Falk, who starred as the rumpled, crime-solving TV lieutenant in "Columbo," says he was dissatisfied with the stylish clothes presented to him for the show's debut.
Falk said he brought a shabby old raincoat from home and asked the show's wardrobe department to dye one of the suits a dull brown.
When told to go pick a car for Columbo on the studio lot, he found nothing to his liking.
"Then I saw it way in the back, just its nose — an ugly Peugeot," Falk told The Saginaw News before a public appearance Tuesday. "And it had the perfect touch ... a flat tire."
Falk, 79, said he helped create the look as well as the mannerisms of the character that made him famous.
"I love the guy," Falk said. "I was very lucky to have a character that rich, that I like personally so much. The whole thing was an actor's dream — getting a character that tickles you so much you can't wait to act as him."