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Nelly

The death of TV & movie cars...and the resulting decline of the petrolhead?

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This has been on my mind for a while and decided it was time to share and see what you guys all think.

The very reason I am on this forum typing this is because of a car in a film, a white Esprit, but being born in 1972 my childhood was full of films and TV programmes with cars, and more often than not I had the Corgi version to play with as a child.  On TV there was The Professionals, The Sweeney, Magnum PI, The Saint, The Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, Starsky and Hutch, Miami Vice and the big screen had numerous Bond films, Mad Max, Bullitt , The Italian Job, Vanishing Point and Smokey and the Bandit to name but a few..

Basically, there used to be numerous shows and films which had cars integral to them, and I count a lot of them as favourites.  I have an early Esprit as a result and there are a couple of other cars from the above list I would get if space and funds allowed, its not as though all of them were exotics - some were fairly hum drum and obtainable.

Why don't we see this anymore?  Is it un-PC (speeding and the environment), a bit old fashioned, or is it that there are no cars being built which are charismatic enough to pull off what the cars of the 70's and 80's did.?  Who wouldn't want to see an Evora, Elise, an Alfa 4C/Guilia or a Toyota GT86 tearing round as part of a TV cop show?  BTW I don't think the Evora in Emmerdale counts!

James Bond is keeping the Cinema car content ticking over, but even then the older Aston's seem to be taking more centre stage, particularly the DB5.   A few notable films such as Ronn pop up now and again but they are pretty rare.

I also read that teenagers have less interest in cars these days, and I think some of this is down to the lack of interesting/desirable mainstream cars and the fact you never see any in staring roles on TV and in films.   The only exception to this is the Fast & Furious series, which is not my thing but I think it sort of backs the above up in that the Jap cars and modifying scene are popular with younger drivers.

Super/hyper cars are always going to be lusted after but I believe that if the younger generation are not getting into cars like I did its because of a combination of not seeing them star in TV and films and the fact that there isn't much mainstream stuff you would want to see anyway,

Would be interested to hear anyone's thoughts and what they loved when growing up and why? 

Oh, and if a Mod is reading this please can they move it to the general forum?

 

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Very good point Neil. I hadn't really thought about it, but it is indeed getting rare to see interesting cars on TV-shows or in films. In general, there are very few interesting cars on the marker (IMHO). Apparently buyers nowadays are more interested in connectivity and other gadgets, not how a car looks let alone drives. So possibly less drive for manufacturers to get their cars on the screen, and harder for the writers to give a car an important role? I do think often some thought is put into which car(s) main characters drive. But with most modern offerings so bland and indistinctive, they don't get noticed like before. It's more about computer wizzes (every crime show now needs a computer guy or gal to figure stuff out, instead of a dedicated driver for the high speed chases). Could be because cars are considered not PC, could be there it's just easier/cheaper to play into the virtual scene. With special effects having to get bigger all the time and the pace getting faster, along with the unavoidable social issues that need airtime, where do you find the time for an elaborate driving scene? When I think of recent movies about cars, I'm mostly disappointed. Need for speed is the first one that comes to mind. All very flashy, but just didn't do it for me.

I'm sure it's part nostalgia, but I find there aren't many shows that really interest me these days. Then again, watching the old shows again they rarely live up to their expectations, although always (mostly) enjoyable and good for a few laughs. It's the same with cartoons. I have fond memories of watching shows like Transformers, Mask, Grendizer etc, and afterwards building the vehicles with Lego and reliving the adventures. Modern cartoons don't seem that tangeable to me. There not driven by the sale of toys (Hasbro), they're all computer generated and often linked to video games instead of physical toys. Even Lego has joined that wagon.

I also have to agree a lot of young people don't seem to be interested in cars like we were (in the old days 🙂 ). Can't really blame them either, looking at the 50 shades of grey euroboxes crowding the streets, and unobtainable (and often unusable) hypercars at the other end. There are those gems somewhere in between that are very worthwhile, like Lotus. Rare, unknown and often unloved, so not an obvious choice for the big screen.

