TV Show Cars - Do You Remember the Star's Cars?

A Rumpled Detective in a Rumpled Car

Lt. Columbo's '59 Peugeot 403 cabriolet. He said it was "rare" and he was right. Only 500 convertibles were made.
Lt. Columbo's '59 Peugeot 403 cabriolet. He said it was "rare" and he was right. Only 500 convertibles were made. | Source

Starsky & Hutch Intro

If you watched the cars more than the stars...

Remember These?

If TV shows are going to be interesting, they need an interesting vehicle. The cars below, (plus a truck and a bike) are pretty well known.

See if you can name the TV show and the character name of the actor who drove it. And...if you're so inclined, try to name the year and make also. The answers are below -- thanks for checking this out.

#1 Was a "loaner car" in Hawaii.    #2 Belonged to a very wierd family.
#1 Was a "loaner car" in Hawaii. #2 Belonged to a very wierd family. | Source
#3 "Ah pity the fool..."      #4 traveled the dusty roads of the South.
#3 "Ah pity the fool..." #4 traveled the dusty roads of the South. | Source
#5 These two cool cops were just too cool.    #6 This funeral coach died in an accident.
#5 These two cool cops were just too cool. #6 This funeral coach died in an accident. | Source
#7 Belonged to Richie's pal.    #8 Belonged to Will's pal.
#7 Belonged to Richie's pal. #8 Belonged to Will's pal. | Source
#9 This duo chased the bad guys.    #10 WAS the  bad guy.
#9 This duo chased the bad guys. #10 WAS the bad guy. | Source
#11 This car talked.    #12 This cruiser's driver was only allowed to carry one bullet.
#11 This car talked. #12 This cruiser's driver was only allowed to carry one bullet. | Source

And the answers are...

  1. This is Magnum's (Tom Selleck) Ferrari 306 GTS from the "Magnum P.I." show. Actually, three Ferraris were used -- a 1979, a 1981 and a 1984. The seats were modified so the tall Tom could fit into the cars. Selleck told David Letterman that after the show ended the cars were all sold at auction for "outrageous" amounts.
  2. The MunsterKoach was the daily driver for Herman Munster (Fred Gwynn) on "The Munsters" TV show. It was the work of George Barris who used three model Ts and $20,000 to build it. The network gave Barris 3 weeks to do the job. The dragster sported a 425 Cobra engine, a 4-speed manual tranny and a hand made frame ... plus a lot more than can be listed here. This dragster still exists and is on display. Also, another dragster was later built for "Grandpa" --  this one used a real coffin for the car body.
  3. GMC's VanDura van was the choice for "The A Team," a collection of fugitives which included B.A Barracus (Mr.T), who usually drove. Several different vans were used and this gave the director fits -- because they were not matched. For different scenes they might use vans with and without sunroofs. Some had "GMC" blacked out, some didn't -- one stunt vehicle was actually a Ford. Anyhow, there is an original van left and it's on display in the UK.
  4. This is Boss Hogg's ride ... a1970 Cadillac DeVille convertible. In early episodes, a chauffeur named Alex drove but later Boss took over and drove himself. Sorrell Brooke played Boss Hogg. The fate of Boss's TV Caddy is unknown. The Cadillac from the movie version of "The Dukes of Hazzard" was put up for sale on E-bay.
  5. The TV show "Miami Vice," included this white Ferrari Testarosa -- the only genuine Ferrari used on the show. The first black "Ferrari" was actually a kit car (on a Corvette chassis). Enzo Ferrari sued over the kit car so it was blown to bits in a scene during the third season. It's replacement was the real white Ferrari shown and later the show added a reinforced 1972 De Tomaso Pantera custom (Ferrari look-alike) as a stunt car. Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson) was the usual driver.
  6. Probably the saddest scene on "Six Feet Under" was when this beautiful lime green 1972 Cadillac hearse is wrecked by Clarie Fisher (Lauren Ambrose). The hearse was then junked -- proving that there definitely is too much violence on TV.
  7. The Fonz (Henry Winkler) could be seen on "Happy Days" with this c1951 Triumph TR5 motorcycle. Winkler couldn't actually ride at all. After starting the series on a big Harley, the producer switched to a more user friendly Triumph (for his and the cast's safety). There is a short clip showing him actually driving the TR5, but it is cut just before Winkler crashed into the set and nearly ran his director over. The TR5 showed up in Nov 21, 2005 at a Detroit auto show.
  8. The 70's show called "Movin' On" featured a big rig 1973 Kenworth W925 VIT driven by Sonny Pruitt (Claude Akins). Sonny and Will had adventures hauling whatever needed hauling and the big Cummins-powered Kenworth was always part of the plot. Now, three decades later, trucker CB'ers use the expression "do it like Pruitt..." probably without knowing where it came from. Both Akins and Frank Converse (Will) were commercially licensed to drive the Kenworth.
  9. Starsky & Hutch was a TV cop opera starring David Michael Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser) and Kenneth 'Hutch' Hutchinson (David Soul). Their car, the "Striped Tomato" as Hutch called it, was actually two 1974 Ford Gran Torinos. For extras, they had mag wheels, oversized tires, air shocks, High ratio rear ends (for more showy acceleration) and a variety of different engines were used. The cars' weekly body repairs can be easily seen in the later episodes. When the show ended, the two cars were sold to collectors and both still exist in private hands.
  10. Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) drove several vehicles in "The Sopranos" TV show. The one that's probably most remembered is his Black Cadillac Escalade ESV, which sadly, sleeps with the fishes. During the shooting of a driving scene, Gandolfini wrecked the Escalade while avoiding a raccoon in the road. That SUV was replaced with the white one shown, in season #5. This white 2003 Cadillac Escalade ESV was sold at auction in West Palm Beach on 2008, along with some other vehicles that were used on the show.
  11. "KITT" was a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am driven by Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff). The car appeared on the "Knight Rider" series and fought crime with it's artificial intelligence, indestructible body and it's ability to speak. It was turbine powered with afterburners (that's what they said) and it could go a gazillion miles per hour. The car was a hit with the TV audience as was the show. Of the 23 cars used in the show, only five are known to remain and they are on display in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.
  12. About ten Ford Galaxy Police Cruisers were used during the run of The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry RFD. A studio deal with Ford allowed them free use of new Fords for a year, after which time they were traded in for more free ones. The used Fords were stripped, repainted and then sold as used cars.The car shown is a 1963 Ford Galaxy squad car with equipment that is true to the period. In 2007 an auction at Fredricksburg Texas listed for sale a 1963 Galaxy stating that it was "original and actually used on the show." Both Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) and Deputy Barney Fife (Don Knotts) drove the Fords.

