This show was the cause of the death and demolition of more 1969 Dodge Chargers than any other single source. They had a fleet of them, but in our hearts there was only one General Lee, and it was invincible.
The show was also responsible for introducing the public to the 'Daisy Duke'.
Wasn't that passenger door supposed to have been welded shut?
The Monkeemobile was created from a Pontiac GTO. The designer 'stretched' the nose and 'mashed' the front end down. A 3rd row of seating was added where the trunk used to be, and an antique touring car convertable top completed the look.
Pontiac paid a promotional fee to have the GTO markings left intact.
This picture was taken from the first season of the show and it features Fonzie on the original motorcycle he rode on the show. It was a much cooler bike. A black Harley Davidson knucklehead. You will notice he also didn't have his trademark leather jacket, instead he wore a lightweight windbreaker.
After striking it rich, Jed loaded up this truck and moved to Beverly, hills that is. The truck was built from an old Buick body and frame. Max Baer (Jethro) said it drove like a tank and was hard to steer.
He hung a replica of the truck from the ceiling of his Beverly Hillbillies Casino in Reno.
This is a promotional photo for the show. Notice the prominent placment of the sponsor's Kellog's Corn Flakes.
In another promotional short, the Clampetts wave to a truckload of Winston cigarettes.
Remember this show with the annoying nerd next door? Well, he got his revenge by taking over the entire show just like The Fonze did on Happy Days. And what else would a nerd like Steve Urkel drive but a BMW Isetta?
Complete with fold-away steering column and one headlight.
The stars of this 1960-64 drama really had it made. They got to drive all over the country in a brand new Corvette having adventures everywhere they went.
Chevrolet was the sponsor and they would furnish the latest model Corvette each season the show was on the air. My favorite was the '62 red and white one, but the show was black & white, so you really couldn't tell what color they were. Below is a shot of the boys taking the new Corvette across the river on a ferry from the very first episode.
Here is one of the '61 models they used.
This was taken from an episode. It looks like the boys had to make a fast getaway.
The show started in 1960, when the Corvette still had pretty much the 1950s style body. It was updated each year, but in 1963, the Corvette was re-designed. The last 2 seasons, the boys drove around in the new stingray body style seen below.
This Warner Bros detective series ran from the late 50s to the early 60s. It featured a parking valet and wannabe detective called Kookie. He was a jive-talking hipster, so what else could he drive but a custom made t-bucket hot rod?
Offscreen, the car (known as the "Kookie" car) was famous on its own. Here is a picture of the car at a show. That is the creator/designer/engineer sitting behind the wheel. He practically invented the T-Bucket craze with this car. Note the skull shift nob. That was one of his specialties, he made them himself.
This promotional photo must be staged. If Kookie really did this and he was off by an inch and his landing wasn't lined up perfectly, it could have dire (and painful) consequences.
Over the years pepole keep asking what kind of car Joe Mannix drove on this detective series.
The answer is a 1968 Toronado customized by George Barris, of course.
Here it is on the set during a scene set-up.
Before the Toronado was established as Joe's car, he drove a 1966 Mercury Comet Caliente convertable in the pilot episode. In a later episode he drove a 1967 Mercury Comet Cyclone convertible and a 1967 Ford Galaxie 500 4-door hardtop, both of these were company cars that got shot up and the Toronado took their place. Barris got involved because they wanted a convertible and Oldsmobile never made an open-top Toronado
In later seasons, Joe also drove a 1968 Dodge Dart GTS 340 convertible and a 1969 Dart that Barris customized to replicate the 1968. Here is a picture autographed by Mike Connors.
During the run of the series, he also drove model years 1970, 1971, and 1973 Plymouth Cuda 340 Coupe, a 1974 Dodge Challenger 360 Coupe, and a Chevy Camaro LT.
However, the Toronado is the car most closely associated with Joe Mannix.
They were a 4-man squad that ran guerilla raids and convert missions on Rommel's forces in the North African dessert during WWII. They drove a Jeep that was pretty much standard military issue. The most prominent option was the 50 caliber machine gun mounted on the back. Each episode opened with the jeep popping over a sand dune and becoming airborn similiar to the picture here.
