Top 10 Best Iconic Cars in Movie & TV

The list to end all lists of the greatest movie and TV cars in history

The Ultimate & Definitive List of the Greatest EPIC Movie and TV Cars

Top 10 List of TV and Movie Cars

Can you name the top 10 best cars in movie history? Why stop at just film? No list of top 10 cars should leave out TV cars. That is why this list includes the most iconic cars in movies and TV!

This list is sure to be controversial because it is limited to ten and only 10 best movie cars. To make it more competitive TV cars are included. So while other lists may do fifty, even one hundred cars, this list is the best because it only includes the BEST!

It is the best list because it goes beyond a simple top 10 list of cars. It’s not a list of “best chase cars” or “best chase scenes” or even “car chase films.”

How to be considered the Best Movie and TV car

Yes, this list is subjective, but there are factors used to decide which TV and Movie cars are the coolest cars in film and TV history. Here are the considerations:

  • Impact on memory (Visual Appeal)
  • Screen time (Drive it like you stole it!)
  • Recognition (Most widely known across generations globally)

This list will work in reverse. Let’s begin our countdown! No skipping ahead!

#10 Best All Time Car on film — Christine

Stephen King's Christine - 1958 Fury

Our list begins at #10 with the 1958 Fury brought to life in film from Stephen King’s novel Christine.

Driver: Arnold ‘Arnie’ Cunningham (Keith Gordon)
Make Model Year: Plymouth Fury, 1958
Film/Show Year: Christine: 1983

Why?: The car is a central character in a story! As mesmerizing as it is haunting, this car is utterly beautiful and like a woman utterly dangerous. You never forget your first girl or car. Christine is both.

Car Info: Spirit inhabited car. 350 ci Golden Commando V-8 with dual four-barrel carbs. Hardly an exterior factory feature remained as Christine was customized for the film. Anodized silver trim with a gold grille “V”.

Details and Trivia

It’s not the first horror story about a car, but when Stephen King pens the story, you know it’s going to be truly haunting. When a love affair between a car and her young owner goes wrong, it takes the saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned to a new low.

1958 Fury — Christine

Christine (the car obviously) goes on a killing spree. Is Christine alive? She, It — can’t be killed. Can it be destroyed?

It was destroyed many times over in the making of the film. The filmmakers upset a lot of car enthusiasts when they trashed almost two dozen Christine’s during production. There were 23 cars purchased for filming. Only 16 were used, while 7 were used for parts. Some were in 1957 Fury’s.

One photo featuring the writer Stephen King was taken with a 1957 Fury — he and everyone took it for 1958 for years until the Internet came along and pointed it out.

While Christine is a Plymouth, the sounds in the film are from — a Ford.

1958 Fury — ChristineThe license plate CQB is an acronym for the words Close Quarters Battle.License Plate - Christine

One down! Nine to go. Think your favorite movie or TV car will be on this list? With only ten, it’s bound to let someone down. Now on to number nine.

#9 Best All Time Movie Car — Bandit 1

Smokey & the Bandit's — Bandit 1

Coming in at #9 on the all-time list of the best movie and TV cars is the second consecutive car from film and not TV. It’s Bandit-1 from the 1977 hit comedy, Smokey & the Bandit.

Driver: Bandit (Burt Reynolds)
Make Model Year: GM Trans AM, 1977
Film/Show Year: Smokey & The Bandit: 1977

Why?: Without any modifications, it’s one of those cars that you can’t help but remember as it played a central role in Smokey & the Bandit. The black Trans Am is synonymously associated with this film. Over thirty-years and the Black Trans AM has a following.

Car Info: Painted Black with the gold exterior trim package. Sporting T-tops with a shaker hood, front air dam, and rear spoiler. Under the hood an Oldsmobile 403 V-8 6.6 liter engine boasting 200hp.

Details and Trivia

Where would the Aston Martin be without James Bond? The same is said for the Trans Am. Few cars had more screen time as the Black Trans AM in Smokey and the Bandit. The Black Trans Am came to define the redneck era in terms of the country boy muscle car.

Bandit One - Bridge JumpSimilar to our #10 car, Smokey & the Bandit’s story relied on a car. The Bandit, played by Burt Reynolds, is needed as a lead ‘blocker’ car. His job is to take the heat from any police authorities while driving ahead of his partner in an illegal alcohol smuggling run.

