Over the decades’ long history of television, there have been some truly iconic shows and series that different generations fondly remember as a large part of their lives. Both heroes and villains of all sorts, from comic book characters to action icons established themselves as household names and gave the fans something to talk about every week.
One of the most important things that producers and screenplay writers deemed absolutely necessary for their show to be successful are cars the characters would drive. During the 20th century, the entertainment industry has given the fans arguably the best and most recognizable on-screen vehicles the viewers loved to see in every episode. The fantastical and over-the-top models had to be built in real life of course, and although the different weaponry and gadgets were just props, fans still loved seeing them off the screen.
With those amazing cars in mind, we decided to make a list of the most iconic cars in the history of TV. However, common people may view their own cars as their trusty steeds, just like Batman does with his Batmobile. In order for it to be road legal and for you to enjoy it fully, your number plates have to be in check. To learn more about plates, how to make a custom one, and how they can be tracked and recognized, visit number1plates.com. Onto the list of iconic TV cars!
1. The Batmobile – Batman, 1966
The Batmobile has seen its fair share of designs and iconic models over the decades. One of the most popular superheroes has had multiple story arcs and redesigns, and a new vehicle always follows closely. Among the oldest and still most beloved is the Batmobile from the (in)famous Adam West Batman TV show from the 1960s.
The car was a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept, which was sold for $1 to George Barris, a car customizer. Over a course of three weeks, the car was heavily transformed into what became the iconic Batmobile. However, it had a lot of problems moving around on the set due to all the upgrades and the age of the model. Problems included overheating, fast emptying of the battery, and blowing of expensive tires. Most of the footage when the car is seen clearly on the screen had to be sped up to make it look better for the show. Decades later, it was purchased by a businessman from Arizona at an auction. He paid $4.6 million for it in January of 2013.
2. Knight Rider Car – Knight Rider, 1982
Hollywood legend David Hasselhoff and his iconic character of Michael Knight are synonymous with the legendary car the hero used to chase bad guys. The crime fighter hero utilized the high-tech car known by the name of KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand), a self-aware machine with artificial intelligence. Virtually indestructible in the show, it helped Knight beat crime in Los Angeles.
For four seasons running from September of 1982 to 1986, Knight and KITT were the fan-favorite duo people loved watching. Below the modifications made for the show, the car was a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. While there was only one car able to shoot rockets, tear gas, dispense money, and drive on two wheels on the screen, off the screen there were more than 20 Pontiacs used on set. All of them were used for the show because they were damaged in shipping, and therefore hard to sell.
3. The Munster Koach – The Munsters, 1964
The Munster Koach is one of the earliest iconic TV cars, and certainly, one of the most unique vehicles ever assembled. This vehicle is a Ford Model-T Hot Rod and Hearse hybrid car. Like the Adam West Batmobile, this is the creation of the customization legend George Barris. Back when it was made, it cost $18,000 to build, an equivalent of around $150,500 today.
The famous blood-red interior and the spider web details on the lights made it an instant classic, alongside the creepy overall vibe of a hot rod hearse of course. The vehicle also had Jahns high-compression pistons, an Isky camshaft, 10 chrome-plated Carter carbs, and Bobby Barr racing headers. It is definitely an art piece and a timeless classic, capable of turning any TV show or movie into a cult classic.
4. Mini – Mr. Bean, 1990
Rowan Atkinson’s legendary goofy character of Mr. Bean is known far and wide. However, the character would not be as popular without his trusty yellow/lime colored Mini Morris. The small car was originally an orange 1969 BMC Morris Mini 1000 Mark 2. Sadly, it was destroyed in the pilot episode and was replaced by the iconic citron-green 1977 Leyland Mini 1000.
It met its end in the famous episode when it was crushed by a tank, as Mr. Bean looked on in disbelief. Famously, he would use a lock and key to close the driver’s door. The show also featured a recurring blue Reliant Regal, a three-wheel car that would always suffer an accident while Mr. Bean is driving by. Speaking of this car…
5. Reliant Regal– Only Fools and Horses
…it is by far more popular as the old, beaten, and difficult to look at the yellow car of Del Boy and Rodney Trotter. The three-wheeled atrocity on wheels was the subject of many jokes during the long-running sitcom.
With its questionable tiger fur interior and the fuzzy dice hanging on the mirror, it had all the wrong design choices made famous by the show’s characters. It was the main form of transportation for the beloved characters for most of the show. The car’s original model is 1967 Reliant Regal Supervan III.
6. The A-Team Van – A-Team, 1983
We are going to finish things off with the iconic mean-looking GMC Vandura van from the famous TV show A-Team. The black van has a characteristic red stripe, a red rooftop spoiler, and matching red rims. In the back, the characters including the favorite on the show, Mr. T, made use of audio surveillance and recording devices, disguise kits, and a printing press.
It could go quite fast thanks to the upgrades and the sporty tires. The extra headlights on the roof and the reinforced steel bumper inspired the looks of many subsequent vans in other media. Thousands of fans customized their vans to mimic the A-Team GMV Vandura as well, proving how influential TV cars truly are.