The Blade Runner Police Spinner evolved from Philip K. Dick’s original reference to “hover cars” in his 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. The Spinner, designed by Syd Mead and depicted by director Ridley Scott as the future of law enforcement transportation, could drive, hover and fly. Combining two patrol vehicles, the police cruiser and helicopter, the Spinner represents an over-efficiency in policing--a surplus of authority typical of a dystopian society.
After translating Mead’s designs into technical drawings, Gene Winfield and his crew completely assembled four Spinners for filming in under a month. Using Volkswagen Beetle platforms with air-cooled, rear-mounted engines, Winfield was able to construct Mead’s distinctive forward-thrusting wheel assembly. The Spinner has since become an icon of sci-fi vehicles that has been referenced in several films, including: Star Wars Episode I, and II, The Fifth Element, and Back to the Future Part II.