fire-breathing convertible, that was sold for $385,000 at a Julien’s Auction in Los Angeles, California.
16. 1966 Monkeemobile Pontiac GTO – $396,000 (The Monkees)
When the Beatles hit the airwaves with their revolutionary sound, America’s answer was simple: let’s create our own version, and make it into a television show. That’s when they launched The Monkees, a NBC show based around a real band of musicians that they brought together.
On this show, viewers rocked their heads to hits like “I’m a Believer,” “Last Train to Clarksville,” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” all the while cruising around in this ride. The Monkeemobile Pontiac GTO is arguably a memento of rock ‘n’ roll history, depending on how you look at it, and according to one lucky buyer at an auction, worth nearly $400,000.
15. 1985 Modena Spyder – $407,000 (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
There is a strong misconception when it comes to the car in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Many websites will tell you the car was a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder — but that’s actually false. In fact, the car was a 1985 Modena Spyder, intended to serve as a replica for the aforementioned Ferrari (the real one was actually bought at an auction for $17 million).
But don’t let that fact distract from its beauty. The car is still iconic in so many ways, and an integral part of a wild day off from school that we all know we’ve dreamed of having in our lives.
14. 1969 Dodge Charger “General Lee” – $450,000 (Dukes of Hazzard)
If Bo and Luke Duke didn’t have their trusty vivid orange Dodge Charger, how would they have ever gotten into all of their crazy shenanigans? Named “General Lee” after Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the iconic sports car is basically the pulse behind their every move. You almost get the feeling that if they didn’t have the car, they’d just turn around and go home.
But as the unofficial Robin Hoods of their fictional community of Hazzard County, Georgia, the locals are lucky they had it to ride around in. In 2008, a devoted fan of the show showed his loyalty by purchasing not just a “General Lee” replica owned by Bo actor John Schneider, but one sporting signatures by the entire cast of the 1997 film adaptation under the hood.
13. DeLorean DMC-12 – $541,000 (Back To The Future)
“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads…” Is there a more beloved car in the history of cinema? Gun that speedometer up to 88 miles per hour (the speed required for time travel), and we’re ready to go. Here we have Back To The Future’s DeLorean, the time machine responsible for so much turmoil and wild sci-fi adventure at the hands of protagonists Doc Brown and Marty McFly.
Only seven of these beauties were ever made, with one of them selling at a 2011 auction for $541,000. This money was then donated to the Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, an organization founded by Michael J. Fox himself, the actor who portrayed Marty McFly, who suffers from this very disease.
12. Chitty Chitty Car – $805,000 (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
Albeit it’s another flying car, but unfortunately this one never managed to travel through time. Nevertheless, when Chitty Chitty Bang Bang first came out in 1968, the concept was pretty wild. Considering the fact that it came out in the same year as The Love Bug, clearly 1968 was a year of fantasy-induced screenplays.
The film was co-written by none other than Roald Dahl, and was based on the 1964 novel penned by James Bond creator Ian Fleming. The Chitty Chitty Car itself immediately became a fan favorite, and over time solidified itself in Disney legend. The original was actually bought for $805,000 by legendary film director Peter Jackson, who’s responsible for The Lord of the Rings fantasy film trilogy.
11. Lotus Esprit Submarine – $966,560 (The Spy Who Loved Me)
The James Bond film series certainly gets the award for having the most cars on this list. But there aren’t many of his cars that can do what this one does — swim like a shark. In 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, Roger Moore’s Bond plunged into the deepest depths of the ocean in a Lotus Esprit Submarine.
Perhaps we can’t really consider it “driving,” but Agent 007 can make anything look cool. This scene has lived on in Bond-lore for four decades, and is arguably one of the most memorable things we’ve seen him do. It’s no surprise it eventually sold for nearly a million dollars.
NEXT: Which cars made the cut for the Top 10 most expensive cars from film and television?
