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Cars in Star Trek

Cars in Star Trek
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The Cars
"Antique" Cars

Despite being set in the 23rd and 24th centuries, 20th century automobiles keep popping up in Star Trek stories. There is plenty of time travel, one case of a planet imitating 20th century Chicago, and dozens of holodeck programs set in the 20th century.

23rd & 24th Century Cars

Even as spaceships and matter transporters become common technology, people were still seen using soft-tired ground vehicles in the 23rd & 24th centuries. The reason for this is as simple as why people don't commute in helicopters today: efficiency. Could you imagine the costs in vehicle construction, fuel, and operator training to get all of the people sitting in rush hour on the I-90 into the air?

I've written more about this in the 2013 article Cars of the Star Trek Century.

About This List

Hundreds of cars have appeared on screen across the 729 episodes of Trek produced since 1966, but this is a list of just the most prominent ones, the cars that have been the focus of scenes or episodes.

If you want the most complete list of all vehicles to have come across a frame of a Star Trek television episode or film, search the Internet Movie Cars Database.

The Cars

Star Trek A Piece of the Action 1931 Cadillac V-12 cream-colored convertible 1931 Cadillac V-12 - cream-colored convertible
Star Trek: A Piece of the Action (S2E17, 1968)

In the Star Trek episode A Piece of the Action, Kirk and Spock find themselves on a planet that has modeled itself on a book left behind by another human crew who had visited before: Chicago Mobs of the Twenties. At one point, Kirk and Spock take the clothes of two mobsters and commandeer a car: believed to be a 1931 Cadillac V-12 (no production notes confirm this).

After the ride, Spock says "Captain, you’re an excellent starship commander. But as a taxi driver, you leave much to be desired." To which Kirk responds, "It was that bad?"
Star Trek 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray - red
Star Trek (2009)

Near the beginning of the film Star Trek (2009), a young James Kirk steals his uncle's red Corvette (upgraded with a 23rd century Nokia communications system) for a joyride. He pops the convertible top off at speed and it flies away, landing on the road. He plays Sabotage by the Beastie Boys and drives it off of a cliff trying to evade a police officer.

The scene is referenced in Star Trek: Beyond (2016) when the crew needs to play loud noise at a set frequency to disrupt the navigation of a fleet of ships. Jaylah plays Sabotage, and Kirk smirks and says "good choice."
Star Trek Voyager Vis à Vis 1969 Chevrolet Camaro 1969 Chevrolet Camaro - black with white stripes
Star Trek Voyager: Vis à Vis (S4E20, 1998)

In the Voyager episode Vis à Vis, Lieutenant Tom Paris has a holodeck program called "Grease Monkey" where he maintains a "mint condition" 1969 Camaro. The Doctor visits him in the program as he's missed a shift in sickbay and remarks that its lack of safety equipment and carbon monoxide production will likely send him to sickbay anyway. Mid-episode he describes to an alien taking a trip up Highway 1 in Northern California. The episode ends with him showing B'Elanna Torres the car, explaining how he's been avoiding her, she mispronounces the name of the car, and the camera fades as they kiss in the front seat.
Star Trek Enterprise Carpenter Street 1995 Dodge Ram 1995 Dodge Ram - blue with a ladder rack
Star Trek Enterprise: Carpenter Street (S3E11, 2003)

In the Enterprise episode Carpenter Street, Captain Archer and T'Pol need to steal a vehicle to search the city of Detroit (in 2004) for an alien presence. T'Pol uses her scanner to find a vehicle without a security system and Archer uses his to get the truck started. The truck starts with the radio blaring "Sunday Sunday Sunday!" and Archer hits the radio controls for a few seconds until it stops. T'Pol asks, "Have you ever operated a vehicle from this period?" Archer responds, "I can pilot a starship."
Star Trek A Piece of the Action 1931 Cadillac V-12 cream-colored convertible 1996 Dodge Ram 2500 - black
Star Trek Voyager: Future's End (S3E08-09, 1996)

In the Voyager episode Future's End, Tom Paris and Tuvok "borrow" a new Dodge Ram from a dealership and Paris promises to return it, but it's destroyed before they can.
Star Trek Voyager: The 37's 1936 Ford farm truck 1936 Ford Truck - red farm truck
Star Trek Voyager: The 37's (S2E01, 1995)

In the Voyager episode The 37's (S2E01, 1995), the ship comes across a red Ford farm truck floating in space, complete with horse manure residue in the bed. The truck is transported to a cargo bay and Lieutenant Tom Paris starts the engine. He finds an odd radio signal on the AM radio, and it is traced to a planet where the crew finds several humans who had been abducted from Earth in 1937 (hence the episode's name). The truck belongs to a farmer named Jack Hayes, played by Mel Winkler.
Star Trek Voyager: Future's End Volkswagen Type 2 minibus Volkswagen Type 2 - light blue, slight damage
Star Trek Voyager: Future's End (S3E08-09, 1996)

In the Voyager episode Future's End (S3E08-09, 1996), after Tom Paris and Tuvok damage an astronomer's computer, and the destruction of Tom's Dodge Ram (see above), the two from Voyager and astronomer Rain Robinson (played by Sarah Silverman) escape in her dented, light blue Volkswagen minibus. Most of the rest of their contributions to the plot will play out from the van, including a chase scene with an 18-wheeler.
Star Trek: Nemesis Argo Buggy Argo Buggy
Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)

A custom-built off-road vehicle built for the film Star Trek: Nemesis, unofficially named "Argo buggy" for the Argo shuttlecraft it's docked in. It has two forward-facing and one rearward-facing seat with a swivel-mounted phaser cannon.

It was built by ProTruck Racing Organization, founded by off-road racing legend Ivan "Ironman" Stewart.
Star Trek Bread and Circuses Jupiter 8 Jupiter 8
Star Trek: Bread and Circuses (S2E25, 1968)

The only time we've seen an "alien" automobile was in the original series episode Bread and Circuses, in which the Enterprise visits Magna Roma, a world modeled as a version of 1968 where the Roman Empire had never fallen.

The Jupiter 8 was actually a custom show car called The Reactor, built by Gene Winfield for the 1965 car show circuit. It's based on a 1956 Citroën DS chassis, has a Corvair flat-6 engine, and Pontiac tail lights. The custom aluminum body was designed by Ben Delphia.

The Reactor went on to also appear in an episode of Batman, an episode of Bewitched, and currently resides at the Starbird’s National Rod & Custom Car museum in Oklahoma.

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