Any time a TV show has a really cool car in it, the show usually becomes a hit. There you go, Hollywood–that’s the formula, right there.
Throughout the decades there have been plenty of memorable vehicles from the Batmobile in the 60’s to the black Chevy Impala on Supernatural. These vehicles have become more of a character in some shows than the actual characters themselves. However, in the 1980’s, transportation was never more fashionable on TV. That’s why I’ve compiled this list after spending agonizing minutes exhausting my research. Keep in mind this list is only for TV shows in the 80’s–not movies. The top 5 best movie cars of the 80’s is my next list.
5. Miami Vice Miami Vice makes the list at number 5 because of the two exquisite offerings the show offered us. First there was Sonny Crockett’s 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spider 365 GTS. That sweet ride got Crockett and Tubbs to many a drug bust until it was destroyed in the season 3 premiere. Fortunately, Sonny’s modest cop salary afforded him the luxury of getting another ferrari (gotta love TV), this one a sweet, white 1986 Ferrari Testarossa that every kid my age dreamed of having. There were a ton of other hot rides during the shows 5 year run, but these two Ferrari’s are enough to earn Miami Vice the number 5 spot.
4. Magnum P.I. Here’s a case of whenever someone mentions Magnum P.I., the first image that pops in your head (if you’re a dude) is the cherry red, Ferrari 308GTS (If you’re a girl, it’s Tom Selleck, himself). This cat had it made–he lived in a guest house on beautiful Hawaii and got to drive the owner’s Ferrari and rarely worked. Who wouldn’t want a sweet deal like that? And the only reason I didn’t put this pick at number one is because I’m being very objective here–Any TV character that boldly wears his Detroit Tiger hat and has the likes of former Tiger greats Alan Trammel and Lou Whitaker on the show should be number 1!
3. The A-Team Not only did I want the GMC Vandura van that B.A. Baracus drove, but I so badly wanted to hang out with these guys and go save the world on one of their missions. This van was literally the Incredible Hulk of TV show cars not just because it was big and bad and was driven by someone who was even bigger and badder, but because the A-Team manipulated their chariot to get them out of the worst of scenarios and I can’t remember one that it failed. It may not have won a fashion show, but that was the charm of this van–a real man’s van!
2. Knight Rider Hasselhoff who? That’s right–as big and popular as the Hoff is and was, it did not compare to the greatness of KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand). Come on–who doesn’t want a talking car? That can drive itself? I know we have all these clever GPS devices and even some cars can parallel park themselves, but there’s never going to be anything close to a KITT, right? If there ever is, can you imagine how many crime-fighters it will create? And every time I see William Daniels do anything on TV or movies, I can’t help but imagine where they stuffed him in that car to make him talk to Michael Knight. That Pontiac Trans Am was legendary stuff, I tell you.
1. The Dukes of Hazzard Was there ever any doubt? Even though I’m a born and bred Yankee at heart, The General Lee was the most amazing car of the 80’s, if not all time. If B.A.’s van was the Incredible Hulk of TV show cars, then The General Lee is definitely the Superman. The car actually flew in every episode and landed without a scratch! And it always hung there in mid air while Waylon Jennings worried us if the Duke boys were going to get out of this jam or not while we made a sandwich during the commercials. That’s a pretty special car. I don’t remember myself or any of my friends not having some form of General Lee toy car to play with–in fact, if you didn’t have one, you didn’t get to play with us! That’s how hardcore we loved that 1969 Dodge Charger, of course, a few years later our attention turned slightly more towards Daisy Duke…but that’s for another list…
There you have it–the top 5 best TV show cars of the 80’s. If you have any comments or questions or opinions other than mine, be sure to let me know!