Illustration for article titled The ten coolest cars in TV show intros

How else is your TV hero going to crash into all those cardboard boxes, through those panes of glass, or over that explosion other than with some awesome car? Here are the small screen cars Jalopnik readers think are the ten best vehicles ever to open a television show.


Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

10.) Mannix's Single Seater

Suggested By: CarsInDepth

Why it's amazing: Exploding cars! Helicopters! Formula One cars! I have no idea what's going on in the opening to the late 60s/early 70s detective show Mannix, but I really don't care. For those who are curious, Ronnie Schreiber gives a full rundown of the show's car cred:

Mike Connors' character originally drove a custom Toronado convertible made by George Barris' shop. Then, Chrysler started sponsoring the show and he switched to Mopars, first a Dart GTS, then a 'Cuda. Mannix always drove a convertible, which created a problem for the '72-'73 season, since Chrysler was no longer making a convertible Barracuda, so 1971 model cars were altered with '73 grilles, lights, hood and rear valence.


9.) The Mach 5

Suggested By: Transalog

Why it's amazing: The car's the star in this one, so hokey as Speed Racer may be, it's hard to front on his wheels. I don't know what stock engine note they used for the thing, but it's awesome. Also, the Speed Racer theme is now stuck in your head.

8.) The A-Team Van

Suggested By: ChiefPontiaxe

Why it's amazing: yes, it's an oversteering GMC Vandura. That should really be enough, and if it isn't Mr. T pities you, fool.

7.) Starsky and Hutch's Ford Torino

Suggested By: drvanwyk

Why it's amazing: Why do we love that Torino? Because it has a stripe. That's pretty much enough, but a bunch of squealing tires and V8 turns helps put it over the top. Also, the dynamic 1970s duo shows off that the absolutely number one best way to escape from baddies is to drive around in circles in an intersection. That totally works in real life.

6.) Ashes to Ashes' Quattro

Suggested By: edbearder001

Why it's amazing: Fire up the Quattro! Ashes to Ashes was actually a pretty good follow up to the classic BBC time-travelling cop show Life on Mars, but it's Gene Hunt's Audi Quattro that takes the cake as one of the most badass cop cars to hit the boob tube.

5.) Optimus Prime

Suggested By: SennaMP4

Why it's amazing:While we do give special marks for the Ligier JS11 that pops up in this opening, there is little to challenge the awesomeness of Optimus Prime. He's a truck that turns into a GIANT ROBOT THAT SAVES THE WORLD. This may be your inner ten year old talking, but you know that Transformers was the best show ever.

4.) KITT from Knight Rider

Suggested By: ChiefPontiaxe

Why it's amazing: Is the best part of the Knight Rider intro that you get to watch TV while watching TV? No, it's KITT turbo boosting into the sunset on some desert lakebed. Does it make any sense? No. Does it have to?

3.) Hardcastle and McCormick's Coyote X

Suggested By: roachswatter

Why it's amazing: I've never watched Hardcastle and McCormick, but I don't even care if it's the worst show ever produced. I'm talking about a one-off McLaren M6GT lookalike that's driving under an 18-wheeler and soaring over another car in slow-motion. It doesn't get more bitchin' than that.

2.) Dukes of Hazzard Dodge Charger

Suggested By: drvanwyk

Why it's amazing: The good ole boys certainly make a case for themselves with the General Lee, once more flying through the air like some country fried trapeze artists. The car's a legend by now, with its dirt trackin' car jumpin' antics being the founding myths of its cult of worship.

1.) Magnum P.I.'s 308

Suggested By: Spiegel and the Masters of the Universe

Why it's amazing: While it's clear that the star of Magnum P.I. was Tom Selleck's mustache, we shouldn't forget the car that played a small role in the show. You might not have noticed it in the intro, but It's a red Ferrari 308 GTS. Part of us wishes that the world would stop mentioning Magnum P.I. every time a 308 is mentioned, kind of like how Chrysler Cordobas could do well if everyone stopped going on about Rich Corinthian Leather. But it's best to just accept the fandom that is Tom Selleck and his targa-top Ferrari, because this is an absolute cheese-tastic classic.

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