Maybe we're just grumpy old bastards who don't get what todays generations wants. 😉

Filip

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I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Interesting. Maybe Pretty Woman signalled the end of an era..? 🤔

I think most young people these days will recognise cars from video games rather than films. I've no idea what cars are in Grand Theft Auto and the like but I'll bet those are amongst todays youths wish list. 

IMG_1251.JPG.452b21995488d3b068b8e6eab183dde5.JPG

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Not worth starting anything now...🍺

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9 hours ago, eeyoreish said:

I've no idea what cars are in Grand Theft Auto and the like but I'll bet those are amongst todays youths wish list. 

Using real car designs in video games requires licencing deals, and car manufacturers have a history of reluctance.  It's a shame - for me the polished Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge and Jaguar XJ220 games of the early nineties really captured my imagination  at a young age.

Apparently the onset of simulated damage (and with Grand Theft Auto, crime) in games really upset a lot of manufacturers.

Grand Theft Auto continues to use only made-up, fantasy car designs even today.  They often combine elements from real designs to look realistic, but are never real-world models or brands, so it seems unlikely players would come away with much interest.

Racing simulations tend to attract an exciting range of licensed real-world cars nowadays, but tend to a more grown-up audience.  It seems the Nissan Skyline and Toyota Supra experienced a resurgence after a strong presence in the hit Playstation series of Gran Turismo games in the noughties, but with a wide modern selection to choose from, classic cars aren't strongly featured in many titles.

maxresdefault.thumb.jpg.be1cf2c9e2bf896aa7526e7c41e91e9b.jpg

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I have to add to this topic my own experience. I have two boys, one 21 and one 19.

I own 2 cool oldtimers : a 1970 Opel GT ( yes a mini corvette) and a 1980 Lotus Esprit ( doesn't get any cooler lookwise)  and on top since one year I have a 2010 Triump street triple (so no fat lazy old daddy motorcycle)  but a really crazy light loud fast black hooliganbike.

But my 2 boys never ever look at them, don't ask me if I take them with one of the sportscars (I think they even prefer not to and take the normal car) and even worse they do not have a drivers licence yet. The oldest one started about 2 years ago, without any interest, and will may be do his test this year. The youngest hasn't even started his theoretical test. Petrol/cars/bikes is just not interesting anymore and I don't think it has anything to do with todays cars. To be honnest I find most new cars boring too, but we still have porshes,lotus,alpine,even Mx5 etc... and there is a choice of funny second hand cars.

On the other hand I have some neighbourhood boys, that were since young passionate by this crazy lotus in the street. Their dad did"n't want them to buy an old vehicle and work on it,because not safe, but they kept on pushing and disobeing dad. ( I may have something to do with that 😎 ) I tried to persuade them that may be an old lotus wasn't the most ideal starter to learn, so they got into toyota MR2 (second gen) and let me tell you, some years later they have about 5  MR2 in different state of restoration on the driveway. They do crazy stuff. They open the engines, put a turbo engine in NA car, learned how to weld, they are now working on a 6cyl lexus engine to transplant in one of the MR2. They used one of the MR2 to go on a European Rally as "technician" They learned so much. So there still is interest in cars and engines in the younger generation. But there are less of them around then my generation I guess.

Edited by gvy
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1 hour ago, gvy said:

But my 2 boys never ever look at them, don't ask me if I take them with one of the sportscars (I think they even prefer not to and take the normal car) and even worse they do not have a drivers licence yet. The oldest one started about 2 years ago, without any interest, and will may be do his test this year. The youngest hasn't even started his theoretical test. Petrol/cars/bikes is just not interesting anymore and I don't think it has anything to do with todays cars. 

I have 2 kids aged 27 & 25 and neither of them would want my cars. If I dropped down dead they would be on ebay before I was cold!

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Lotus Esprit [meaning] a 1:1 scale Airfix kit with a propensity to catch fire

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DB5 no competition 😁

Some interesting views and agree totally, I was born in 75 so like most my childhood car fantasies were all movie based, I loved the Lotus Esprit S1 but never really remembered the FYEO turbo probably as not a corgi or matchbox toy as I remember.