10. 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500 – $1 million (Gone In 60 Seconds)
Nicknamed “Eleanor,” this car has seen multiple formats in the two films it inhabited. In the original 1974 Gone In 60 Seconds, she was a 1971 Mustang masquerading as the 1973 model. However, in the 2000 reboot, she underwent a transformation and became a 1967 Shelby Mustang GT500.
Sold for a clean million at an auction, the Shelby was the vehicle that Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage had the privilege of commanding. “New Eleanor” was also nicknamed the “beauty car,” and somehow managed to stand out from among the countless other sports cars in a movie filled to the brim with them.
9. Porsche 911S (Le Mans) – $1.37 million (Le Mans)
There are classic car movies, and then there’s Le Mans. Now, this movie might not have all the bells and whistles of a more recent blockbuster series like The Fast and the Furious. However, its place in the racing film genre is of Beatlesque standard. First of all, it’s important to talk about its lead actor, Steve McQueen — nicknamed the “King of Cool,” it’s hard to think about racing films from the ’60s without him coming to mind.
In Le Mans, McQueen (who plays the role of protagonist Michael Delaney) rides this elegant but powerful Porsche 911S to open the film. Later on, he would drive something with a bit more oomph, but that being said, clearly this car has enough oomph to go around. As such, it was sold for a wild $1.37 million at an auction in Scottsdale, Arizona.
8. Aston Martin DB10 – $3.41 million (Spectre)
As you can see, we’re starting to get into some big ticket prices, with this one tagged at $3.41 million. It’s yet another instantly classic car from the James Bond film series, and this time we’re taking a gander at the Aston Martin DB10.
Clearly Daniel Craig, who portrays this version of James Bond, agrees with us, as can be seen in how he gazes intently upon its vast metallic surface. We’d like to say that this may be the most beautiful Bond car, but at the end of the day these things are subjective like everything else. Other Bond cars sold for even more — which ones are they?
7. 1968 Mustang GT 390 “Bullitt” – $3.7 million (Bullitt)
Hollywood bad boy Steve McQueen was the lead actor of countless racing films in the ’60s, and 1968’s Bullitt was one of them. That being said, it obviously wasn’t just McQueen’s fame that mattered, but the cars he drove as well. But considering how strong McQueen’s passion for quality cars was, the two things are basically one and the same.
But Bullitt in particular has a very special place in the hearts of many fans, most notably for a seminal car chase scene that paved the way for many that came after it. When the car was sold for $3.7 million at a Mecum Auction, the buyer said he was “happy with the result.” Talk about an understatement!
6. Aston Martin DB5 – $4.6 million (Goldfinger)
Here it is, the highest-selling James Bond car ever. While the more current DB10 sure looks sleeker in a cold kind of way, there’s something wonderful about the DB5 sitting in front of us that just oozes beauty. It somehow combines sheer class, swagger, and art, all in one fell swoop — and now no other car seems good enough.
Okay, let’s be real: $4.6 million is no small price to pay, but whoever has the good fortune to spend it, this gadget-filled masterpiece will allow them a grand entrance for every party he (or she) goes to in the future.
NEXT: These prices are almost absurd! Read on to find out which cars are leading the entire pack.
5. Batmobile – $4.62 million (Batman)
There are so many classic Batmobiles we’ve seen over the years that we could literally make a whole other list just for them. But the one that sold for the most is the original Batmobile. Roaring out of both the live action ’60s TV series and the accompanying 1966 movie, it is by far the most valuable.
What many people don’t know is that it wasn’t originally created to be a Batmobile. It was actually called the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, and it came in all kinds of colors. Eventually it became Bruce Wayne’s car we all know and love — and this jet black red-striped version was enough to score a tremendous $4.62 million price tag.
4. 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta – $6.71 million (The Love Bug)
When we think about the 1968 Disney film The Love Bug, our mind immediately jumps to the Volkswagen Beetle. But people sometimes forget about just how many extremely valuable cars appeared in that movie, and the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta was one of them.
Nicknamed the “Tour de France,” it didn’t get much screen time in the film. Despite that, needless to say car buffs were happy to take what they could get. To think that any car is worth $6.71 million is crazy to even fathom, but that’s exactly what it was sold for at an RM Auctions event out in Monterey, California.
3. 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe – $7.25 million (Redline 7000)
Breaking into the top 3 most expensive cars from film or television is another Steve McQueen car, the Shelby Cobra Daytona, which appeared in the 1965 film Redline 7000. What separates this car from many others of its caliber is that it was the only American race car to best a Ferrari.
It stole the hearts of car aficionados back in the ’60s, so when it was put up for auction in Monterey, people certainly expected it to go for a lot. But they were all shocked when the highest bidder went all the way to $7.25 million. This actually broke a record at the time, becoming the highest amount ever paid for an American car.
2. 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf – $11 million (Le Mans)
Of course, records are meant to be broken. It was in 2012 that the 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf model was purchased at an RM Auctions event for an eye-popping $11 million. But why was someone willing to pay so much for this handsome little devil?
First of all, it also appears in Le Mans, the much-acclaimed racing film which featured McQueen. Secondly, it was the first of its kind to use carbon fiber in its attempt to be both light and powerful. In other words, this car has not only the speed and the style, but the hardcore grit to make it through the tough conditions as well.
1. 1970 Porsche 917K – $14 million (Le Mans)
And for our number-one ranking spot, the award goes to…the 1970 Porsche 917K, which also appeared in Le Mans! The film truly continues to bear an extremely special place in the hearts of all racing fans. This strong speedster was also driven by Steve McQueen in Le Mans, and was basically the poster car for the film.
Strangely enough, the car actually disappeared for 25 years after the film aired. It was later mysteriously found stashed away in a warehouse in France in 2001. Upon its emergence, the iconic racer was eventually sold at an auction in Monterey for an unbelievable amount of $14 million.
26. 1991 General Motors Bus – $102,400 (Speed)
Years before Keanu Reeves became “The One” in the Matrix films, he was Jack Traven, an LAPD SWAT officer trying to save a bus full of innocent citizens. In the movie Speed, a criminal plants a bomb in this very bus, threatening to set it off if a list of his demands aren’t met.
Reeves’ character is there to save the day, but the real underrated star of the film wasn’t even a person at all. It was the bus itself, which is actually a lot more valuable than you might expect. Indeed, it sold for a whopping $102,400 in Los Angeles back in 2018.
27. 1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost – $100,000 (Boardwalk Empire)
Let’s face it – people love a good mobster TV series. And when the star of that mobster series is Steve Buscemi, you’re pretty much destined for greatness. However, sometimes what makes a production tick is the little things, and in the case of Boardwalk Empire, this is achieved with the appearance of the 1921 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.
Since the series takes place in the early 20th century, it fits the bill beautifully, and it reflects generously on the lifestyle a mobster like Buscemi’s character could enjoy in that time period. One particularly wealthy fan agreed wholeheartedly, shelling out an impressive $100,000 to buy the car!
28. 1946 Ford ‘Grease Lightning’ – $88,550 (Grease)
What would the movie Grease be without this car? What would the film be like without the iconic and supremely catchy “Grease Lightning” tune, sung by Danny Zucco and his leather clad, greased up gang? The answer is that the movie would simply be incomplete, because the “Grease Lightning” Car is the heart of the film.
In fact, one could argue that this is proven towards the end of the film, when Zucco wins the climactic Thunder Road race with the very same car. We wonder if the person who bought this car, for $88,550 in San Francisco, can’t help but hum the lyrics to the song while he drives it.
29. Jaguar XKR James Bond Special Effects Car – $73,500 (Die Another Day)
Just when you thought that this list couldn’t hold yet another James Bond car, here’s yet another one, and this time it’s from 2002’s Die Another Day. However, a big difference between this car and that of the other James Bond cars on this list is that this wasn’t actually driven by James Bond himself.
