Most baby boomers had some sort of love affairs with the cars they saw on screen, from James Bond’s Aston Martin to the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car Batmobile, KITT the 1982 Firebird Trans Am from “Knight Rider,” “The 1968-70 Dodge Charger “General Lee” to “The Munstermobile,” and “Herbie the Love Bug,” not to mention the 1968 Ford Mustang GT and 1968 Dodge Charger R/T from Steve McQueen’s “Bullit,” etc. Yet Scott Hall, Executive Vice President of Swapalease.com has noticed that Hollywood has been putting less emphasis on vehicles in shows over the past 20 years, and wonders exactly how much that lack has influenced car sales among Millenials.
“Since the late 1990s, cars and trucks have been largely non-existent in popular TV shows and movies, with the exception of the “Fast and Furious” franchise,” he noted. “Yet during the 1970s and ‘80s, Hollywood went to great lengths to showcase iconic cars and trucks in popular TV shows and movies, including ‘Smokey and the Bandit’s’ Trans Am, ‘Magnum PI’s’ bright red Ferrari,” and even ‘The A-Team’s’ 1983 GMC Vandura van from the A-Team.’”
While some people suggest that the younger generation is “simply not as interested in cars as their parents and grandparents were, even evident in the fact that fewer teens seem to be as anxious to get their drivers’ licenses than ever before, and those that do are more interested in whether the vehicles have a lot of electronic features (such as Bluetooth and WiFi connections) than what’s under the hood,” others, such as Hall think that Detroit is missing out on a lot of possible sales by not working harder “to flex its muscle a little more and find ways to inject cars into more of today’s shows and movies. We’re not talking about paid product placements but more opportunities for cars to be written into the native script,” he stated.
Note: Burt Reynolds recently sold his restored 1977 Pontiac Trans Am at the Carlisle Auction in Pennsylvania April 23-24 for auction for $181,905. Reynolds purchased this Trans Am last year, which was restored by Trans Am restoration expert Harold Murphy of Murphy Auto Body and Restoration in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Last December, another one of his Trans Ams used only as a promotional vehicle from “Smokey and the Bandit” was sold by Jullien’s Auction in Las Vegas (as part of a vast collection of Reynolds’ memorabilia) for $450,000. According to the Julien’s the car, which has a 400-cubic-inch engine and automatic transmission, had been “expected to fetch only $60,000 to $80,000.”