Car Design in Film & TV

One of the things I notice most while watching movies and tv shows is film car design- the cars the characters drive. They say a lot about the time period and social class of the character, like Wayne’s AMC Pacer in Wayne’s World, the hot rods in American Graffiti, or James Bond’s fleet of flashy cars. They can also become a more intensive part of the production design of the film, like Batman’s evolving Batmobile.

Batmobile, Dark Knight (2008)

Greased Lightning, Grease (1978)

Claire’s Hearse, Six Feet Under (2001 – 2005)

Wayne’s AMC Pacer, Wayne’s World (1992)

Milner’s Coupe, American Graffiti (1973)

James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5, Goldfinger (1964)

Are there any cars from films that stand out in your mind? What is your dream car?

Alison Hickey

Posted by Alison Harmsworth

Alison Harmsworth is a set designer based in Toronto. Her credits include 'Schitt's Creek', 'Good Witch', 'A Christmas Horror Story', 'Remedy', and 'Spun Out'.

  1. The black Rolls Royce convertible with deep red interior that Tim Robbins drives home in at the end of “The Player”. Yowsa!


  2. One of my favorite cars in a film is Harold’s car in Harold and Maude. I’m sure that was part of the inspiration for Six Feet Under.


  3. I love all the Batman cars over the years. Each designer had their unique take. I know this is kind of stupid but Ive always wanted a black Porsche because of Beverly Hills 90210. That always symbolized wealth for me growing up. I’ll have made it if I own that car. It’s completely impractical for city driving in Toronto and certainly for my art department needs and I very likely will never be able to afford it but I still kind of want one. :/



  4. The Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me
    The De Lorean from Back to the Future


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