The A team was big and for me faces corvette was just gorgeous.

FDD0FAD8-B33A-473E-9717-B26DEBA3C0FA.jpeg.84ad72117592d65f4f24a9971d7a5866.jpeg

knight rider was a tea time favourite and the thought of a talking car....

09977093-9059-4295-9225-28350C6EE914.thumb.jpeg.faf183a58c53f1da063e31aabbb45be8.jpeg

Later night viewing was Miami vice, such style 

B0FF1687-DB4E-4D07-A1A2-61253BEAB5E2.jpeg.326b3055a22d4463d361b56d4ebce431.jpeg

Weekend afternoons were the cannonball run with that awesome countach

D2E719CF-1404-4B76-A97C-C46E322E3407.jpeg.21371d580df306f790337286dfb31152.jpeg

or my favourite film 04C3B1C9-8CC6-4EE6-8415-17EF2409A50A.jpeg.b0ce3a817a66e5b90b3a42f00bebe6e1.jpeg

Always had Mini’s in my life and absolutely love these little fun machines

My two wheel fix was street hawk 

A4059877-ED11-4993-BD39-93DB170E7B65.jpeg.c79e65615fcb14fc50859f05595cc94b.jpeg

My son is 17 and I’ve owned many cars from 911’s, 944 Turbos, Esprit’s, Astons and a couple Ferrari’s along with fast fords and naturally the mini. The only car he ever really liked was the JPS Esprit as we went everywhere in it and the DB7. When I asked him if I was to have any car what would you suggest and he said a BMW....never going to happen 🙄 or a new Range Rover which is ok I guess. I think that’s why I prefer working on classics than actually driving them as the sparks just not there like I had when young. I still remember that first drive in a black S2 Esprit  knowing one day I would have one (Addiction for life).
 

Dave :) 

 

 

 

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Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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@JayTwo that screenshot brings back so many memories! 😎

@Nelly if they come with all the gadgets, I'd have to chose KITT. The poster should include a Batmobile as well. 🙂


I have made many mistakes in my life. Buying a multiple Lotus is not one of them.

 

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Very well put Jacques 👍🏻👍🏻
I can really relate to this with teenagers and their friends who visit wanting to spend £250 for a T-Shirt only to see it thrown on the floor, within a couple months it’s a dust trap in the wardrobe, don’t even start me on trainers 🙄  

When I mention driving lessons they all have the same answer.....parents 🙄

Dave :) 

 

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Do or do not, there is no try! 

 

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All brilliant insights here, lads! To Paul's view on old car values, one with which I quite agree, a former workmate who was mad for Model A Fords found he very nearly had to gift it to a distant museum once he'd done with a very prolonged restoration as no one remained with much interest otherwise. Yes, those cars which had gotten under our skin during the impressionable years will later have their days in the sun but only for a time. Over here in N.A. of course the mania is for hot and colourful American iron with rumbling V-8's and flash bits like hood (bonnet) scoops. Correlates entirely with Paul's thesis though I'd add that there are certain aspects of fascination one should also bear in mind, one such being the eternally glorious sound of those V-8's. Some American cars have real beauty of form, for instance the stunning lines of a perfect resto-mod '61 Chev Belair I spotted while shopping yesterday for fans at at speed parts vendor. Our Lotus have worthy aspects in spades, still appreciated by young gearheads like my 28 year old nephew who is himself neck deep in frying tyres with his drift car. Most all of us who came of age decades ago were of the mindset which equated the automobile with liberty. It is a fact that the car was one of the greatest emancipators in human history, less so nowadays due to costs, crowding, and alternatives. 

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The point about childhood cars is very true. 

That has to be the prime mover behind many peoples purchases and values. I own a car which by contrast proves this. My AZ-1 is an absolutely fantastic car, unique, only 4500 made, gullwing doors, go-kart handling, Japanese build quality, it the most fun car to drive ever. As a car in itself it should be worth many times more than, say, a Capri. But its not. Thats because its a Japanese car which nobody has ever heard of. It has not figured in anyones car history. To be fair its newer than a Capri but still almost 30 years old. 

