Hooniverse Asks: What’s the best non-car show opening that featured cars?

OK, Hooniverse, last time I asked you for your top movies featuring Mustangs. You came through with some really obscure stuff, nice work! Today I’m looking for your favorite TV show openings that featured cars, but weren’t on shows specifically about cars. I’ll kick off some all-time greats in no particular order.


A highly trained team, court-martialed “for a crime they didn’t commit”. They also blow lots of shit up and wreck a whole bunch of American iron along the way. Plus there was a van.

Knight Rider

A third gen F-body that talks like Mr. Feeny from Boy Meets World? Plus David Hasselhoff?  Totally plausible in the 1980s, count me in.

Magnum P.I. (past, present, and Archer)

One of my all-time favorites, sun, surf, and a Ferrari. I couldn’t resist adding the Archer version because it’s amazing.

The new one is pretty good too!

Dukes of Hazzard

Just the good ol’ boys
Never meanin’ no harm
Beats all you never saw
Been in trouble with the law
Since the day they was born
Staightenin’ the curves
Flattenin’ the hills
Someday the mountain might get ’em
But the law never will
This opening still gets me going! I remember mapping out time (pre-DVR) to sit in front of the TV and watch this show. Them Dukes drove their Charger at 10/10 at all times and I respect that. Rosco P. Coltrane did not.

(Dis) Honorable Mention – Viper

This show was properly bad, but I watched it anyway. By day it’s a simple R/T Viper, but by night it was a crime fighting…uh different silver Viper. It also became a 4×4. And a boat. Wow, did this show really make it past the first season?

I went back to check Miami Vice, but it’s mostly T&A and glamour shots of Miami vs. pretty images of Daytonas and Testarossas. Like any good Hooniverse Asks, the next step is yours. What are we missing? Again, it’s “non-car shows featuring cars”. So shows about cars, ala Top Gear, aren’t included. Sorry Jessica.

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36 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What’s the best non-car show opening that featured cars?”

  1. Zentropy Avatar

    I like where you’re going with this, but I would argue that with the exception of the A-Team and Magnum, these are indeed shows about cars. Take away KITT or the General Lee or that ridiculous Viper, and what was the point of watching these at all?

    You do remind me about how much I enjoyed Magnum, P.I. as a kid. I recall the series being so good that I’m somewhat inclined to re-watch the episodes today… or maybe that’s just the influence of nostalgia.

    1. William Byrd Avatar

      I see where you’re going with that. But there are human characters, and storylines (well not in Viper) of which the car is a major element, but not the only part. I guess i differentiate them as fictional dramas vs. “car shows” like Top Gear.

      I gotta say, I like the 2018 reboot. It’s got the same feeling, it’s pretty entertaining.

      1. Zentropy Avatar

        Ok, I see what you mean. Maybe I’ll check out the MPI reboot, but I don’t think it will be the same without Selleck, Hillerman, and Mosley.

          1. William Byrd Avatar

            I had the “wait what” moment, but now I’m in. She’s awesome.

          2. Zentropy Avatar

            Yeah… I agree. Please tell me she’s got the accent.

  2. neight428 Avatar

    Fall Guy, though the truck was incedental.

    1. William Byrd Avatar

      Yes, Fall Guy! Good call, I thought of that and it escaped my brain.

      1. neight428 Avatar

        Well, let’s just say Heather Thomas left a deep impression in mine.

    1. 0A5599 Avatar

      It wasn’t just the Tiger. Agent 86 had several interesting commuter vehicles befitting a 60’s spy. Episode openings also included a Ferrari, an Opel GT, and a Karmann Ghia. He also drove a Shelby GT 500 convertible in some episodes

    2. 0A5599 Avatar

  3. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

    The Prisoner with KAR 120C, while the Caterham 7 is iconic it only shows up briefly in a single episode.

