Inspector Morse’s iconic Mark 2 Jaguar has been named as the top British TV car of all time.
The fictional Oxford detective’s legendary burgundy motor, driven by the late John Thaw, cruised to victory ahead of rivals such as Del Boy’s Reliant Regal three-wheeler van and The Saint’s classy Volvo P1800, as driven by Roger Moore.
The definitive list of top television motors was put together by Boundless, the membership club for public sector workers, which began life way back in 1923 as the Civil Service Motoring Association.
Boundless asked an expert panel to nominate classic tv cars before members voted.
Morse’s Jaguar, which was released in 1959 in the UK and went out of production in 1967, was a clear winner – not surprising, perhaps, when it was designed to embody the ideals of grace, pace and space.
With a top speed of 119.9 mph it could reach 62mpg from a standing start in 11.9 seconds, and even if actor Thaw once said it was a “beggar to drive” it made a huge impact on viewers.
Alex Drew, Editor of Boundless magazine said, “If you’re going to interrogate lofty Oxford dons, then you may as well do it in style, and John Thaw, in the title role of popular TV series Inspector Morse, did exactly that in his burgundy Jag.
“In the Colin Dexter novels, Morse drive a Lancia, but Thaw felt strongly that the detective would drive a British car and that, as they say, was that.”
Second on the list was a very different style of car – Del Boy’s 1967 three-wheeler Reliant Regal Supervan III.
Emblazoned, of course, with ‘Trotter’s Independent Traders’ on the side, it is possibly the most instantly recognisable car on British television, designed perfectly for comedy.
Third place went to Roger Moore’s Volvo P1800, in the television spy drama The Saint.
“Celebrating its 60th birthday this June, the P1800 came to prominence in the early 1960s when it was driven by gentleman-cum-spy Simon Templar (played by Roger Moore), in The Saint. Moore loved the rather suave P1800 so much that he drove one off-screen as well as on.” added Drew.
Here is the full list of television’s most iconic motors:
1 Morse’s Mk2 Jaguar (Inspector Morse)
2 Del Boy’s Reliant Regal Van (Only Fools & Horses)
3 The Saint’s Volvo P1800 (The Saint)
4 Steed’s Bentley (The Avengers)
5 The General Lee, Dodge Charger (Dukes of Hazzard)
6 Starsky & Hutch’s Ford Gran Torino (Starsky & Hutch)
7 Magnum PI’s Ferrari 308 (Magnum PI)
8 Batman’s Batmobile (Batman)
9 Knight Rider’s Pontiac Firebird ‘KITT’ (Knight Rider)
10 Brum (Brum)