I am a child of the 1980s. Back then we weren’t exposed to the plethora of distractions that kids of today are. There were no mobile phones with real-time messaging, no satellite television and certainly no Internet. Like many of my contemporaries, apart from playing outside and riding our bikes, the only form of entertainment we had was television. As much as I’d not like to admit it I was a bit of a TV addict. I devoured all shows especially those that had some form of cool vehicles in them. Here then are My Favourite TV Show Cars.
1969 Dodge Charger – Dukes of Hazzard
Some of you may have seen the movie released a few years ago, and apart from Jessica Simpson in a er… revealing pair of shorts, the Dodge Charger was the star of the show. What many of you may not realise is that the Dukes of Hazzard was a TV show in the early ’80s. It followed the adventures of Duke cousins – Bo and Luke – as they went about causing havoc in Hazzard County. The orange Charger with trademark Confederate flag on the roof seemed to defy gravity as it was constantly being launched into the air while making an escape either from the law or an irate father of some innocent girl. It is claimed that approximately 300 of these cars were written off during filming.
GMC Vandura – The A-Team
Don’t judge me for this this one. The GMC Vandura was as much a part of the A Team as Hannibal, BA, Face or Murdock. I have to admit that I wondered how an elite team of ex-Army Special Forces kept a low profile driving around in large van with red wheels and a matching stripe down the side. The van seemed to house an un-ending list of props needed for any episode, from surveillance equipment and Hannibal’s many disguises to a host of weapons and even a printing press. A GMC van will never be this cool again.
BMW 635 CSi – Moonlighting
I have always been a fan of the original BMW 6 Series. That overhanging “shark” nose was instantly recognisable as a Beemer from the era. This car starred in a few different TV series, but it will remain with me as the third leading character from a late ’80s TV show. Before Bruce Willis attained fame as John McClane he was a wise-cracking (is he ever not?) detective in the hit series Moonlighting. Willis and co-star Cybil Shepherd were often seen chasing baddies in their light metallic BMW. If I recall correctly Shepherd had some crazy drift skills in the show…
Ferrari Daytona Spyder – Miami Vice
Were there any TV cops cooler than Crockett and Tubbs? I don’t think so, and a large part of Miami Vice’s appeal had to do with the black Ferrari Daytona Spyder 365 GTS/4 driven by Don Johnson’s character. As cool as that car looked it wasn’t even a real Ferrari, though I suspect fans of this undercover-police show didn’t really care. Underneath that Ferrari shape resided a Corvette C3 platform replete with the donor car’s V8 motor and three-speed automatic transmission. A genuine Ferrari V12 engine note was sound-engineered into production after filming of the driving sequences. In later years, the Daytona replica made way for a genuine Testarossa supposedly gifted to the show by Ferrari after noting the good publicity the fake car received in earlier seasons.
Ferrari 308 GTS – Magnum PI
I know its another Ferrari, but this show is probably single-handedly responsible for making the 308 as desirable as it is today. It was driven by private investigator Thomas Magnum but owned by the enigmatic Robin Masters, hence the vanity plate: Robin 1 in later series. Magnum provided security for Masters’s estate and had unlimited use of the targa top Ferrari, which he used to full effect swanning around Oahu usually entertaining a bevy of beautiful women. Watching that car go sideways in the opening sequence used to be the highlight of my week. I was a kid, okay?
You’ll have to excuse this one. I realise that it isn’t a car, a bike, or any form of wheeled transport for that matter, but Airwolf was a classic. The Bell 222 was kitted out with all sorts of weaponary that helped in the fight against those commie b&^%$#ds. It was so quick that it could chase down jet fighters and make trans-oceanic flights, on a single tank of fuel! I remember wanting to be a chopper pilot at the time because, in my mind, a helicopter was the epitome of cool.
Here are some of my other favourites: