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Custom Cars: From the Streets to Hollywood Sets

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Car culture has made it possible to capture snapshots of specific time periods. It is easy to look at a car and determine what year it was made based on its design and style. This attention to detail has extended to how car enthusiasts view their own vehicles.

They have become more caring towards these machines. Now you’ll find specialized services, such as windshield repair, available throughout the country, from Ogden, Utah to Richmond, Connecticut. But there is a decades-old practice in car culture that has made it onto Hollywood sets. This is the ever-popular custom car.

The Need for Speed: How Racing Created Custom Cars

Custom cars have become so iconic that they have become stars in their own right. But did you know they got their start on the streets?

In the 1920s, teenagers were taking their cars to the streets to race with each other. Many took to customizing their cars for better aerodynamics and speed. This practice became so popular that automotive brands started looking at custom cars to get ideas for new models. Soon, these cars were being featured in magazines that were readily available for the general public to read. It didn’t take long before Hollywood took notice.

Moving from the Streets to the Sets

car parked on the streetEver since they entered the scene, custom cars have consistently been used in movies and TV shows. Set designers and prop departments started customizing cars to make them more noticeable.  Although their beauty is subjective, it’s hard to ignore the impact of an iconic design.

Aston Martin DB5

In 1964, the Aston Martin DB5 was featured in the James Bond movie, Goldfinger. With movie magic, the car was transformed to have the innovations meant to help the international spy. From smoke screens to an ejector seat and a machine gun, the coupe offered Bond more than transportation. It became a valuable tool in fighting off villainous henchmen.  It made such an impact that an Aston Martin became the staple for the long-standing film series.

Lincoln Futura

Although there have been several iterations of the Batmobile, it was the model featured in the Batman TV series that became famous. It was made to look like the Lincoln Futura, a concept car made to show off the brand’s design capabilities. An auto stylist was hired to transform it into a vehicle fit for the Dark Knight. The result was so iconic that it remains a fan favorite.

DeLorean DMC-12

Upon its initial release, the DeLorean DMC-12 failed to impress the public. The sales were so bad that the company fell into hard financial times. But a couple of years later, the car made headlines.

In the Back to the Future trilogy, the DeLorean DMC-12 plays a central role in the storyline. Doc Brown, the genius scientist in the franchise, modified the car to run on garbage. More importantly, he transformed it into a working time machine. The movies were a hit and the car became a collector’s item.

Next time you’re looking at a car, think of all the ways it can be customized for the screen. Marvel at how its street racing past has brought it international fame.

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