Archive for April 21st, 2009

My Movie Cars article has been getting more hits than the rest of my page put together so I thought it was time for the promised TV cars article.  There is no KITT from Knight Rider as once you take all the special effects away it is only a very unexciting 1982 Trans Am.  And there are no naff cars that made good by TV like Del Boys Reliant Regal.   Many people will also be surprised by the omission of the 1976 Ford Gran Torino from Starsky & Hutch but I just don’t like the look of the car.  If it had been a 1972 or older it would have been a different story.  I’m sure there is some I have missed that I will think of after I have posted but off the top of my head, there may be a few surprises:

The Dukes of Hazzard: 1969 Dodge Charger R/T.  I should really hate leethis program for what it did to countless Chargers (over 300 destroyed according to some reports) but the truth is it is the coolest car in TV history.  There is a charger painted up to look like it that I see driving around occasionally in the summer, it should be naff but I just want that car!  

The Prisoner: 1965 Lotus Seven.  Not used much in the program other karthan the opening sequence but still a really cool car.  Widely regarded as the most iconic sports cars of the 20th century and an evolution of the last Lotus 7 is still in production today built by Caterham.  Anyone doubting its pedigree take a look at the top gear power board.  The R500 version was quicker on the Top Gear track than a Bugatti Veyron.

Jericho: 1969 Plymouth Road Runner.Not that widely watched so you rrmay not know the plot.  There has been a nuclear terrorist attack and an EMP has destroyed anything with a microchip.  Modern cars and Ipods are useless so everyone is driving around in crappy old pickups and in the middle of this we have a classic Road Runner (or possibly a Satellite made to look like a Road Runner).  A cool car by any measure but made all the cooler by it surroundings.

Ashes to Ashes:  1983 Audi Quattro B2.  So the car came out a year b2after the program is set and it is a most unlikely police car but that doesn’t alter the fact this is a great car in an excellent program.  The unnecessary power slides around corners are direct from 70’s cop shows.  If there is a third incarnation of the series they will struggle to come up with a car to top the Quattro. 

Life: 1987 Buick Grand National.   For those who haven’t seen Life it is a lifeTV series about a cop who is wrongly convicted of murder.  Years later he is freed and is a millionaire following a large undisclosed compensation payout.  He is still working as a cop but can afford any car he likes.  After his beloved Bentley is destroyed he goes for a slightly unusual choice a Buick Grand National.  As is often the case with TV its is a look alike and is actually a Buick Regal but is still a great looking car especially considering it is an 80’s car not the best decade for classic cars especially in America! 

The Avengers: 1966 Lotus Elan S3 SE and various vintage bentleyBentley’s.  The cars in elanthe Avengers were designed to reflect the characters who drove them and they really couldn’t have done a better job.  Steed (Patrick MacNee) drove a vintage Bentley (changed from episode to episode but often a 3 litre or 4 ½ litre from the late 20’s).  Very old school and stylish like his trademark bowler hat and umbrella.  Emma Peel (Dianna Rigg) drove a sleek, sexy and sporty Lotus Elan.   Need I say more?

Magnum PI:  Ferrari 308 GTSi.  One of the most iconic if not the best ferrariFerrari’s ever.  As I remember they story the car belonged to a wealthy novelist called Robin Masters who as I recall never actually appeared in the program.  Magnum worked for masters in some way and in turn lived in his house and drove his car.  The series ran for eight years and they actually updated the car over time to keep up with the current model so a GTS, GTSi and GTSqv all appeared over time not that many people noticed.  Despite the cars changing a lot under the bonnet they where cosmetically similar.

Miami Vice: 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4 ‘Daytona Spyder’ & 1986 daytonaFerrari Testarossa.  The Ferrari Daytona is by far my favourite Ferrari ever, a truly stunning car.  Alas only a replica in Miami Vice.  Provided to help aid Sonny Crockett’s undercover personas it was always portrayed as if it were a real Ferrari to the characters in the program and to be honest it is a pretty good replica based on a Corvette.  There where two different versions of the car used and the front headlights didn’t look right on one of them but still a nice looking car.  Ferrari North America were a bit miffed testarossaat the attention the car was getting and decided to offer the producers a real Ferrari.  They opted for the flagship Testarossa.  The cars provided were black and actually first appeared used by a villain but were then painted white and used as Crockett’s car following the destruction of his Daytona courtesy of a Stinger missile. 

Nash Bridges: 1971 Hemi ‘Cuda.  Things are never what they seem on cudaTV, this is actually a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda and not a Hemi ‘Cuda but it looks the part despite the dodgy colour.  The story goes that Don Johnson wanted his car to be a 71 Hemi ‘Cuda convertible but they are so rare it would have cost somewhere in the region of a million dollars so they came up with six 1970 Barracuda convertibles and switched the grille and taillights to the 71 style and painted it up to say it was a HemiCuda. 

The Fall Guy: 1985 GMC K-1500 Sierra Grande Wideside.  When I falllook back now brown and gold is not a good colour for a truck but back in the early 80s I used to love the program and the truck.  It had all the stunts and jumps that they used to do in The Dukes of Hazzard.  It was also quite exotic for someone watching in England in the early 80’s.  I had seen Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s on the road but we didn’t really have big pick-up trucks in the UK back then.

A special mention for those who nearly made it.  Inspector Morse’s’ 1960 Jaguar Mk.II 2.4 Litre.  The 1966 Ford Mustang Fastback from Spencer for Hire, very reminiscent of Bullitt’s 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT.  The unusual Manta Montage from Hardcastle and McCormick.  And finally The A-Team who tried really hard with B.A.’s  1983 GMC Vandura G-1500 and Faceman’s 1984 Corvette.

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