Here is the main cast plotting an attack over the hood of the Jeep.
The leader is manning the machine gun himself in this scene.
This is a replica that has most of the details correct.
Talk about your career mistakes! Jerry Van Dyke turned down a regular role on his brother's hit stcom.'The Dick Van Dyke Show' because he was offered a starring role in this. It has been called both 'The worst show on television' and 'The biggest flop on TV'. It almost destroyed his career. It was not until 20-some years later, when he landed the role of Luther on the successful sitcom, 'Coach' that he ever saw any success.
This show was about a man whose deceased mother returns as an antique car.
She is a 1928 'Porter' which is pretty much a fictional car. A real Porter did exist. The first was a steam engine car (1901-01) and the second was a powerful luxury car (1919-22). Both are now extinct. This 'Porter' was created by the 'Father of the T-bucket' and creator of the original 'Kookie' car, Norman Grabowski.
He made it from a 1924 Ford hot rod. He modified the car to give it a distinctive look. It was given an elongated engine compartment, brass radiator with the "Porter" script, running board mounted spare tire, outboard fuel tank and cane-clad trunk. This gave it the anchronistic look, resembling cars of an earlier age.
The power train was a hot rod-grade 283 cu in Chevy small block engine with a power glide automatic transmission.It was registered as a 'modified Ford' in 1964 and sports the yellow and black California license plates throughout the run of the series.
On the show, the car could drive itself and talk, only to Jerry, of course.
This show was a great showcase for Chevrolet. Their products were displayed prominently throughout the popular series' run. The Stephens family ran through a series of Chevys during the years. During the first season, the family car was a 1964 Chevelle, new for that year, of course.
Not only in their driveway, but there were strategically placed Chevrolets all along the road in the neighborhood.
And in town.
Here is their 1965 Malibu.
Only a few years later, the Stephens were driving a new 1968 SS Camaro.
They got a new one in 1970.
Being a 2 car family, they kept a Malibu in addition to their Camaro. Here is their 1969 Chevelle SS Malibu. Check out the sporty green Camaro in the next parking space.
By the last season they had settled down to this 1972 Impala as a family car.
Even the fantasy cars were Chevy powered. Here is a custom-designed car they used in "The Super Car". It was front wheel powered by a Covair engine.
Another shot of the "Super Car".
As for the Corvair, when it was getting all the bad publicity over safety concerns in the mid-60s, GM decided some good publicity would be for Darrin and Sam to drive a 1966 Covair Convertible for a while until they replaced it with their new Camaro.
And how a 1970 Pontiac Bonneville got so prominently displayed is anyone's guess. But it is a GM product,so...
Lee Majors starred as a movie stunt man and part-time bounty hunter. He drove this 1982 GMC Sierra and seemed to have to jump it in every show. Dozens of these trucks were destroyed between 1982 and 1986.
He usually made a pretty rough landing, too. Like in this scene where he has just jumped an older model. Notice how the front tire appears to be folding under the fender as if the axel had just broken.
And in the next scene, the truck is handling just like new!
Brian Keith starred as the hard-nosed, retired judge that people called "Hardcase", behind his back, of course. He did a little detective work on the side and somehow got teamed up with a young ex-con that he tolerates. McCormick drives this custom-made exotic vehicle called the Coyote X.
The Coyote is in right on the tail of a 1968 Chevelle.
Of course macho man Tim would build a 1933 Ford Hot Rod in his garage under the guise of a bonding activity with his sons and then get carried away and challenge Bob Villa to a drag race before he has put in the engine.
Fred and Lamont collected the 'treasures' they used to create their 'empire' in this beat-up 1951 Ford F1 4X2.
Lamont out working the streets in the old truck.
Here is the current owner of the original truck used on the show. He plans to make it safe to drive in parades, while maintaining the original 'worn-out' look. Notice how the red paint is now so faded, it appears to be pink.
For years, television has comissioned custom vehicles to be used on shows. These cars have become identified with the show and they have even toured them in car shows for extra promotion. Here is a list of some classic TV cars. See if you can find some of your old favorites.