Classic Jaguar, Triumph, Aston Martin and more, all on the telly – every day!
Day time telly, not perhaps something as car enthusiasts we really get involved in. The sight of rowing families being egged on by any number of strange studio audiences, endless out of date property rebuilds and insomnia curing quiz shows, not our cuppa tea. Plus we’re out and about sourcing some of the lovely cars you all want.
Ah, but set your recording machine up and settle down later in the evening to watch, instead of another round of soaps set in the North with southern accents or horrific voyeur TV on how to be a Doctor, the classic car spotters favourite series from the ’70’s and ’80’s.
The Sweeney, Minder and the Professionals. Screeching 3.0S Capri’s, Escort RS2000, Granada Ghias, Dolomite Sprints, Triumph 2500S, Rover 3500S with the Police spec alloys and any number and model of old Jag’s being turned over, crashed into walls, driven off cliffs or escaping into the distance with Arthur at the wheel.
The Sweeny being earlier can throw up some much older classics in the form of a Reliant Sabre and what looked like a two door large Lancia or Fiat coupe plus a mustard coloured Spitfire that the beautiful lady driver picked up the incorrigible Jack Reagan in. The Professionals gives us later classics with those 3.0S Capri, RS2000 and Granada Ghia as company cars of choice and still the old Jag the blaggers wheels. Newer Rover SDi’s and Maxi feature plus baddies in American Caddys and the odd Mustang.
Because of Arfur’ and Tel being “in the trade” there’s a few more special classics in Minder. Keep your eyes peeled, especially on Arthur Daleys car pitch or one of his slightly upmarket friends showroom, for Aston Martin V8 in yellow and a William Towns designed Lagonda in ruby red. On Arthur’s pitch was a two door XJ6 Coupe in red and what I think was a BMW CSi or maybe an L. In his dodgy mate’s paint shop, under the arches of course, was a dark green Triumph Stag and the same colour Granada, only using green in the gun on that day. Plus the most famous Escort Harrier ever with X-Pack that appears at the beginning of each episode.
Leaving the delights of the Winchester Club, in the Mercedes not the XJ Jag, sitting in the background today was a lovely bright red Jaguar Mark Two and turning the corner the camera panned across a white Aston DBS with wire wheels, just not quite slow enough to see the registration number. Then comes the real spotters problem. Checking out the registration number on the DVLA website to see if that Aston or Jaguar is still taxed and MOT’d. I know, we need to get out more.
Further reading if you can find it is the paperback “Shut It” by Martin Day and Keith Topping. A great guide to two of the shows from that era.
Of course the cars were just props for the real hero’s played by George Cole, Lewis Collins, John Thaw and Gordon Jackson, great actors, all greatly missed. They don’t make them like that any more.