When I was younger I dreamt about driving the most powerful, weird and exciting vehicles featured on telly series and movies. One of my favourite was KITT, the 1982 black Pontiac Trans Am featured in ‘Knight Rider’. Installed with an artificially intelligent electronic computer module that vocally controlled most of the car’s functions, this futuristic vehicle also interacted with the main character, Michael Knight a.k.a. David Hasselhoff.
Another great protagonist of the silver-screen was the General Lee, the orange Dodge Charger driven by cousins Bo and Luke Duke in the series The Dukes of Hazzard. The car was famous for its high jumps, stunts and chases as well as for its shielded doors that made the Dukes climb in and out through the windows. It has been estimated that between 250 and 320 General Lees were used to film the whole series, on average more than one for episode.
What about the first Batmobile? A customised 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, created by Ford, fitted with a big block 385 FE V8 engine and featuring a wide range of bizarre gadgets, such as Bat Ray Projector, Bat Computer, Emergency Bat Turn Lever to make a 180 degrees turn and Cable Cutter Blade. Another classic is the Coyote X, a custom car based on the McLaren M6GT driven by ex-con race driver Mark “Skid” McCormick in Hardcastle and McCormick action drama. The vehicle used a Volkswagen Beetle chassis and the engine sourced from Porsche 914.
Who can forget the Ectomobile, or Ecto-1, a 1959 ambulance-converted Cadillac Miller-Meteor used in the film Ghostbuster? The car used to carry the characters and their ghost capturing equipment through the streets of New York and was packed with gadgets such as a powerful version of the proton pack to catch large entities. Talking of iconic vehicles, how not to mention the 1983 black and metallic grey GMC Vandura used by the A-Team. The van was characterised by a red stripe, red and black turbine mag wheels and roof-top spoiler, as well as a number of devices, like mini printing press, an audio surveillance recording device and Hannibal’s disguise kits.