Depending on the film, a car can play a hugely important role on the silver screen, and this product placement can be hugely important to manufacturers if done right.
But alongside the ‘film cars’, companies often like to capitalise on this by creating special or limited edition versions of existing models, allowing customers to get their hands on a piece of film memorabilia, even if it may be a replica. Let’s take a look at some of the movie-inspired special editions sold over the years.
Disney and Pixar’s animated film Cars played a big part in the childhoods of plenty of young petrolheads, with one of the stars of the show from the film being Sally Carrera – an animated Porsche 911.
But working in collaboration with Pixar, Porsche has brought the film car to live, though just as a one-off. Called the 911 Sally Special, the firm developed a specific new Blue paint for it to match the film car, along with a bespoke set of alloy wheels and a fully bespoke interior. Porsche is auctioning off the car for charity later this week with RM Sotheby’s (August 20).
Perhaps the most famous film car of all time, the Aston Martin DB5 has become synonymous for its role in the James Bond movie franchise. First appearing in the 1964 hit Goldfinger, it’s since featured in six further films.
Aston Martin has continued to heavily support the franchise ever since with a range of cars, but it’s the DB5 that remains the most iconic. Almost 60 years after the sports car first debuted, in 2020 Aston Martin announced it would build 25 ‘Continuation’ models, each featuring a range of working gadgets just like the film car – including a rear smoke screen and simulated front machine guns. The catch? It cost £2.75m when new, and because of its modification, isn’t road legal.
One of the more unusual film-inspired special editions of recent years comes from Hyundai, which worked with the Marvel film franchise to create an Iron Man version of its Kona crossover. A very funky edition, it came painted in a stealthy matte grey and red finish in a nod to the Iron Man suit.
The changes don’t end there though, as it also came with a unique bonnet complete with the Marvel logo, bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels, while inside it came with leather seats with red stitching and special branding. Based on the top-spec Kona, it was also offered with a more powerful 174bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged engine. Just 300 came to the UK in 2019, with models holding their value impressively well.
Another truly iconic film car is the Ford Mustang used by Steve McQueen in the ‘60s movie Bullitt. In 2018 Ford decided to reignite the spirit by creating a new modern-day version of the Ford Mustang Bullitt.
Painted in a unique colour of Dark Highland Green like the original, the Bullitt also got a different exterior to other Mustang models and was introduced to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Warner Bros film hit. Costing just under £50,000 when new, the model proved so popular that Ford extended the production run into 2020.
Jeep Renegade Dawn of Justice Edition
Some film-inspired special editions are better than others, and one of the less convincing efforts in recent times has been the Jeep Renegade Dawn of Justice Edition. Launched in 2016 to coincide with the release of the Batman v Superman blockbuster, it wasn’t much more than a dark painted Jeep with some different badging.
Limited to 500 units, it came about through a partnership between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (Jeep’s owners at the time) and Warner Bros Studios, changes were confined to some different alloy wheels, gloss black accents and some ‘exclusive Dawn of Justice black cloth seats’.
Land Rover Defender 007 Edition
Land Rover is another firm that’s worked closely with the James Bond film franchise, particularly in more recent years. The latest 007 film No Time to Die stars the firm’s Defender, which was used in filming before the car had even been revealed.
To coincide with its world premiere, Land Rover created a ‘Bond Edition’. Limited to 300 units worldwide, and just 15 in the UK, it’s based on the mighty V8 Defender, and brings a full black styling package like the film cars, along with special treadplates and graphics. Costing from £110,000 when new, examples are now listed for sale for almost double that figure.
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