How Did You Do?

How many out of the 12 vehicles did you ID correctly?

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Comments 14 comments

Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 5 years ago from Vermont, USA

I drew a couple of blanks...never watched a couple of the TV shows in which those cars were featured, but this was fun.

The tid-bits of info you include for each car in question was a nice touch I really appreciated.

Have you noticed the Citroen that the character Patrick James drives on the CBS show The Mentalist? I can't help but smile when I see it.

Good hub.

CP


Hugh Williamson profile image

Hugh Williamson 5 years ago from Northeast USA Author

Hi Chris - I have not seen the Citroen but I'll make a point of catching the show to check it out.

Actually, there was lots of stuff that I didn't include due to space limitations. I had a great time doing this.

Thanks for reading & commenting.


FGual profile image

FGual 5 years ago from USA

Great list here, I remember most of them, but you left out the ultimate show car. The Batmobile is still King.


Hugh Williamson profile image

Hugh Williamson 5 years ago from Northeast USA Author

FGual - Yes I did omit the Batmobile but that car is so iconic that I figured everyone would know it easily. I could have included the Green Hornet's car also (Imperial).

I wonder if he ever got stopped for the green headlights.

Thanks for reading & commenting.


Business_Al 5 years ago

I saw the truck in there, but what about the truck from "BJ and the Bear" I like that show too.


Hugh Williamson profile image

Hugh Williamson 5 years ago from Northeast USA Author

I had to google that one. Another series with a beautiful Kworth and Claude Akins as a bad guy?

Well, I always thought he made a great heavy and the show was evidently a winner.


Jason R. Manning profile image

Jason R. Manning 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

I love vehicle trivia, you had me on two of them. I do not watch a modern cable tv, probably for the very reason all this useless trivia is stuck in my brain. You have some excellent hubs on Cars. Great research, makes me want to go back and add to my car hubs.


Hugh Williamson profile image

Hugh Williamson 5 years ago from Northeast USA Author

I'm a fellow trivia lover also, especially if it involves autos.

It's hard to believe that some of these shows aired so long ago that most people today probably never saw them.


heart4theword profile image

heart4theword 5 years ago from hub

Yes, it is fun to recall some of these famous programs... Missing Rockford's car? Thanks for posting the pictures?


Hugh Williamson profile image

Hugh Williamson 5 years ago from Northeast USA Author

You had me on that one - I remember the show but not the car. '78 Firebird, I found out. Not a bad looking car except, IMO, I never liked the looks of the back end on these.

It's all in the eye of the beholder, as they say. Thanks for reading and commenting.


michaelbell2013 profile image

michaelbell2013 2 years ago

I'm a big fan of the big black Mercury Marquis sedan Steve "Book-em, Dano" McGarrett drove for 12 seasons on "Hawaii 5-0." Also a fan of the black-over-silver Lincoln Mark IV that Frank Cannon drove for 5 seasons and the brown Ford LTD Brougham coupe Barnaby Jones drove for 6 seasons. "Cannon" and "Barnaby Jones," as well as "The Streets of San Francisco," were Quinn Martin-produced shows, which featured Ford cars. Yup, I'm a Ford man!


Hugh Williamson profile image

Hugh Williamson 2 years ago from Northeast USA Author

Mike -

Speaking of fords, how about Starsky & Hutch?

Thanks for reading & commenting.


michaelbell2013 profile image

michaelbell2013 2 years ago

Loved it! In high school I drove my dad's 2 Torinos, first a 1971 fire engine red wagon (yuck!) and then a 1972 Gran Torino sedan. Really loved my dad, but would have preferred to drive the candy apple red Gran Torino coupe of S&H.


Hugh Williamson profile image

Hugh Williamson 2 years ago from Northeast USA Author

Candy apple red Gran Torino coupe -- you can't go wrong there. Thanks for reading & commenting Mike.

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