Whether you are a movie or television buff, you probably have noticed that cars also play big roles in your favorite films or TV series. Although it can’t be denied that movies feature the more expensive and fancier cars, there have also been a number of memorable four-wheeled stars in TV history.
Who can forget the Pontiac Firebird Esprit used in The Rockford Files or the Oldsmobile truck in the Beverly Hillbillies? Of course, this was just in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Of late, the cars that may have really remained in the minds of TV fans probably include Dean’s Chevy Impala in Supernatural and also the 1968 Volkswagen bus in Lost.
All of these cars are unforgettable not because they are expensive, but because they hold a certain character that holds people’s attention as much as the stars driving them.
However, if you really wish to know which cars in the history of television are deemed as the priciest, then we have made a list for you below:
The 1966 Batmobile
Forty-eight years after its television debut on January 1966, this Batmobile is still considered as one of the most famous and iconic cars in history. Just last year, it fetched a whopping $4.2 million (the end price after fees was estimated at $4.62 million) when it was sold at a Barrett-Jackson auction.
The Batmobile’s value has surely appreciated over the years considering that Hollywood car designer George Barris bought the concept car it was based on for only a dollar and spent $15,000 when he turned it into Batman’s iconic automobile. The concept car, which was known as the 1955 Lincoln Futura, cost Ford $250,000 to make, but it was never put into production.
The Dukes of Hazzard’s General Lee
This 1969 Dodge Charger is known as the car driven by cousins Bo and Luke Duke. Named after General Robert E. Lee, the automobile’s roof is a proud bearer of a battle flag of the Confederate States of America.
Featuring a horn that plays the first twelve notes of the Dixie song and doors that have been welded shut, this car is famed for its crazy chases and stunts, which include its notorious long jumps.
The 1969 Dodge Charger that was used for the series, which was owned by John Schneider who played Bo Duke himself, was sold for $230,000 at a Barrett Jackson auction, after it was reported to have been sold for almost $10 million to a fake buyer. In 2012, the original Charger that played the role of General Lee was sold for $110,000 at the same auction house.
Knight Rider’s KITT
This customized Pontiac Trans Am was one of the stars in the TV series Knight Rider starring David Hasselhoff. An acronym that stands for Knight Industries Two Thousand, KITT was the name given to the car driven by Hasselhoff’s character Michael Long.
KITT was actually an electronic computer module with artificial intelligence that was placed inside a highly mobile and advanced robotic car. It was basically used in the crime-fighting mission of the Foundation of Law and Government or FLAG, which was founded by Wilton Knight, who also designed KITT.
In the TV series, KITT was pegged to have cost $11.4 million. In reality though, KITT actually cost a whole lot lesser, but still does not come cheap enough. One of the four original KITTs was bought in 1997 by car collector Tim Russo, who sold it for $150,000 after he had it fixed for 10 years.
Another KITT belonging to the personal collection of Hasselhoff was sold for $152,000 in an auction. Its starting bid price was just $15,000. A KITT that was used on the set for the TV series was sold for $47,000 in 2004.
The Black Ferrari Daytona Spyder in Miami Vice
The original Ferrari featured in the first season of the Miami Vice television series was really a Ferrari. It was actually two Corvettes that were re-branded so they will look like the Ferrari Daytona Spyder model.
These Ferrari replicas were eventually sold to the production team while they were still shooting for $49,000 each. One of these was said to have been listed for sale this year for almost $140,000, which is basically a fraction of the price of a real Daytona Spyder which roughly costs $500,000.
In season two of Miami Vice, real Ferraris were used in the production. This after Ferrari filed legal action against the production company for using clones of their cars. Starting that season, the white 1986 Ferrari Testarossa became the show’s car icon.
The Red Ferrari 308 GTS in Magnum, P.I.
Considered as one of the most prominent non-racing Ferrari of all time, this automobile was made really popular when Tom Selleck used it as his vehicle for his role as Thomas Magnum in the show.
When the series ended in 1988 though, all of the Ferraris used in the production were sold at an auction. One of them was displayed at the Universal Studios in Hollywood, while another was sold for $53,000 in 1996.
A Magnum 308 GTS was auctioned off in 2004, but it did not meet its $60,000 reserve price.
The Black Beauty in Green Hornet
The classic comic action series that starred Van Williams and Bruce Lee (Kato) used two 1965 Chrysler Imperials for hero’s vehicle. While the car usually used in shooting driving scenes are said to be in a private collection, the one that has been customized with all of Green Hornet’s gadgets is at display at Los Angeles’ Petersen Museum.
The original Black Beauty was built by Dean Jeffries for a reported cost of $50,000. When the car was purchased by collector Dan Goodman in 1992 for only $10,000, Jeffries was also the one commissioned to work at its restoration.
The movie version of the Black Beauty was sold at the Barrett Jackson auction house in 2012 for $50,000.
The GMC Vandura of the A-Team
The A-Team, which was probably one of the most popular TV shows in the ‘80s, used six GMC Vandura vans for its production. It was decked out with turbine mag wheels in red and black colors as well as red striping. The iconic van was usually driven by Mr. T, which was played by B.A. Baracus.
Of the six vans, only two are said to be still in existence and they are now in Miami’s Auto Museum. As the van is quite rare, A-Team fans were said to have built their own replicas.
One of such replicas belongs to Tag Majid, an Englishman who converted a damaged 1985 Vandura into the A-Team vehicle. The entire restoration project was said to have set him back for some $50,000.
The Munster Koach
The Munster Koach and the Drag-u-la was a spooky sitcom in the 1960s that used two vehicles for the production. Car designer George Barris commissioned Tom Daniel to design the Munster Koach for only $200. The vehicle was made using three Model T bodies.
At present, the car will probably cost $130,000 to make, if you will take inflation rates into consideration. One of the original Munster Koaches was restored and sold for $49,500 in 2007 at an auction.
The Gran Torino in Starsky and Hutch
Because of the popularity gained by the Ford Gran Torino through the TV series Starsky and Hutch, 1,300 cars were produced with the same white and red colors of the show’s car. They were known as the Striped Tomatoes.
These Ford replicas of the Starsky and Hutch Gran Torino as well as the ones made by fans have made it quite difficult for collectors to find the authentic car that was actually used during production. In June this year though, one of the real 1976 Gran Torinos used in the series was sold and fetched the price of $40,000.