The Most Beloved Cars of 80s Television

What are some of the most iconic vehicles that have ever graced 1980s television?

  1. The K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider
  2. The Daytona from Miami Vice
  3. The Ferrari V8 from MAGNUM P.I.


The 1980s is arguably the most testosterone-filled decade of the 20th century. Monumental feats of strength and sport were transpiring, fitness culture was making a big splash on the mainstream markets, and the roaring chambered mufflers of some of the most high-powered sports cars were speeding their way through the streets.

This decade also had some of the most electrifying television shows of every genre. The corporate media giant that is 80s America broadcasted many shows that played nightly on almost every TV set in the Philippines. Steel suppliers during this period were very much catering to the production of luxury sports vehicles. And many of the iconic cars on 80s TV shows were just as much the star as the leading actors!

Below are three of the 1980s most ubiquitously well-known television cars:


David Hasselhoff’s 1982 Pontiac Firebird from KNIGHT RIDER


Pontiac Firebird 2

In the early 80s, David Hasselhoff was still in the beginning stages of his career and was not yet the insanely popular celebrity that he would eventually become. Hasselhoff’s leading role as Michael Knight in the show Knight Rider was what ultimately propelled him to being a figure so synonymous with the 1980s.

K.I.T.T. or the Knight Industries Two Thousand was the highly-modified Trans-Am with a wide range of gadgets and gizmos while also being voiced by the witty William Daniels. People that have watched the show have seen incredible stunts with K.I.T.T. and Hasselhoff behind the vehicle. K.I.T.T. is the embodiment of 1980s futurism, with features like tear gas launchers and flamethrowers. Not to mention the incredibly kitschy spaceship-like interiors.


Don Johnson’s Ferrari 365 GT/4 from MIAMI VICE



The whole aesthetic of Miami Vice is often the first thing that pops into people’s heads when they think of the 80s. The intense adventures of detectives Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubs called for them to often go undercover as drug kingpins in order to bust some of Miami’s wealthiest criminals.

In the early season of the show, the Ferrari Daytona was Crockett’s original car before it was blown into bits by a missile and replaced with the 1986 Testarossa. But the Daytona was the car responsible for putting the show on the map. Besides the high-speed chases, the iconic sequences of just cruising by the coasts of nighttime Miami to Phil Collin’s ‘In the Air Tonight’ is something that will forever be ingrained in 1980s luxury.


Tom Selleck’s Ferrari 308 GTS from MAGNUM P.I.

Ferrari 308


MAGNUM P.I. was arguably not as popular as the two aforementioned shows, but Tom Selleck was definitely a fun personality to watch on screen. And it is pretty much impossible to imagine him without one of his classic Hawaiian shirts along with the sexy Ferrari 308. It can also be argued that the bright red radiance of this Ferrari model is one of the major elements that kept people glued to the screen whenever this show would be aired.


Key Takeaway


The powerful sounds coming from the chambered mufflers of these vehicles blasted through the television sets of the 80s and brought absolute excitement and glee to the hearts of many.

Besides these vehicles, 1980s movies and TV had several other high-octane sports cars made with materials from the world’s best steel suppliers. The Philippines and the rest of the world were in complete awe of the slick craftsmanship of these cars.

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