The Four Cars Used by MacGyver

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Who remembers MacGyver? The ‘80s TV action and suspense drama starring Richard Dean Anderson? Angus MacGyver was a secret agent who used his Swiss Army knife and duct tape, but never a gun, to get out of all kinds of life-threatening binds.

From the show, a new word emerged—MacGyverism. Okay, maybe not in the dictionary yet, but it is in online dictionaries such as Wiktionary, yourdictionary.com, and urbandictionary.com. MacGyverism is a noun referring to an “ingeniously improvised solution” to a situation or problem.

At one point, the show offered a prize to fans who came up with scientifically based concepts. A young fan had suggested that MacGyver could patch up a radiator by using egg whites. This was shown in the “Bushmaster” episode, and the fan who came up with this MacGyverism was rewarded by Henry Winkler, the executive producer.

MacGyver’s car hacks became legendary for many fans. Once he turned a car battery into an arc welder.

Since MacGyver often created hacks from parts he kept in his car or things associated with the car he drove, diehard MacGyver fans often argue over the cars most often associated with the show.

During the eight seasons of the original MacGyver series, he drove many vehicles. Most fans, however, associate him with these four:

Jeep Wrangler

MacGyver drove a soft top Jeep Wrangler in seasons 2 through 4 and, then again, in season 7.

The sports utility Jeep Wrangler was designed and manufactured by Jeep from 1986 to present. Chrysler acquired the Jeep brand in 1987.

The Jeep Wrangler is a direct descendant to the military vehicle that was first used in World War II. The name Jeep probably came from the term the soldiers used to describe the vehicle. The military abbreviation was “GP” for general purpose vehicle.

Jeep is among a lot of cars that can give credit to the postwar manufacturing boom. With the expansion of highways and the demand for increasing the quality of American life, many cars were beginning a resurgence, but none can trace their lineage back to the military as much as the Jeep can.

Though Chrysler claims that there is no formal relationship between the Jeep Wrangler and the military Jeep it replaced, they do have a lot of the same features. The Jeeps that were used by American forces during World War II had a fold-down windshield, short wheel-base, removable top, and flat, slotted grille.

Introduced originally in 1944, people began to like the vehicle as much as the soldiers did. Because they were durable and utilitarian, with a short wheelbase and high ground clearance, they could travel on bad roads and even on non-existent roads.

The Jeep Wrangler remains very popular today, especially in the collection of hardcore extreme terrain vehicles. With the right equipment for off-road fun, this iconic American vehicle is truly a unique driving experience.

Jeep Cherokee Chief

In season 1, MacGyver often drove a Jeep Cherokee Chief.

The Jeep Cherokee was a take-off on the very popular Jeep Wagoneer. The vehicle is named after the Native American tribe, The Cherokees.

The first Jeep Cherokee came out in 1974 and was a simple two-door version of the Wagoneer. The intention was to focus on the youth of the day. It featured bucket seats, a sports steering wheel, and racy detailing to appeal to the more adventurous and younger drivers.

In 1975, the Jeep Cherokee Chief was introduced, and the wide-track option was available with upgraded interior and exterior features, bigger wheels, axles that were three inches larger, larger rear and front wheel cut-outs, and exterior stripes.

Later, in 1977, the Jeep Cherokee was available in both two doors and four doors.

1946 Chevy Pickup Truck
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1946 Chevrolet Pickup

In season 5, MacGyver changed his hairstyle and his vehicle. He began driving a vintage 1946 yellow and brown two-tone Chevy truck.

Like the Jeep, the Chevy pickup truck was affected by World War II. Due to the war, the 1942 models of Chevrolet pickup trucks were generally unchanged from the 1941 version. The government halted all civilian truck production so Chevrolet had to cease making civilian models on January 30, 1942.

In March of 1942, the ban on commercial vehicle production ended, and Chevrolet began producing its civilian line of trucks again. It has been said that the 1941 and, albeit very few, 1942 models were built stronger with the likelihood of war on the horizon.

In the mid-1940s, Chevy advertised that its six-cylinder engine gave it extraordinary oil mileage and excellent gas mileage. Later, Chevy advertisements declared that half of the trucks used in the United states during the mid-1940s were 1936 or older models. One out of every three trucks on the road was a Chevrolet.

Another advertisement promoted that the cab had a moisture-proof wooden floor. Remember that, during that period, steel was in short supply.

The Chevrolet truck production for the 1941 model was around 65,500 trucks. Because of the entry into World War II, the 1942 production of Chevy trucks totaled a mere 23,700. By 1948, Chevrolet’s pickup truck production climbed to over 69,000.

The style of pickup trucks from 1941-1947 is favored by truck collectors today, as well as the millions of people who drove them more than seventy years ago. Periodically, you will see a classic, old Chevy truck on the road today.

 

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1957 Chevrolet Nomad

In season 6, MacGyver inherits his grandfather’s 1957 Chevy Nomad station wagon. The mid-1950s was a time of new homes in the suburbs and station wagons in the family garage. Chevrolet offered several station wagons, but none were as attractive or stylish as the Nomad.

The Nomad was the most expensive Chevrolet offered in 1955, but costs were cut in 1956 and 1957 and, even then, those two model years were still expensive to build because of the low production numbers and unique components they contained. It was a great utility wagon but with a stylish and luxury look. The Nomad was long, low, and very different.

The Nomad had all kinds of bells and whistles, such as interior carpet, chrome window moldings, full wheel covers, and chrome spears on the front fenders. Mechanically, it offered a modern, overhead valve, high compression, short stroke design, and V8 engine with a two-barrel carburetor.

The car stole the show at auto exhibits everywhere. The Nomad was the newest achievement of Chevrolet Station wagon styling.

Chevrolet offered the Nomad off and on from 1955 to 1972. The Nomad is best remembered for its two-door model, which was made during a three-year period.

The Nomad was, and will always be, a true classic, both for Chevrolet and for MacGyver.

 

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