What is the first car that comes to mind when we ask you to think about the greatest TV car of all time? This is likely a highly contested topic, but we came up with a few of the most iconic vehicles of all time from TV.
8. Police Motorcycles (CHiPs)
The producers of CHiPs worked hard to portray “chippys” as accurately as possible on the show CHiPs, so much so that the characters in CHiPs all rode Kawasaki KZPs. These are the same bikes ridden by the real California highway patrol officers from the 1970s and 1980s; modified Kawasaki models. The additions made to each bike were all practical in nature and were designed to include windshields, pursuit lights, radio equipment and electric sirens.
7. KITT (Knight Rider)
Long before Tesla and Tony Stark’s ability to outfit anything with the latest and greatest technology, there was a car that could drive itself and communicate with you! KITT was the perfect sidekick to David Hasselhoff’s character, Michael Knight, from the hit show Knight Rider. KITT was based on the 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. It was sleek and all black, fitted with the best futuristic and crime-fighting features. From turbo boost to armour and a scanner bar that allowed it to see, KITT even had a sense of smell and could speak a ton of different languages, all aiding in getting MIchael Knight out of the most challenging situations.
6. Mini Cooper (Mr. Bean)
Mr. Bean’s Mini really did a great job of highlighting the comedy of his character and the show. His signature car started as a 1969 BMC Mini MK II, that he unfortunately crashed at the end of season 1. One of the most iconic scenes had Mr. Bean purchasing way too many items from a department store sale, packing the iconic Mini to the brim and having to drive it home while sitting on an armchair on the roof! Over the years, three Minis were painted green and black and used throughout the series. There were also two Minis painted the same colour that were crushed as part of the storyline - the show saved some time and money by excluding the engine in these two cars!
5. Daytona Spyder (Miami Vice)
Many Miami Vice fans may not know the car wasn’t an authentic Daytona Spyder, but was actually two replicas built on a Corvette C3 chassis; one was built for glamour shots and the other replica was built to sustain everything it needed to endure during stunts. The show used a replica instead of the original Daytona Spyder because it was much cheaper than importing a Ferrari! Also, Ferrari North America was not interested in supplying authentic Ferraris to Miami Vice, so the production team had to improvise. Ultimately, the car meet its firey end early in the third season due to an off-screen lawsuit with Ferarri and was replaced with a 1986 Ferrari Testarossa, donated by Ferrari.
4. Ferrari (Magnum P.I.)
The 308 GTB Quattrovalvole came on to the market five years before Tom Selleck and his moustache debuted with Magnum P.I. in 1980. The sleek, red Ferrari was the perfect companion for ex-Navy Seal, Magnum. It’s sleek angles and curb appeal made it the perfect companion for the adventures of the Hawaiian-based private investigator. When the 308 Quattrovalvole debuted on the market, fans were excited for its driveability and quality improvements, making it the best Ferrari update at the time. In current pop culture, red Ferraris are often driven by the villains in TV and movies, but in the 1980s, this vehicle was the envy of everyone.
3. Mystery Machine (Scooby Doo)
The mystery machine is the official vehicle from the crime-fighting troupe in the TV and movie franchise “Scooby Doo.” The vehicle is a van that best resembles a 1960s panel van. The jury is out on the exact brand of the van; many people speculate the mystery machine is a Dodge A100 while others claim it’s a Chevy G-Body Van, or a mid-60s Ford Taunus Transit Van. The mystery machine was the faithful companion to the entire Scooby Doo cohort. It also has the uncanny ability to adapt and pivot to any situation the team might find themselves in. It was packed with equipment like ladders, lanterns and ropes, and computer equipment; everything the mystery solving team needed in a pinch.
2. Batmobile (Batman)
It wouldn’t be a list of top vehicles from TV if we didn’t include the Batmobile. Stemming from the DC comics, the Batmobile first appeared on the small screen in 1966. The concept vehicle was built from a 1955 Ford Ventura, and it was outfitted with all the gadgets we fondly reminisce about when we think about the vintage Batman TV shows. The original Batmobile gadgets included lasers, rockets, a telephone, radar, and the nose-mounted chain slicer. Of course, when Batman needed to, the Batmobile was capable of a quick 180° “bat turn” courtesy of two awesome parachutes at the rear of the vehicle!
1. Vandura (A-Team)
Not one, but six of these vans were used over the run of the television show! The former army special forces team of four really did have a fifth unofficial member: the van. The black GMC Vandura appeared in every episode of The A-Team and it soon became a pop culture icon! This van wasn’t necessarily the type of vehicle you’d think would be the choice of a team trying to blend in. The Vandura had a bright red stripe across the hood and side panels, black and red wheels, and a red rear spoiler. Many people remember the van as all black when, in fact, the section above the classic red stripe is metallic grey!
There are so many iconic and original vehicles from TV shows that didn’t make the list! Did we miss your favourite? Does your ranking look the same as ours? Come tell us about it on Instagram and Facebook!