23 August 2009

Show Cars (no, really-cars from shows)

Yet another interesting weekend here at the Lodge.

We got Mom's last animal (a cat) out of the house. We gave her to The Better Half's sister who lives in Cincinnati, but due to some fortuitous circumstances she was coming back from the University of Wisconsin this weekend and we arranged a dropoff in Rochelle. The transplanted cat and new parents appear to be doing well.

Anyhow, when we were in Rochelle there was a car show in town due to some festival or other. I have several good pics of those vehicles for later in the week.

We had planned to go to an auto museum up in Roscoe, IL (north of Rockford-Steve the Beer Guy from Atlanta will know where this is, most likely. The rest of you can Google the place if you're interested) called Historic Auto Attractions. They have an assortment of autos (and, one suspects, some replicas) from various TV shows and movies, in addition to some cars used by historical figures.

Many TV shows, of course, had several vehicles of a type available at any one time for filming so it's quite possible that some of the iron pictured actually saw some film time. I don't know how many Dodge Chargers were used during the run of The Dukes of Hazzard, but I do know it was a significant number-I saw a lot of those jumps end up with the General Lee's front end crumpling.

Ready for the tour? Sure you are.


There was an Indy Car racer raised in Roscoe-what's her name-Danielle? Diane?-I don't remember. Anyway, this was one of the cars she used in the 2005 season, her rookie year. She might make something of herself some day.

A 1924 Fordson tractor, built by the Ford Motor Co. I think Ford used this same light gray for their tractors for the next 40 years. This vignette reminded me of the intro to 'Green Acres'-they should've put a three-piece suit on the farmer and he'd look like Oliver Douglas!
Everyone sing along-you know the tune!

Green Acres is the place to be
Farm livin' is the life for me!
Land spreadin' out so far and wide
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside!

New York is where I'd rather stay
I get allergic smelling hay!
I just adore a penthouse view...
Darling I love you but give me Park Avenue...

Ahem. Moving right along...

I'm pretty sure this is a replica TV Batmobile, but this is still my favorite of all the Batmobiles, although the 'Tumbler' from the last movie is in the team photo. The car was based on the Lincoln Futura concept vehicle of the late 1950's.

Atomic batteries to power! Turbines to speed!

Yep. I'd drive this around the city, siren blazing-an Ecto-1 modified 1959 Cadillac ambulance! Who ya gonna call? Ghostbusters! One of my favorite movies, but like Caddyshack, plagued with a truly godawful sequel.

One of the Ford Galaxie cars used in The Andy Griffith Show, done up with the Mayberry sheriff's star. The car also sported a signature from actor/comedian Howard Morris, who had a semi-recurring role as hillbilly Ernest T. Bass. Now, since it's a lot of Australians that visit here, I don't know if you all have seen the show. Some of the humor may not have translated perfectly-it's kind of an 'American' show. Clue me in.

The Family Truckster from National Lampoon's Vacation, possibly the most realistic portrayal of a family vacation ever put on film. The Family Truckster, actually a heavily modified Ford LTD station wagon, was a perfect representation of some of the poorly designed and built crap emanating from the factories in Detroit in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Love the eight headlights and four taillights! Even got the 'Honky Lips' from their time in St. Louis.
'I need directions...'
'What, fo' free? Five dollars!'
I do remember that bile-green shade on the various Ford marks back in the day. Bad.

One of the three Ford pickups used on Sanford and Son. I still enjoy watching the show, even though it's over 30 years old now. Redd Foxx-one of the best of the 'party' comedians of the 1950s and 1960s. He did some great stuff, although his vocabulary in those routines would have made a Marine blush. Like to hear some 1970's funk? Here's Quincy Jones' theme to the show.

Next to the truck were wax dummies of Fred Sanford and Aunt Esther (actors Redd Foxx, whose real name was Fred Sanford-handy, that-and LaWanda Page), enemies on the show; actually great friends and fellow St. Louis natives-Page was also an accomplished singer and dancer in the black clubs prevalent in the 1940s and 1950s.
Aunt Esther has her purse cocked and ready to hit Fred-Fred has his fists up in his flailing style. I can see the dialogue now:
FRED: Look out! It's 'Attack of the Killer Godzilla'!
ESTHER: 'Fred Sanford, you ol' fish-eyed fool...!!
Good stuff, yeah? Next we'll do some historical vehicles. Hope you enjoyed!
yankeedog out.


  1. Nice shots YD, the Batmobile brings back memories, have a photo of me and some mates in one just like a long time ago now. No Knightrider (any incarnation)or Bluesmobile ?

  2. YDog cant wait to see them on a bigger screen (the Eee is many things large is not one of them).

  3. Very cool.

    Aussie museums tend to only regular historic cars with the exception of the Mad Max Interceptor that was in Birdswood for a while. We also tend to have racing cars, often unrestored, exactly as they came off the track.

    This http://www.history.sa.gov.au/motor/about.htm is the best motor museum I have been to in Aus and well worth a visit if you ever make it down here. Then you can take off to the Barossa Valley and drink some of the world's best wine.

  4. Drej-I'd like to see the Bluesmobile myself-I remember when the Illinois State Police had those big Dodge Polaras just like the ones wrecked in that famous scene. Sorry, no KITT, A-Team van, or Starsky and Hutch Torino!

    Bangar-The pics will be here when you get to a bigger screen.

    Naut-I'll keep that in mind it I get to Australia. I'll show the historic vehicles this week!

  5. 'I don't know how many Dodge Chargers were used during the run of The Dukes of Hazzard, but I do know it was a significant number'

    All of them, I believe! I think that show is the single greatest reason why there's very few pristine '69 Chargers still pedalling about the place.

    The museum I want to see is Bowden's collection up in Qld. He's pretty much bought up all the legendary Australian historic race cars of the 60s and 70s.

  6. there was only one (not 3)1951 Ford F1 4x2 - Sanford and Son Truck and that is not it. See http://tiny.cc/zt6fl. The Wax museum was offered the truck for free after the show but would only take it if the studio would pay for the shipping. it was later auction off for charity. there are many 51 fords made to look like the shows, This one is way to shiny

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