Whether or not you're a car enthusiast, most people can appreciate the important role cars have played in television entertainment. Undeniably, these TV car stars have been instrumental in establishing and maintaining the show's image. In fact, sometimes the car is more memorable than the lead characters. Here are five of the all-time great rides with real star power.
Can you imagine Batman and Robin chasing the bad guys around Gotham City in a Volkswagen Beetle? Thankfully, a more appropriate vehicle was available to help these caped crusaders fight crime - the Batmobile. Equipped with a super-speed afterburner, a Bat-ray projector, and a Bat-zooka, the Batmobile, like Batman and Robin, was a force to be reckoned with. It all started with a 1955 Lincoln Futura concept body painted black and trimmed out with red accent lines. Its edgy design, which included tail fins resembling wings, made it the perfect transportation for this dynamic duo.
1975 Ford Grand Torino (Starsky and Hutch)
It's hard to believe, but the television series, Starsky and Hutch, is almost 40 years old. The clothes and the haircuts may be outdated, but the 1975 Ford Grand Torino featured in the show has never grown old. Its distinctive custom red-with-white-dagger paint scheme clearly advanced the cool factor of Starsky and Hutch, as they chased through the crime-ridden streets of Southern California. This TV car was so popular during the show's run that Ford produced 1000 Starsky and Hutch cars to sell to the public, The car is still popular today, as illustrated by the lineup of Starsky and Hutch Grand Torinos at the recent Ford Nationals in Carlise PA
KITT (Knight Rider)
Knight Rider, a '80s television series starring David Hasselhoff, had a couple of things going for it: a handsome lead character, Michael Knight; and a gorgeous, talking car, KITT. Every week, Michael, a black-leather clad agent, and KITT, a computer-controlled black 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am equipped with futuristic electronics, fought the forces of evil. Knight Rider had a winning combination: a sexy leading man, with an even sexier co-star, a car.
General Lee (Dukes of Hazzard)
Rarely were TV cars given a name, but the orange 1969 Dodge Charger with the number 01 on the doors and a confederacy flag painted on the roof was dubbed General Lee. Known for its chase scenes and stunts, this moonshine-running car was great at creating clouds of dust, as it evaded the law in Hazzard County. It was such an integral part of the show that Bo, Luke, and Daisy May became General Lee's co-stars. Over 30 years later, General Lee is still a valued piece of television history. In a recent Barrett Jackson auction, the actual car used for the TV jump scenes was sold for $121,000, cracked windshield and all.
Monkeemobile (The Monkees)
Another great customized TV car personality was the Monkeemobile, a 1967 GTO that was so heavily modified, that it was almost unrecognizable as being a GTO. Although it wasn't a principal character in the '60s television series, it was seen each week during the opening credits, as the foursome traveled down the streets of Malibu, California. The original #1 Monkeemobile was sold in 2008 at a Barrett-Jackson auction for an astounding $396,000, and a replica sold on eBay for $65,000. Apparently, being part of Monkee history really pays off. "Hey Hey We're the Monkees."