Holy Sticker Shock, Batman! 9 Movie and TV Cars That Were Sold For Big Bucks
The true magic of movies and television shows is their power to take mundane, ordinary and virtually worthless objects and turn them into magnets for raising hands and paddles at high priced auctions. Simply by scoring more than five minutes of screen time in a major motion picture can turn even the most lowly hunk of junk into something more sought after than the original Ark of the Covenant carrying the remains of Elvis Presley.
Famous pop culture cars have become some of the most eye-catching collectibles at vehicle auctions, despite the fact that they are also some of the junkiest heaps in automotive history. Some high-priced beauties are also in the mix, but even they managed to attract higher prices simply by being on screens big and small and playing the part of the main character's primary mode of transportation. The only downside to buying them is they don't earn residuals. Find out what everything from the Batmobile to the car from 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' went for below.
The original DeLorean DMC-12 may have been the most anticipated and least profitable vehicle in automotive history, but it's only saving grace was the movie trilogy that practically made it a star. The 'Back to the Future' movies had several models on set for interior and exterior shots, but one of the working models used in all three of the films sold for more than $541,000 at an auction to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. The model came with everything from the original film, except an unconscious Elisabeth Shue.
Sean Connery's choice of vehicle in the iconic James Bond films not only set a new standard for cool movie vehicles, but also a new standard for the high price of classic car collections. Bond's original 1964 Aston Martin went up for auction in 2010 for just over $4 million. It was also easy to identify as the original car since it still has all of Bond's special options built into it including front-mounted machine guns, rear nail spreaders and tire shredders, plus a pneumatic bulletproof shield and rotating license plates. The car's new owner wasn't publicly identified, probably because MI5 would just deny his existence anyway.
Batman's primary mode of transportation has gone through several variations from the comic book to the big screen, but the best remembered has to be the two-seater, open-top built around the body of a 1955 Lincoln Futura. One of the originals from the cult 1960's primetime TV show was sold at a recent auction for $233,000, more than 50% higher than its auction estimate.
The iconic implement of destruction from the college comedy classic may not have gotten as much screen time as some of its other automotive counterparts, but that didn't reduce its demand come auction time. The modified model of the 1966 Lincoln Continental went up for sale in 2009 at a starting price of just $20,000. That's not a bad price for a car that was almost totaled by beer-swilling frat-heads in a series of hit and run accidents in a crowded roadhouse parking lot.
Movie and TV car auctions don't just have mighty machines for the guys to gawk at and dream about starring in some overblown, over-budget action film. Even some of the greatest chick flicks of all time have cars for the ladies who fantasize about getting behind the wheel and speeding away from it all. The iconic blue Thunderbird from 'Thelma & Louise' went up for auction in Italy with a starting price of $26,000. Best friend who goes on a psychotic rampage against a male-dominated society sold separately.
Ian Fleming might be better known to gearheads for helping to bring Aston Martins into mainstream coolness, but his earlier work on this children's classic helped bring a less cool but equally iconic car to life. The original "GEN 11" specially built for the classic film 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' went up for auction for an undisclosed price, but can you really put a price on a car that can fly?
Watching the iconic Ferrari crash through the glass window of Cameron's home might have broken the hearts of gearheads everywhere, but rest assured that John Hughes didn't commission the destruction of this ultra rare vehicle. They actually built several replicas from scratch since renting a real one was too expensive. One of those replicas went up for auction and fetched $122,000 by a private buyer. We would've killed for the chance to buy the vehicle, not only to own an iconic piece of movie history but also so we could pick up the car under the buyer's name Abe Froman.
One of the few co-stars that could upstage David Hasselhoff managed to be more sought after than Hasselhoff himself after the show went off the air. The 1984 Trans Am went up for auction in 2007 on eBay for a minimum bid of $20,000 to pay off the debts of its owner, a real estate developer accused of defrauding millions from a New York co-op board who was found stabbed to death in his lavish estate home. Another model of the car went for more than $149,000 the same year in another auction in California.
One of the few things that people actually want to remember about the corny, cult TV classic 'The Dukes of Hazzard' was the famous car, the General Lee. One of the show's stars, John "Bo Duke" Schneider, sold the Dodge Charger he owned that was used on the show by putting it up for sale on eBay for a starting price of $2.3 million. If that sounds kind of high for a car that probably had some wear and tear from one too many Boss Hogg chases, it pales in comparison to the final sale price of $9.9 million.