Old School Americana & Nostalgia


5 Iconic TV Family Vehicles

5 Iconic TV Family Vehicles

Sitcoms have been a staple of television for decades. Sometimes TV family vehicles can become as iconic as the show itself. Now buckle up as we take a drive through some of the most recognizable automobiles on the small screen.

5. Hank Hill’s Red Truck

Hank Hill’s trusty truck from King of the Hill is unique among animated sitcoms because the exact make is specified a few times over the course of the series’ 13 seasons. The Ranger, sporting a vibrant red color, boasts a distinctive dashboard and interior reminiscent of the 1993-94 Ranger models. Notably, the grill occasionally showcases the features seen in the 95′-97′ versions.

However, the truck is retconned in the season five episode, “Chasing Bobby”. Hank claims the truck is much older than a 1993 model (fans suspect the 1986 version). It also goes from automatic to manual transmission. Regardless, the original red truck is retired in this episode after years of service. Hank finally comes to terms with the fact that his beloved old truck is gone. In its place, he made the decision to purchase a 1999 Ford F-250 Super Duty from Pick Up Truck Heaven. As a tribute to the memories attached to his old truck, Hank opted to keep the gear shift knob from the Ranger, which coincidentally also had a manual transmission, in place of the new one.

4. The Partridge Family Bus

The Partridge Family, an iconic pop music group in the late 1970s, drew inspiration from the real-life Cowsills. Comprised of a widowed mother and five talented siblings, they embarked on a nationwide tour in a 1957 Chevrolet Series 6800 Superior. The bus showcased eye-catching patterns inspired by Piet Mondrian’s art. It sometimes even doubled as a stage! While it catapulted the family to stardom, the bus itself received no special treatment and eventually found its final resting place in a Los Angeles junkyard in 1987. Nickelodeon later featured a rerun of the show in its Nick at Nite lineup from 1993 to 1994, even creating a replica of the iconic bus for promotional purposes.

3. That 70s Show’s Vista Cruiser

Hello Wisconsin! The pilot episode of That ’70s Show revolves around the iconic moment when dad Red Forman hands his son Eric the keys to the coveted Vista Cruiser. Throughout the first seven seasons, the Vista Cruiser remains a prominent and beloved element of the show, serving as a backdrop for dialogues and playing a central role in various storylines.

2. The Munster Koach, the Spookiest of the TV Family Vehicles

Everyone’s favorite blue-collar monster family had an equally spooky TV family vehicle, The Munster Koach. George Barris built the Koach, the family’s mode of transportation, in just 21 days. This 18-foot vehicle was made from three Ford Model T bodies and featured impressive details like a four-speed manual transmission, a powerful 289 Ford Cobra engine, and a “blood red” velvet interior. Handcrafted elements such as the frame, radiator, fenders, and rolled steel scrollwork added to its uniqueness. The Koach’s creation cost $18,000 in 1964.

1. The most iconic of TV Family Vehicles… The Beverly Hillbillies Truck

The Beverly Hillbillies hands down has the most distinct of all the TV family vehicles! The truck is a modified version of the 1921 Oldsmobile Model 43-A touring car, equipped with a 43-horsepower 4-cylinder engine. Despite Jethro’s lack of intelligence, his exceptional mechanical skills allowed him to drive the forty-year-old truck from the Ozark Mountains to California and maintain it for nine seasons in Beverly Hills.