In fact, this delicious green Jaguar was actually driven by Tang Ling Zao, the villain in the film. Nevertheless, viewers don’t discriminate good guys from bad guys when beautiful cars are in their presence. That’s probably why this valuable piece of metal was sold for $73,500 in London at an RM-Sothebys auction.
30. Ectomobile – $45,000 (Ghostbusters)
Everyone knows that when there’s something strange in their neighborhood, the people they’re going to call are Ghostbusters. But where would those Ghostbusters be if it wasn’t for their trust Ectomobile? Sure, the characters themselves did most of the actual work, and without their talents, the town would’ve been dealing with those ghosts for quite some time.
But without the Ectomobile to get them from place to place, and its various special effects to aid them in their efforts, they would’ve had a much harder time getting everything done. Regardless, the supernatural film is considered to be one of the most iconic films of all time, which is why the car is worth as much as it is today.
31. Starsky’s 1976 Gran Torino – $40,000 (Starsky & Hutch)
When we see certain cars on films and TV shows, it’s not just us that gets enchanted by it. It’s the character too – and the more the characters love their car, the more we start to love it too. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Starsky & Hutch, a series that ran for four seasons in the 70s, starring Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul.
Glaser plays the role of Starsky, who’s basically obsessed with his 1976 Gran Torino. Around 30 years later, a film reboot was made starring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson – and in this film too, Stiller’s character was pretty much in love with his wheels. As a result, we were too – which is how it ended up getting sold for a respectable $40,000.
32. 1982 Pontiac Trans Am ‘KITT’ – $40,000 (Knight Rider)
On the popular ‘80s series Knight Rider, this car was best known as KITT, but stood for The Knight Industries Two Thousand. Its source model, however, was a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am that powered the very essence of its adventures, flanked of course by its driver, Michael Knight (played by David Hasselhoff).
Like many other cars on this list, KITT had a mind of its own, blinking its headlights on its own accord when Knight first gets introduced to it. To this day, it’s considered one of the most iconic cars in television history – and eventually went up for auction at the Volo Auto Museum for $40,000.
33. 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – $36,375 (Smokey and the Bandit)
If there’s something that makes a romance film more enjoyable, it’s a muscle car to take them to the promised land. Smokey and the Bandit was a late 70s film starring the late Burt Reynolds and Sally Field, and the majority of the film covers their adventures across the Southern Belt while they slowly fall in love with each other.
In fact, the two co-stars fell in love with each other in real life as well during this time – and we’d like to think that this classic 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am had something to do with it. To this day it’s in the film car hall of fame, and eventually its value was estimated at around $36,375.
34. The Bluesmobile – $24,000 (The Blues Brothers)
It’s important to note that while some cars on this list might not seem very valuable, they’re actually a lot more valuable than they’d be if they weren’t a part of these iconic films. The Bluesmobile, as seen and loved in the memorable Blues Brothers film, can be purchased for the relatively low price of $24,000.
But consider that this is actually a lot higher than a beaten down 1974 Dodge Monaco should normally cost. After all, one of the elements that gives The Blues Brothers film its charm is that the police car they drive in doesn’t feel very expensive. They buy it for cheap at an auction, but then they’re able to use it for a lot more.
35. New Batmobile (The Batman)
We’ve got a real treat for you here. This photo is one of three photos released by Matt Reeves, director for the new upcoming 2021 Batman film. For those who don’t know, this film will be starring Robert Pattinson (Twilight, Harry Potter) as Batman, and Paul Dano as the Riddler, and some other awesome cast members.
But regarding this new and improved Batmobile, what excites us about it is that Reeves seems to be turning back the clock a little. Instead of the tank-like indestructible Batmobiles we’ve seen in more recent films like the Dark Knight, this one brings us back to the muscle car days – but with a modern twist. Its market value has yet to be determined, but considering the movie hasn’t yet come out, we look forward to seeing the respect it demands!
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