We continue our trawl around the 50 greatest imaginary cars. You may not agree and, if that’s so, let us know. Whether you do or not, read on, there’s bound to be something you didn’t know about our next five picks…
The Top 50 So Far…
50 The Delorean DMC 12 from Back to the Future
49 KITT (Pontiac Firebird Trans Am) from Knight Rider
48 Herbie, the 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
47 The Mean Machine 00 from Whacky Races
46 The Batmobile
45 The General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard
44 Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters
43 Mad Max’s Pursuit Special
42 Scarface’s 1963 Cadillac
41 Bumblebee, the Chevrolet Camaro, from Transformers
40 The 1958 Plymouth Fury in Christine
39 The Mystery Machine (Scooby Doo)
38 The Audi RSQ in I, Robot
37 1977 AMC Pacer from Wayne’s World
36 1979 Ford Country Squire LTD
Here is 35 down to 31
#35 Hong Kong Phooey’s Phooeymobile
The Phooeymobile was the perfect ride – changing into whatever was needed with a bang on Hong Kong Phooey’s Magic Gong! Here is the ultimate Hong Kong Phooey Quiz Question: Can you name the eight vehicles the Phooeymobile changed into? Here goes, over the course of 31 episodes, the Phooeymobile changed into: Phooey-copter, Phooey-balloon, Phooey-hovercraft, Phooey-stagecoach, Phooey-jet, Phooey-cycle, Phooey-safe, and Phooey-pogo-stick.
#34 The 1932 Deuce Coupe in American Graffiti
American Graffiti Director George Lucas wanted a car that would evoke his childhood memories of cruising. He and producer Gary Kurtz found a red, full-fendered coupe before the film’s transportation manager reconstructed the model to include motorcycle front fenders, aluminium headlight stanchions, and chrome plating for the dropped I-beam solid axle – and, of course, it’s trademark Canary Yellow lacquer paint. The interior, originally red and white, was dyed black.
Did You Know #1 The car has a license plate THX 138. THX 1138 was the name of the science fiction film made by George Lucas while at USC (University of Southern California) Film School. The combination was also used on a jeep in Apocalypse Now. Did You Know #2? After the film was finished, they tried to sell it and couldn’t get the asking price of $1,500!
# 33 Racer X’s Shooting Star
Speed Racer was originally part of a Manga cartoon. The Shooting Star is the car of Racer X. Bright yellow (again) with a black front bumper and numbered 9, Shooting Star is quick, agile and packed full of high-tech features (which allow Racer X to keep an eye on Speed Racer – rent the movie if you need to know why). In that 2008 film, the car features weapons like machine guns mounted above the cockpit and under the chassis. What’s not to love.?
#32 Jackie Chan’s Subaru GL in Cannonball Run
Jackie Chan and his co-pilot raced as drivers of a Subaru GL Hatchback with a rocket-powered engine. Despite the rocket, the 4 wheel drive car is powered by a 73 horsepower 1.8 L engine – lacking the serious power needed to compete in the Cannonball. It’s on the inside, however, that the car gets interesting – the dashboard looks like a space ship and houses a VHS player, LED read-out and night vision. Love it. Did You Know? Jackie Chan was very upset when he learned his character was Japanese – he’s Chinese.
#31 Magnum’s Ferrari 308 GTB
There were three Pininfarina-styled 308 GTS Ferraris used in this Eighties detective show. The first season saw a 1978 308 GTS used – one mirror, no rear spoiler, no front hood vent, red vents behind the headlights. The second and third saw a 1980 308 GTSi – two rectangular mirrors, black vents behind the headlights. From then on, it was a 1984 308 GTSi Quattrovalvole – black vents on the hood and a black spoiler on the rear of the roof panel.
Did You Know? The Ferraris used in the show had to be specially modified to accommodate 6’4’’ Tom Selleck. The padding was removed from the seats so he would sit lower in the car. The seats were bolted as far away from the steering wheel as possible to maximize the leg room. Even then, Magnum’s head is higher than the top of the front windshield frame!