Meet Nate Truman, One of the Greatest Collectors of Movie and TV-Inspired Cars in the United States
Can you imagine opening your garage and finding the Batmobile, the Mystery Machine and Herbie parked there? The biggest dream, right? Well, this is the dream come true of Nate Truman, one of the greatest collectors of movie cars in the United States.
Nate is in charge of finding, repairing, customizing, assembling and building these automotive beauties, along with his colleagues at Star Car Central, the association he created along with other Hollywood four-wheel enthusiasts, to present the cars and take exhibits across the country.
In general, the exhibitions seek to raise funds for different foundations, but the real reason to have an event featuring this kind of cars is for people to have fun, walk among the vehicles and say, “hey, I grew up looking at this car!”.
Star Car Central was founded in 2003 for all those who want to have fun, show off their "star cars" and spend a pleasant weekend with other car lovers.
Heart Of Hollywood Magazine spoke with Nate about his passion for famous cars, his process of building or rebuilding different models, the task of finding the best specimens across the country, and what it takes to be a member of the Star Car Central community.
Photography courtesy of Nate Truman
Nate, what's the main thing you would like our readers to know about yourself?
When I built my first Batmobile, my focus was to bring smiles to other fans of the Batman show, and then I expanded that vision with StarCarCentral.com. After almost 30 years working in the entertainment industry, creating magic moments for others was important to me.
What is Star Car Central and how many years ago was it founded?
I’d had the idea running around in my mind for a few years, but we officially got started in 2003. Because I couldn’t exactly start a Batmobile owners club (there were only a few of us in the world at that time), I came up with the idea of getting all the iconic movie and TV cars together. It was harder than I thought it would be. It was like organizing a herd of unicorns!
Where did your passion come from?
Back in college we had movie nights and one time the old film was "Harold and Maude". In it was a classic Jaguar XKE that during the film was transformed into a hearse! It was a wild custom build. That got me thinking about all my childhood on-screen cool cars. "Where are they?”, I wondered. The Jag was destroyed at the end of the movie, but my wheels had started turning!
How did you come up with the idea of creating a group of movie car owners and builders?
In 2003, I brought my 1966 "N8mobile" to a car show. I showed up late, because I decided to go at the last minute that morning. The car was a big hit, and that was when I realized that each model of car was parked with other similar cars. All the Corvettes were together, all the Mustangs, etcetera. The owners didn't mingle with the others; their interest was their car and others who had a similar car. As I walked around looking at over 3,000 cars, I spotted a Knight Rider car, and left the owner a note on the windshield. Then I walked further and found my first member, Danny Botkin with his Back to the Future Delorean Time Machine at the end of a row of standard Deloreans. I wanted him to move his car and put it next to my Batmobile, but he worked for Delorean! That was the start for me, and I began scouring the internet and other car shows for street legal famous rides.
Is there any particular car that you have a special place in your heart for?
Absolutely! The car that started it all was my 1966 Adam West-style television Batmobile that I built with the help of many talented people.
How long does it take you to build a car, and what is the level of difficulty from your perspective?
It all depends on the car you are building. Some cars are relatively easy but you can always get lost in the details. My Batmobile project was started in 1996 and wasn’t finished until 2003! But I built an A-Team Van in less than six months.
What are the requirements that must be met in order to join Star Car Central?
Be kind, have an iconic movie or TV CAR, want to share your car with others, and enjoy doing charity events.
What do you like best about the Star Car Central member community?
At the outset, I was just looking to build a great collection of movie and TV cars so we could share them with the public. But over the years, I am much happier with the friendships that have evolved, not just with me but between members here and across the world!
What do you believe has been one of your biggest accomplishments at Star Car Central?
Certainly the highest profile event was the 2019 Walmart Super Bowl commercial that featured many of our cars. Also, my team has appeared on multiple TV shows and music videos. Our annual appearance at the Hollywood Christmas Parade for over a decade is always a lot of fun; we get to see so many Star Cars and we all have a good day on Hollywood Boulevard. But for me, seeing the smiling faces and wide eyes when we do the Children’s Hospital event is my favorite accomplishment. At the special charity events, just experiencing the excitement of kids being able to see their favorite star car in person is my favorite thing.
Photography courtesy of Nate Truman
Subscribe to our magazine
Become a Heart of Hollywood Motion Pictures Member