Iconic Cars of Television Past

Who loves cars more than the American people? Television of course! Crazy jumps, mad street chases, and sometimes even weapons, these cars have easily become Nick at Night favorites for everyone. Here are a few.

The General Lee – Southern stereotypes aside, this Dodge Charger burned its way into America’s general (get it) conscious. Named after the famed confederate General Robert E. Lee, it was a 1968 or 1969 (they used both) Charger painted bright orange with a Confederate naval jack on the roof. For whatever reason the doors were wielded shut, forcing the Dukes to jump in through the windows and of course, the horn played Dixie. They used 256 of them in the shows run. In fact, on average they used up more than one General Lee per show! At some point you would think they would learn how to do stunts.

The Batmobile – “Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed,” these famous words delighted viewers everywhere from 1966 to 1968 as Batman and Robin faced off against the forces of evil, driven around by their iconic car, the Batmobile. The Batmobile was actually based off a concept car made by Lincoln called the Futura. It was built in 1955 and displayed on the auto show circuit that year. Afterwards, it was sold to George Barris, a famous auto customizer, who 1966, was hired to create the Batmobile for the TV show, and converted his Futura into the car we know and love today. It is estimated that the Batmobile has had more model and toys made of it than any other car in the world.

The Monkemobile – “Here we come driving down the street, we get the funniest looks from, everyone we meet…” yeah, I would probably get funny looks driving around in this thing as well, but hey, hey, their the Monkees, and they had a car. The Monkeemobile was a 1966 Pontiac GTO. It was painted red with the famous Monkees logo on each side. Two were built, each with their slight variations, but it did have horse power, in fact a little too much, as it was difficult to drive. Weird story, one of the cars followed the Monkees to Australia to go on tour with them in 1968. Somehow it got left in Australia and eventually turned up at a hotel in Puerto Rico. To this day nobody knows how it got to Puerto Rico.

KITT – No list of cool TV cars would be complete without the Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT) from Knight Rider, the show that gave us the over rated, hairy chested David Hasselhoff, and one absurdly awesome car. To any young boy in the 80′s, it didn’t get much cooler than KITT. KITT was a heavily modified jet black Pontiac Trans Am that the protagonist, Michael Knight, would ride in on to save the day and when we say modified we mean HEAVILY modified.

KITT sported an insane turbo boost that allowed for amazing burst of speed and the ability to jump over just about anything in his path, including Hasselhoff’s ego. It also had a super computer AI with the capacity to think and learn. This computer chip allowed KITT to drive himself, play music, videos and even arcade games. For a super advanced car he had a surprisingly insecure and sensitive personality that was easily offended. So in essence, he was an insecure Iphone on wheels.

But wait, there is more. KITT was made from molecular bonded shell. While nobody know exactly how this works, we do know it made him completely invulnerable to conventional arms fire and explosions as well as offering protection from damages in car wrecks and during turbo jumps. It seems like the General Lee could have used some of this stuff as well.

Don’t forget his anamorphic equalizer. Everyone knows the famous red scan bar in his front that lets him “see” in the visual, x-ray and infrared spectrums and interact with the world around him. And just to top things off for fun, he had grappling hooks with wenches, tear gas, flame throwers, smoke screens and even tires that could deflate were among the numerous others gadgets this F16 jet on wheels bore.