QOTD: What TV Show Car Did You Lust Over as a Kid?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
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qotd what tv show car did you lust over as a kid

One of the great things about childhood is the feeling that unlimited possibilities will arrive the moment you turn 18. Rich and famous? Adventurer? Carefree private eye who lives in a trailer by the beach? All of those future lifestyles exist in the realm of possibility when you’re a kid.

You’ll make it happen one day. First, you just need to grow up.

Adulthood, of course, has a way of stepping in and saying, “Whoa there…. whoa, whoa, whoa. Easy now. Have you thought about coding? Plastics? Think, son — what about your retirement?”

Adulthood is one giant buzzkill after another.

Even as that youthful feeling fades, memories loom large. Long before the internet and Facebook made us antisocial, we spent hours sitting alone in front of the TV, wishing — in my case — that we lived on Robin Master’s estate, with full access to the trappings the mysterious novelist apparently never needed.

As a child in the 1980s, the bulk of my television exposure came from mediocre sitcoms of the era (WKRP being a noted exception — that show was brilliantly ahead of its time), but it was the cop, spy and private eye shows of the 1960s and ’70s that tickled me the most. Not surprisingly, the cars gave me a special thrill. (Miami Vice was never my bag, so you won’t see a white Testarossa anywhere on this page. Knight Rider? Don’t get me started.)

“I’m going to pull up to my building one day just like that,” I thought, watching Maxwell Smart’s gadgeted-out ’65 Sunbeam Tiger squeal to a stop in front of CONTROL headquarters.

“Three-point turns are for losers. I’m going to change directions like that,” I pondered after seeing Jim Rockford evade baddies in his very attainable gold Pontiac Firebird Esprit for the umpteenth time.

Because massive land barges always struck a chord, Steve McGarrett’s all-black 1968 Mercury Park Lane Brougham needed no extra help to stimulate my salivary glands. The Jack Lord character’s replacement car — a ’74 Marquis Brougham — might have lacked the same panache, but I’ll still take it any day of the week. Living the landau life isn’t for everyone, but I like to stretch out.

Come at me, greenies.

I’d say that of all of those Johnson-through-Reagan-era shows, the most desirable daily driver would have to be the red, early-80s Ferrari 308GTSi driven by that titan among men, Thomas Magnum.

While Tom Selleck is worthy of some sort of award for living the best TV life (and keeping a moustache for his entire adult life), the show’s creators deserve royalty checks from Maranello. Magnum, P.I. ingrained that car in the minds of so many.

Okay, now it’s question time. Think back. Think way, way back. Growing up, what car tempted you on the small screen week after week?

[Images: IMCDB.com]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • STS_Endeavour STS_Endeavour on Apr 09, 2017

    JR Ewing's Allante (and Mark VII) Optimus Prime Silverthorn's '88 Ford LTD limo from The Girl From Tomorrow KITT Autocar (Lamborghini Countach LP400)

  • Shortest Circuit Shortest Circuit on Apr 10, 2017

    Al Bundy's tan 72 "Dodge" (actually a Duster)... I remember they once opened the hood and I was like, "wait a second, that does not look like a slant-6" :) More like a 340! I was so happy back then that Al drove a proper V8.

  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.