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Cars in Miami Vice

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The cars in Miami Vice mainly involve the Ferrari Daytona Spyder and the Ferrari Testarossa, but also include other automobiles driven by the characters on the show. Currently one Daytona (Car #4) is in a private collection and the other (Car #1) is on display at the Volo Auto Museum; the Ferrari Testarossa stunt car resides in Kingsport, Tennessee and is owned by Carl Roberts of Carl Roberts Motor Group.[1] Today, one of the hero cars (Ferrari Testarossa chassis #63631) is part of The Witvoet collection owned by Bastiaan Witvoet in Belgium.

Daytona Spyder[edit]

Ferrari Daytona like the one used in the show

During the first two seasons and two episodes from the third season, Detective Sonny Crockett drove a black 1972 Ferrari Daytona Spyder 365 GTS/4 replica with a Florida license plate ZAQ178.[2] Ferrari North America had turned down the request by Miami Vice for authentic Ferraris (they did the same with Magnum, P.I., forcing that production to purchase 308 GTSs). Although Tom McBurnie is credited with planting the Daytona Spyder in the mind of the public, it was actually Al Mardekian, an importer of gray-market exotic cars, who sold Miami Vice the two look-alike Ferraris for $49,000 each.[1] In total two Corvette Daytona replicas were used for the show, car 4 and then car 1 after the pilot which acted as the stunt car.[3] McBurnie was hired to build the bodies for the Corvette-chassised cars.[1] It was blown to pieces on the show with a hand-held Stinger missile launcher during an illegal arms deal.[4]

The "Ferraris" used in the first two seasons were actually re-bodied Corvettes based on a 1976 Corvette (car 1) and a 1981 (car 4) Chevrolet Corvette C3 chassis that had been modified with fiberglass body panels by specialty car manufacturer McBurnie Coachcraft to resemble an early-1970s Ferrari Daytona Spyder.[5] the tan and black leather interior as well as the convertible top was fabricated by Scott Draizin/Headsup industries based in Ft Lauderdale. Still, the very first scene in the pilot episode which has the black Daytona appearing, though for a few seconds, makes use of a real Ferrari Daytona owned by Dr. Roger Sherman of Coconut Grove, Florida. It can be clearly identified as a real Daytona (American version) by the door handles, side markers, windshield rake, sun visors, width variation and side vent windows. All moving close-up scenes were done on the back of a flatbed truck under the supervision of TIDE Ferrari Racing crew member / model Kimberly Denson of Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.


"Why beat a real Ferrari to death with power slides and 180s or mar its flawless skin with camera mounts for tight driver's shots when a stand-in stunt car could do the job quite nicely?"

Carl Roberts[6]

Ferrari filed a lawsuit demanding McBurnie and four others to stop producing and selling Ferrari replicas.[1] Miami Vice producers, on the other hand, wanted no legal troubles[citation needed], and accepted Ferrari's offer of two free 1986 Testarossas on the condition that the replicas be destroyed.[6] Carl Roberts offered to build two new Daytonas for the 1987 season (third season of Miami Vice).[6] When Roberts learned that the Daytona was out, he proposed a trade:[6] he would build Miami Vice a Testarossa stunt car in return for the doomed Daytona.[6] Carl's original plan was to remove the Daytona skin from the Corvette and replace it with Testarossa body pieces, but this yielded poor results and led Roberts to devise another plan.[5][6]

1986 Ferrari Testarossa #63631

Roberts searched and found a 1972 De Tomaso Pantera, which was perfectly suited for the Testarossa body pieces.[5][6] The Pantera was rigidly modified to withstand the duties of filming:[5] it was raised 1.5 inches for additional ground clearance,[6] square tubing 2.5 inch thick was used to reinforce the roof to prevent buckling and a railing was added to support the frame and act as a skid plate.[6] An auxiliary braking system was designed to assist drivers in controlled spins: the master cylinder was repositioned in the brake line to enable it to feed the rear wheels, enabling the driver to lock the aft end on command, and the auxiliary master cylinder utilizes the original master cylinder's reservoir and is installed in series with the outlet of the original master cylinder port leading to the rear wheels.[6] When the stock brake is applied, fluid passes freely through the stunt master cylinder inlet port and compensating port and out the exhaust port to the rear wheels.[6] When the stunt brake is applied, the piston in the master cylinder blocks off the compensating port to the exhaust port and pressurizes the rear brake system, cutting off the original brake master cylinder besides the compensating port in the stunt brake.[6] BF Goodrich TA's were added for enhanced traction, as were Tilton brake calipers. The improved traction required installation of a hydraulic in-line brake power booster lifted from a Volvo P-1800.[6] It operates on engine vacuum to aid in breaking loose the pavement-hugging TA's.[6] To further enhance the growl of the vehicle, Robert's team installed a NOS port-injected nitrous system, which was later replaced with a plate-type configuration.[6] He also replaced the stock carburetor with a Predator unit which reduces fuel lag.[5][6] A Modine all-aluminum four-core radiator was used to guard against Miami's hot weather, and liquid Auto-Meter gauges to monitor the temperature.[6]

