17 Great Pop Culture Cars
KITT, 'Knight Rider'
Let's see... it can talk back and, occasionally, help its driver score with the ladies. (And jump over canyons. And go up on two wheels. And drive itself. And eavesdrop on evil land barons.) And the Knight Industries Two Thousand even got a 21st-century movie makeover. My word, KITT, not too shabby.
Aston Martin DB5, Goldfinger
The Batmobile, Batman
Because it has ''atomic batteries'' and ''turbines.'' Because it has fire — FIRE! — shooting out of the rear. Because it's the sexiest superhero car ever.
The General Lee, The Dukes of Hazzard
We'll forgive ''that flag'' that's on the roof; nothing ever jumped over creeks and riverbeds and drifted around dirt roads like that crazy-orange Dodge Charger. Responsible for scores of people welding their doors shut.
Doc Brown's DeLorean, Back to the Future
It's the only car that lets you go back in time, so you can see it for the first time over and over again. Plus, those gull-wing doors are badass.
The Pussy Wagon, Kill Bill, Vol. 1
Ninjas and samurais are sweet, but it's hard to get a lot cooler than Uma stepping out of the Pussy Wagon to scratch Vivica A. Fox from her marked-for-death list.
Trans Am, Smokey and the Bandit
Later the car of Long Island gym rats reeking of cologne, the Trans Am turned Burt Reynolds into a redneck icon — equal parts A.J. Foyt and Billy Jack.
Ford Falcon Interceptor, The Road Warrior
The only bad thing about this car was that you couldn't buy it in the States — it was an Australia native. But we got to live vicariously as Max whipped it through the wastelands, supercharger wailing, and mutants tumbling in its wake.
Ecto 1, Ghostbusters
It looks like a hearse...which is good, since the Ghostbusters do all of their business with the dead. But it's got the best siren in the biz.
The Bluesmobile, The Blues Brothers
Why the Bluesmobile? Ask Elwood: ''It's got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas.'' In short, the perfect car for any mission from God.
B.A. Barracus' van, The A-Team
The laws of physics dictate that any automobile with a center of gravity as high as this van would tumble in every one of the car chases it was involved in. But Mr. T don't obey your laws, sucka, and neither does his whip. (Why it has a spoiler still mystifies me.)
Gran Torino, Starsky and Hutch
Pure American muscle, dressed up like an ice cream treat. Even if this ride did look a little silly, it did hustle these streetwise San Fran detectives to crime scenes in a hurry.
The Mach 5, Speed Racer
This cartoon's theme song kept repeating ''Go, Speed Racer'' — this is how he got there. Equipped with belt tires, rockets, killer headlights, rotary saws, a homing robot, and ''auto jacks.'' None of it factory standard, all of it awesome.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Dick Van Dyke and ''cool'' may go together as uneasily as meat and dairy in a kosher deli, but his flying jalopy is the alpha and omega of tricked-out wheels.
If the Devil had a car, it would be this cherry red 1958 Plymouth Fury, which is capable of both restoring itself to mint condition and rendering anyone who messes with her or her owner fit for the junk heap.
The Warthog, Halo
How better to ferry videogame marines into harm's way than with this open-air military utility vehicle? You could roll it, jump it, flip it, or crash it, and the Warthog was ready for more. (Even if the steering took a little getting used to.)
Wagon Queen Family Truckster, National Lampoon's Vacation
Yes, it's a station wagon. But the Family Truckster is also functional (strapping a dead aunt to the roof) and a chick magnet (hello, Ms. Brinkley).