Wednesday, October 05, 2005

What kind of car did Maxwell Smart drive?

Don Adams (Maxwell Smart) died this month (RIP), and I thought I would look into the cars he drove on the show "Get Smart".

Max drove two cars throughout the five year run of the series. The car Max drove in the first four years of the series was a red 1965 Sunbeam Tiger. Without a doubt, it is the car most associated with Max and can be considered "his car." The car became Don's personal car for many years. However, after his daughter wrecked it for the third time, the car was junked and destroyed.



In season five, Max drives a gold, 1969 Opel GT. He also drove the Opel in the episodes, so it can really be called his second car. Interestingly enough, Max's Opel also appeared in the movie "Stripes."



In the opening credits of the third and fourth seasons, Max drives a blue VW Karman Ghia. However, in those season's episodes, he continued to drive the Sunbeam. The open was probably changed to reflect some type of sponsorship deal. In no episode does he actually drive the Karman Ghia.



The three cars mentioned above are the only cars that Max drove in more than one episode. Yes, I know that there are episodes where he drove other cars, like the wedding episode, but they were not his car and are not going to be listed here. Some people have correctly noted that for a few episodes in the fourth season Max drove a Ford Mustang convertible, but that car was clearly designated as The Chief's car.

The one note that needs to be made concerns the pilot episode. In that, Max drives a Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet. The reason for that is that they probably used a stock studio sportscar for the pilot. When the show was picked up, they were able to arrange a promotional deal with Sunbeam.



More Tiger information: According to Dick Sanders of the Pacific Tiger Club, "a look-a-like Sunbeam Alpine (rebadged with Tiger script on the side) of the same vintage ('65 or '66) was used in almost all of the shows where a Sunbeam appeared. There wasn't room to mount a machine gun (or much of anything else) under the hood of the V8-powered Tiger, so they used the Alpine which has a smaller 4-cylinder motor."

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