vineri, 22 aprilie 2016
Good Detectives, Better Cars - World Of Classic Cars -
We all know what makes a good detective series. A good actor, a reasonable story line and a great car. We all have our favourite cars from these shows. Morse’s Jag, Gene Hunt’s Cortina, Magnum’s 308 and Templer’s P1800 spring immediately to mind. The list is endless. But what about the less well remembered TV shows and their long forgotten motors of choice. Well we look back at some that we think stand the test of time (even if the shows don’t).
The Baron was commissioned to cash in on the popularity of detective series like the Saint. It followed the adventures of antiques dealer and undercover agent John Mannering. Think of it a little like a buttoned up, mullet free Lovejoy. The series was largely forgettable, but the thing that stood out for us was the Jensen CV-8 that he drove. Jensen hoped it would boost their sales much in the same way that the Saint helped Volvo ship a boatload of P1800s. The one problem with this plan is that the Jensen was considerably more expensive.
The Rockford Files
Jim Rockford, we all wanted to be a little like him when we were little. Slightly shambolic, effortlessly cool, loved by the ladies and he could kick your ass. It also helped that he was behind the wheel of a Pontiac Firebird. If you were brought up in the midlands of the 70s this was an other worldly piece of American exotica. And ok it might not have aged that well and driving around the mean streets of Padstow in one might scream ‘mid-life crisis’, but we’ll always have a soft spot for it. Oh, and if we ever move to LA we’re definitely buying one.
Sometimes the more you throw at something the better it gets. Lew Grade, the TV producer, was very much of that school of thought. Detective show. Best we have two detectives – Tony Curtis and Roger Moore. The locations? Italy, France and England. And the cars, the cars were the best of the lot. An Aston Martin DBS for Moore. But to top that Curtis got a Ferrari Dino 246 GT. The one thing they didn’t throw the kitchen sink at was the scripts and the show only ran for a season.
By rights Honey West should be a feminist icon. Launched in the mid-sixties, West was a detective with a male sidekick. She was Mike Hammer by way of Marilyn Monroe. And what better way to show her independence than by showing her kung-fu-ing her way around LA, keeping a pet Ocelot and driving a Shelby Cobra. Here was a woman who didn’t take any crap and who drove a car that would leave you for dead.
Honey West was canned after just one series. Which would have left a gaping hole in the lives of many a teenager at the time. Luckily the Avengers were ready to fill the void (and I don’t mean the one with Iron Men and shambling green giants). More specifically Emma Peel was ready to take on and beat the bad guys (aided by her sidekick Jonathan Steed). And to make things cooler still, she drove a Lotus Elan, in a cat suit. We’re still a bit in love to be honest.
Hardcastle and McCormick
Okay this last one is a bit on the iffy side. The TV show was heavy on the clichés, light on story line and the car was totally made up. But as a ten year old that was allowed to stay up past the watershed this was totally and utterly awesome. The car was a Coyote X but it’s heritage is a little better than you’d expect. It was built from the moulds for the McLaren M6GT. But when you’re ten you don’t care much about that, you just want to see it go fast as hell and jump over stuff.