Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better... stronger... faster.
The series' protagonists were two Southern California police detectives: David Michael Starsky (Paul Michael Glaser), the dark-haired, Brooklyn transplant and U.S. Army veteran, with a street-wise manner and intense, sometimes childlike moodiness; and Kenneth Richard "Hutch" Hutchinson (David Soul), the divorced, blond, Duluth, Minnesota native with a more reserved and intellectual approach. Under the radio call sign "Zebra Three", they were known for usually tearing around the streets of fictional Bay City, California. The vehicle of choice was Starsky's two-door Ford Gran Torino, which was bright red, with a large white vector stripe on both sides. They used around four different cars for filming. Earlier shots had red wing mirrors usually for long shots or footage used in later episodes, close ups and later episodes had silver wing mirrors. The Torino was nicknamed the "Striped Tomato" by Hutch in the episode "Snowstorm", and fans subsequently referred to the car by that nickname, too. However, this moniker didn't come from the writers, it came from a real-life comment that Glaser made. In a segment titled Starsky & Hutch: Behind The Badge that was featured on the first season DVD collection, Glaser stated that when he was first shown the Torino by series producer Aaron Spelling, he sarcastically said to Soul, "That thing looks like a striped tomato!" In characteristic contrast, Hutch's vehicle was a battered, tan, 1973 Ford Galaxie 500. It occasionally appeared when the duo needed separate vehicles, or for undercover work. However, the duo's cover was often blown because Hutch's vehicle had a bad habit; when its driver's side door was opened, the horn would go off, instantly drawing attention. It was also noticeable due to the severely cluttered back seat, so cluttered that there was no room to transport both prisoners and the two detectives simultaneously.