10 Iconic Movie Prop Cars and Motorcycles of Film & Television

Some of the biggest stars of movies and TV have been vehicles that became legends. But they rarely went on to have much of a career outside of their first franchise. Too typecast, I guess. Whatever happened to those unique vehicles? You know, like the Ford Falcon that Mad Max drove in his first two films?

The story behind the car is a testament to the ingenuity of the Mad Max props department. The first movie was shot with a total budget of $350,000, with only $25,000 allocated for vehicles and other props. Original plans of high-tech, futuristic machine were scrapped due to budget constraints, and Max’s car went from being a souped-up Mustang to a 1973 Ford Falcon XB GT coupe bought at a car auction. The Falcon got a makeover that included salvaged parts from other cars and a paint job (it was originally white). But when filming wrapped on the original movie, no one wanted it.

After failing to sell at auction for $7,500, Mad Max’s Ford Falcon was given to a mechanic in lieu of pay. The studio later bought the car back for the sequel, adding fuel tanks and and appropriately road-worn appearance. It survived the second film (although a duplicate was blown up), and again failed to sell at auction. Finally bought and restored, the fabled Falcon had amazingly survived Hollywood and remained a functioning – albeit dented – vehicle whose new owner eventually sold it to the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in the UK; in 2011, it went to the Miami Auto Museum in Florida.

That’s just the beginning. Read the stories of the vehicles used in the movies Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Smokey and the Bandit, Ghostbusters, and more at Urban Ghosts.

(Image credit: Flickr user The Conmunity - Pop Culture Geek)

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