Finding a car to buy can be a bland experience. Many cars look
the same and there are already too many SUVs, minivans and other typical cars
that all blend in together on the road.
If you want your car to stand out, think about buying a replica
of one of the famous cars you see in TV shows. The stars who drive them in the
shows may not drive them in real life, but you can be a mini-celebrity and add
a little pizazz to the highway.
Whether you’re using eBay, classified ads, auction websites, auto
dealers or other ways, replica cars from TV shows can be found. If you’re handy
with cars, you can build it from scratch.
Here are some cars from famous TV shows that can be bought or
built, with approximate costs:
Downtown Abbey: 1924-9
AC Royal Roadster. A total of 850 cars were produced,
and 41 are still surviving, so a value is difficult to assess because they’re
traded so rarely, says Brian Massie, a communications consultant and
If you could get your hands on one of them, finding parts for an
88-year-old defunct car company is impossible, so parts would have to be
handmade or rebuilt using existing parts, Massie says.
“Want brake shoes?” he writes in an email. “Remove them, send
them to a country in Europe that still works with asbestos and wait two
Andy Griffith Show:
1963 Ford Galaxie patrol car. If you want to look like you’re patrolling
Mayberry, N.C., the fictional town where this show takes place, you’re not
alone. A website for the show’s fans details how to buy all of the parts -- including the red police light on top
and the door shield -- and build your own replica. A 1963 Ford Galaxie can be
bought online for $1,670 (needs a lot of work) to $37,500 (red with only 250 miles).
Scooby Doo: Mystery
Machine van. Better known as a 1965 Form Econoline, one with the exterior and
interior made to look like the van in the goofy cartoon show sold at auction last year for $22,000. It comes
equipped with an ice cream dispenser and 26-inch flat screen with DVD player.
If you want to restore one of these vans, one is for sale in
Phoenix for $2,500. Or you could just paint Scooby Doo on
the side of any old van, as one eBay seller recently did with a 1971 Volkswagen Transporter listed for $7,500.
Starsky & Hutch: 1976
The show only lasted four years, but red Gran Torinos with white strips around
the sides and over the back of the hood have been popular for years. A restored
one can cost $15,000, but restoring it yourself can save thousands of dollars.
Greg Mancine of Rochester, N.Y., says he bought a 1973 Gran
Torino 10 years ago for $1,280 on eBay so he could turn it into a Starsky &
Hutch clone by putting 1976 parts on the 1973 car. About $2,000 in work later,
Mancine had a car that still gets him plenty of looks.
“It’s a fun car to drive around in,” he said in a phone
interview. “You get a lot of looks when you drive around in that thing.”
Batman: The 1955 Lincoln Futura on the original Batman TV
show in 1966 is one of the dozens of cars the superhero was collecting since
his introduction in 1941. Building the concept car would cost $250,000,
according to one collector. If you want the original from the TV show, the
value is estimated at more than $2 million. Building a street-legal Batmobile
based on the recent movies would cost $214,700.
Mad Men: 1962 Cadillac
Series 62. Don Draper drove a hardtop 1962 Cadillac Coup
deVille, which sells on average for about $23,000. That’s a lot of ads to sell to drive
like one of the most successful ad men in Manhattan. A total of 134,572 of the
variations of the car were made, Massie says, and the cars are still popular
now and have a strong aftermarket. That’s a good thing, allowing plenty of
supply or regular wear items.
The Mentalist: Citroen
DS21. Driven by Patrick Jane in the show, this car was produced from 1955 to 1975. It’s a
cool looking car that is known for saving France’s then-President Charles De
Gaulle from an assassination attempt in 1962. The cars are
expensive. The seller of a 1964 Citroen will only consider offers for more than
That may be enough to force you to make your own replica. That’s
probably what Starsky and Hutch did with their Gran Torino.