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Old 03-07-2012, 07:14 PM   #1
Leslie Eckhardt
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Default Sitcoms Can Be Fun For Old Car Buffs

When I was a little kid I was crazy about cars. Many of the TV shows of the 50s and 60s featured many now-classic cars. The Ricardos and the Mertzes went cross-country in a '55 Pontiac convertible. Bentley Gregg on Bachelor Father first had a two-seat T-Bird, then a series of gorgeous Chrysler convertibles. The most exposure was on shows sponsored by automakers. It's really neat to me to see Hazel driving the family Ford (especially in color). Also, to see Samantha in her Chevelle Malibu convertible and Wilbur Post in the now-rare Studebaker Lark. Having lived through this period, it's like seeing snapshots of my past, when these cars were just everyday drivers commonly seen. It was popular back in the 70s and 80s to bash these shows as being too idealistic and not realistic enough, but I think the pendulum is swinging back to more appreciation of these artifacts from a different time. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I prefer the gentle humor and heartwarming scripts of these shows to some of the stuff that passes as "entertainment" today. I watched several episodes of Community because Betty White was guest-starring. This was one of the worst-written shows I've ever seen. The situations that Betty White's character were in were more unrealistic and just plain stupid than the silliest plot of an old sitcom. Back to the old cars, does anyone know what base car was used to create the "1928 Porter" in My Mother The Car?
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Old 03-08-2012, 09:57 AM   #2
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Also don't forget that the first few seasons of My Three Sons was sponsored by Chevrolet and they have lots of Chevy's in those episodes. Later seasons were sponsored by Pontiac, and it's great to see all those 1960s Pontiac station wagons on the show.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:20 AM   #3
Leslie Eckhardt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelKeith
Also don't forget that the first few seasons of My Three Sons was sponsored by Chevrolet and they have lots of Chevy's in those episodes. Later seasons were sponsored by Pontiac, and it's great to see all those 1960s Pontiac station wagons on the show.
Absolutely! And I have some DVDs of Betty White's 1957-58 sitcom Date With The Angels, in which you not only see some beautiful Plymouths in the episodes, but the original Plymouth sponsor bumpers and great shots of Betty and co-star Bill Williams driving a Plymouth convertible under the closing credits. One episode "Star Struck" has an extended Plymouth commercial in the middle, which introduces the 1958 model Plymouth! Incidentally, in the original closing credits of Hazel, Shots of current model Fords were seen driving down the highway under the closing credits. Only one of the episodes I have seen on Antenna TV, which is currently showing the series, has an abbreiviated version of this. The episode is the one where Harold tries to get his friend Leslie into the Boy Scouts. The credit strip is shorter, has the faster tempo theme music from the opening, and features one 1964 Galaxie hardtop speeding down the highway. This will probably make it's way to the 3rd season DVD.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:06 PM   #4
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Talking Anyone for an Edsel?

