Celebrating our Black Friday car parts sale with some iconic Black Cars
We know it’s the time of year when our friends in the US are getting together with family and friends to give thanks for all they have. It’s also the time of year for kicking down the doors of your favourite store at 4 in the morning and elbowing people in the face to save $50 on a TV you don’t need. At AutoShack.com, you can keep the elbows down, all our great deals are available online. In honour of our first ever sale on Black Friday car parts, we’re looking at some of the most iconic black cars, and the modifications that went into them.
Mad Max Pursuit Special – 1973 Ford Falcon GT
One of the earliest iconic black cars was the Pursuit Special from the Mad Max Series. The car was based on the Australian exclusive Ford Falcon. The base model featured a 300 hp V8 under the hood, and would mostly be modified aesthetically with fibreglass work. Other than extensive bodywork, the cars exhaust system was also replaced with glass packs and zoomie pipes (taken from vans). In the movie very little of this can be heard, so it seems like an odd choice for modifications. The car’s headlights were also changed, taken from the XC model of Ford Falcon rather than the stock GT.
Smokey & The Bandit Firebird Trans Am – 1977 Pontiac Trans Am
The only modifications done to this car was a massive engine swap for the classic bridge jumping scene. That’s right, in 1977/78 iconic black cars like this were available off the lot as-is. The cars came powered by either a Pontiac 400 with a 4 speed manual transmission, or an Oldsmobile 403 with an automatic transmission. In order to jump the bridge, Hal Needham (director/writer) was quoted saying “Send me up a 750 hp engine and a stick trans.” as the only modifications done to any Trans-Am for the film.
KITT – 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am
It’s unfortunate that Pontiac is a now an extinct company, as they made some of the most iconic black cars of all. KITT was unique in that the entire character in the series “Knight Rider” was embodied in a car, rather than a person. The car was said to have a 0-60 time of 0.2 seconds, and a fuel economy of 200 mpg. It also featured a wide assortment of gadgets and gizmos like computer controlled AI, turbo boosters, oil slicks, flamethrowers and ejection seats. The real Trans-Am featured a 5 litre V8, producing 145 hp. As with the pursuit special, most modifications were aesthetic (unfortunately, this also goes for KITT’s ability to dispense money) Restored versions of KITT are not road legal in the united states, as they do not meet emission standards.
A-Team Van – 1983 GMC Vandura
The A-Team Van is one of the most recognizable black cars, but the fact is it’s neither black or a car. A common error, the area above the red paint on the van is actually grey. The stock 170-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 was upgraded with a high-volume intake manifold, and an advanced fuel-injection system. It has free-flowing exhausts, and a fire-resistant 15-gallon racing fuel tank. The estimated fuel mileage of the A-Team van is below 10 mpg. An interesting note, the production team wanted to phase out the GMC logo, by the end of the series the logo from the van had all been removed. This resulted in GMC dropping the sponsorship of the show.
Black cars aren’t just customized for appearance on screen. Since the 30’s, the United States government has commissioned vehicles for use by the President. The Presidential limo, dubbed “Limo One” (in reference to the presidents jet, Air Force One) is estimated to cost roughly one million dollars. The limo is heavily armoured, and features state-of-the-art communications, run flat tires, sealing options for defence against biochemical attacks, its own oxygen supply, and a blood bank featuring storage of the President’s blood type. The limo is flown internationally for use by the President, where the Presidential flags on the hood are changed to match its location’s flag.
First Popular Production Line Vehicle – Ford Model T
The timeless quote “you can have any colour you like, as long as it’s black” may never have actually been said by Henry Ford, but it hasn’t stopped the Model T from being one of the first truly iconic black cars. The car was produced from 1908 to 1927. From 1908 to 1913, the car was not actually available in black. The Model T featured a 3-speed manual transmission (technically a 2 speed, as one was reverse) By today’s standards of hypercars and off-road trucks, The Model T is nothing amazing. 100 years ago, the Model T meant that something that was previously unobtainable to the common man was suddenly a realistic option. The breakthroughs in assembly line production would go on to allow us to purchase whatever cars we please, from a simple Toyota to a McLaren.
These black cars have, in their respective times, changed the way we look at vehicles. There is one black car that stretches multiple generations, exceeds in both performance AND utility, and has inspired people, young and old alike, to take a second look at the cars around them.
The Batmobile – Various Incarnations
Whether it’s the 60’s camp of Adam West, or the modern growl of Christian Bale, everyone has a Batman they are familiar with, and as a result a Batmobile. The car has been depicted in several ways, from a speed machine to a modern tank on wheels. However, a little known fact about the Batmobile is that in it’s debut, it was no more than a red convertible.
The first live-action Batmobile was based on a 1955 prototype Lincoln Futura, with a Ford V8 engine under the hood. The car was a one-off, and was modified aesthetically to serve as the vehicle used by Adam West and Burt Ward. The modifications were done entirely by hand and were reported to cost $250,000 in total. In 2012, the Batmobile was sold at auction for 4.2 Million dollars.
The most recent live incarnation, named “The Tumbler” is featured in the “Dark Knight” trilogy. This Black Car model features a 5.7 litre, 450 hp Chevrolet engine capable of speeds over 100 mph. There were various versions built, some to emphasize the interior while others were made for jumping or driving scenes. Unlike other black cars featured on this list, it wasn’t based on any production model.
Of the two black cars featured in the trilogy, the Batmobile stands out. There is an interesting bit of trivia with another black car, the Lamborghini Murciélago. This car is driven by Batman when not in costume. Murciélago means “bat” in Spanish.
Black cars seem to ignite our senses and inspire us with wonder and amazement more than any other colour. While some think of a classic red convertible or racing green sports coupe, black cars have proven time and time again to be the go-to when a car simply needs to be cool.
AutoShack.com has just the parts you need to turn your Camry into a Batmobile. Ok, maybe we don’t have afterburners or advanced weapon systems, but we have the parts you need to make your ride just as cool as these other black cars.
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