December 06, 2015

Some Movie Cars: Aston Martin DB5; Falcon XB GT; Cooper S; Moke; Ford Ute


I don't need much of an excuse to mention "The King Of Cool" - Steve McQueen.
Truly a Hollywood legend!


Welcome to the 2015 Hollywood edition of The Weekend AustralianMotoring, in which we reveal the top five movie cars of all time, and what it will cost you to look like Steve McQueen or hop in Herbie.

This is the most authoritative top five list ever published mainly because we’ve cobbled it together from everyone else’s lists and added a few thoughts of our own.

No 1 has to be the silver birch, James Bond-owned, 1964 Aston Martin DB5. While the Aston wasn’t the first Bond car (that was a Sunbeam Alpine) it is the most famous of all the 25 car brands, three aeroplane and boat brands, one bus and buggy brand that Jimmy drove, flew and submerged. Nine years ago you could have bought a DB5 from the movie for $2 million. Today you’d pay about $7m.


Next is the 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT coupe or V8 Interceptor from Mad Max. In the greatest line in a script since Sam Beckett penned, “Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order”, Australian actor and Mad Max: Fury Road writer Nick Lathouris utters those immortal words: “She’s the last of the V-8s. She sucks nitro.”

Producers George Miller and Byron Kennedy sank $380,000 into the movie, which was actually more money than they had. Not being able to pay all their bills, they gave the car to a creditor. Suddenly Mad Max made $100m and they bought the car back. Still unwanted, it was shipped to a British motor museum in 1992. The Miami Auto Museum bought it four years ago, where it remains.

Keeping on Fords, No 3 is the 1968 Mustang GT 390 driven by McQueen in the movie Bullitt. Ford built two cars for the drive around San Francisco. One was destroyed and the other was sold to a studio employee, then to a detective and finally an owner who has stored it in a barn in Kentucky.

Of course the best part of the movie was that the car chases and most other action in the movie was real. The high-speed scenes at the airport and hospitals were filmed with real doctors, nurses, people and very scared passengers in 707s.

Next is another 1968 car, the Mini Cooper S from The Italian Job. The producers used 16 Minis to make the movie and left them all in Italy. David Morton from Newcastle in England bought three boxes of leftover parts and restored and remade them to three as-new cars. You’d probably pay about $150,000 each.

Equal No 5 are the 1968 Mini Moke from that classic Sammy Davis and Peter Crawford Bond send-up Salt & Pepper. Naturally our own Mark Southcott nominated this. And no list of top movie (and television) cars would be complete without the Ford Falcon ute from Tomorrow, When the War Began, not to mention A Country Practice, Water Rats and other short-form international hits.

If you want a deeper movie experience you could have bought McQueen’s race suit from last month’s Bonhams auction. For $620,000 you got a cream-coloured race suit with orange and blue stripes, Gulf, Firestone and Chronograph Heuer patches, and “Michael Delaney” on the right breast. Best of all, it is fireproof. A really good buy if your name is Mick Delaney.

The buy of the year was Herbie, the 1963 VW used in the movie of the same name. Now we could talk about Jimmy’s DB5, Burt’s Pontiac Trans-Am and Steve’s Mustang, but none of these is a love bug and none can run around South Yarra with the driver hidden in the back invisible to all.

What fun you could have in the McDonald’s drive-through, picking up your plus one from their parents’ place or when you’re pulled over by the fun police. Only $120,000.
By John Connolly
With thanks to The Australian
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