Family Friendly: Five Favorites of TV Families

John R. Paul

September 10, 2013

K.I.T.T. and the General Lee seem to get all the attention when it comes to fond recollections of great TV show cars. This month, we’re making it all about the family — famous television family cars, that is. Check out this shortlist of family-friendly favorites. 

The Brady Bunch – 1971 Plymouth Satellite Custom Wagon 

Prior to the advent of the minivan in the 1980s, the only way for a large family to travel together was the station wagon. Enter the Plymouth Satellite, wagon of choice of one Carol Brady, matriarch of the Brady bunch and style icon for a generation of station wagon-driving, pre-soccer moms everywhere. Various model years were used throughout the series, but the 1971 version stuck around the longest and was the centerpiece of the 1972 episode, “The Fender Benders.”

http://www.cbs.com/shows/the_brady_bunch/video/1890999408/the-brady-bunch-the-fender-benders

Bewitched – various Chevrolets 

What better way to market your product than to have it prominently placed in a wildly popular, primetime television show? That appeared to be the thinking of Chevrolet executives when they signed on as a sponsor for the hit ABC show, Bewitched. Nearly every car seen on the series was a Chevy — most prominently the ones driven by the actors who played Darrin Stephens (originally Dick York, later Dick Sargent), who could be seen driving a Chevelle on numerous occasions. Additionally, the Chevrolet-sponsored intros to several seasons saw the Stephens flying around on the iconic Chevrolet bowtie.

The Beverly Hillbillies – 1921 Oldsmobile 

Striking it rich can definitely help fund any car collection, but it can often be hard to let go of that first car. This appeared to be the case with several members of the Clampitt clan of The Beverly Hillbillies who “packed up their truck and moved to Beverly (Hills, that is)” in a 1921 Oldsmobile. While numerous other cars came and went throughout the run of the series, the iconic family car remained in the series opening credits for all of its nine straight seasons (1962 to 1971). 

The Wonder Years – 1968 Dodge Polara 

While erroneously referred to as a 1963 Dodge Polara in the episode “The Family Car,” the Arnold family car was actually a 1968 Dodge Polara. Despite this technicality, the car was no less beloved by the old man of the house (played by actor Dan Lauria) who clearly had a hard time letting go. If you’ve ever had to watch a beloved vehicle drive (or be towed) off into the proverbial sunset, this clip from Season 3 is one that will surely tug at your heartstrings. 

I Love Lucy – 1955 Pontiac Star Chief 

Ricky (Desi Arnaz) used this classic to teach Lucy how to drive (“Lucy Learns To Drive”) with typical comedic, and humorously disastrous, results. Thanks to a product placement deal with General Motors, the Pontiac Star Chief appeared in a total of four episodes during the 1955 season. It later sold at a 2004 Scottsdale auction for $49,680. 

http://www.cbs.com/shows/i_love_lucy/video/2087008654/i-love-lucy-lucy-learns-to-drive 

So what’s your favorite TV family car? Take a minute to comment below or over on the HVA’s Facebook page.

Comments

  1. vinny aiello staten island new york

    HOW ABOUT MY MOTHER THE CAR?

  2. Steve Cseplo Atlanta

    Yeah, how about "My Mother the Car", a 1928 Porter (not really, actually a custon)? I would say the Sunbeam Tiger Maxwell Smart drives but was that the family car once him and Agent 99 got married? Then there is the Muster mobile that certainly is a family car. But let's go with the Vista Cruiser from that "70's Show". Just too many to choose from.

  3. Steve Herron Poulsbo Wa

    At LeMay family museum at Marymount in Spanaway Wa we have the original Desoto suburbun from "Happy Days" Come and see it !

  4. David Schwartz Framingham, MA

    At the top of my list are Fred Flintstone's foot powered family car and the race car driven by Fred under the name "Goggles Pizano" (Barney Rubble built the race car). Of course there is the Batmobile (modified 1955 Lincoln), the Addams Family 1933 Packard V-12, and the Jetson's flying car. Others on my list were already covered.

  5. Lou Smarbles Atlanta

    Don't forget Homer Simpson's Croatian-made pink Plymouth sedan and Marge's infamous Canyonero SUV immortalized by Hank Williams, Jr. singing it's praises in a "Ford Rover" company TV commercial jingle! Just search YouTube for this hilarious parody!

