Wondering whether the top memorable TV cars that have gone under the hammer are now in the hands of private collectors or worse, have been sent to the junkyards? (which is mostly highly improbable). In this article, we have put together a list of memorable cars that have raced their way to the consciousness of the television viewers through the years.
So, how many of them do you still remember?
1. KITT (The Knight Rider 1982-1986)
You surely won’t recall The Knight Rider without remembering David Hasselhoff’s crime-busting iconic automobile named KITT (aside from Hasselhoff himself, of course). It had amazing features such as a high-tech dashboard with a comprehensive set of controls, a seat ejector and missiles. It could glide and even heal itself! No other vehicle in the small screen has been this cool before or since.
The original KITT (which is the acronym for Knight Industries Two Thousand) was actually a modified third-generation Pontiac Trans-Am. There have been several reports regarding claims from people that they owned the used original KITTs. Some of the owners have put the KITTs up for auction for a pretty low starting bid price, which has left both Knight Rider fans and car aficionados questioning their authenticity.
2. Ferrari 308 GTS (Magnum, P.I. 1980-1988)
Thomas Magnum’s fiery-red Ferrari 308 GTSi used to scorch the palm-fringed Hawaiian roads as he went about on his private investigating assignments. Actor Tom Selleck, who played the titular character, drove this car in all of the series’ eight seasons. On January 18, 2017, this iconic TV car was sold for a whopping $181,500 at Bonhams, one of the oldest and most established auction houses in the world.
3. Ferrari Daytona Spyder and Ferrari Testarossa (Miami Vice 1984-1990)
For those who watched Miami Vice during its original run in the 80s, they most likely remember the numerous automobiles used in the series. A lot of them were stylish luxury gas guzzlers like Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and Lamborghini, some of which were even used for death-defying stunts. However, the most notable Miami Vice cars were certainly the Ferrari Daytona Spyder and the Ferrari Testarossa.
But did you know that the series started off by settling for a fake Ferrari Testarossa? Of course, that didn’t sit well with Enzo Ferrari himself, who naturally considered filing legal action against the show’s producers. Not wanting to get embroiled into such a legal mess, the producers decided to accept Ferrari’s offer of the real deal, on the condition that the imitation is destroyed.
By the show’s third season, the fake Ferrari Testarossa had been rubbed off for good, and the genuine Ferrari Testarossa was finally unveiled on the screen.
Related article: Iconic Cars of the 80s
4. General Lee (The Dukes of Hazzard 1979-1985)
While you cannot see or own a “General Lee” in real life, this iconic orange vehicle was based on an actual car, a 1969 Dodge Charger. General Lee surely had been through a lot of frenetic action scenes and stunts more than any other TV cars had. Not only did it engage in several pulsating cop chases, but it could also even glide high over creeks and ditches. And who would ever forget “Dixie,” the ditty which blared out of General Lee’s horn?
5. 1950 Chevrolet Styleline Deluxe (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air 1990-1996)
The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is an excellent American sitcom that was originally aired on NBC. It brought a lot of fun showing different vehicles on the show in various creative ways. The late 1940s and early 1950s is the period that was considered the best era for the Chevy Styleline because it got a major modification in design with various updates and features added. It manifested a special period of American cars because presently they don’t make such cars anymore.
6. 1991 Geo Prizm (Seinfeld 1989-1998)
In some circles, the 1991 Geo Prizm was named as “Toyota Sprinter.” It was another popular vehicle of the 90s that had important parts in Seinfeld throughout the years. The Geo Prizm is that basic looking car that everyone is familiar with. Its design resembles very much to the average Toyota Camry because it was predetermined as a collaboration between Toyota and Chevrolet. Japanese engineering support and guidance was very helpful in making this vehicle develop a reputation. This car lasted for three generations of manufacturing, and it was produced in bulk from 1990 to 1997.
7. 1994 Volvo 850 (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air 1990-1996)
Volvo is another famous car brand of the 90s that would be remembered forever. Vehicles manufactured by Volvo made various appearances in TV shows of that era besides the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. One of the outstanding features of Volvo 850 was the installation of a 5-cylinder engine. It’s quite impressive and makes the 850 stand apart from other cars of its class and time.
8. 1928 Porter (My Mother the Car 1965-1966)
This was a TV show of 1965 in which the car was extremely rare, and several plots revolved around the ventures of a car collector trying to get Dave’s mother. The Porter Motor Company made only three models in the U.S. One a steam car model, the second one was the Mercer Raceabout, and the third was a luxury performance car.
This car was redesigned to become the fictitious 1928 Porter for the pilot. As per requirements of the pilot, a brass radiator with the Porter company script, rear mounted fuel tank, and a longer hood was added. It was sold for $50,000 at the Dragon auction on September 3, 2017 – owned by Dave Bodnar and located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
9. 1996 Saab 900 Cabrio SE (Seinfeld 1989-1998)
A classic and elegant vehicle from the 90s that is simply unforgettable and truly memorable is the 1996 Saab 900 Cabrio SE. This name had great popularity in the 90s, and it was another remarkable vehicle that had airtime on Seinfeld. This car was pervasive and found globally. Its production remained for a full two decades specifically from 1978 to 1998. The Saab Automobile company had a significant role in Seinfeld.
10. Mazda Miata (Saved by the Bell 1989-1993)
Usually, when we talk about popular TV shows from the ‘90s, it’s just impossible to disregard the impacts of Saved by the Bell. This show primarily revolved around a school, and whenever the car scene was on the show, it prominently featured a Mazda Miata as the vehicle of choice of Mr. Belding. This was an extremely admired car of this particular era; Mazda has continued to work for it till today. The 2018 MX-5 resembles so much to the Mazda Miata, but this car had become sleeker, elegant and cooler with the time.