Family Friendly: Five Favorites of TV Families
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.”
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.
So what’s your favorite TV family car? Take a minute to comment below or over on the HVA’s Facebook page.