There have been times in the history of films and television, where eye-catching rides have been transformed by loading them up with fancy gadgets and technological innovations. We pay tribute to these gizmo heavy rides from the world of film and television.
The third 007 movie starring Sir Sean Connery as the legendary James Bond, and the first in the series to introduce the now signature Bond gadgets, Goldfinger will always be remembered for that iconic Aston Martin DB5. The ’63 DB5 featured a variety of (then) never seen before contraptions including a revolving license plate, an oil dispenser to throw off chasing vehicles, a smokescreen, and an ejector seat.
The Spy Who Loved Me (1977):
This Bond film saw Roger More take over from Connery and the Lotus Esprit S1 was his vehicle of choice. For this movie, the producers went with quality over quantity as regards gizmos, as the biggest draw for this car was its capability to transform into a full-fledged submarine, allowing Bond access to his nemesis’ underwater lair. The car’s weapon system was largely restricted to anti-aircraft missiles.
Knight Rider (1982):
Who can forget David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight in the television classic of the 80s? Hasselhoff teams up with an ‘82 Pontiac Trans Am called KITT (short for Knight Industries Two Thousand). And KITT is no walkover in the gadgets department either. Armed with special AI, KITT is able to converse, capture and process visuals (including X-Ray and infrared), and drive himself around at will. The Trans Am is also protected by a ‘molecular bonded shell’ that makes it almost indestructible and capable of withstanding numerous attacks from a variety of weaponry. KITT also has a turbojet and afterburners that make the car go insanely fast, coupled with a rocket booster system that propels the car into the air and over obstacles over short distances. KITT’s impressive array of weapons include a grappling hook and a wench, a flame thrower, a tear gas launcher, a flare gun, a laser and much, much more.
Cannonball Run II (1984):
The second edition of this hilarious race themed film features Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise. The films plot revolves around an illegal cross country sprint, and our focus is on Jackie Chan and Richard ‘Jaws’ Kiel’s Mitsubishi Starion. Chan and Kiel’s car is packed with surprises – a super computer with an adaptation of modern day GPS and video feedback from the rear of the car, hovering capabilities that allow the car to shoot up in the air to evade chasing cops, a jet engine that helps them outrun their opponents, and the possibility of transforming into a completely equipped submarine when underwater, the car even ejects debris and oil while in submarine mode to hoodwink the chasing pack into believing the car has sunk.
James Bond with an attitude, Vin Diesel plays the lead role in the action flick xXx and uses a specially modified purple ‘67 Pontiac GTO to get from place to place, and on some occasions, blow things up. Equipped with a veritable arsenal of heavy gauge weaponry, the GTO is equipped with twin rocket launchers, flame throwers, ejectable seats and roof, exploding hub caps, a sizeable arms and weapons cache and even a parachute.
Michael Bay’s 2007 blockbuster hit is synonymous with fast vehicles that turn into futuristic alien robots, and there’s no alien robot as popular as ‘Bumblebee.’ The bright yellow Camaro with black racing stripes is lead actor Shia LaBeouf’s constant companion, a relatively docile 2006 Camaro concept when in car form, and a full-fledged machine of destruction in robotic form.
Death Race (2008):
Sci-Fi action flick Death Race stars Jason Statham and shows a USA in disarray with financial upheaval. With privatised prisons to deal with the growing number of felons, one such prison’s warden decides to use the prisoners in a deadly, last man standing, gladiator style car race, called the ‘death race.’
Statham drives a ’06 Ford Mustang A80 called ‘Frankenstein’s Monster’ and a monster it is. Boasting of two 6-barrel machine guns, a Nitrous Oxide system, a 6-inch detachable steel plate, napalm bombs, oil slicks and a smokescreen, this car definitely packs a tech sustained punch.
All these cars have carved themselves a niche in popular culture, and are instantly recognised by petrolheads, film buffs and gadget freaks around the globe.
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