The Snowman played by country singer Jerry Reed followed the blocker car in an 18 Wheel big rig. Snowman took the real risk of driving an illegal shipment of beer from Texarkana to Georgia.

The director chose the Trans Am as the blocker with little fanfare. To automaker GM’s good fortune, once Smokey & the Bandit hit theaters, the Black Trans Am became an icon. Sales of the Trans Am almost doubled in one year.

The summer Smokey & the Bandit was released Trans AM car sales jumped 30,000 units from 68, 745 to 93,341. The following year in 1978 sales skyrocketed to 117,108 Trans Ams on the road. Sales went the way of the movie and less were sold in 1980 than in previous years, 50, 916 were sold.

Burt Reynold’s was promised a free Trans Am by Pontiac if his movie was a hit. The executive retired and the replacement refused to honor the offer.

Burt Reynolds as Bandit with his Bandit 1 Trans Am

Smokey & the Bandit is a classic comedy chase movie whose charm could not be achieved without the Black Trans Am. While the car chases in the film are not the absolute best, the Pontiac Trans Am has screen presence which is undeniably the most pervasive in visually appealing in a film.

Smokey & the BanditThe film is over 30 years old, yet to own one today would draw a direct comparison to black Trans Am in Smokey & The Bandit. The movie was so popular it was only beaten out in 1977 by another small film you may recognize: Star Wars. The car was so popular that the 1980s TV show Knight Rider featured its own modified Trans Am.

There is not much you need to do to have a car like Smokey & The Bandit. Just buying a 77 Black Trans Am is enough, but if there are those that want to top it off.

If so, you’ll need a CB radio, the vanity plate that shares the Rebel Flag and state of Georgia insignia and you’ll need the BAN ONE vanity tag from your state. Bandit’s car was registered in Georgia. Don’t forget your Trans Am should have the Pontiac Firebird (screaming chicken) on the hood! The cowboy hat is optional.

There were three Black Trans Ams’ used in filming. It is undetermined if any survive today. One is confirmed destroyed by director Hal Needham during the bridge jump, that photo is above.

#8 Best All Time Movie Car — The Police Interceptor Mad Max

#8 — Mad Max’s Police Interceptor. Yes, a third movie car on this list! If you’ve seen Mad Max, you know this is a nasty bad car!

Police Interceptor

Driver: Max (Mel Gibson)
Make Model Year: Ford Falcon XB GT, 1973
Film/Show Year: Mad Max: 1979

Why?: Indisputably the baddest police car built, the Police Interceptor wasn’t hype, it wasn’t just plausible, it was real. It’s as vicious under the hood as it is visually striking.

Car Info: Painted Black. Ford Falcon Model Exclusive to Australia. Custom roof and trunk spoilers. Wheel flares. Exposed supercharger and blower (GM 6-71 base – Scott injector top)

Details and Trivia

1973 Ford Falcon Coupe GT Mad Max Police InterceptorDesigned for the film primarily by Peter Arcadipane (Ford Australia) & Ray Beckerly, although others were involved too. Arcadipane’s major claim in design is the Concorde (a.k.a. nosecone) front and accessory that became available to the public after the success of the film.

For a brief time in 1979, the MFP (Main Force Patrol) interceptor was actually offered up for sale after filming in order to recover money spent. To sell the car its supercharger and side pipes were removed. There were no buyers, due to the gas-sensitive economy in the late ’70s. After all, the car’s V8 engine meant it was a gas guzzler. This proved to be a blessing as Mad Max‘s success changed the fate of the car. The Interceptor was soon needed for the Road Warrior sequel.

Mad Max Interceptor MFPUpon the completion of Road Warrior, the unthinkable decision to scrap the car was made. The scrapyard owner made the prudent decision not to scrap it, after all, he knew the importance of this car in cinema history.

Eventually, a fan by the name of Bob Fursenko had to have the car and he bought it. Bob went to great lengths to restore the car and eventually decided to recoup some of his investment by charging to see the car at car shows. This worked out well for Bob.