Speaking of old cars, just saw an Ironside episode last night that had Desi Arnaz driving around in an Edsel!! This episode was from 1974, so the Desi character used this car as part of his character. Oh, and that reminds me, just this morning at the mall I saw an actual 1965 white Ford Mustang in the parking lot!! I had to stop and take a close look at it, it was in amazingly good shape for a car that's almost 1/2 a century old. YIPE, I can't believe it's been so long. I'm really old.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazel Anyday
Speaking of old cars, just saw an Ironside episode last night that had Desi Arnaz driving around in an Edsel!! This episode was from 1974, so the Desi character used this car as part of his character. Oh, and that reminds me, just this morning at the mall I saw an actual 1965 white Ford Mustang in the parking lot!! I had to stop and take a close look at it, it was in amazingly good shape for a car that's almost 1/2 a century old. YIPE, I can't believe it's been so long. I'm really old.
Love Edsels. In the early episodes of the first season of The Donna Reed Show, an Edsel Villager station wagon was the family car. After the car began to fail in the market place, TDRS used Mercurys.
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:49 PM   #6
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It's certainly one of the reasons I love to watch old TV shows, to see the fantastic cars and to remember when they were everywhere on the road when I was a kid. The cars and seeing the same set of familiar character actors that appear in one show after another, from Bourbon Street Beat to Rawhide to Coronado 9 to Hazel to Perry Mason to Man From UNCLE, you name the series, doesn't matter whether it's a comedy, detective show or a western these same actors pop up in all these series. It's like seeing old familiar family members again in the oddest places. You ever go into a store and expect to see one of these familiar faces behind the counter at the cash register? I've thought that would make a great Twilight Zone episode where a TV fanatic goes around in his own life and sees the familiar character actors in his own life in various jobs and places. Weird huh?
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Old 03-09-2012, 01:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazel Anyday
It's certainly one of the reasons I love to watch old TV shows, to see the fantastic cars and to remember when they were everywhere on the road when I was a kid. The cars and seeing the same set of familiar character actors that appear in one show after another, from Bourbon Street Beat to Rawhide to Coronado 9 to Hazel to Perry Mason to Man From UNCLE, you name the series, doesn't matter whether it's a comedy, detective show or a western these same actors pop up in all these series. It's like seeing old familiar family members again in the oddest places. You ever go into a store and expect to see one of these familiar faces behind the counter at the cash register? I've thought that would make a great Twilight Zone episode where a TV fanatic goes around in his own life and sees the familiar character actors in his own life in various jobs and places. Weird huh?
Ooooh! What a great idea! My boss would have to be Elvia Allman, most famous from I Love Lucy as Lucy's boss in the candy factory, but seen in countless other series over the years. A trip to the tax office to have my taxes done, and Charles Lane would be there to assist me. A trip to the gym to see my personal trainer, and there would be Maudie Prickett to see that I tow the line in my workout. Forgetting my workout, I can't help but stop at the bakery for some donuts. Kathleen Freeman just baked a fresh batch! I arrive home and it appears someone has tried to get into my apartment. My next-door neighbor Alice Pearce is running over to me to tell me who she thinks it was: Will Wright thinks that his income tax check was sent to my house by mistake. He is convinced it's there and tried to sneak in to get it so he could cash it before the banks closed. I could go on and on!
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Old 03-09-2012, 05:27 PM   #8
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Yes, exactly! Robert B. Williams could be the mailman (naturally), Susan Clark my troubled ex-girlfriend, Vaughn Taylor the neighborhood grocery store produce clerk, Sharon Farrell my current girlfriend and Joanna Moore my bitter wife who is divorcing me and Willis Bouchey my lawyer. Hmm, the story went sour there, but I can always do a re-write.
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Old 08-10-2014, 10:28 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie Eckhardt
Love Edsels. In the early episodes of the first season of The Donna Reed Show, an Edsel Villager station wagon was the family car. After the car began to fail in the market place, TDRS used Mercurys.

So I wasn't dreaming it! I remember seeing the Edsel Villager in one of the early Donna Reed episodes (in fact, I think Alex had been pulled over by a traffic cop). Of course, I was six years old back then and I thought my memory had gone fuzzy on me.

For what it's worth, a 1957-58 episode of "Leave it to Beaver" showed the rear end of an Edsel Roundup two-door station wagon in one scene in which Beaver is egged on to get into a fight with another kid.
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Old 11-08-2014, 06:35 PM   #10
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Heart Not exactly "Hazel," but it fits this topic!

One of the most clever ways to sneak in a "automobiles provided by" mention without a graphic such as "Automobiles furnished by Ford Motor Company" is sneaking a car into the opening or closing credits.

In the 1957-58 seasons of "Leave it to Beaver," you see a black 1958 Ford Custom 300 sedan parked at the curb in the background as Wally and Beaver walk home from school. If you didn't see that, a two-tone '57 Ford Custom 300 glides past, too.

In the 1959-61 years, a black '59 DeSoto Firedome Sportsman 2-door hardtop drives by (kind of tricky when DeSoto production ended with the 1961 models in November 1960, however) as they walk home into their "new" home.

For the final season, a parked 1962 Dodge Lancer GT hardtop swings into and out of the camera range as Wally and the Beav scufflle briefly and run out into the street before racing up the sidwalk into the new house!
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:17 PM   #11
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I have been watching the old Lassie show from 1954-1957 and I see mother Ellen driving the car. I get a hoot of the old phones in the older shows.
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