    1. ptschett Avatar

      The Mini Moke taxis in “The Village” might have had more screentime within the show, but the intro with the 7 eventually being followed by the black car does help set the tone for each episode. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygLg-7G0Xp0

    2. crank_case Avatar

      I am not a number, I am in the garage trying to sort a Coventry Climax.

      1. SlowJoeCrow Avatar

        I was compelled to do some research and it turns out the KAR120C used for most of the filming was an actual Lotus 7 S2 powered by a Cosworth modified Ford Kent and the car in the final episode was a Ford 105E powered Caterham source http://www.sandsmuseum.com/cars/seven/description/history/prisoner/prisoner.html

  4. GTXcellent Avatar

    Only on for a couple of years, but I’m sure my Dad watched every single episode – and he’d point out every car in the show and a story about them to boot.

    “That’s a ’59 Buick. Oh, Look at that ’54 Pontiac. Jimmy Olson had a Pontiac just like it, until he smashed it into a tree, drunk. We used to soup up those Fords that the highway patrol had at the garage…”

  5. Batshitbox Avatar

    Aww, yeah! Nothin’ but Dodge Monacos. The organizers of Radwood watch this every day at breakfast. F-in Eighties were the f-in coolest, right? TO-ta-leee!
    EDIT: What I meant to say was: If you want to portray the shitty, greasy, disappointing, soul crushing hangover the Baby Boomers that weren’t Ivan Boesky were enduring in the mid-80s, then a pathetic fleet of wheezing Mopars wallowing around in pig sty urban blight are the quintessence of that mood. Gag me with a spoon.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      I’m sure in Junior High they called her Valise McLuggage.

  6. Everyone Racers Avatar


    Heart to Heart. A 450 SL (probably a 380) Ferrari Dino and lovely rag top Rolls. Plus Stephanie Powers, come on man…

  7. Everyone Racers Avatar

    Hart to Hart.
    Ferrari Dino? 450 SL? (probably a 380 but still) and a ragtop Rolls? Plus Stephanie Powers man!

  8. 0A5599 Avatar

    1. alex Avatar

      This was my first thought. And James Garner was a highly accomplished driver himself

  9. 0A5599 Avatar

    Kowalski from Vanishing Point, driving across the desert. This time a Chevy changes into a Dodge instead of the other way around.

  10. sunbeammadd Avatar

    Came here to nominate this.

  11. Zentropy Avatar

    I was pretty young, but I remember my parents watching Starsky and Hutch.

    1. Wayne Moyer Avatar
      Wayne Moyer

      This also had the advantage of Ford making replicas of the car. Those cars are becoming very collectible if you can prove that they are ones from the factory and not replicas.

  12. Vairship Avatar

    Where did you learn a Citroen DS is perfectly stable on three wheels?

  13. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    The Professionals 80s UK ‘CI5’ ‘drama’.

  14. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    The Sweeney, 70s/80s UK police drama. In cockney rhyming slang, Sweeney Todd = The Flying Squad. Note to US viewers, this is what a Mk1 Ford Granada looks like.

  15. Smaglik Avatar

    Haha. Cooter!

    Sigh. I’m still a 12 year old inside.

  16. Sjalabais Avatar

    I’ve never heard of it, but just the intro is an early 70s overload. Fantastic!

  17. Max Gscki Avatar
    Max Gscki

    I’d say Hunter season 3. Just look at it! Rolls Royce, Porsche 928, Mercedes Benz w123 station wagon, Dee Dee McCall’s Dodge Daytona in the coolest action this car has ever been and Rick Hunter’s Dodge Monaco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hg-iPyaqeoM

  18. theskitter Avatar

    My parents made me a tape of this scene only.
    That was the whole tape.
    Edit: The tape actually started when the truck took off.

    1. Batshitbox Avatar

      Jeez, the party hats on top of those patrol cars are the size of Daleks.

  19. Pinkerton9 Avatar

    All the car stuff is really hokey, but that’s the charm. OK, actually it’s not just the car stuff that’s hokey, it’s all the stuff.