The Magnum Ferrari

Cars People Culture

A Porsche by any other name

If you were a friend of Thomas Magnum you’d probably have lent him money at some point.

Even the famous Ferrari he drove was borrowed.

But in this case life didn’t mirror art. In fact, Tom Selleck reversed the reciprocity habits of his on-screen presence and was incredibly generous to those around him. He famously bought his three co-stars a Porsche 928 and at the end of the final production bought 200 gold Rolexes for the rest of the crew.

In fact, if Selleck had got his automotive wish from the start, that 308GTSi – that has become known as the Magnum Ferrari – would never have appeared in the show at all. He’d initially requested that the PI should drive one of those 928s that he bought for his buddies.

The show’s producers needed a convertible to match the Hawaiian weather – the show was only set there to make use of the old Hawaii Five-O sets – so approached Porsche to see if they’d do a custom convertible for the show. Apparently they refused.

That Ferrari that became the car Magnum borrowed off Robin Masters and followed the world-famous PI through eight seasons, 162 episodes and two golden globes to become one of the most famous cars of its era.

Whoever made that call at Porsche probably still struggles to watch a single episode of the hirsute Hawaiian private dick.