Young people are not interested, also the skillset in rebuilding and maintaining petrol cars will decline and therefore they will be out of peoples reach financially. Its already quite difficult to get work done economically unless you travel to the core locations where its still done, especially the West Midlands where I grew up.

Governments will force them off the road. Already Sadiq Khan, a car-hater, is going to make the London congestion charge operate every day until 10 PM which effectively rules out any petrol car driving in London, even at weekends.

On the subject of movies, I watched Ghost in the Shell last night which as we know has disguised Esprit and Excel. What a load of old crap. Its just nonsense CGI-laden video gamery. I got so bored with parts of it I had to fast-forward it. 

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On 04/06/2020 at 04:14, gvy said:

I have to add to this topic my own experience. I have two boys, one 21 and one 19.

I own 2 cool oldtimers : a 1970 Opel GT ( yes a mini corvette) and a 1980 Lotus Esprit ( doesn't get any cooler lookwise)  and on top since one year I have a 2010 Triump street triple (so no fat lazy old daddy motorcycle)  but a really crazy light loud fast black hooliganbike.

But my 2 boys never ever look at them, don't ask me if I take them with one of the sportscars (I think they even prefer not to and take the normal car) and even worse they do not have a drivers licence yet. The oldest one started about 2 years ago, without any interest, and will may be do his test this year. The youngest hasn't even started his theoretical test. Petrol/cars/bikes is just not interesting anymore and I don't think it has anything to do with todays cars. To be honnest I find most new cars boring too, but we still have porshes,lotus,alpine,even Mx5 etc... and there is a choice of funny second hand cars.

On the other hand I have some neighbourhood boys, that were since young passionate by this crazy lotus in the street. Their dad did"n't want them to buy an old vehicle and work on it,because not safe, but they kept on pushing and disobeing dad. ( I may have something to do with that 😎 ) I tried to persuade them that may be an old lotus wasn't the most ideal starter to learn, so they got into toyota MR2 (second gen) and let me tell you, some years later they have about 5  MR2 in different state of restoration on the driveway. They do crazy stuff. They open the engines, put a turbo engine in NA car, learned how to weld, they are now working on a 6cyl lexus engine to transplant in one of the MR2. They used one of the MR2 to go on a European Rally as "technician" They learned so much. So there still is interest in cars and engines in the younger generation. But there are less of them around then my generation I guess.

I’m still looking at your post and wondering if the typo is a ’Trump Street Triple’ or a ‘Triumph Street Triple’? :getmecoat:

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All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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I remember when I was much much younger seeing a TR7 or X19 drive by was special, such exotica! We'd almost break our necks turning around if it was Ferrari or the like.

The car is no longer the star of TV or movies I'd agree, for all the reasons posted before. My favourite was Automan :cool:. I think that truly cemented the wedge shaped desire in me.

Automan Car | Tv cars, Cars movie, Future car

As for kids aspiring to not drive, a lot of has to be the cost to do so (insurance more than the car) and the protection wrapping of parents and their taxi service. Can't blame them, I'll be the same in the future no doubt.


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11 hours ago, Mysterae said:

I remember when I was much much younger seeing a TR7 or X19 drive by was special, such exotica! We'd almost break our necks turning around if it was Ferrari or the like.

The car is no longer the star of TV or movies I'd agree, for all the reasons posted before. My favourite was Automan :cool:. I think that truly cemented the wedge shaped desire in me.

Automan Car | Tv cars, Cars movie, Future car

As for kids aspiring to not drive, a lot of has to be the cost to do so (insurance more than the car) and the protection wrapping of parents and their taxi service. Can't blame them, I'll be the same in the future no doubt.

Now that could handle ! Taking 90 degree corners at....well , 90 degrees!

agree with the posts here, I remember as a kid most of my birthday and Christmas presents that I asked for were model vehicles from 

Tv series or movies.

doesnt seem to be anything like that on the shelves nowadays

 

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