Who loves cars more than the American people? Television of course! Crazy jumps, crazy street chases, and sometimes even guns, these cars have easily become Nick at Night favorites for everyone. Here are some.
The General Lee – Southern stereotypes aside, this Dodge Charger made its way into the general consciousness of America. Named after the famous Confederate General Robert E. Lee, it was a 1968 or 1969 charger (both used) painted bright orange with a Confederate naval jack on the roof. For some reason, the doors were closed, forcing the Dukes to jump out the windows, and of course the horn sounded Dixie. They used 256 of them in the show business. In fact, on average they consumed more than one General Lee per program! At some point you would think they would learn to do stunts.
The Batmobile: “Atomic Batteries to Power, Turbines to Speed,” these famous words delighted viewers everywhere from 1966 to 1968 when Batman and Robin took on the forces of evil, driven by their iconic car, the Batmobile. . The Batmobile was actually based on a Lincoln-made concept car called the Futura. It was built in 1955 and featured on the auto show circuit that year. It was subsequently sold to George Barris, a famous car customizer, who in 1966 was hired to create the Batmobile for the TV show and turned his Futura into the car we know and love today. The Batmobile is estimated to have had more models and toys made from it than any other car in the world.
The Monkemobile: “Here we come driving down the street, we get the funniest looks of everyone we know …” yeah, they probably see me weird driving in this thing too, but hey hey it’s 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 its slight variations, but it had power, a bit too much, in fact, as it was difficult to drive. Strange story, one of the cars followed the Monkees to Australia to tour with them in 1968. It somehow stayed in Australia and eventually showed up at a hotel in Puerto Rico. To this day no one knows how he got to Puerto Rico.
KITT – No list of great TV cars would be complete without Knight Rider’s Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT), the show that gave us the overrated and furry David Hasselhoff, and an absurdly amazing car. For any young man in the 80s, he wasn’t much cooler than KITT. KITT was a heavily modified jet black Pontiac Trans Am that the protagonist, Michael Knight, rode to save the day and when we say modified we mean VERY modified.
KITT sported an incredible turbo boost that allowed for an incredible burst of speed and the ability to jump over just about anything in its path, including Hasselhoff’s ego. It also featured an AI supercomputer with the ability to think and learn. This computer chip allowed KITT to drive himself, play music, videos, and even arcade games. For a super advanced because he had a surprisingly insecure and sensitive personality that was easily offended. So, in essence, it was an unsafe Iphone on wheels.
But wait, there’s more. KITT was made from a molecular bonded shell. While no one knows exactly how this works, we do know that it made it completely invulnerable to shots and blasts from conventional weapons, as well as offering protection against damage in car accidents and during turbo jumps. It seems that General Lee could have used some of these things as well.
Don’t forget your anamorphic equalizer. Everyone knows the famous red scan bar on his forehead that allows him to “see” in the visual, X-ray and infrared spectra and interact with the world around him. And just to add to the fun, it had grappling hooks with wenches, tear gas, flamethrowers, smoke curtains, and even tires that could go flat, among the many other gadgets that this wheeled F16 jet carried.