TV shows are defined by their premise, their characters and by the memorable vehicles they drive.
A car can tell us a lot about someone and the vehicles chosen for a show’s main character can speak volumes.
Whether they are practical or luxurious, these machines have captured audiences imaginations and aren’t easily forgotten.
Whether you covet the classics, wish for high-end performance or simply want a vehicle that will never quit, you can probably find it on TV.
Check out these 17 Awesome Automobiles that we simply can’t forget.
Lola - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Don't touch Lola! LOLA officially stands for Levitating Over Land Automobile but it isn't so much the car's ability to fly or its hidden machine guns that make us swoon. It's the classic 1962 Chevrolet Corvette chassis that it’s built on that revs our engines. We'd happily drive it without all of the awesome super-power extras.
The General Lee - The Dukes of Hazzard
Cousins Bo and Luke Duke may have been a couple of good ol' boys but it was The General Lee that made them soar…literally. The 1969 Dodge Charger was named after Confederate General Robert E. Lee. It displayed the Confederate flag on the roof and its horn played the first 12 notes of the song “Dixie”. Not only was the Charger fast enough to outrun the law but it flew over many a creek bed and broken bridge without getting a scratch. Only on TV.
Citreon - The Mentalist
Patrick Jane drove a vintage French 1972 Citroen DS (20 or 21). The car had been used in the movie Speed Racer in 2008. Originally red, the car was painted eggshell blue for the show (Perhaps to match Jane's blue suits?) and was considered a homage to Columbo’s Peugeot 403.
KITT - Knight Rider
KITT stands for Knight Industries Two Thousand and was designed by billionaire Wilton Knight who put the artificial intelligence he’d designed into a 1982 Pontiac Trans Am. The car not only talked but helped fight crime with driver Michael Knight.
Red Ferrari - Castle
Rick Castle has many toys but none are more coveted than his prized red Ferrari. Just ask detectives Kevin Ryan and Javier Esposito who are always hitting him up for driving privileges...but Rick seems more in awe of watching Kate Beckett behind the wheel than the car itself.
Gran Torino - Starsky & Hutch
Starsky was originally slated to drive a Chevrolet Camaro convertible but it turned out the studio already had a deal in place with Ford which led to him driving the iconic red Gran Torino with the white stripe. Starsky & Hutch, which aired from 1975 to 1979, used Torinos ranging from 1974 to 1976 as the body style hadn't changed. But it was the show's main characters sliding over the hood as they chased after bad guys that made it all the more memorable.
2005 Maserati Quattroporte - Entourage
Eric held onto his 1988 Honda Prelude for a long time before finally jumping on the band wagon and riding the Hollywood coattails. We don't think there was a more glamorous choice than this 2005 Maserati Quattroporte.
The Batmobile - Batman
In 1955, the Lincoln Futura, a concept car was built by the Lincoln division of Ford Motor Company. Built entirely by hand in Turin, Italy, it cost $250,000 but like many concept cars it was never put into production. In the mid 1960's, George Barris acquired the car for $1 directly from Ford.
Fast forward to August 1965, the Batman TV show producers approached George to have him build a new Batmobile but they needed it ready in three weeks! The Futura was the perfect answer and became one of the most iconic TV cars of all time.
Ferrari 308 GTS - Magnum P.I.
The epic Ferrari wasn't actually Magnum's but was owned by Robin Masters along with the rest of the estate. Not only did Thomas Magnum get to live on a beautiful estate on Hawaii, he also got unlimited access to this gorgeous red Ferrari 308 GTS. Talk about living the dream!
Ferrari Daytona Spider - Miami Vice
Detective Sonny Crockett drove two Ferraris while working as an undercover drug dealer. This was the first, seen on Miami Vice seasons 1 and 2. A 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spyder 365 GTS/4. It's a replica because Ferrari North America turned down the request by the show for authentic Ferraris. This particular vehicle was blown up by a Stinger missile at the beginning of season 3.
Ferrari Testarossa - Miami Vice
Miami Vice makes the list a second time with Crockett's white Testarossa. After Ferrari filed a lawsuit demanding that the halt of production and sale of Ferrari replicas, the producers of the show were happy to avoid a legal hassle and accepted Ferrari's offer of two free 1986 Testarossas. The cars given by Ferrari were actually black but painted white. Some say it’s because the producers felt the car looked more stunning in white while filming night scenes.
Porsche Speedster - Beverly Hills, 90210
The year of the car is in question as in one episode Dylan says it’s a 1961 Porsche 356 Speedster and in a different episode it’s referenced as a 1957. Either way, this Porsche replica is gorgeous and is a perfect compliment to Dylan McKay's James Dean persona.
Pontiac Firebird Esprit - The Rockford Files
Jim Rockford's 1978 Pontiac Firebird was an enduring symbol on the show. Actor James Garner said he did many of his own driving stunts in this vehicle which was updated a few times during the show but not past the 1978 model. Turned out the actor wasn't a fan of the new front end of the Firebirds in the 1979 model so the 1978 stuck around for the rest of the series.
Coyote X - Hardcastle and McCormick
The series began with Mark McCormick being arrested for stealing a prototype sports car called the Coyote X. In a deal with the judge, he's actually allowed to keep the car. Most of the cars made for the show were molded and assembled. As with many kit cars at the time, the show used different parts from different vehicles; this one used a chassis from a Volkswagen Beetle and the engine from a Porsche 914.
Aston Martin Rapide - NCIS: Los Angeles
Callen has had several cars over the run of NCIS: Los Angeles… a Mercedes Benz CL 63 AMG, his Jaguar XK, but our favorite was the Aston Martin Rapide. The vehicle is worth around $200,000 but we can’t have our hero driving just any car!
Mercedes Benz 450 SL - Dallas
Dallas was all about those made rich and powerful through oil and it showcased vehicles worthy of the oil barons of the time. J.R. drove many a luxurious, albeit gas guzzling, Mercedes of the late '70s and early '80s but the car we coveted was little brother Bobby's. Bobby drove back into town in his 1978 Mercedes Benz 450 SL red convertible in the series pilot. It was updated several times on the show but the red convertible never gets old.
1983 GMC G-Series Cargo Van - The A-Team
No, it's not a car but we found it impossible to leave out The A-Team's intrepid van. It somehow survived shootouts, epic crashes, and insane jumps all while keeping its occupants safe without having them wear seatbelts! (We call that the magic of the 1980s.) The team also managed to keep one step ahead of the law despite driving this black van with the highly memorable red stripe.