Do you remember that famous intro at the beginning of the american tv show “A-Team” ? “In 1972, a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for a crime that they didn’t commit” and then a bunch of cars start crashing into walls, jumping in the air and also water sliding. Vehicle explosions and crazy car stunts with flying axles were at their peak in this TV show from the 80’s.
The thing is that the A-Team car, a third generation GMC Vandura from 1983, was always in tip top shape despite of it being brutally driven and it became an iconic american car. As you would expect, the auto manufacturers from GMC had free car advertising for their GMC Vandura because of the A-Team van throughout the 80’s but they also donated a whole lot of them in order for us to see those out of this world car stunts and high speed car chases that lack any kind of car care behavior.
The black and metallic grey GMC Vandura van used by the A-Team, with its signature red stripe, rooftop spoiler plus those black and red alloy wheels had improved car specs for those times:
- 6.2 litre diesel car engine
- 4 stacked headlights
- tilt steering wheel
- a 4 gear manual transmission was introduced and the gear levers were moved on the floor (but I think that the A-Team van had an automatic transmission)
- new design for the steering wheel
- rear wheel drive for sure because of the rooftop spoiler which helps with better grip on the wheels from the back
After being tracked down in a car park outside Universal Studios in Los Angeles and seeing how neglected it was, being left to rust, the iconic stunt van that the A-Team used, was bought and sent to the “Cars of the Stars Motor Museum” in Keswick, northern England. It seems that during the A-Team tv series, a number of 6 GMC vans were constantly used except the stunt cars that were like doubles. It was nice to know that the abandoned A-team van was saved from the junkyard fate.
The most common misconceptions or goofs when it comes to the A-Team van are:
- early GMC Vandura used in the A-Team series had a red GMC logo on the front grill, and an additional GMC logo on the rear left door but from the second season, the car logos were blacked out
- people still think that the A-Team van is all black but it isn’t! The section which goes over the red stripe is metallic grey and yeah, I know that this error was made in most of the toy cars too
- most of the basic GMC Vanduras used in the TV series had a sunroof while those used for car stunts didn’t (there’s a scene in the third season where Face jumps on the roof of the car, roof where you can clearly see the lack of a sunroof but after that you could see Face climbing in through the car’s sunroof)
- the scene where the A-Team car is sinking in water is not a GMC Vandura but a late 1960’s or early 1970’s Ford Econoline van
Some people who are more into care of cars than we think have built a perfect replica of the A-Team car that was spotted on Ebay at an acceptable acquisition cost or price tag of 24 thousand dollars and if you’re thinking about what you can do with it, here are some crazy jumps made with the A-Team van: