I know that I watched entirely too many “genre” shows growing up during the 1980s. This is clear from a work conversation about Knight Rider, which reminded me about how many “vehicle as superhero” series existed during the early part of the decade:
- Knight Rider (1982)
- Automan (1983)
- Airwolf (1984)
- Blue Thunder (TV series – 1984)
- Streethawk (1985)
Less remembered are the shows that appeared mostly in syndication a few years later:
- The Highwayman (1987)
- Knight Rider 2000 (1991)
- Viper (1994)
- Thunder in Paradise
- Knight Rider 2010 (1995)
- Team Knight Rider (1997)
And of course, the return of Knight Rider in 2008.
Unfortunately, I think the overuse of cheap computer effects really hurt the genre with Viper and the 2008 KITT having ridiculously impossible transformations and silly “powers” that appeared out of nowhere and were sometimes never used again. But superhero cars will likely always be with us in some form, like Coulson’s Lola from Agents of SHIELD.