  6. Ed Sallia Dundee, OR

    Hey! You forgot about The Mr. Ed Show. They advertised Studebakers and drove them on the show. Loved that talking horse!

  7. R MARK REASBECK FALL BRANCH, TN

    Hey Y'all I got a TV Show on Wheels. HIGHWAY PATROL, Broderick Crawford. 1955-58. All filmed on the streets of SoCal. Never could figure out why the patrol cars were all 2 dr post cars? Anyway, the realization is when you watch all these cool rides, and then the light bulb goes off, These are not restored cars, THEY'RE BRAND NEW Also, Ozzie & Harriet had a great 54 Pontiac tin woody they actually took a part to find a bolt. Their sons Rick and David, had a "Jalopy" they worked on. through the years they always had Mopar Convertibles. Great Running board cars in the Untouchables. Wished I had the ones they crashed and burned.

  8. Scott Vancouver, Wa

    No mention of the Musters cars? Really?

  9. Len Davis Roanoke, TX

    How about that 1965 Ford Thunderbird Convertible that Thelma and Louise drove over a cliff while being chased by the police.

  10. Kim Cronin Traverse City Mi.

    Get Smart, they drove an Opel GT for one of the seasons

  11. Bernie Garcarz Hendersonville, NC

    What about RT 66 ? They drove around in a now vintage corvette

  12. Mike NJ

    No way..... Major Nelson's I dream of Jeanie Convertble GTO... Hott girl, and Hott car!

  13. Rich Massachusetts

    Seems during the '60's sitcoms car makers advertised current year models w/clips of the characters driving them in and out of driveways to and from work or down a town road. The Dick Van Dyke show featured Fords as did The Andy Griffith Show. Bewitched featured Chevy's while I Dream of Jeanie featured Pontiac's, most notably '65 '66 '67 GTO's & '67 '68 Firebirds all w/assorted colors and options to name a few. All cars had very nice placements in the shows. Clips can be searched and viewed on YouTube today.

  14. Rich Massachusetts

    Seems during the '60's sitcoms car makers advertised current year models w/clips of the characters driving them in and out of driveways to and from work or down a town road. The Dick Van Dyke show featured Fords as did The Andy Griffith Show. Bewitched featured Chevy's while I Dream of Jeanie featured Pontiac's, most notably '65 '66 '67 GTO's & '67 '68 Firebirds all w/assorted colors and options to name a few. All cars had very nice placements in the shows. Clips can be searched and viewed on YouTube today.

  15. Kerry Rogers Wentzville Missouri.

    What about the GT 500 convertible Bill Cosby drove on his show in the early 70's. The Rockford files went trough a ton of Camaro's or was it Firebirds during that series. Love watching those old shows just to see the old cars, even the back ground cars are amazing to watch. Dodge trucks used in the show Emergency.

  16. Mark Massachusetts

    I think one of the best placements of a car in a TV series was Honey West (starring Anne Francis as a private eye and her pet ocelot) she drove a white 289 AC/Cobra. Fred MacMurray drove Pontiac Station Wagons in My Three Sons.

  17. Shirley Shusta Minnesota

    What about the convertible pulling the Long, Long Trailer in the movie with Lucy and Desi Arnaz?

  18. Jeff Metro Detroit

    Can't forget these cars? Cannon--various Lincoln Continental Mark IV's. Superfly--customized 1971 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. Green Acres--1967 Lincoln Continental convertible. Hawaii Five-O--late 60's Mercury Grand Marquis convertibles. The Streets of San Francisco--various 70's Fords. Hoffa--various Cadillac Fleetwood Broughams of the 50's, 60's, and 70's. Counting Cars vehicles--especially the Cadillacs. I love and collect late 60's and 70's Cadillacs and Lincolns.

  19. KEN CLARK Florida

    What about the Corvettes that Martin Milner and George Maharias drove in the Route 66 series?

  20. Keith Kansas City

    What about the 58 T Bird driven by Efram Zimbalist, Jr in "77 Sunset Strip" along with other Fords in later years including a '60 Ford Sunliner?

  21. Irene Lake Park Georgia

    Ferrah Faucetts 76 Mustang II Cobra from Charlie's Angels.

