Since their creation, cars have grown to be a constant part of our lives, with some models becoming so iconic that they’ve transcended the industry. This is down to a variety of factors, ranging from design to media appearances. The vehicles that are a part of popular culture will always be remembered, and we’re listing four of the most famous.
Aston Martin DB5
Forever immortalised by the James Bond series, the Aston Martin DB5 is a combination of style and practicality. With a five-speed transmission, 282 bhp engine and sleek exterior, the DB5 was a perfect match for Bond. The car first appeared in 1964’s Goldfinger, becoming as famous as the character who drove it. The interior of the DB5 was as luxurious as the outside, featuring reclining seats, electric windows and wool carpets.
In addition to the Bond series, Aston Martin DB5s have appeared in other films such as Catch Me If You Can and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. The DB5 remains an exemplar of British engineering and a beloved vehicle around the world.
Volkswagen Camper Van
First created in 1950, the VW Type 2/Camper Van was designed as a cheap method of transportation. Little did Volkswagen know that they’d developed a vehicle that would be ingrained into pop culture. In the 1960s, the Camper Van became a symbol of the counterculture movement in America, growing to be associated with hippies.
This was personified by the flowery paint jobs and peace symbols splashed onto the side of the vehicle. The VW Camper also served as the inspiration for The Mystery Machine in Scooby Doo, passing over to a new generation.
‘Jam Sandwich’ Police Car
Perhaps the most recognised police car in the UK, the ‘jam sandwich’ earned its name from the fluorescent orange stripe painted across the side. The colour scheme was similar to jam placed between two slices of bread, mixing white and orange together. TV shows like The Sweeney and The Bill popularised the term, coming into common use during the 1970s. The name crossed over into other vehicles, though the jam sandwich police car remains the most famous.
VW had a knack for developing cars that could stand the test of time, with the Beetle being one of the most famous. Compact, practical and affordable, the Beetle was certainly an influential motor. Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, Beetle sales went through the roof, with production surpassing the Ford Model T. The record became official in 1972 when Beetle number 15,007,034 rolled off the production line.
The Beetle was further immortalised by the Herbie series, which featured a sentient car that took part in a series of whacky adventures.
By West Midlands Police [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons