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Lesser Known Classics in Movies: Part 1

Lesser Known Classics in Movies: Part 1

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We all know that the Aston Martin DB5 was used in Goldfinger and that Mini’s were the trio in Italian Job; But what about the lesser known cars in famous movies? Hidden under body-kits, rare cars or Frankensteined together from different parts? In this article we’ll test your knowledge of these hidden classics in famous movies.

Judge Dredd

Our first movie is set in a world where mega-cities have a judge, jury and executioner police force to enforce law. Overpopulation and a crime inclined populous require tank-like taxi cabs to keep passengers and drivers safe. In the 1995 Judge Dredd film adaptation the crew teamed up with Land Rover to create these futuristic taxis for the background scenes of this action movie.

The Land Rover 101 Forward Control (or FC) was a vehicle produced by Land Rover in 1978, at first being soft ‘rag-top’s, and then later being rebuilt with hard-top ambulance bodies. Used as Medic vehicles, Gun Tractors and radio communication trucks, these powerful military vehicles ran on a V8 engine which was placed at the under-rear of the vehicle eliminating the need for a bonnet and therefore reducing its space in transport aircraft. The rarest body-type of this vehicle is the Electronic Warfare ‘Vampire’ body wherein 21 were ever built and less than half survive today.

Dumber and Dumber

Getting Ruff-er with our second car is this mobile dog-grooming van from the 1994 adventure-comedy Dumb and Dumber. The film tells the story of two stupid best friends played by Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels who stumble across some money that has connections to crime.

To throw you a bone here, this tail-wagging, head turning van is based off the 1984 Ford Ecoline van. This American van boasts a sporting 460 V8 engine, and 225 horsepower… Or should we say dog power?

Batman (1966)

Back in the 1960’s the caped crusader was more of a pants crusader, but alongside the campy comedy and zany sound effects this exciting car sat as Batman’s primary mode of transportation.

The Lincoln Futura was displayed at auto show circuits in 1955 and was then modified into the Batmobile we remember fondly in 1965. It was born as a concept car which was hand built in Italy costing the impressive equivalent of $2,300,000 ($250,000 in 1954).

As of December 2017, Road-worthy, fibreglass replicas of the Batmobile are being made with DC’s blessing by Fiberglass Freaks in Logansport, Indiana.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

The Nautilus is a beautiful car driven in the dieselpunk superhero crossover adventure film The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Combining a mix of a Mexican Cartel and Italian Grandeur aesthetics this long, 6-wheeled ivory beauty owns the road with its sheer size.

Technically a Frankencar of sorts this put-together vehicle sits on the chassis of a Land Rover Fire Tender while its body is based on popular a Cadillac Limousines of the time. The convertible feature alongside its French Gothic silver embellishments were added by the movie’s art director as a stylistic choice. The car has actually been put on the Land Rover’s chassis backwards as the Fire Tender has 4 wheels at the back and 2 at the front, whereas its vice versa for this mafia-esque beauty.

Batman (1989)

Going back to the caped crusader; in Tim Burton’s Batman and Batman Returns this aerodynamic and frightening jet-powered tank of a car ranked in as the most popular Batmobiles of all time. The car wields an arsenal of weapons, houses a smaller vehicle inside it for escaping tight situations and features actually functioning gadgets including the Jet Burner of which could only burn for 15 seconds due to fuel consumption.

There are so many cars to talk about, so much so that we’re only about half way through. To view the second half of this list you can click here.

Also, if you feel we’ve missed any vehicles off the list, leave a comment of cars you think should have been included on our social media.

Photograph Sources

  1. Pschleut, Wikipedia Commons
  2. Alf van Beem, Wikipedia Commons
  3. Heather Paul, flickr
  4. Jeremy, Wikipedia Commons
  5. Greg Gjerdingen, flickr
  6. Zenix Net, Wikipedia Commons
  7. Brian Burnell, Wikipedia Commons
  8. Elliott Brown, Flickr
  9. Jeremy, Wikipedia Commons