In the second episode of the third season,[5][7] Crockett complained to Lt. Castillo about driving vehicles that did not fit his cover as a high-roller drug dealer, that he was going around "looking like Li'l Abner"; Castillo quietly replied "It's out back." Sonny was then delighted to find his new white 1986 Ferrari Testarossa, Florida license plate AIF00M.[7] The original Testarossas donated by Ferrari North America were black metallic but were then painted white. The Testarossa briefly appears in black in the season 3 episode "El Viejo", which was originally intended to be the season opener, but was then switched with "When Irish Eyes Are Crying" because it was thought that the season needed to start with a "bang" (i.e. the fake Daytona being blown up). Different reasons were given at the time as to why the cars were repainted in white, ranging from a driving mishap by Don Johnson on the set that resulted in one of the cars requiring a new coat of paint, to Michael Mann thinking that, unlike the Daytona, the black exterior paint did not make the Testarossa look good enough in night scenes. One of the two main Testarossas used in filming recently resided on display at The Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop. The Swap Shop's owner purchased the car from NBC for $750,000 and has reportedly turned down $1,000,000 offers for it. The other White Ferrari Testarossa was owned by Peter Lima, of Real Muscle Car Boutique[8] also located in Miami, Florida and was put up for auction for $1.75 million through eBay in December 2014, after gaining a lot of buzz from the media.[9] Today, the hero car (Ferrari Testarossa chassis #63631) is documented by Ferrari Classiche and is part of a collection currently owned by Adams Classic & Collector Cars in Buford, GA.

Other characters[edit]

Ricardo Tubbs drove a 1964 Cadillac Coupe de Ville Convertible.[5][10][11] and a 1982 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am in the pilot episode.

Stan Switek drove a turquoise 1961 Ford Thunderbird.[5] Gina Calabrese drove a 1971 Mercury Cougar XR-7 convertible.[citation needed] When Stan and Larry were undercover, they drove a Dodge Ram Van.[12][13] Crockett's ex-wife drove a 1983 Ford LTD Country Squire.[13][14]

Notable cars[edit]

Other notable vehicles that appeared in Miami Vice (other than a Ferrari), that were driven by villains, police officers, and other characters on the show included, brands such as Lamborghini, AMG Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Maserati, Lotus, DeLorean, Porsche, and Corvettes. American muscle cars, such as the GTO, Trans Am, Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and a Plymouth Barracuda also made appearances.

Season 1[edit]

Season 2[edit]

Season 3[edit]

Season 4[edit]

Season 5[edit]

  • Lamborghini LM-002
  • 1982 Aston Martin Lagonda Stretched Limousine MkII
  • 1971 Mustang convertible M code.
  • 1987 Buick Grand National. Episode 16


