Since we can not all own the Batmobile, the average bloke – the average bloke with pockets full of money, that is – can only drool over the production-run vehicles that catch our eye in the so-called Silver Screen.
But, frankly, who want’s the Batmobile, anyway? The original TV-series Batmobile was a customized 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura concept car, that had comically flared fins in the back, bubble-shaped dual windshields and a fortress-like front end. Its styling was both Americana kitch and cool and it was 100 percent American – not bad for a laugh or two, but not very useful for an elegant Sunday drive.
If you like European styling, the Silver Screen offers a look at a sweet parade of Mercedes Benz models that can instantly make a movie scene. Here are a few of my favorites:
The 1990 Model Year 420 SEL in Sin City
The shot of Mickey Rourke playing Marv in the 2005 film noir Sin City approaching the black 1990 model 420 SEL [W126] in the shimmering night in an nearly empty parking lot says it all. The scene is replete with dark undertones and the car looks magical – a rescue vehicle with over-the-top styling. Marve even has a great line at this point: “Modern cars – they all look like electric shavers,” he says, in a left handed compliment to his stylish ride for the evening.
The 1969 280 SE Convertible in Bridget Jones’ Diary
Talk about flash when you need it. In this 2001 film, staring Hugh Grant and Renee Zellweger, the couple, who have an on-again, off-again romance in the film, take off in this silver-blue Mercedes with the top down. Of course, why have a convertible otherwise, but this car simply steals the scene. Like an actress that looks shorter in real life, this car looks longer on the screen, as it purrs down the road.
The Gelandewagon in The Bourne Supremacy
Anyone who has seen the first Bourne films starring Matt Daimon knows that the car chase scenes all have vivid, shocking, even profound impacts on the movies. In The Bourne Supremacy features a car chase that includes a rocking Mercedes G-wagen tearing through Moscow at hellbent speeds before the conclusion, which involves a crunching crash in an underground tunnel.
The 1986 560 SEL in Die Hard: With a Vengence
Speaking of car chases, this film’s chase scene, including Samuel L. Jackson behind the wheel of a Mercedes, may hold the record for the highest jump ever obtained by a luxury car.
This chase includes some airborne shots that take your breath away. Not so good for the suspension, but that’s car suspension, not plot suspension, we’re talking about.
The 1959 220 SE Cabriolet in North By Northwest
This 1959 Alfred Hitchcock classic has Carey Grant behind the wheel in a car chase with police along a windy mountain road. “The 25 Coolest Movie Mercedes Benzes” by Janaki Jitchotvisut rates this elegant Mercedes Benz at No. 8 on the list, noting that Hitchcock outfitted the car with a special bumper to protect it during the shoot. Extra Mercedes parts were not in the budget, apparently.
But, flat out, this is one of the most elegant cars ever built. Such a beauty, Hitchcock was right to make sure it was unharmed during filming.
The 1972 600 LWB Limousine in The Red Baron
Since we mentioned Batman, we would be remiss to mention the flashy, blood-red, very hot Mercedes luxury car (this is a luxury brand’s luxury car) that was driven by the flashy Uma Thurman, who played the villainous Poison Ivy in the 1997 film.
Of note: The car was, you might say, wearing makeup, as it was the only one of is color ever made. It was special ordered by Peanuts artist and creator Charles Shulz specifically for a trip around Germany.
So noteworthy is this vehicle, that the Web site says it has included Elvis Presley, Jack Nicholson and Bill Cosby as three of its famous riders at various off-camera occasions.
The 1969 280 SE Convertible in The Hangover
Speaking of Mercedes parts – sometimes, it can’t be helped, art is destructive. In this 2009 comedy of errors there were five customized cars made, three of which did not survive the filming, while two others did.
Yes, it is sometimes comedic to have a great car scratched, dinged, or even wrecked – all for the sake of the story line, of course. Still, notes Jitchotvisut, anyone who appreciates automotive beauty would be cringing watching a car of this stature banged up this badly.
Customize Your Own With Various Mercedes Parts
Not everyone is Bruce Wayne, sadly, and simply cannot manufacture their own personal Batmobile. However, fans of these silver screen automobiles can certainly obtain their own slice of personal cool-car-heaven if they are willing to put in the time and money. There are countless Mercedes parts to upgrade from suspension and body parts, to ones that improve the overall engine performance. Those determined enough can tune and outfit a standard, off-the-line Mercedes Benz vehicle to match or be similar to the exact one that they fancy in the movies.