Mad Max - Police InterceptorBob Fursenko, in turn, sold the car after years of service to Dr. Peter Nelson, an avid film car collector. The car now resides in his Cars of the Stars museum in Keswick, England where you would also find …Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Mad Max’s real name is Max Rockatansky. His MFP number is 4073. His Yellow Interceptor number is MFP 508. For all things Mad Max, check out the Mad Max Fan Community.

#7 Best All Time Movie Car — Ecto 1 Ghost Busters

#7 – The Ghostbusters’ Ecto 1

Ghost Busters Ecto 1

Driver: Dr. Ray Statz (owner) (Dan Aykroyd)
Make Model Year: Cadillac Miller-Meteor, 1959
Film/Show Year: Ghostbusters: 1984

Why?: Despite the lack of on-screen time, the Ecto 1 is phenomenally recognizable due to its purpose of transporting the Ghostbusters to capture ghosts.

Car Info: Converted Miller-Meteor Sentinel Ambulance with 6.4 liters V-8 with 320 hp. Approximately 400 made. Two purchased for filming, one for pre-mod phase, one for converted or finished Ecto-1.

Details and Trivia

Ecto 1 on the streets of Manhattan Ecto Mobile - Ecto 1In 1984 Ghostbusters was a comedy hit with Bill Murray in his prime. The story was, however, Dan Aykroyd’s concept down to the car. In fact, it was called the Ectomobile but the license plate quickly gave cause to call it Ecto-1.

Filming in Manhattan did more than turn heads. The Ecto-1 caused numerous accidents by gawkers. It broke down on the Brooklyn Bridge causing a jam. The smoke the car gave off in the film was real as the converted ambulance was, in fact, breaking down. When it died the second Miller-Meteor was converted to complete filming.

The Ecto 1 Concept ArtThe Ecto 1 car became an amalgamation of ideas built off an unassuming Limo/Ambulance. Ackroyd originally intended the Ecto-1 to have the ability to travel interdimensionally.

The filmmakers considered a black Ecto-1, yet quickly realized the night shots would work better with a white Ecto-1. There was a black version of this car. The black car that Ray drives back to the shop which he purchased was rented for production. Later it was purchased and turned into a replica of the Ecto-1.

The team’s proton packs slide out the back on a telescopic sled.

A second Ecto-1 was brought in during the filming of Ghostbusters II when the first one died.

The original car survives today in the hands of Sony pictures while owned by Paul and Kristina Francis of Dandridge Tennessee. In 2009 the Ecto 1 has gone through a restoration process so it can be showcased in conjunction with the promotion of the Ghostbusters video game where the original actors have provided their voices in the game. Fan of Ghostbusters? Keep up with the latest in the world of Ghostbusters.

#6 Best All Time Movie Car — Herbie The Love Bug

Disney owned the blockbuster film category in the early 1970s and they made every kid smile with #6 —  Herbie the Love Bug. Herbie has a long list of movie accomplishments to boot. The Herbie Museum keeps his legacy alive. Fans too!

Herbie the Love Bug

Driver: Various
Make Model Year: Volkswagen, 1963
Film/Show Year: The Love Bug: 1969

Herbie — Car #53Car Info: Pearl white paint job with a red, white and blue racing stripe running from hood over the roof to trunk. White gumball racing number 53 on hood and doors. Volkswagen 117 Beetle type 1.

Engines varied from film to film. The original film The Love Bug used at least one Porsche Super 90 engine. Others had modified transporter engines

Details and Trivia

Herbie the Lovebug is Disney’s gift to the children of the 1970s. Based on the story “Car, Boy, Girl” (1961) by Gordon Buford, Herbie is a car that is alive and displays human emotions through his exterior parts including his windshield wipers.

About 50 of the original 100 or so Herbies are still around. From the original film The Love Bug, only four survive. Disney revisited Herbie many times:

  • The Love Bug (1968)
  • Herbie Rides Again (1974)
  • Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977)
  • Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)
  • The Love Bug (1997)
  • Herbie: Fully Loaded (2005)

Herbie got his name from Buddy Hackett. He reportedly gave Herbie the name from his comedy routine, Sorry I only date guys named Herbie. Herbie got his number from producer Bill Walsh. He gave him baseball player Don Drysdale’s number.

