Skip to main content

Best TV Cars Of All Time

By Mat Trueman
Thursday, June 13, 2019

Best TV Cars of All Time

10. Ford Gran Torino from Starsky & Hutch 

The ‘Striped Tomato’ Gran Torino was even more recognisable than Starsky’s knitted cardigan and the TV pair’s trademark bonnet slide. The big Ford was often seen blazing around the streets of the fictional Bay City, California, collecting more than its fair share of bumps and bruises. Actor Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky) reportedly hated the Torino and made sure he mistreated it during stunts wherever possible.  

 

 

10. Ford Gran Torino from Starsky & Hutch 

starksy

The ‘Striped Tomato’ Gran Torino was even more recognisable than Starsky’s knitted cardigan and the TV pair’s trademark bonnet slide. The big Ford was often seen blazing around the streets of the fictional Bay City, California, collecting more than its fair share of bumps and bruises. Actor Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky) reportedly hated the Torino and made sure he mistreated it during stunts wherever possible.


 

 9. Audi Quattro from Ashes to Ashes 

audi

The eighties car, famed more for its rallying prowess, gained a whole new following when it appeared in the BBC crime drama Ashes to Ashes. The car helped the show transport viewers back in time, just as its predecessor Life on Mars had. Yet while the series is set in 1981, the car used is actually a red 1983 model. Hunt’s Quattro gets crashed in a stunt jump and shot-up in the finale, although the original remains intact with the BBC. 


8. Jaguar XJS from The Return Of The Saint 

saint

A must-have accessory for any self-respecting debonair gent in the 1970’s, the Jaguar XJS in Return of the Saint was almost an extension of character Simon Templar, as it appeared in all but four episodes over two series. Jaguar was keen to take advantage of the publicity and gave show producers a V12-engined prototype, having previously turned down a request to use an E-Type in the preceding TV series, The Saint. But Jaguar still only supplied one car, and extra models had to be borrowed from dealers.


 7. Ford-Lincoln Futura AKA The Batmobile 

 

bat

 

The distinctive black Batmobile, with its bright red trim, wowed fans when it hit the screens in 1966. The most famous Batmobile in all the land may have started out as a 1955 Ford-Lincoln Futura concept car when “Batman” aired on television during the 1960’s, and it still reigns as one of the most famous car in the world, recognizable around the globe. A truly iconic car that undoubtedly deserves its place on the list. 


 

6. Lady Penelope’s Rolls Royce from Thunderbirds 

 lady

 

Possibly one of the most distinctive Rolls-Royces ever created, Lady Penelope's pink limousine from hit puppet show Thunderbirds came with all the luxuries an aristocrat could need, plus a little more besides... The six-wheeled car features a sliding roof for open-air motoring, as well as machine guns in the front grille, bulletproof glass and water skis for travel on water. Of course, Lady Penelope never drove the car herself, instead leaving trusted butler Parker to take the wheel. 


 

5. GMC Vandura from The A-Team 

team

 

This legendary eighties action series had it all, from great catchphrases to an instantly recognisable theme tune. It even featured a vehicle fit for bedroom-wall posters. When you saw BA Baracus’ butch black van with its famous red stripe hurtling down the road, you knew things were about to get serious. A common mistake that even features in some toy models of the van is that its livery is all black. In fact, the section above the red stripe was dark metallic grey. 

 


 

4. Robin Reliant From Only Fools And Horses 

rodney

We simply couldn’t feature a list of favourite TV cars without including the legendary yellow Robin from the equally legendary Only Fools And Horses! Del's three-wheeler is certainly not the most glamorous choice of wheels, but it’s still voted amongst the top British cars in various polls. The dishevelled van, emblazoned with the logo of Trotters Independent Traders, was the ‘office’ of Del and Rodney. When not transporting dodgy goods, the Reliant was often at the centre of gags, including a blow-up doll incident and the classic moment in which the brothers emerge dressed as Batman and Robin. 


 

3. Dodge Charger from The Dukes Of Hazzard 

general

 

This car had just about everything going for it, and perhaps the only surprise is that it doesn’t top the list. The General Lee was the perfect vehicle for the Duke brothers to perform their high-octane chases and stunts, with its signature horn, orange paintwork and welded shut doors. The Charger starred in all but one episode, although the same car never appeared twice. On average, more than one car was used per show, with producers getting through hundreds in six series. 


 

2. Ferrari 308 GTB from Magnum P.I 

magnum

 

Screeching on to the list is a car that often had to play second fiddle to a perfectly trimmed moustache. The semi-convertible Ferrari in Magnum PI had to be specially modified to accommodate the frame of lanky heartthrob Tom Selleck. Yet despite the alterations, the Targa-style top was very rarely up, as Selleck’s head was still 
above the windscreen header rail. The light-hearted private investigator series ran for eight years during the eighties, and throughout that time only three 308s were used for filming the show. 


 

1. Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am AKA K.I.T.T from Knight Rider 

kitt

 

Based on a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am, KITT the car that could drive itself and talk to you was the perfect companion for hi-tech crime fighter Michael Knight, played by David Hasselhoff. The black car was fitted with a turbo boost, armour and a host of amazing futuristic features that set it aside from anything the world had ever seen! KITT even had a sense of smell and was fluent in several languages, and frequently got The Hoff out of tight situations. Clever tech on cars is commonplace now, but there is still nothing on the market quite like KITT. Perhaps that’s why it continually tops the varying lists as the very best TV car ever! 


Return to index