Top 10 Classic Cars from British Cop TV Shows

Due to copyright, we are unable to publish photos from these beloved British cop TV shows. Therefore, not all the cars below are the actual vehicles used in each show. Without further ado, let's get stuck in with our first choice.

The Professionals

Ford Cortina Mk3 3.0L S similar to the one used by The Professionals

Everyone thinks of the Capri and the Granada when talking about The Professionals, however, at the outset, they were driving Dolomite Sprints, TR7s and Cowley had a Rover SD1. The British Leyland era was short-lived though. After the demise of their involvement, the programme used Ford.

The Professionals was known for Ford Capris in the main but they also used an RS2000 and Cowley had a Granada. One of the Capris used was sold at Auction in 2016 and fetched £55,000. There is a suggestion that all 8 of the Capris and the MK11 RS2000 still exist today.

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Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth similar to the one used by Spender

Jimmy Nail was a Detective Sergeant got involved in more ‘daring’ police cases. Set in the early 1990s, there was only one weapon of choice that would suit his image and the era – the Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth.

Spender is seen smoking around the streets of Newcastle Upon Tyne in the ‘Cossie’ whilst on the tail of villains. In an ironic twist, Spender became a real-life victim of a crime as one of the Cosworths they used in filming was stolen from the set. Thankfully Ford supplied a replacement which came with its own minder. Lucky car!

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John Nettles being interviewed in a Triumph Roadster on the set of Bergerac

Jim Bergerac was a Detective Sergeant working for Le Bureau des Étrangers based in Jersey. He was a police officer fighting criminals and his own demons as a recovering alcoholic. Bergerac had a 1947 Triumph Roadster to get around the island. In fact, they used two for filming as the first one wasn’t the most reliable vehicle in the world. The car was sold back in 2013 at auction for £20,000.

This car featured above is owned by one of our clients and was used for an interview with John Nettles on the set of Bergerac about his time playing the famous character.

Inspector Morse

Jaguar MkII similar to the one used by Inspector Morse

Inspector Morse was a Detective Chief Inspector based in the city of Oxford. With a passion for classical music and real ale, Morse policed the streets for over a decade. Whilst Morse was the main character, another infamous character arose from the series – an MKII Jaguar.

Never did Morse stray from his Jaguar and as the series went on, the car became as famous as Morse himself. Following the end of Morse, the car was raffled off and in 2002 the car was bought at auction for £53,200 and underwent a full restoration thereafter. It’s believed that the car is now in Yorkshire.

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The Sweeney

Ford Consul 3000 GT similar to the one used in The Sweeney

The Sweeny is a drama set in the 1970s based around two members of the ‘Flying Squad’ that tackled violent crime and armed robbery around London. Car chases were aplenty with typical 70s vehicles screeching around. Ford again supplied the cars with the most famous of these being the Consul 3000 GT, which is still in use today and was on display at the 2019 Classic Motor Show.

The featured Consul is available for hire.

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Dempsey and Makepeace

Mercedes 350 SL similar to the one used by Dempsey

Two officers come together from very different backgrounds working for an elite and armed division of the London Metropolitan Police. Dempsey a streetwise, working-class New York cop comes together with Makepeace, the daughter of the Gentry who has worked her way up on her own merits to form an unlikely partnership in the specialist team SI 10. Both characters were driving around in typical 80s cars with Dempsey having the Mercedes Benz SL and Makepeace a Ford Escort Cabriolet.

Life on Mars

Ford Cortina Mk3 GXL similar to the one used in Life on Mars

One of the most popular police programmes on the noughties was based around DCI Sam Tyler who, following a road accident in 2006 Manchester, wakes up in 1973 and finds himself working under DCI Gene Hunt. In typical 70s style, they end up smoking around the city in a 1974 Ford Cortina. The car itself is still in existence and was sold to an enthusiast who still enjoys driving it.

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Ashes to Ashes

The Audi Quattro used in Ashes to Ashes at the BBC

This is the sequel to ‘Life on Mars’ and introduces Alex Drake, a police officer in London who is shot, however, she finds herself in 1981 after regaining consciousness. She comes across one DCI Gene Hunt, a character she has seen before when researching historical police activity in the present.

Hunt is now policing the capital along with his original team except Sam. The sequel also produced another character in the form of the Audi Quattro and Hunt’s well-known phrase ‘fire up the Quattro’ being synonymous with the programme and probably every Quattro owner since.

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The Avengers

The Broadspeed Jaguar XJ used in The Avengers before it was sold at auction

This British espionage series was created back in the 60s with a further follow up programme known as The New Avengers, which mixed fantasy with a darker edge. One of the most popular cars in the series was the Broadspeed Jaguar XJ. The Jaguar in question was recently sold for a staggering £62,000 despite the original estimate of £10-12,000.

Inspector Lynley Mysteries

Jensen Interceptor similar to the one used by Inspector Lynley

This crime drama featured lead character Thomas Lynley, who is the 8th Earl of Asherton. He is a very polished and sophisticated man who is assigned to Scotland Yard and is paired up with DS Barbara Havers, a working-class and untidy character. Lynley has a knack for solving murders but clashes of personality, gender and class with Havers soon follow. Lynley drove a Jensen Interceptor and later a Bristol 410, a choice that matched his quintessential British character.

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Stuart Moore

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