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Ultimate TV cop cars revealed

The burgundy Jaguar Mark 2 driven by Inspector Morse in the detective series Inspector Morse has been voted the most iconic TV cop car of all time.

In a new poll commissioned by the world’s biggest motoring entertainment show, Top Gear, the classic British-made model was declared top of the cops by more than half (53%) of those surveyed.

It was closely followed by Gene Hunt’s Audi Quattro from Ashes to Ashes (43%), and the Ferrari 308 GTS that starred in Magnum, PI.

The Mark 2 epitomised Jaguar’s motto of “grace, pace and space”, with almost a third of respondents identifying Morse’s chosen crime-fighting vehicle as the ultimate TV cop car in terms of classic style and design.

The survey of 1,000 British adults comes ahead of this Sunday’s second episode of the new series, where the presenters put several legendary TV crime-fighting cars through their paces, with hilarious results.

The episode celebrates an era when telly police cars were as famous and recognisable as the actors who drove them.

10 best loved TV cop and detective cars

  1. Jaguar Mark 2 – Inspector Morse, Morse (53%)
  2. Audi Quattro – Gene Hunt, Ashes to Ashes (43%)
  3. Ferrari 308 GTS – Thomas Magnum, Magnum PI (41%)
  4. Ford Capri – Ray Doyle, The Professionals (41%)
  5. Ford Gran Torino – Dave Starsky, Starsky and Hutch (40%)
  6. Ferrari Testarossa – Sonny Crockett, Miami Vice (37%)
  7. Land Rover Defender – Vera Stanhope, Vera (33%)
  8. Ford Consul GT – Inspector Jack Regan, The Sweeney (28%)
  9. Ford Cortina – Gene Hunt, Life on Mars (27%)
  10. Mercedes SL and Ford Escort XR3i cabriolet – Harriet and Jim, Dempsey and Makepeace (27%)

The Mark 2 epitomised Jaguar’s motto of ‘grace, pace and space’, with almost a third of respondents identifying Morse’s chosen crime-fighting vehicle as the ultimate TV cop car in terms of classic style and design.

Chris Harris added: “The Mark 2 originally had a reputation for grace and sophistication but by the 1980’s when Morse was on the TV, it had a different image, it was a bit more bank robber than stately home.

“But it all fitted with Morse’s character, the curmudgeon and intellect who loved real ale and crosswords and disliked pleasantries.

“If a great TV police car can say something about the character or driver that almost no lines could, then this is the best of the lot.”

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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