Credit: Gadget Show Prizes
Sitcoms are a big part of British TV history, providing hours of laughter from characters like the smooth-talking Del Boy, to the suspicious Father Ted Crilly. Years later, they have become cult classics that continue to delight audiences old and new. People remember the sitcoms for the characters, but the vehicles are just as memorable. Who could forget Del and Rodney driving in their beaten up yellow van while Del came up with his latest scheme?
The vehicles are a big part of sitcoms, and here are five of the most memorable
1. The Reliant Regal Supervan in Only Fools and Horses
Recognised by the yellow paint job and distinctive ‘Trotters Independent Trading Co – New York, Paris, Peckham’ logo, the supervan is an integral part of Only Fools and Horses. It was one of six models used in the show, with one of them being owned by boxer Ricky Hatton.
2. 1935 Ford BB Box Van in Dad’s Army
Owned by Corporal Jones, the 1935 two-ton Ford BB was essential for moving the Walmington-on-Sea platoon about. The van was discovered in a broken down condition by an assistant property master at the BBC called Frank Holland. It was close to being scrapped and Holland contacted the company who supplied vehicles to the BBC. They bought the van and restored it to working condition.
In 2012, the van was sold to the Dad’s Army Museum in Thetford, where it can be viewed by fans.
3. 1966 Austin 1100 Countryman in Fawlty Towers
While many cars are marvelled for their appearance, the Austin 1100 Countryman will be remembered for how bad it is at starting. The car was immortalised when Basil Fawlty gave it a “damn good thrashing” in the Fawlty Towers episode ‘Gourmet Night.’
4. 1985 Blue Rover 213 in Father Ted
Seen in the episode, ‘Think Fast Father Ted,’ the Rover 213 was used as a raffle prize to raise money for a damaged roof. When Ted saw there was a dent in the hood he tried to “tap it away” and destroyed the car’s exterior. Hilariously, Ted and Father Dougal rig the raffle so they can try and return the Rover. It’s a great example of how a car can be used for comedic effect.
5. 1957 Morris Minor in Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave Em
Despite there only being 22 episodes in five years, Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em features a stand out scene in the episode ‘Cliffhanger.’ Michael Crawford, who played the main character Frank, hangs from a 1957 Morris. In an age where CGI didn’t exist you have to admire the risks Crawford and the producers took.
The car was fastened to a pair of hidden railway sleepers and Crawford wore a concealed harness, but the scene will live on in sitcom history.
There’s no doubt that vehicles play a major role in the success of sitcoms. Whether they appear in one episode, or an entire series, vehicles are valuable props.