  22. daryl judd spokane, washington

    What about Al Bundy's always broken Plymouth Valiant?

  23. art wegweiser Allison Park (McCandless), PA

    A way back lawyer show started with a shot of a front license plate. I think the car was a 1970's BMW CS 3.0. It was also driven in the show by a very fetching woman and came to a bad end, as I recall.

  24. Len Viramontes Sacramento

    In the Seriies called Vega in the 70. The man actorr drove a corvette and when the was burned up he went to a 57 ford Thunderbird

  25. Bruce Traverse City

    What about that Jeep named Nellie Belle and the early "SUVs" on Lassie?

  26. Dave Long Island NY

    How about the Olds Vista Cruiser from That 70s Show? Also I just saw an episode where Mike Brady drove a new Cuda convertible and Greg's first car was a 56 Chevy convertible he picked up for $100 !! It had all sorts of problems and he ended up junking it for 50 bucks! :(

  27. Mike Illinois

    The original Lassie show with Jon Provost and June Lockhart featured a 1958 D100 Dodge Pickup. Neat old trucks. I am in the process of restoring one. I also have a 1963 D200.

  28. Lance North Carolina

    How about Columbo's wretched Peugeot?

  29. Steve Sayre, Pa.

    How about Mannix's 70 Cuda convertible. Still my favorite car of all time and I'm lucky enough to own one.

  30. Ralph Ellicot City Md

    How about Dan Tanna in the TV Show Vega$ with his '57 T-Bird. The various vehicles used in The A-Team. I remember seeing a chase scene using a Nova and aiming for a '70's Ford pick up. It hit the truck and flipped over, as they usuallsy did, and miraculously, the nove turned into a duster and the truck turned into a '53-'56 Ford truck. I started watdhing the A-Team just to see what flaws I could pick up in the show. There were some pretty big fopahs in the filming. Also the vehicles they wrecked back then were to them "Expendable" To us we are thinking "Are they nuts?" Just my 2 cents.

  31. Todd United States

    I can't believe no one said Magnum PI's Ferrari 308. One of my favorite shows and cars from my childhood.

  32. Nolan Santa Rosa, CA

    How about Clark Griswald's family truckster in those "Vacation" comedys

  33. Marc Virginia

    There were a lot of good cars in I Dream of Jeannie.

  34. Chris Illinois

    The Studebaker Larks and Avantis that Wilbur Post drove on the Mr. Ed show were pretty cool!

  35. Erik Kansas City

    One car always stands out to me - The Lotus Elan Emma Peel (Diana Rigg) drove in the Avengers. Both the Elan and Peel were important milestones in my life as they were both my first crushes. :)

  36. John Nielsen Illinois

    Who can remember Nash Bridges' 'cuda convertible? I loved that car!

  37. Thomas Columbus, Ohio

    Less we forget the I Dream Of Jeannie Pontiacs. Various cars were used on the series. Most prominent were the '66 and '67 GTO, but Firebirds and full size Pontiacs were seen as well. My favorites were the '69 Firebirds driven by Tony and Roger. Most all the cars used on the show were convertibles. Rightly so for Air Force Astronauts. One of the shows '69 Firebirds was found alive and doing ok somewhere in California.

  38. Lou Shrewsbury VT

    Loved the 60's Lincolns in Green Acres

  39. Larry Santa Fe, NM

    No one has mentioned the black ferrari (McBurnie Corvette) Don Johnson drove on Miami Vice. My favorite cuz I have one.

  40. Joe New Jersey

    Mission Impossible was a treasure trove of cars. 60s suicide door lincolns including a lehman-peterson limo; those giant plmouth fury convertibles; and the old volvos, mercedes, and debadged checkers that populated the streets of the European Democratic Republic!

  41. Bill Peterson Salem

    About half of you are forgetting the guy asked about "TV Family Cars", not hipster chick chasing Cudas. That said, Hazel drove a bitchin 64 Galaxie ragtip (side oiler big block with tri-power and 4-spd rock crusher?????) while the family had a Falcon. They always prominantly posed Hazel or the babe housewife caressing that interior. I wonder who sponsored that show??.

  42. Steve Charlotte, NC

    Pontiac provided the cars for I Dream of Jeanie - many cool Pontiacs on that show!