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Top 10 Wheeled Vehicles of the 80s

A-team-van Yup, that's right, we're going to be counting down from 10 to 1 in an effort to show our love for the 80s and those awesome cars, vans, and trucks we all loved once upon a time.  That's a total lie, we still love them. We really do. So let's get down to it.

Now a note before we start: this is a list, very specifically, of vehicles in popular culture, in the 80s that had wheels. Otherwise you get into planes and space ships and everything falls apart. Also, please note: all vehicles were chosen by me, based on criteria that I made up. It's more fun this way! So what's number 10?

10. The Teen Wolf Van

Teen-wolf-van Yes, that's right. Now, look, you might want to claim the van itself had nothing special or cool about it. I might even, normally, be inclined to agree. I mean it was just a van, right?  Wrong! It was a van with a werewolf doing handstands on it!  You cannot deny the power of that. I mean, I guess you could and all, but you would be wrong. Because it was a… let me explain this to you… see there's a werewolf. On top of the van. Dancing. Also: handstands. I rest my case.

9. Mystery Machine


Yeah it was cool. It was a hippie van, all decked out in pretty colors, and it moved a group of meddlesome teenagers and their talking stoner dog around to catch evil groundskeepers wherever they lurked. Seriously, do any of us trust groundskeepers now? I totally don't! Thanks to Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Machine. So it was cool and nifty, but something about it wasn't cool enough to climb this list.  Sorry, Scoobs!

8. Batmobile (Michael Keaton version)

Batmobile-michael-keaton When the Michael Keaton Batman movie came out in '89, the Batmobile was so damn cool! Oh man, it was like one long phallic symbol of justice and parental revenge! It had a jet engine in the front and flames in the back and… wait, it had to fire a grappling hook to turn corners? Inconvenient! Still, that thing was so sleek. I know I wanted two. Yes, two! With two Batmobiles I could… I'm not actually sure why I wanted two. Maybe I wanted to give one to a friend. Perhaps! It doesn't matter, the fact is that the car looked and sounded like it had been made from pure penile awesome.  Even if it couldn't turn a corner. Ever.

7. A-Team Van

A-team-van Vans used to be so cool. Now they're just for OJ and pedophiles, I think. Shame, that. Still, yet another van has made our list. Do you like how I called it our list, just then? As if you have any say in it? Ha! Where was I? Right. A-Team. They had a van that not only looked like it could beat you up, but it seemed to beat people up every episode! Stuck behind a wall of dangerous men? Bolt some stuff to the van and drive on through! Stuck behind a horde of dangerous men? Well, it's like a wall! Add stuff to the van! Got some danger… all right so they kinda did the same thing most weeks. But the van was still bad ass. Don't diss the van.

6. Christine

Christine This was a car that killed people. It was the bad guy in a movie that was about a car that killed people. See, this car? Killed people. There was probably a plot reason for it, but I never paid attention to that. I just watched for a car that would gun people down and shit. No driver, no muss, no fuss! Killing death possessed car! Awwwww, yeah!

5. Optimus Prime

Optimus-prime-truck Now he was more than a truck, he was also a robot. Which shoots him way up the list. Look if the van with the werewolf also turned into a werewolf it wouldn't be number 10, it would be number awesome. But it doesn't. Prime does. Well, wait, he doesn't turn into a werewolf. Oh man, imagine if Optimus Prime was a werewolf robot? What would you even call that? A werebot? A rowolf? I would simply call it proof there is a God and move on. Uhm, anyway. Yeah. Optimus Prime. He was nifty.

4. General Lee

General-lee-dukes-of-hazard Now here is a strange car. I mean I want to be mad at it, given the whole flag on top thing. But I can't be mad at it because it leaps anything in the world, and does it in slow motion while two rednecks woop it up! Do you hear that? We can forgive your crazy and wrong if you leap things in slow motion while yelling. So really, the General Lee is not only a radical leaping car, it is also a societal learning curve, in orange. And the doors don't work. Which symbolizes something, I'm sure. I think it symbolizes that they were impotent. I think.

3. K.I.T.T.

Kitt-knight-rider The second car that leaps everything in sight in slow motion! The A-Team van did, too, really but not quite as often. How many problems in Knight Rider were solved by leaping a car over them? All of them. Plus the car talked. Didn't we all think that was the coolest thing ever? Until GPS units got in our cars and we learned to want to punch the talking box in the face, with our foot! Because, damn, talking cars aren't cool if they aren't saying shit like "Turbo boost engaged" or "Hookers ordered, Michael." K.I.T.T. said these things, so we still love it.

2. Ecto-1

Ecto-1-ghostbusters The Ghostbusters rode around in a white hearse with sirens on it. I mean, symbolic, wasn't it? They recaptured the dead in a vehicle designed to transport the dead, but repainted to be the color of life. That's kinda deep. So let's not think about it too much. This is a car that Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd drove at the height of their careers, drove. That alone ups the cool factor. But also, as a kid, growing up in NY, every time I heard sirens for a week after I saw the movie, I hoped it would be the Ecto-1. It never was. It never ever was and I cried myself to sleep until I was 22. I don't want to talk about it.

1. DeLorean

Delorean-back-to-the-future The doors open upward. Fine. That's awesome. But really? This car is a time machine. It's a time machine! You can get in this car and hit 88m.p.h. (that's "fast" to you Canadians who use k.p.h.) and whammo you're in the future of the past or whatever! It's a time traveling car! I'm not sure if it gets cooler than that overall, but I know it didn't get cooler than that in the 80s. Which is why it's number one. See how that works? It's math, suckers!

What bugs me is that these last ten years we don't seem to have made up any new slick as hell cars and vans. I mean, the new batmobile, the new Optimus Prime, the new this and new that - but they're just updates, aren't they? Where are the new wowee cars? I'm waiting, world. I'm waiting.

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The black van they drove on Old School while "Master of Puppets" was pretty kick ass! I also always enjoyed the hearse that Claire drove on Six Feet Under. I especially loved when she freaked on somebody for driving a gas guzzler when she was driving around in a 2/mpg lime green hearse!

Jen O.

Psh...88 m.p.h. is not all that fast. I go that fast all the time and I've never once travelled into the future. Or the past, for that matter. My car sucks.


You left out the car in Uncle Buck. That car put a whole school on lockdown today.


Re: Keaton's Batmobile: "... it was like one long phallic symbol of justice and parental revenge!"

This makes me laugh, but... how is that car phallic? What am I not seeing?

Hilarity throughout, though, sir. I love this zany kinda writing.

Adam P. Knave

Tonya: Yeah those were fun cars in fun situations!

Jen: I think you need a flux capacitor, see...

Jellybean: HAhaha, so it did.

DJ: It's like a big penis with wheelwells on the side. Just... look at it...


Dude how could you leave out Fall Guy's truck? Don't forget about C.H.i.P.S. motorcycles! And all the cars of Miami Vice.

Adam P. Knave

The C.H.i.P.S. motorcycles didn't often play into the plot did they? They didn't do anything cool, really. Fall Guy, I totally forgot! But Miami Vice would have been its own post on the culture of cars in that show itself. Man they had a lot of cars.


Love this list... but what about the Ferrari on Magnum PI? maybe it was magnum and his mustache that made it cool...

Adam P. Knave

YeahI think it was more Magnum than the car. Coulda been any car, really.

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