  1. ^ a b c d Spaise, Kevin (September 1987). "Twice as Vice". Kit Car: 14.
  2. ^ "When Irish Eyes Are Crying". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 45. Miami, Florida. 1986-09-26. NBC.
  3. ^ Willson, Quentin (2009-03-22). "£30k for Crockett's 'Ferrari' is a Miami Nice price". Mirror Motoring. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
  4. ^ Spaise, Kevin (September 1987). "Twice as Vice". Kit Car: 13.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Gromer, Cliff (July 1987). "The Cars of Miami Vice". Popular Mechanics. Vol. 164, no. 7. Heartst Corp. p. 85.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Spaise, Kevin (September 1987). "Twice as Vice". Kit Car: 15.
  7. ^ a b "Stone's War". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 46. Miami, Florida. 1986-10-03. NBC.
  8. ^ "Real Muscle Car".
  9. ^ "Miami Vice Ferrari In The News". Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  10. ^ "Give a Little, Take a Little". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 10. Miami, Florida. 1984-12-07. NBC.
  11. ^ Klieger, Jeff (November 1987). "Caddy's a '64". Popular Mechanics. Vol. 164, no. 11. Heartst Corp. p. 6. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  12. ^ a b "The Maze". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 17. Miami, Florida. 1985-02-01. NBC.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em en eo ep eq er es et eu ev "Miami Vice, TV Series, 1984-1989". Internet Movie Car Database. www.imcdb.org. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
  14. ^ a b c d e "Calderone's Return: Part 1 - The Hit List". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 4. Miami, Florida. 1984-10-19. NBC.
  15. ^ "Brother's Keeper". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 1. Miami, Florida. 1984-09-16. NBC.
  16. ^ a b c "Little Prince". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 11. Miami, Florida. 1984-12-14. NBC.
  17. ^ "Brother's Keeper". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 1. Miami, Florida. 1984-09-28. NBC.
  18. ^ a b c d e "Definitely Miami". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 12. Miami, Florida. 1986-01-10. NBC.
  19. ^ a b c d "Heart of Darkness". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 2. Miami, Florida. 1984-09-28. NBC.
  20. ^ a b c "Cool Runnin'". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 3. Miami, Florida. 1984-10-05. NBC.
  21. ^ "One Eyed Jack". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 6. Miami, Florida. 1984-11-02. NBC.
  22. ^ a b "No Exit". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 7. Miami, Florida. 1984-11-09. NBC.
  23. ^ a b c "Glades". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 9. Miami, Florida. 1984-11-30. NBC.
  24. ^ a b "Milk Run". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 12. Miami, Florida. 1984-12-14. NBC.
  25. ^ a b "Golden Triangle: Part I". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 13. Miami, Florida. 1985-01-11. NBC.
  26. ^ a b c "Golden Triangle: Part II". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 14. Miami, Florida. 1985-01-18. NBC.
  27. ^ a b c "Smuggler's Blues". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 15. Miami, Florida. 1985-02-01. NBC.
  28. ^ a b c d "Made for Each Other". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 18. Miami, Florida. 1985-03-08. NBC.
  29. ^ a b c d e "The Home Invaders". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 19. Miami, Florida. 1984-03-15. NBC.
  30. ^ a b c "Evan". Miami Vice. Season 1. Episode 21. Miami, Florida. 1985-05-03. NBC.
  31. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Prodigal Son". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 1. Miami, Florida. 1985-09-27. NBC.
  32. ^ a b c d e f "Whatever Works". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 2. Miami, Florida. 1985-10-04. NBC.
  33. ^ a b "The Dutch Oven". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 4. Miami, Florida. 1985-10-25. NBC.
  34. ^ a b c "Phil the Shill". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 11. Miami, Florida. 1985-12-13. NBC.
  35. ^ a b c "Buddies". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 5. Miami, Florida. 1985-11-01. NBC.
  36. ^ a b "Junk Love". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 6. Miami, Florida. 1985-11-08. NBC.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g "Tale of the Goat". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 7. Miami, Florida. 1985-11-15. NBC.
  38. ^ "Bought and Paid For". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 9. Miami, Florida. 1985-11-29. NBC.
  39. ^ a b c d "Back in the World". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 10. Miami, Florida. 1985-12-06. NBC.
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "Florence Italy". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 16. Miami, Florida. 1986-02-14. NBC.
  41. ^ a b c "Yankee Dollar". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 13. Miami, Florida. 1986-01-17. NBC.
  42. ^ a b "One Way Ticket". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 14. Miami, Florida. 1986-01-24. NBC.
  43. ^ "French Twist". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 17. Miami, Florida. 1986-02-21. NBC.
  44. ^ a b "The Fix". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 18. Miami, Florida. 1986-03-07. NBC.
  45. ^ "Free Verse". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 20. Miami, Florida. 1986-04-04. NBC.
  46. ^ "Trust Fund Pirates". Miami Vice. Season 2. Episode 21. Miami, Florida. 1986-05-02. NBC.
  47. ^ a b c d e f "When Irish Eyes Are Crying". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 1. Miami, Florida. 1986-09-26. NBC.
  48. ^ a b "Stone's War". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 2. Miami, Florida. 1986-10-03. NBC.
  49. ^ "Kill Shot". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 3. Miami, Florida. 1986-10-10. NBC.
  50. ^ a b c d e f "Walk-Alone". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 4. Miami, Florida. 1986-10-17. NBC.
  51. ^ a b c d e f "The Good Collar". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 5. Miami, Florida. 1986-10-24. NBC.
  52. ^ "Shadow In The Dark". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 6. Miami, Florida. 1986-10-31. NBC.
  53. ^ a b "El Viejo". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 7. Miami, Florida. 1986-11-07. NBC.
  54. ^ "Better Living Through Chemistry". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 8. Miami, Florida. 1986-11-14. NBC.
  55. ^ a b c "Baby Blues". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 9. Miami, Florida. 1986-11-21. NBC.
  56. ^ a b c d e f "Streetwise". Miami Vice. Season 3. Episode 10. Miami, Florida. 1986-12-05. NBC.
  57. ^ "Contempt of Court". Miami Vice. Season 4. Episode 1. Miami, Florida. 1987-09-25. NBC.