By: Sam Bisby
TV shows are made to tell interesting stories and star amazing cast members. However, once a series has started often another key component emerges that grabs the audience’s attention: the cars. These are the top 10 best TV cars that we think sometimes even outshine the protagonists.
K.I.T.T (Pontiac Trans Am) - Knight Rider
Knight Industries Two Thousand - abbreviated to K.I.T.T - was a modified 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. K.I.T.T and famous for being a supercomputer on wheels which gave it the ability to learn and communicate with David Hasselhoff’s Michael Knight. K.I.T.T had a dry sense of humour and kind personality, while featuring a host of gadgets that would make James Bond jealous. K.I.T.T boasted turbo boosts, flame throwers, oil jets, smoke screens, microwave jammers, telephone comlinks, deflatable tyres, bomb sniffers and many others.
Volvo P1800 - The Saint
The 1962 Volvo P1800 featuring the licence plate ST1 was driven by Roger Moore who starred as Simon Templar in The Saint. Volvo provided two Volvo P1800 cars, one used for static studio filming and another used for moving filming and has become one of the most iconic models of the Swedish brand from its time on the show.
GMC van - A-Team
Possibly the most famous van in the world, the black GMC Vandura featuring that iconic red stripe was the A-Team’s van in the popular 1980s TV series. The car was subject to many high-speed runs, as well as an abundance of cigar ash and golden neck accessories.
Lotus Elan - The Avengers (Mrs Peel)
An unofficial undercover operative, Mrs Emma Peel appeared in The Avengers TV series alongside the bowler hat wearing Mr Steed. Mrs Peel drove a lovely Lotus Elan that represented how her character – played by Doncaster-born Diana Rigg – was independent and a woman who could make her own decisions, elements that went slightly against the grain of 1960s culture.
Ford Capri - The Professionals
The Ford Capri 3.0 S was used in The Professionals; a silver version was featured in episodes between 1978 and 1981 and was driven by Bodie, while Doyle took to the reigns of a gold example from 1980 until 1981. The cars were used in practically every episode for car chases of every type imaginable, with the series becoming synonymous with Ford Capris chasing scum through the streets of London.
Audi Quattro - Ashes to Ashes
Altogether now: “Fire up the Quattro!” Ashes to Ashes featured one of THE 80s cars, that being the Audi Quattro, albeit with a few anachronisms. One of which was that the car was right-hand drive, even though only left-hand drive examples were available in the UK in the period it was set (1981). Actor Philip Glenister explained the production team knew about these issues and said "but who cares? It’s a cool car." The car featured in the show was also a modified 1983 model.
Ford Gran Torino - Starsky and Hutch
Synonymous with crashing through cardboard boxes down littered alleys, Starsky’s Ford Gran Torino bright red finish with white vector stripes on the car’s wings led to the car being nicknamed the "Striped Tomato". There’s probably no surprise that this fans are constantly replicating this car both over the pond and here in the UK.
Reliant Regal - Only Fools and Horses
Emblazoned with the unregistered Trotters Independent Traders company name, the Reliant Regal van is a yellow three-wheeled grubby vehicle that typically aids Del Boy and Rodney in their black market attempts to become millionaires. Of course, one of the most famous moments from the show features the three-wheeled companion after the duo actually become millionaires outside a London auction house.
Rolls-Royce (FAB1) - Thunderbirds
One of the grandest Rolls-Royce models was actually Lady Penelope’s FAB1 miniature example. The (very) pink car had six wheels and featured a bullet proof canopy as well as weaponry that included front and rear-mounted machine guns. Lady Penelope’s rather docile but loyal butler Parker usually took the wheel of FAB1.
The General Lee (Dodge Charger) - Dukes of Hazzard
The General Lee, as a reference to American General Robert E. Lee, was a red 1969 Dodge Charger which was driven by good ol’ boys the Duke cousins. The car was well known for its battle flag of the Confederate States of America on the roof, novelty horn playing notes from the song "Dixie" and also welded-shut doors ensuring the cousins had to climb through the car’s windows.
Love movies and cartoons too? Take a look at our best movie cars and best cartoon cars.
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