Similar to other memorable cars, Herbie has legions of followers with web sites, clubs and annual gatherings including one at Disney World.

Our first car to make our top ten list of the most epic cars in history is from the TV show Dukes of Hazzard.  When this show aired the Rebel Flag atop the roof offended very few. Jump ahead 20 years and the world is more sensitive to this image. The car and show made an impact. At #5 is the car, General Lee. Some claim he had a sister.

The General Lee

Driver: Bo & Luke Duke (John Schneider & Tom Wopat)
Make Model Year: Dodge Charger RT, 1969
Film/Show Year: Dukes of Hazzard: 1979-85

Why?: Like the show or not, there is no disputing this car’s recognition as the show made the car a character.

Using perhaps the most popular chase car in film history the 69 Dodge Charger; General Lee was branded with southern flare by imprinting a rebel flag across the entire roof and the words GENERAL LEE printed horizontally down on each roof edge.

Car Info: Dixie horn. Welded doors. Painted “Hemi Orange” racing number “01” painted on each door with the Confederate flag on the roof. Varied: 318, 383 and 440 Cubic Inch Magnum V-8 engines with Chrysler torqueflite A-727 transmission. Holley 650 Double Pumper and an Edelbrock Torker intake. It also had headers with 3″ exhausts.

Details and Trivia

In the 1980’s the stemming tide of political correctness had not yet hit the TV show Dukes of Hazzard. Subsequently, the Confederate flag on the General Lee had no controversy surrounding it. It was merely thought of as the rebel flag. Real trivia buffs of the show need look no further than Dukes Online.

Dukes of Hazzard

License plate: Georgia CNH 320

Inspired by the 1975 film Moonrunners, the General Lee was a car used by a family of bootleggers.

Dukes of Hazzard General Lee In ActionNever will you see a car airborne as much as you would on this TV show. It is estimated that over 300 cars were used in the show spanning 6 years that included approximately 146 episodes over 7 seasons. From the show’s inception, three General Lee’s were used per episode. The show ended with 17 General Lee’s which each received a certificate of authenticity.

In 2007 actor John Schneider (Bo Duke of “Dukes of Hazzard”) sold his own personal General Lee 69 Charger on Ebay. He even had the car customized with a 725 HEMI enabling the car to reach speeds of over 200 mph. The winning bid, 9.9 million. Sadly the winning bidder defaulted.

The show still runs in syndication and there is an annual Dukes Fest in Nashville Tennessee where anywhere from 100 to 200 replica General Lee’s arrive to party southern style.

Duke FestDukesfest started humbly in 1998 after years of Dukes of Hazzard conventions where fans were ready to take homage to the next level. Dukes Fest’s are complete with chases and jumps along with other replica cars from the TV show. Need a your own General Lee? Hit the auction block.

#4 Best All Time Movie Car — Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

#4 – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

The Real Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Driver: Caractacus Potts
Make Model Year: Paragon Panther, 1921
Film/Show Year: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: 1968

Why?: The kid in all of us wished we had a car that lived, let alone flew. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was the first story of a car for kids, and for that reason, the kid in all of us has taken her with us into adulthood. We pass on the story to our children as a rite of passage. Plus it has a great ‘memorable’ theme song to boot.

Car Info: Built in 1967, CCBB is 17.5 feet long. Hood (Bonnet) Polished aluminum. Constructed in Buckinghamshire. The boat deck is handcrafted red & white cedar.  Alloy dashboard plate re-engineered from a British RAF fighter plane. Ford 3 Liter V-6. Auto transmission!

Details and Trivia

Before the story and film, there was an actual Chitty Chitty Bang Bang built in 1921 by a racing enthusiast Prince Zborowski.

He built three cars and called them all Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. They all reached top speeds of over 100 miles per hour. The first featured a 23-liter six-cylinder Maybach Gotha Bomber engine obtained from the WWI Disposals Board and shoehorned into a pre-1914 chain-drive Mercedes chassis, which had to be lengthened to accommodate it.

The original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang owned by Prince ZborowskiThe prince died in 1924 at the young age of 29 in a race wearing keepsake cufflinks that his own father wore in a race he too died in. His legacy through his cars lived on.

The original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang owned by Prince ZborowskiWhile the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang doesn’t make direct reference to the Prince’s cars, it’s safe to assume when the family brings home Chitty, it’s the same car since the era of design matches up. More on the car here.

The film version utilizes a modern era Ford engine along with other vastly different parts to create. In fact, the fine four fendered friend in this film took 7 months to build. Because the film’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was not designed to be an exact replica of the originals, we do not reference the Prince’s vehicle information above.

It has a theme song. What kid hasn’t grown up to remember at least one line from its theme song?

“Our fine four fendered friend!”

It can fly (retractable wings). It can take to the water (inflatable pontoons). It’s alive! Ford 3000 V6 Engine (with automatic transmission) Built-in 1967 and actually has registered plate: GEN 11.

Gen 11So few know this, but none other than the great Ian Fleming (creator of James Bond) wrote this Hollywood family musical as a children’s novel named “The Magical Car.” The license plate was Fleming’s work too. GEN 11 meant to read: Genii (genie) as in the car was a magical being. However, UK vehicle laws in the United Kingdom prevented such a plate and GEN 11 was substituted.

This is a legitimately registered plate. Only the CCBB with the legitimate street plate bearing GEN 11 was a working vehicle. All the others were built as non-driving doubles for effects. The movie original has made the rounds in ownership. Auctions and owners all have the best intentions. Of course, replicas abound with equal loving care.

The second Chitty in filming was an unregistered stand-in and did have cosmetic license plate copies of GEN 11. The original survived by owner Pierre Picton and is the drivable Chitty from the film. He came about owning the car after having been a part of filming. Picton was responsible for the care and maintenance of the car during this time and later took ownership of the car permanently. It tours England and can be hired for appearances in the U.K. It drives on unleaded gas.

The film was produced by Flemings’ same producer of his Bond films, Albert Broccoli. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang was designed with detail in mind and weighed two tons! The children’s story is meant to be a continuation of that car’s fate as it is found rusting and in need of new life.

The mystical features of Chitty Chitty Bang BangBetween four to six Chitty Chitty Bang Bangs were used in filming, two which drove. Four to six is relative depending on if you consider a prop Chitty such as the floating Chitty a car at all.

  • Old Chitty, in need of repair, when Caractacus Potts brought it home
  • Race Car Chitty crashed
  • Hovercraft Chitty, Engine removed for jig suspension filming – later re-installed
  • Floating Chitty
  • Two drivable Chitty’s

The Hovercraft version and the second drivable Chitty survive in Keswick England in a car museum which was sold by Picton at auction in 1980. The original survives to this day in England. It is fully operational. Want loads of CCBB photos to reminisce? Try this Pinterest board.

#3 Best All Time Movie Car — The Original TV Batmobile

It had to be here. The Batmobile. Very near the top, The original TV Batmobile is #3.

The original Batmobile from concept to carDriver: Batman! (Adam West)
Make Model YearLincoln Futura, 1955
Film/Show Year: “Batman”: (196668)

Why?: Despite the campy TV show, the car was taken seriously with its imposing friendly demonic presence.

Car Info: Atomic turbine engine (Actually a V8 with 330 hp) smoke screen, nail spreader, battering ram, lasers, rockets, batphone, radar, rear camera, computer (big deal for 1966) police beacon.

Single post jack handy for raising the car and completing a 180 degree (bat) turn reversing direction without the use of wheels. Bubble canopy.

Details and Trivia

The actual Ford Lincoln Futura was an abandoned concept car with a V8 engine, a futuristic design that included a bubble canopy and fins. George Barras bought the Futura from Ford for $1.00!

BMThree Batmobile replicas were built, but only the original appeared on the show.
Just by looking at the Ford Futura you’d know that not a lot of bodywork was needed to convert it into the Batmobile. The plexiglass bubble windshield required no aftermarket fabrication. Of course, this was no stock car. It was classic either! The show is!

Ford Future Concept for BatmobileThe fact is the Ford Futura was a concept car that Ford had paid $250,000.00 to build. The design came out of Ford’s Dearborn Michigan location, but it was fabricated by hand in Turin Italy by Ghia Body Works. The Futura was a rare prototype that actually drove. Most concept cars couldn’t actually propel themselves.

