For the latest in my series of ‘Desert Island’ blogs, I have decided to choose 8 cars that have featured in British Crime Dramas on the television (so Magnum PI’s Ferrari is off the list). Some of the cars may differ from what the crime writers wrote in their novels, however, I have chosen the cars used in the television series as it is easier to visualise (and provide photographs).
I will confess, straight off the bat, that I am not a petrol head and took the information about each individual car from researching the internet, so some of the information may not be 100% accurate. I take no responsibility for any errors due to my lack of classic car knowledge (I’ll stick to classic rock).
Once again, in no particular order…
1 – Inspector Morse – 1960 Jaguar Mark II. Probably one of the most iconic and recognisable cars in all of crime drama. Making an appearance also in the off shoot series’ of Lewis and Endeavour, this car shouts CLASSIC.
2 – Captain Hastings (Poirot) – 1931 Lagonda 2 litre low chassis Tourer. Some of my favourite episodes involve Hastings speeding through the countryside with Poirot in his elegant Lagonda. Hugh Fraser must have loved driving this (there is a chase scene where you can actually see him smiling).
3 – Vera – 1996 Land Rover Defender 90 Tdi. This car is so connected with British crime dramas that it has appeared not only in Vera but at least 3 other crime dramas (Rosemary & Thyme, The Coroner, Strike). The model used apparently is an automatic as Brenda can only drive automatics, so when she changes gear in the series, its more of her superb acting.
4 – Inspector Lynley – 1968 Bristol 410. I loved this series and Inspector Lynley got to drive a couple of classic cars, however, I have chosen this one as it seems to fit the character best.
5 – Wallander (Kenneth Branagh) – 2010 Volvo XC70 D5 Inscription. Okay, I’ve cheated a bit with this one as it’s set in Sweden, but it is from the British series. I dream of driving around Southern Sweden in a Volvo at some point, so I was always going to chose this one.
6 – Rebus – 1998 SAAB 9-3 S. If I was going to have a Volvo on the list, I had better have a SAAB so not to upset any Swedish readers. Rebus didn’t have the best relationship with this car and I think the novels use the earlier 900 model, but it is a great car (when it works).
7 – Bergerac – 1949 Triumph Roadster. Another instantly recognisable car from the classic 1980’s series set on Jersey. A young John Nettles got to drive this before the less exciting choices of his Midsomer Murders character.
8 – Samantha Stewart (Foyle’s War) – 1936 Wolseley 14/56 [Series II]. There is some debate about which model was used during Foyle’s War and I believe they used a number of different cars to shepherd Foyle around. I think that the car and Sam’s driving are such a big part of the series it would remiss of me not to include it.
BONUS CHOICE – DS Mike Lyle (DI Christie series) – Volkswagen Golf GTI. I don’t go into much detail about the exact model, but it’s black and kept immaculate. It is also a four door model to allow suspects to be put in the back. Oh, and it has a fantastic music player to allow all the classic rock music to be played.
Thanks for reading and I hope you liked my choices. You can read more about Lyle’s car adventures in ‘Christies Early Cases’ (link under Books on the menu bar), and watch out for the first full DI Christie novel coming in summer/august 2020.