x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Top 5: Unsung but still desirable film and television cars

Motoring's five favourite lesser known vehicles from movies and TV

The Saint: Volvo P1800.
The Saint: Volvo P1800.

Le Mans: Porsche 911S

The 1971 film Le Mans is a car guy's movie; produced by and starring Steve McQueen, it features Porsche and Ferrari Le Mans racers roaring around the track. But the first few minutes of the film has McQueen, in a pensive, quiet state, driving the roads around Le Mans in a slate grey 1970 Porsche 911S. It was later shipped to Los Angeles for McQueen's personal use before he sold it. Last year, it sold at auction for a cool US$1.37 million, no doubt influenced by its provenance.

Vanishing Point: Dodge Challenger R/T

This 1971 film is a car chase classic: Kowalski, a down-and-out former racer, is on a mad dash to deliver a Challenger from Denver to San Francisco in 15 hours, instigating the wrath of police along the way. The long chase becomes a metaphor for Kowalski's disconnect from society. I won't give away the ending, but you won't be able to buy the original car, and buying another example won't be cheap: expect prices of more than Dh200,000.

The Saint: Volvo P1800

Could this possibly be the only time a Volvo was cool? The 1960s television programme starred a suave and pre-Bond Roger Moore and featured Volvo's sexiest car ever, the P1800 coupé. The show helped propel the car's appeal and the P1800 is one of those "good deals" for a classic today. They are renowned for reliability and performance (not to mention being extremely stylish) and you could probably find a really good example of the car for around Dh50,000.

Miami Vice: Ferrari Daytona replica

A Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona built between 1968 and 1973 is rare enough and prices would be astronomical. But why not a replica? It was good enough for Sonny Crockett on the stylish and brooding Miami Vice; at least for the first few seasons, before the show switched to a fake Testarossa. If you've already got an old Corvette, you can buy a body kit for around Dh55,000, about one 30th of what you'd pay for a real Daytona - if you can find one of those for sale.

Mad Max: Pursuit Special

In the Seventies - 1979 to be precise - when Mel Gibson was less crazy, he did a film called Mad Max, where he plays a cop in a vicious and bleak Australian future, out for vengeance after his family is murdered. Max hunts down thugs in a sinister, black Ford Falcon XB, complete with supercharger sticking out of the bonnet. The original car is in a museum in the US, but there are many companies -mainly in Australia - that make replica kits. You just need to find a 1973 Falcon. Good luck.