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The most expensive movie cars sold at auction

From getaway cars in gangster flicks to adrenaline-fuelled racing cars looking for post-stardom retirement, since the dawn of cinema the motorcar has played a huge part in the making of a movie. The world of film has exploded in recent decades with lavish costumes, extravagant sets and realistic gadgets. Gone is the time of fake walls and plastic armour; escapism has never been so real. Therefore, real cars with real engines always make for the best props and ultimately need to find a home once the director’s yelled “cut!” The best-known cars are never scrapped; instead they’re often sold at auction to collectors, museums or fans for colossal amounts of money.

“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads” obviously didn’t apply to the buyer of The Delorean DMC-12 from Back to the Future. Seven were made for use throughout the trilogy, with only a trio of them surviving the process. One of them, now one of the most iconic vehicles to grace the Hollywood stage - and, indeed, to travel in time - fetched $541,000 at auction. All proceeds went to Michael J Fox’s (aka Marty McFly) Parkinson’s Foundation.

Few film franchises have featured more iconic cars than James Bond and it’s fair to say the car Bond drives is often as important as the baddie he pursues or the girl he saves. It’s also fair to say that a good few of them were destroyed in the making of the films, such as the bouncing DB9 in Casino Royale or the remote controlled bullet-magnet in Tomorrow Never Dies. However, many that survived are still enjoyed today. 50 years ago Sean Connery made his debut as 007 in Goldfinger and rocked up in his Aston Martin DB5, which was bought 40 years later for an incredible $4.1 million; not only one of the most expensive movie cars ever sold, but one of the most expensive movie props ever sold. Another of Bond’s favourites, the underwater Lotus Esprit which took him to new depths in 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me, was bought by a technology entrepreneur in London for £550,000.

Time-travel and ejector seats are one thing, but flying cars are something else. The GEN 11 - better known as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from the classic British musical of the same name - was sold at an auction recently for just over $805,000 having been well looked after by previous owners. Which is more than can be said for the several versions of the 1969 Dodge - aka General Lee - from 80’s TV favourite Dukes of Hazzard that did stunts Evil Knievel would be proud of. One survivor was sold in 2008 for $450,000, having been saved and restored by actor and owner John Shneider, aka Bo Duke.

One of the most recognisable film cars today is also relatively affordable for the average car buyer. One of seven of the original Herbies was up for £96,000 at auction in 2012 with few offers, but many replicas of the 1963 Volkswagon Beatle can still be seen on the roads, complete with the iconic number 53.


published: 24/10/2014 14:16:41

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