Another popular television series, Get Smart starred Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, known as Agent 86. He was accompanied by Agent 99, Barbara Feldon, and the Chief, Edward Platt. The three work for CONTROL, a secret U.S. government counter-intelligence agency. They work together to investigate and solve threats to the world. The most iconic car from the series is the red 1965 Ford Sunbeam Tiger. This two-seat roadster features radar tracking, an ejection seat, a machine gun, and a smoke screen. This car pulls in front of CONTROL’s headquarters at the opening of every episode. The Tiger was followed by a blue Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia as Volkswagen was a new sponsor of the show. Later, Buick became a sponsor and in the opening of the show the Tiger was replaced by a 1969 gold Opel GT. However, Don Adams received the Sunbeam after the end of the show in 1970 and drove it for ten years.
My Three Sons was a popular T.V. show consisting of 380 episodes on two networks. The show started in black-and-white and followed the life of an widowed aeronautical engineer Steven Douglas, played by Fred MacMurray as he raised his three sons, Mike, Robbie, and Chip. The show actually ended up having four sons in total due to one son marrying in 1965 and the character being written out of the show. However to stay true to the name of the show, a son named Ernie was adopted and later when Steven remarried, his new wife’s daughter also appeared on the show. The show was sponsored by Chevrolet when it aired on ABC but then later featured many convertible Pontiacs when it was on by CBS.
The Rockford Files starred James Garner as Jim Rockford who was an ex-con and private detective. Rockford drove a 1974 Pontiac Firebird Esprits which was known for its car chases during the show. With help from his ex-con friends, Rockford worked on cold cases, missing persons investigations, and low-budget insurance scams. The “copper mist” colored Pontiac is often remembered for the famous “Jim Rockford Turn-Around”, a driving technique taught to the Secret Service. He would escape by driving backwards, making a hard left, and pulling on the emergency brake that would lock the wheels and allow the front end to turn around. Garner said that he always performed the stunt by himself. The Firebird was updated several times during the series, except for the ’79 model due to Garner’s dislike of the new look, so the ’78 model was kept until the show ended in 1980.
The beloved T.V. family of The Brady Bunch also had a few famous cars. With 117 episodes, there were many different cars in this blended household. All the Bradys drove Chrysler vehicles until the final season. Carol Brady, played by Florence Henderson, got a new Plymouth Satellite every year of the series. This station wagon was gold with tan interior. Mike Brady, played by Robert Reed, drove a 1968 Dodge Polara convertible in the pilot, followed by many other Chryslers: ’69 Fury, ’70 Fury, ’71 Barracuda, ’72 Barracuda, ’72 Impala, and a ’73 Caprice. To finish off Mike’s love for convertibles, he drove a dark red ’74 Caprice convertible that Greg and Marcia drove for their driving test. This iconic T.V. family owned many cars for their memorable, classic American sitcom.
Another famous T.V. show, Route 66, followed two men traveling the United States in a Corvette roadster. Route 66 consisted of many adventures between Tod Stiles and his friend, Buz Murdock, who left the show during the third season and was then replaced with a Vietnam veteran named Lincoln Case. The show lasted 116 episodes, each of which had a different setting, cast, and story. Not only was the show well known for its notable guest stars like Lon Chaney, Jr. and Boris Karloff, but also the cars. The pilot started off with a 1960 Corvette which changed to a 1961 Corvette later in the season. Many people ask about “the red Corvette”, however with every episode in black-and-white, viewers did not know that the car was actually Jewel Blue. This mistake came from the picture on the official board game, which pictured Tod and Buz in a red-colored model. Each season featured a new Corvette, each with a different color to photograph well in the black-and-white film. Every vehicle driven by the character’s in each episode were different variations of Chevrolets. This unforgettable show will always be remembered for its characters, cultural impact, and of course, the cars.
With four seasons, Highway Patrol consisted of chasing criminals, shootouts, train derailments, and of course a 1955 Buick Century sedan. Dan Mathews played the head of the police force Broderick Crawford. It is assumed that the show was set in California as this patrol car was exclusively used by California Highway Patrol. These two door sedans were built for CHP and never for sale to the public. The action scenes from the show were often filmed on dirt roads, not only to save money but also because Crawford’s driver’s license was suspended for drunk driving. However, each show ended with Crawford making a safety announcement followed by, “This is Broderick Crawford saying see you next week.”
Another well-known car from a T.V. series is the GMC van from the A-Team. This 1982 van was part of the custom-van trend comeback. The van is known for its black/metallic gray body and red stripe. But looks weren’t the only thing that made the A-Team van famous, it was also complete with fender flares, a roof spoiler, a mini printing press, a gun storage locker and custom wheels and tires. The A-Team gang that worked as soldiers of fortune went through many stunts, battles, and jumps with there van that was said to be put back together by B.A. Barachus.