Vintage Wheels #10: The Top 40 Greatest TV Cars

1-24-2011 9-30-54 PM

It's time to forget that Prius parked in your driveway and drift back to the good ol' days of muscle cars and shaggin' wagons.  Here's a definitive list of the greatest vehicles (as in cars, trucks and vans) in television history as determined by the research staff at Retrospace Headquarters.  And for those of you that need eye candy with your reading material, we've inserted a bunch of dynamite chicks for your viewing pleasure.

Please note that these aren't "cars I'd most like to own". These are favorites - iconic vehicles that were awesome each in their own way.  Thus, the Trans Am from Knight Rider and Fred Sanford's pickup both make the list. Also, don't get hung up on the order - the numerical placement is haphazard at best. But please contribute your own favorites in a comment. I'd love to hear of any glaring omissions. Enjoy!

1. The General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard
2. Dan Tana's 1957 Thunderbird from Vega$
3. The Coyote X from Hardcastle & McCormick
4. The Pontiac Trans Am from Knight Rider
5. The Ferrari 308 GTB/GTS on Magnum PI

6. The Munster Koach
7. The Sunbeam Tiger on Get Smart
8. The Monkee Mobile
9. Frank Poncherello's 1970 Trans-Am from C.H.i.Ps
10. The 1950 Mercury pickup on Sanford & Son

11. The Bradymobile station wagon
12. The Mystery Machine on Scooby Doo
13. Rooster's pimpmobile from Baretta
14. The GMC A-Team van
15. "Dixie", Daisy Duke's 1981 AMC Golden Eagle Jeep

Miss Hurst Golden Shifter

16. The 1974 Firebird Esprit from The Rockford Files
17. Emma Peale's Lotus Elan from The Avengers
18. Dragula (another one from The Munsters)
19. Major Nelson's GTO from I Dream of Jeannie
20. The Batmobile

21. Black Beauty from The Green Hornet
22. The Ferrari Daytona Spider from Miami Vice
23. The Corvette Roadsters from Route 66
24. Bill Bixby's 1974 Corvette from The Magician
25. The 4X4 GMC Pickup from The Fall Guy

26. The 1979 Dodge Power Wagon from Simon & Simon
27. The Model T pickup from The Beverly Hillbillies
28. The 1976 Ford Mustang Cobra II from Charlie's Angels
29. The Gran Torino from Starsky & Hutch
30. The Lamborghini from Automan

car trouble

31. Columbo's 1959 Peugeot Convertible
32. The Mach 5 from Speed Racer
33. Roger Moore's Volvo 1800 from The Saint
34. Uncle Jessie's F-150 from The Dukes of Hazzard
35. The Partridge Family bus

36. Speed Buggy
37. Ralph Malph's T-Roadster pickup from Happy Days
38. The Kenworth truck from B.J. and the Bear
39. Al Bundy's 1974 Dodge Dart
40. Dobie Gillis' tricked out hot rod



  1. That Coyote was a piece of crap kit car. I wouldn't put that in the top 100.

    A couple of glaring omissions:

    Mannix's Dart GT Convertible and Olds Toronado Convertible

    And some obscurities:

    Enos Strait's primered '68 Chevelle from the Dukes of Hazzard Spinoff "Enos."

    Paul Lynde's 1970 Caprice Convertible in The Paul Lynde show.

    Cooter's tow truck (could be a '71 Ford or a '68 GMC)

  2. The 1972 Dodge "squad 51" from Emergency! and the early '60s Ford Galaxies from The Andy Griffith Show.

    And as long as you're including regular ol' boring vehicles like Uncle Jesse's truck, I think Friday & Gannon's 1967 Ford Fairlane on Dragnet was a much more ubiquitous car. Personally, I'd include the Cunningham's DeSoto from Happy Days.

  3. Great list. Some of those are definately more memorable than others. Who could forget the General Lee or Magnum's Ferrari? Speaking of memorable Craig, I forgot that Enos had a spin off series from the Dukes of Hazard. I think it lasted about as long as the Roper's spin off attempt from Three's company.

  4. 17 episodes, if IMDB is correct.

    Naturally, he was paired with a slick-talking, pimp-looking black dude named "Turk," and thus, hilarity ensued.

  5. Incredible suggestions! The Dragnet Ford Fairlane should definitley have made the list, as should Mannix's ride. I must admit, though, I do not remember the Paul Lynde car. Hats off to you for that one!

