Celebrating “Titanic” 20 Years Later: The Cars from the Film and the Real RMS Titanic
Twenty years ago, the film Titanic hit theaters in the U.S. and forever cemented itself as one of the greatest films of all time. As a fictionalized, romanticized depiction of the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912, the film, starring Academy Award-winning actors Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, nabbed 11 Oscars at the 70th Academy Awards ceremony, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Song (you know which one I’m talking about).
The film’s car cameos
While the fictional story focuses on the romance between Jack and Rose aboard the luxurious ship, there were a couple classic vehicles that made cameos in the movie, although they may not have actually been on the real RMS Titanic. (More on this later.)
The first glimpse of vehicular luxury seen in the film is when Rose—along with her enormous, purple hat—makes her way out of a white 1912 Renault Enclosed Limousine and onto the dock where Titanic is waiting for its passengers.
In the same scene, a vehicle is shown being lifted onto the ship. This 1912 Renault 35CV was featured in a later scene between Rose and Jack, where many windows were fogged up and an infamous handprint made its mark in cinema history. (Fun fact: According to Kate Winslet, the scene wasn’t originally scripted and was thought of on the day of filming.)
The real missing vehicle from the RMS Titanic
When it comes to the possibility of vehicles being aboard the real RMS Titanic, many historians have deduced that there was truly only one vehicle that was lost at sea—a 1912 Renault Type CB Coupe de Ville. According to Torque News, salvagers have been searching the North Atlantic Ocean since 1985 and would love to find the classic car. Unfortunately, none have been lucky enough to discover the vehicle among the wreckage.
Thanks to ship cargo documentation, we know that the Coupe de Ville was bought by William Carter of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, while he was traveling in Europe with his family. After surviving the sinking of Titanic, Carter made a $5,000 insurance claim once he was safely on shore. It’s unclear how much the vehicle would be worth today, given the probable substantial damage from spending over 100 years underwater, but it would surely be a valuable piece of history to uncover, regardless.
Source: Torque News
Morgan currently resides in Dayton, Ohio, after living across the entire nation (seven different states, to be exact) and even in Germany for a few years. Originally a graphic design major, Morgan floated around and eventually found her calling in writing and editing after working in marketing for a few years. Her hobbies include: board games, knowing way too many song lyrics, playing video games, quoting pop culture, going to concerts, and watching sports. It is advisable to not give her coffee after 3pm. See more articles by Morgan.