It is well known that the value of a car can be significantly influenced by its history. Some cars are expensive due to its branding, while others gain value from being featured in hit movies, and some are one-of-a-kind specials that collectors can’t wait to get their hands on. For example, if a vehicle was once featured in a well-known movie, the price of that vehicle would typically be higher than normal, likely due to its unique changes made by that specific film. Cars used in movies are often as important to the story as the characters themselves. Viewers become attached to the epic vehicles used in chase sequences, love stories, or cheeky getaways.
Arguably, the most famous car in movie history is the Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me, and it has a while history to it (according to Autoweek). Back in 1989, a couple in New York paid roughly $100 for a storage unit without knowing what was inside. The couple soon found out what was inside — and it was big. It was not just a 1976 Lotus Esprit, but THE 1976 Lotus Esprit used in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me as a submarine. After getting the Lotus Esprit authenticated by the original builders, the couple put it up for auction in 2013. It was sold to an unnamed buyer for $997,000. Later on, it was discovered that buyer was Elon Musk.
No wonder this car landed pretty high up on our coolest cars list. This story goes to show not only did the car sell for a high price based on its unique submarine features, but also for the fact that it was used in a James Bond movie. In light of this, let’s dive into other ultra-rare cars and check out the most expensive cars seen in movies.
6/6 Aston Martin DB5: Goldfinger — $4.6M
Used in the 1965 James Bond Goldfinger film, it’s no wonder this car went for millions, ranking as potentially the highest-selling car in all of James Bonds’ cars. Although it’s not the sleekest car in history, its striking beauty sold for a cool $4.6 million. Only two were made for the film: one was stolen, assumed to be gone forever, while the other now sits on display at Harry Yeaggy’s private museum. Ranking as the coolest car of all James Bonds’ rides, the Aston Martin DB5 is truly one of a kind.
5/6 Batmobile: Batman — $4.62M
Did you think the Batmobile wouldn’t be on this list? While not the most expensive car on this list to date, it is still a treasured vehicle among the Batman franchise. Often appearing on many “best Batmobile” lists, this car combines a unique look with a striking background. Although it has now become the “Batmobile,” this wild car used to go by a different name. Initially, it was titled the “1955 Lincoln Futura concept car” and was actually available in a variety of colors. Later on, after being Bruce Wayne’s car, it was later sold for $4.62 million.
4/6 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta: The Love Bug — $6.71M
It’s difficult to think of The Love Bug without consequently thinking of the remarkable Volkswagen Bug highlighted in the film. However, the film incorporated a large number of great cars. For example, the 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta that made it to our list. Herbie could have become the overwhelming focus, yet there were different gems, like this Ferrari, that garnered some attention in the film. At any given point, only nine were ever produced. Yes, the vehicle didn’t get a ton of screen time, but it was purchased for $6.71 million in Monterey, California in 2012.
3/6 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe: Redline 7000 — $7.25M
Our third most expensive car turned out to be a Steve McQueen car. The 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe appeared in the 1965 movie, Redline 7000, gaining a ton of popularity with car lovers. At the time, one of its biggest appeals was that it was the only American race car to outperform a Ferrari. The car was sold at an auction in Monterey for $7.25 million.
2/6 1968 Ford Gulf GT40: Le Mans — $11M
This iconic car in a movie was another Steve McQueen car. The 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf is truly a sight to behold. Driven by the actor during the film Le Mans in 1971, this race car was only given a few minutes in the movie. Despite it’s very short screen time, the vehicle captured the hearts of car enthusiasts. Before the film was released, this car was an actual race car that participated at the 1968 Le Mans Endurance Race in Daytona. All these things contributed to its steep $11 million price tag, making it the second-highest selling American car in history.
1/6 1970 Porsche 917K: Le Mans — $14M
The most expensive car on our list is another Le Mans featured car. Le Mans truly invested in the cars they used throughout the movie. Several of its racing cars became some of the most expensive cars ever sold in America, attesting to their true eye for car beauty and rarity. To make a case for this price tag, this was the poster car for the film, and it was driven by Steve McQueen nonetheless. For over 25 years after Le Mans was released, the vehicle in question actually disappeared. Eventually, it resurfaced, and was sold for $14 million at an auction, making it the most expensive American car to ever be auctioned in history.