The Batmobile was designed by now legendary Hollywood custom car designer George Barris. Barris took Ford’s abandoned concept car and turned it into an icon.

Real Barris 66 BatmobileWhile Barris has taken credit for other car designs and been in some legal trouble for doing so, this one he can indeed claim as his own design. In fact, Barris bought the concept car designed by Ford for only $1.00.

Later when the producers of Batman came to Barris for a car, he had the car in hand to work from. This was important because the producers gave him weeks to produce a car, and his Ford Lincoln Futura made that deadline possible. If you look behind the front wheel quarter panel in any profile photos of the Batmobile you see there is an affixed Barris design crest.

BatmobileThe Batmobile of the 1960’s era has survived the test of time. More recognizable than any other Batmobile used in film or print, this Batmobile is considered by many as the Batmobile.

In 1973 Adam West (Batman) took the Batmobile out on its own publicity tour.
So popular is the original Batmobile that Mattel’s Hot Wheels brand has released the Batmobile over and over throughout the years. Over seven different die-cast versions from scale to detail have been released since the year 2000.

#2 Best All Time Movie Car — The Time Travelling Delorean

There is no doubt the time-traveling Delorean is one of the most icon cars ever on film. Should it be number one? Many may argue it should be number one. The truth is it should be #2. The Delorean DMC-12 is a car that was innovative and cool before it made it to the movies.

DeloreansDriver: Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd)
Make Model Year: Delorean, DMC -12 – 1981
Film/Show Year: Back to the Future: (1985)

Car Info: Named after company owner John Delorean. Gullwing doors. Stainless steel finish. The retractable window within window design. Rear engine front-wheel drive 170 hp (EU) 130 hp (US) 2.8 liter V-6 PRV (Peugeot-Renault-Volvo). Top speed 140 mph.

Details and Trivia

OUTATIMEThe Delorean from Back to the Future is undoubtedly the most recognizable and memorable car in film history, edged out only by TV show car!

Thanks in part to the short-lived lifespan of Delorean motors, you cannot think of a Delorean in any other context than the film Back to the Future. In fact, seeing a Delorean without Doc Brown’s Flux Capacitor seems awkward and strange.

Delorean Back to the Future IIThe Delorean of Back to the Future boasted the ability to serve as both a car and a time machine by reaching a speed of 88 miles per hour. Of course, who can forget the required 1.21 gigawatts!

Doc Brown may have chosen the Delorean due to its unique stainless steel finish, but Italian car designer Giorgetto Giugiaro came up with the grade-304 brushed stainless steel design which theoretically would provide 25 years of life to the exterior. Did you know that the stainless steel is an exterior, not the body? The actual underbody is fiberglass.

Doc's DeloreanThe name DMC was not a tribute to the rap group RUN-DMC, but in fact, the name came from the projected cost of the car. Strange is it may be, the cost was not projected at $120,000 but a mere $12,000. In 1980 that was equal to buying a $25,000 car in the year 2010. The actual price was much higher, at $25,000.

Did you know there is a gold Delorean? There were two (24-Karat electroplated) prototypes which now both reside in the U.S., one of which is in the National Auto Museum in Nevada.

Doc & Marty and Delorean Time MachineThe earliest prototype was in fact completed in 1976. Deloreans were manufactured in Ireland. There is still a Delorean Motor Company based in Texas. You can buy new original parts, restore your Delorean and …you can both build or buy a certified pre-owned Delorean. They come in both 3 speed automatic and 5-speed manual transmission.
Now for the really sought after question and answer — How many were made? Between eight to nine thousand were manufactured.

Doc's RideApproximately six thousand in 1981 and an additional 2000 in the years 1982 and 1983. There were approximately 100 gold Deloreans planned but only 2 were built.

Sadly, due to John Delorean’s need for capital to fund his fledgling auto company, he attempted to orchestrate a drug deal to raise capital. The problem with his plan was that it was never real. He was set up by US Federal Agents, and after his arrest in 1982, his company took a nosedive.

John Delorean was exonerated on the basis of entrapment. Just like the license plate on the fabled Delorean in Back to the Future, John Delorean was out of time, the damage was done, and Delorean motors closed its doors.

