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Top Ten Car-Related Television Opening Titles

There are credit sequences to popular television shows that inspire the future classic enthusiast – and here are just a few examples:

  1. NO HIDING PLACE 1959 – 1967

    Only 25 editions remain of this top-rated police drama in which Chief Supt. Tom Lockhart was chauffeured in an array of fine motor cars – Wolseley 6/90 and 6/110 plus a Humber Super Snipe, - and generally caught this week’s wrong-doer. ‘It’s a fair cop, guv!’
  2. DANGER MAN 1960 – 1961

    Or the early incarnation of the show in which Patrick McGoohan is seen departing on his next mission in a Mercedes-Benz 190SL – ‘A messy job? Well, that's when they usually call on me, or someone like me. Oh yes: my name is Drake. John Drake.’
  3. Z-CARS 1962 – 1978

    A show that spanned quite a few generations of Ford products. The original season used Lancashire Constabulary Zephyr Mk. IIs

    And by 1978 Bert Lynch is an Inspector and we are in the era of Escort Mk. IIs - ‘BD to Z Victor One’.
  4. THE PERSUADERS! 1971 - 1972

    What else can one say in the face of such sublime ITC international glamour - Very little, except that Tony Curtis was apparently not over-enamoured of the Dino he drove on-screen.
  5. THE SWEENEY 1974 - 1978

    I have chosen the ‘prism’ titles of the fourth and last series - partially because I am a fan of the Ford Granada Mk. II and partially for the sight of John Thaw punching the camera. However, my principal reason is for memories that as recently as the late 1970s London police cars were still fitted with bells…
  6. MINDER 1979 – 1994

    Just look at the cars in Arthur’s lot – Audi 100 C1 saloon, Fiat 132 and the Ford Escort 1.6 Harrier Mk. II The last-named was going to be Terry’s set of wheels before Euston Films decided on the Capri 2.0S Mk. II for the opening titles although offscreen this was a model favoured by George Cole: For the first six years of Minder I would drive to wherever we were shooting in my Capri (not the one Dennis drove in the show), change into my Arthur costume and then start driving his Jag’.
  7. THE RAT CATCHERS 1966 - 1967

    A swinging start to this Associated Rediffusion spy series with Gerald Flood as the AC Cobra 289-driving playboy Peregrine Smith and Glyn ‘Jack Rolfe from Howard’s Way’ as ex. Supt. Richard Hurst. The Cobra, chassis no. COB6018, went on to enjoy many other screen appearances but all but two episodes of The Rat Catchers are yet another programme that is ‘Missing, Believed Wiped’.
  8. THE PROFESSIONALS 1977 – 1981

    You can understand why the first-season titles featuring a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow – were subsequently replaced by Ford Granada crashing through a plate glass window; they were just too hilarious. Especially for the spectacle of Bodie and Doyle engaging in bouts of macho skipping. And in joint first we have two titles, chosen by me in completely open and unbiased manner.
  9. TAXI 1963 – 1964

    Sid James in an Austin FX3 dodging between Morris Mini Travellers, RT buses and Ford Consul Classics accompanied by Harry Robinson’s theme tune – this is clearly one of the finest programmes in the history of television. Alas, all but one of the 26 editions were wiped but the remaining story, The Villain, is enough to provide another reminder of the great actor who made his art look so easy.
  10. THE PRISONER 1967

    Naturally.

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