Several television shows have been popularized not just by their iconic characters, but also by their equally-iconic cars. From figuring in death-defying action scenes to looking as gaudy and noticeable as they could be, cars on television shows have made their mark in both the hearts and minds of viewers. Here is a top 10 rundown of the most memorable cars that have graced television screens around the world.
Mach 5 (Speed Racer) –
Featuring an aerodynamic white and red rocket ship design, the Mach 5 is a known classic among fans of the classic anime Speed Racer. Characterizing the Mach 5’s speedy reputation is its steering wheel – perhaps a figure of longstanding fantasy among Speed Racer’s youthful fans, which has a plethora of buttons that allow the car to perform awesome features. That includes underwater travel (Control D) and a separate homing robot (Control G), among many others.
Mini Cooper (Mr. Bean) –
Who does not love Rowan Atkinson’s funny antics as Bean? The long-running British comedy sitcom would not be as iconic as it is now without three things: Mr. Bean’s spurious humor, his stuffed toy Teddy, and his yellow-green Mini Cooper. One remarkable feature of Mr. Bean’s Mini Cooper is its latches and padlocks, used in place of conventional car locks.
Ford Gran Torino (Starsky & Hutch) –
Starsky & Hutch fans know that the funky law enforcement duo would not be the same without their red-and-white Ford Gran Torino. In its time, the Ford Gran Torino is known as among the more iconic sights of the muscle car era. But what made the Ford Gran Torino as one of the most memorable cars on television is its characteristic disrepair throughout the series’ duration, which has sat well with the main characters’ respective identities considering that such has actually been due to limited time for repairs.
Lamborghini Countach LP400 “Auto Car” (Automan) –
Although Automan may no longer ring as many bells as it did during its 12-episode heyday, the eponymously-named main character’s car “Auto Car” prove to be memorable even at first sight. The Auto Car’s futuristic styling owes to the equally-futuristic silhouette of its base car, a Lamborghini Countach LP400.
Pontiac Trans Am “KITT” (Knight Rider) –
Whereas the Pontiac Trans Am is a popular model in itself, its use as Knight Rider’s KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) has sealed its reputation as a true icon. The Pontiac Trans Am’s edgy beak design proved to be a suitable complement to the KITT’s bullet-proof and indestructible character.
Lincoln Futura “Batmobile” (Batman) –
The 1960s Batman television series introduced the iconic “Batmobile” to the world. Essentially a version of the Lincoln Futura concept car modified by popular Hollywood vehicle design George Barris, the Batmobile has become a defining feature of Batman’s character, making it one of the most recognizable cars on television. Among the Batmobile’s known features include a full-car fire extinguisher and an automatic wheel repair mechanism, making it virtually impenetrable against Batman’s adversaries.
GMC Vandura (The A-Team) –
The GMC Vandura used in the hit television series The A-Team has an unmistakably all-around character. A large part of what made the GMC Vandura memorable is its red decals over black paint and flashy turbine wheels. Having been a regular fixture in the series’ stunts, the GMC Vandura features the following amenities: a disguise kit, small printing press, and audio surveillance recording device.
McLaren M6GT “Coyote X” (Hardcastle & McCormick) –
The Coyote X in Hardcastle & McCormick proved to be among the most iconic figures of the “hot pursuit” genre of American television during the 1980s. Based on the McLaren M6GT, the Coyote X has a bold design that matches its exceptional speed, which makes it a perfect fit in Mark McCormick’s chase scenes.
Chrysler Imperial Crown “Black Beauty” (The Green Hornet) –
The Green Hornet would definitely not be the same without the “Black Beauty,” which is actually a heavily-modified Chrysler Imperial Crown. The Black Beauty is loaded with several features that serve the masked vigilante’s purpose well: a spray that releases “Hornet gas,” a smoke screen for hiding against enemies, infra-green headlights for driving in the dark, and vehicle-tracking remote scanners, among others.
Dodge Charger “General Lee” (The Dukes of Hazzard) –
The iconic television series The Dukes of Hazzard would not have met its stature in American pop culture without “General Lee,” a pumped-up Dodge Charger named after one of America’s Civil War heroes. Around 300 Chargers were used throughout the filming of the series, hence its action-packed reputation.