#1 Best All Time Movie Car is from TV — Mach 5

Mach 5 - GoThe Mach 5 is #1!  What? You ask! Of all the films with iconic cars, the greatest car is on a TV show? The most iconic car ever isn’t even real? It’s animated? Yes. It’s true. Thankfully, many real replicas exist.

#1 Best All Time Movie Car is from TV — Mach 5Driver: Speed Racer (Go Mifune)
Make Model: Racer (Mifune) Motors, Mach 5
Film/Show Year: “Speed Racer”: (1967-68)

Car Info: Advanced prototype two-seater open formula racer. With 1400 lbs of torque the Mach 5 boasts an insane 5000 hp! Modern retcon has it 1700! Still nuts. Despite the wild specs, the car tops out in the show around 250 mph. Zero to sixty in .6 seconds. It features a V-12 with double overhead cams. All-wheel drive belt tires.

Bulletproof polymer cockpit. Tire shields. Zircon-tipped saw blades. Jump jacks.

Details and Trivia

Only two cars are faster and more powerful than the Mach 5. Those are the GRX and the Mammoth Car. Both were destroyed.

Of course, you can also read modern schematics. Those blueprints read the car is the Mark I Project: Mach Version: 5Mark 1 Version 5

Mach 5 Steering ClusterSteering column cluster activates 7 features A through G: Auto Jacks, Belts Tires, Cutter Blades, Deflector Cockpit Cover, Evening Eye Headlights, Frogger Mode, Go homing robot. H button is located between seats and is a homing device.

Mark 1 Version 5 Blueprints — The Mach 5

Mifune Motors logo


The Mach 5 was designed by Pops Racer under his company name Mifune Motors. IT’s often said the car’s name came from its driver’s name, Go, which in Japanese is also pronounced as the number 5 — yet, of course, has a different meaning. The literal translation to English is Mach Go.

Racer X (Rex Racer – Speed’s older brother) drove the Mach 1 which he accidentally crashed and destroyed leading him to leave home and secretly become the masked racer, a.k.a. Racer X. Racer X has an equally exotic car called the Shooting Star. Speed Racer does learn in the end that Racer X is his older brother Rex.

The Mach 5 by Mifune MotorsThe Mach 5 has been stolen from Speed, and he always gets it back. It’s also been copied and destroyed.

When the Mach 5 was conceived in its world of Japanese animation, it was considered imaginary. Yet child and adult alike knew that if such a car existed, it would be the one they’d love to drive. The Mach 5 was ahead of its time in 1968. It may still be ahead of its time in 2068.

While the body and design of the car have finally become a reality with replica cars in existence, we may never see a Mach 5 on the streets with retractable cutter blades or a deflector glass cockpit which allows the car to be submerged.

Here is a breakdown of the 7 feature active hub on the steering column:

Mach 5 Steering ClusterA – Auto Jack: Utilized more as jump jacks than for repairs.
B – Belt Tires: Instantly belts tires to grip any terrain.
C – Cutter Blades: Dual retractable rotary saws.
D – Deflector: Seals the cockpit, bulletproof, watertight, airtight.
E – Evening: aka Illuminating eye. Also assists Speed’s infrared vision helmet
F – Frogger Mode: Provides underwater assistance includes periscope.
G – Go Homing Robot: Bird-shaped robot flies home with recorded material.

For all its gadgets, no such car has as much versatility in celluloid. The Mach 5 is both a streetcar and a race car. It’s a muscle car and it’s exotic as well as geeky. The Mach 5 has something for everyone, which is why we believe it is the most memorable of all film or TV show cars.

Speed Racer under Mifune LogoSpeed Racer was created by Tatsuo Yoshida. In Japan, the show was called Mach Go Go Go and first aired April 2, 1967. There were 52 episodes of the original Speed Racer of which the last episode aired March 31, 1968.

Yoshida did not draw inspiration of the Mach 5 from anything, instead, he used his own imagination for something entirely unique in design. There were factors in the design such as keeping the lines to a minimum for ease in animation. Now life imitates art. If you want your own Mach 5, Mark Towle will turn a corvette into a  Mach 5 for you. Not good enough? How about a real Mach 5?

We hope you agree with our top 10 list. If you don’t, comment! See a mistake? Let us know. We’ll fix it!