  6. Great list. I'm glad you included Jill Monroe's (Farrah Fawcett) Cobra II from Charlie's Angels which I always dreamed of owning. An omission from a show that was a personal favorite of mine, The Hardy Boys Mysteries, they drove a GMC van with a custom paint job on the side of a scenic sunset.

  7. I was always fond of the Pink Panther car when I was a kid. That is definitely one unique looking car.

  8. For me, it's always been Straker's car from UFO (though Foster's will do).

  9. By God, here it is:


  10. Jim Rockford's gold camaro ( i think it was gold ) from the Rockford files. Awesome shots of 1970's LA in the opening song for the show.

  11. Firebird Esprit. It's on the list.

    I liked his father's GMC Jimmy.

  12. Very glad to see Dragula on the list! I always loved Ralph the Malph's hot rod on Happy Days, too.

    You didn't have Speed Racer or Racer X on the list.

    Didn't Simon and Simon have a nice 4x4? Never saw the show, but I seem to remember the commercials.

    There's a pic of The Munster's daughter with the Munster's coach out there. That would have been a good pic to include.

  13. I forgot to mention the Internet Movie Cars Database. Check it out at http://www.imcdb.org/

  14. Great list; I would add Sonny Crockett's Ferrari from Miami Vice and Herbie the Love Bug (yes, the movie spawned a short-lived TV series!)

  15. Hey!!... Where's the Batmobile?!! One of the most iconic TV cars of all time, and it didn't make this list?... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! A "twenty - something" had to have made up this list!

    Come to think of it, where's the "Pope - mobile"?!

  16. Oh, the Batmobile IS on this list - at number 20... ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! It should at least be in top ten, along with the "Pope - mobile"!

  17. Matt, slow down and read. He said to not get hung up on the order. Sheez!

  18. The first woman in the gold lamé...I swear she was a waitress in Winnemucca who chewed gum and said "Can I take your order, hon?"

  19. Gilligan's bamboo car
    Flintstone car

    How about motorcycles? Street Hawk or Fonzie's bike

    BJ and the Bear's tractor trailer

  20. I vote for the 1928 Porter... "My Mother the Car"

  21. Thanks for the delicious young Jane Birkin in a gorgeous Citroen DS convertible (by Henri Chapron).

  22. One car that is not from an older show but should be added is the black 1967 Chevy Impala from Supernatural. That car is as much apart of the show as the stars.

  23. If you are going to include The Batmobile and The Black Beauty, I would humbly suggest adding the customized Piranha from The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

  24. Great list – one addition: Tom Slick's Thunderboltgreaseslapper!

  25. Daisy Duke's Jeep was a gratuitous afterthought. The 1974 Roadrunner she started out with was way cooler, so of course they had to wreck it.

  26. Every car on Michael Mann's "Crime Story", but especially Mike Torello's '57 Chrysler 300C. I swear by the gods I will own one some day, even if premium gas is $30 a gallon by that time!

  27. I'm partial to the Reactor, used in the old Star Trek Roman Empire episode: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_q7ta3qfQBCU/S8Kf-WIsIHI/AAAAAAAABAE/vnsmHLlrxL4/s1600/Reactor.jpg

    This sweet ride was designed by Gene Winfield, who built custom cars for the last 50 someodd years, even built the Spinners from Blade Runner.


  28. Nice one! There's still the other way if you'll need it...
    Wheels Miami

  29. AnonymousJuly 08, 2011

    Supernatural (2005-present) - Dean Winchester's 1967 Impala (327ci, 4-door).

    Streets of San Francisco (1960's) - Karl Malden's and Michael Douglas's 1973 Ford Galaxie 500.

  30. AnonymousJuly 25, 2011

    The Vista Cruiser from That 70's Show!!!

  31. I watch many stills about the bike shows was to take one shot of the show placard with the bike so that I could know for sure later what make, model, year, and maybe who the owner is. Wheels For Sale

  32. You're forgetting the trucks from the series Movin' On (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071012/)

  33. what about the firebird from california fever drivin by jimmie mcnichol or the corvette summer vette drivin by kenny dantley i know the vette is a movie car but its still cool...and dont forget the jokemobile from batman also

  34. Vanishing point Challenger

  35. Frank BoothOctober 18, 2012

    Banacek's Packard-Darrin 180

  36. These are from Movies but they count aswell right? Corvette summer stingray vanessas van also corvette sumer cheech and chong love machine smokey and the bandit cars herbie