Classic Eighties TV & Film Cars

Are you a fan of classic Eighties TV & film cars? Here at Vintage Photo Lab we definitely are. We love the sound of the engine, the smell of petrol and have a soft spot for the frankly questionable plot lines. Here’s our favourite five.


DeLorean Time Machine – Back to The Future

“You built a time machine, out of a DeLorean?” Yes Marty, the Professor did. I suspect this may be the best thing to do with the Delorean DMC-12 from 1982.

Built in East Belfast and famed for its ‘futuristic’ looks, its mechanical prowess left a lot to be desired. But hey, it came with gull wing doors which are clearly very cool and obviously this makes up for the lawn mower engine under the bonnet.

VPL Verdict: Defiantly go for the ‘Flux Capacitor’ upgrade. And some metal polish.


KITT – Knight Rider

A talking car with a strobing light on the hood, how cutting edge is that?

KITT, a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am, Michael Knight’s [Hasselhoff] aid & moral compass. Knight, not shy to jump out of the car to randomly punch ‘baddies’. Also, not shy with the ladies in that very particular ‘80s TV way, he clearly needed a talking car to keep him in check.

However contrived the plot, this was essential viewing at home when I was younger.

VPL Verdict: Switch on the air-con! A black car full of electronics, driving around in the California sun; it’s going to get sweaty in there.


Reliant Regal Supervan – Only Fools & Horses

There is something uniquely British about the Trotter’s Supervan built in 1962. I’m not sure any other country would mass produce & drive this tiny three wheeled plastic death trap.

My Grandad had a Reliant Regal as well, ironically referred to as the ‘Plastic Jag’. To have a lift in it felt like taking a ride on a roller coaster mixed with a ghost train mixed with a suicide mission!

VPL Verdict: For God’s sake drive slowly round the corners, and don’t make any sudden movement. Better still just walk.


ECTO-1 – Ghostbusters

“If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, who you gonna call?” The plumber? No, clearly, you’re going to be calling the Ghostbusters. And with any luck they’ll turn up in ECTO-1, a converted Cadillac ambulance from 1959.

A thoughtful conversion with enough space for four Ghostbusters, plus room for Proton Packs, Ecto Goggles & PKE Meters.

I loved this film, and the car. I’m still saving up to buy one.

VPL Verdict: This car is awesome. Stylist, practical, and my children would not at all be embarrassed if it was used on the school run.


The General Lee – The Dukes of Hazard

Apparently, they’re ‘Just good old boys, never meaning no harm’. In that case lets gently brush over the questionable political connotations generated by having the Confederate flag plastered on the car’s roof.

The General Lee, a 1969 Dodge Charger owned and driven by those cheeky scoundrels Bo & Luke Duke. They were famed for their ability to drive the car over creeks and through the air, then land without a scratch or dent. Only 325 Chargers were trashed during the shows five-year run.

Like Knight Rider, this was essential viewing, and I think I learnt my driving style from the Dukes.

VPL Verdict: Shame cars these days don’t come with the Dixie horn option.


Watch Out for The Speed Bumps

Without giving away my age, I had my first car at the end of the Eighties, a gorgeous red Mini Clubman Estate. Driven in the only way a teenager could. I have some ‘very cool’ photos of me behind the wheel with frankly questionable hair.

What was your first car? Do you have a photo of it stuck in the shoebox somewhere in the loft? Why not send us a couple and we’ll scan them for free, we’ll even scan your dodgy hair styles.


Keep on motoring.

Vintage Photo Lab