There are plenty of things in the wonderful world of television we wish we could have, like massive apartments in New York city that are affordable even when the tenants rarely seem to go to work, the ability to make people find our strange quirks charming and adorable rather than deeply off-putting, a never-ending wardrobe, superpowers, and of course, the really, cool cars.
From the impossibly cool superhero cars like the Batmobile to some more believable options like the Winchester’s Impala we’ve rounded up some of the best cars to ever grace the small screen. Cool, ridiculous, awesome, and everything in between, these are the ten cars from TV shows we would most love to own.
Party Wagon (The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ iconic ride may not be quite as sleek and sophisticated as most other super vehicles, but it was still incredibly cool. Originally just a common van, (also known as the “Turtle Van”) the Turtles’ ride had been modified many times, adding communications systems, weapons systems, armor, and even the ability to shoot sewer covers at enemies. Different versions of the Party Wagon focused on different areas – defense, offense, transport, and espionage, although the turtle-shell accents make it far from inconspicuous. Owning the Party Wagon would be the ultimate for fans of the original animated series from the ‘80s.
The Mystery Van (Scooby Doo)
Not the sleekest or the smoothest of rides, but this is on the wish list of every stoner and pop-culture aficionado. The Scooby gang mystery-solving ride, the Mystery Van, has seating for everyone you know! Although many people assume it’s a VW Microbus, thanks to the flower-power feel and the spare tire on the front, the make and model have never actually been revealed.
Detective Gordon’s Diplomat (Gotham)
One of the coolest things about Gotham is its strange timelessness. Some parts of the show appear almost modern, while others are reminiscent of ‘70s and ‘80s cop shows, and still others fit better with the ‘90s. Detective Gordon’s vehicle, for example, is a classic cop car of the ‘80s, a 1987 Dodge Diplomat. The specs are never explicitly discussed on-screen, and although they have a few high-speed chases through the streets of Gotham, they aren’t really the important part. Instead, Gordon’s car is cool simply because it looks cool. It’s the perfect classic detective car, and it gives him the kind of edge that a more modern vehicle just couldn’t.
The Batmobile (Batman)
Some of the big-screen versions of the Batmobile have definitely been cooler than the one that hit television in the classic ‘60s Batman series, but this version is still the original, and possibly the most iconic. The 1955 Lincoln Futura is a concept car that was customized for the series with some special additions just for Batman. From the red trim and bat symbol on the side and hubcaps, to the less realistic bat-weaponry: the bat-tering ram, the bat-magnet, the bat-scope, the bat-phone, the bat-ray… really, any potentially useful gadget you can think of with the word “bat” added to the name! The actual vehicle needed a few updates during filming, including a replacement engine due to its age, but there’s just something about the original Batmobile that’s incredibly cool – even if the gadgets aren’t real.
The Munster Koach (The Munsters)
This monstrously wonderful sitcom introduced a one-of-a-kind vehicle to the small screen, the Munster Koach. Built out of the bodies of three Ford Model Ts, it’s a massive 18-feet long with three rows of seats and a fourth raised seat hanging off the back – big enough for the entire Munster family. In 1964, it cost about $18,000 to build, with hand-formed steel scrollwork, brass radiators, and fenders. Most of the Koach was built from scratch to create this totally unique vehicle with its black exterior and blood-red velvet. Totally impractical for actually driving around town, it’s still a car we would love to have in the driveway.
Mach 5 (Speed Racer)
There have been multiple adaptations of the Speed Racer (aka Mach GoGoGo), a manga-turned-franchise about Japanese racing, and what all of them have in common are the absolutely incredible cars. The Mach 5, Go Mifune’s main vehicle is an incredible and entirely fictional machine, similar to standard racing cars but with a series of buttons on the steering wheel that activate various gadgetry used to help him win the race. These include jacks that lift the car for anything from maintenance and repairs to literally leaping over obstacles. Plus retractable tire grips for icy terrain, retractable rotary saws to cut through obstacles, a bullet-proof deflector that protects the driver, super-powered headlights, a homing robot that can carry messages and is controlled remotely from the cockpit, and even an underwater mode.
The A-Team Van (The A-Team)
Who wouldn’t want an A-Team van? Okay, so technically, it’s not all that special. It’s just a 1983 Chevrolet GMC Vandura, painted black and grey with a red stripe, but it’s the recognition of this particular van as the one driven by the most brilliantly ridiculous mercenary team ever that makes it so darn cool. In addition, the Vandura did have a few nifty gadgets from time to time, like a gun locker, a printer, audio surveillance equipment, and various disguises, but most of them are pretty outdated by today’s standards. They also weren’t consistently part of the van from episode to episode, as the show is chock full of continuity errors. But that’s all part of the fun.
Lola (Agents of SHIELD)
Agent Coulson’s beloved Lola is a 1962 red Chevrolet Corvette, and even if that was all, it would still be one of the coolest cars on TV. However, this being the Marvel universe, it’s not just a ‘62 Corvette. It’s a ‘62 Corvette that’s been tinkered with by the Stark men as well as Agent Coulson himself, which means it’s packing more than a few optional extras. Lola has a bulletproof windshield, guns behind the headlights, a flamethrower (for when guns just aren’t enough), the world’s first GPS system, and most impressively of all, and its hover capability. The tires rotate sideways to reveal a miniature version of the same tech that allows the Helicarrier to fly.
Crockett’s Daytona and Testarossa (Miami Vice)
The ultimate ’80s detective series, Miami Vice, showcased more than one amazing car, but the first (and most iconic) was Detective Crockett’s 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spyder 365 GTS/4. The black Ferrari was sadly destroyed in the first few episodes of the third season (by Stinger Missile, in true Miami Vice style) and replaced with the equally flashy white 1986 Ferrari Testarossa. Those aren’t the only impressive machines in the series either, as Miami Vice was packed with flashy boats, as well as the excessive number of firearms the show is known for. We wouldn’t wear those crisp white suits these days, but a Daytona or a Testarossa has aged much better than the show’s wardrobe.
Ferrari 308 GT (Magnum PI)
Even if you can’t grow a mustache like the one and only Tom Selleck, you can drive a car like the red Ferrari made famous on his stint as Magnum PI. The show actually used a series of different Ferraris over the eight seasons, with a new model each year the private detective was in Hawaii, making everyone in the ’80s jealous. The original car for the series was a 1979 308 GTS, with a 3.0-liter V8 engine and a 4-valve-per-cylinder engine. Each year, the previous season’s model would be returned to Ferrari to be auctioned off and replaced with the latest model, meaning Magnum always had the latest sports car to zoom around the island in.
What about you? Which fictional car would you like to own? Let us know in the comments below!