The 50’s and 60’s had lots of great cars and many classics still survive, but TV brought many cars to the forefront and with their unique spin made many cars famous. The 70’s and 80’s were very true to spot lighting vehicles and they became a character of the shows. Here are a handful of some of my favorite TV vehicles made famous by their show.
Miami Vice sported a sweet Ferrari Daytona Spider, but when they switched over to the Ferrari Testarossa this signature car became one of my all time favorites. Many scenes were shot inside the car so you had a feel of what it may be like to ride in the glorious sport car. I was fortunate enough to see one first hand and up close a couple years ago and my love still burns strong for this car.
The General Lee. This famous car was super charged by Bo and Luke Duke and 1969 Dodge Charger was made famous from its Orange paint job with the confederate flag on the roof.
The Dukes of Hazard ran from 1979-1985 and was made into a movie in 2005. I was able to see one of these hi flying cars that was actually used in the show up close and the Dodge Charge remains a staple in American Muscle car culture today. There is a ton of toys and collectables out there from this show.
Smokey and the Bandit featured many tractor trailers including Snowman’s famous 1973 Kenworth, but the real focus was on the black and gold 1977 Trans Am T-Top that Bandit raced across the country in. This was a staple movie growing up and I probably had the tape that got played so many times it didn’t play any more. There was a small market for figures put out there as I found a Bandit 3-3/4 inch figure at the flea market, but most of the toys and replicas are focused on the Trans Am.
Starsky and Hutch ran from 1975 to 1979 – their red 1974 Ford Gran Torino with the white stripe was a very recognizable car and as a kid it was really cool when they put the magnetic red light on the roof. There was a movie made in 2004 staring Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson that brought the show and the signature Gran Torino back into the spot light. I know I had a Matchbox car of this when I was a kid, it was a pretty cool car and it must have gotten lots of play time.
Night Rider ran from 1982-1986 – Kitt the star of the show was a 1982 Pontiac Firebird. This was one of the greatest show growing up and I lived to watch the show. That and Double Dare, who else loved Double Dare that show was so good. Any hoot, there was nothing more exciting then a talking car that could drive itself and had a really cool red flashing light on the grill. This was a cool car and popularized the Firebird. Kitt wasn’t just a car, because the car interacted with Michael Knight Kitt was in fact a main character and made the show what it was.
The A-Team ran from 1983-1987 and spot lighted a 1983 GMC van. Was there any other van that was as bad ass as the A-Teams. I think not. The A-Team was just another staple show in the 80’s and Mr. T was the main driver of this bad ass GMC. It was made into a movie in 2010 and the signature A-Team black van with the red stripe made the cut. I actually have the van and the action figures from the modern day movie, the mini version is still kick ass.
Chips ran from 1977-1983 – There was no greater intro that spot lighted a vehicle. Although the focus was on the 2 main characters Ponch and John, the intro also focused on the Kawasaki Z1 bikes that they road. There were several shots and angles that made me fall in love with these bikes and I remember as a kid being at Kmart and looking at all the 3-3/4 inch figures and thinking how I would have done anything to get the figures and the motor cycles that were made so famous by the show.
Back to the Future is one of my all time favorite movies. Although the black Toyota pick up was an awesome ride in the movie the DeLorean is the car everyone remembers. This time traveling machine and the flux capacitor were just a great creation. Be honest how many of you have hit 88 mph and expected to take off through time. I almost had a replica DeLorean years ago but I passed it up for some Joes, I think it was a good decision.
These were all vehicles that I idolized as a kid and dreamt of one day owning one or all of them. There are many models that exist today and most of these have some sort of action figure that accompanied there show. These were just staple cars in American culture and most still carry a large fan base. It was a special place in time and I always enjoy when I see one of these vehicles on the road still.
Which classic TV Car is your Favorite? Let us know AFTER THE JUMP!