Posts from ‘TV/Movie Car’
By Jack Stewart
Abnormal was the norm for TV shows in the Sixties. The airwaves were full of Martians (My Favorite Martian), witches (Bewitched), genies (I Dream of Jeannie), costumed super heroes (Batman, The Green Hornet), and lovable mountain folk in luxury environs (The Beverly Hillbillies). Amidst this sea of wackiness, the dueling creep-show families of The Munsters and The Addams Family fit right in. However, The Munsters gets bonus points in our book for giving the family car a starring role. While the Addams’ 1930 Packard touring car was rarely seen, the Munster Koach was a regular costar. The wild stretched-wheelbase, Model-T hot rod/hearse hybrid made its debut in episode four (Rock-A-Bye Munster), when Lily goes to a used-car lot to buy a car for husband Herman’s birthday (she arrives in a 1937 Cadillac limo, by the way). She likes both a T-bucket hot rod and a 1920s hearse (a rare and expensive Cunningham V8), and asks to have a customizer combine the two.
What does it say about a movie if the best thing about it was a custom truck?
The seventh installment of the ludicrous, ludicrously lucrative Fast and Furious movies hit the theaters last week, and it’s making mounds of money as you read this. As expected, Furious 7 is gleefully ridiculous—a live-action cartoon fantasy of awesome cars, glowering tough guys, bone-crunching fist fights, over-the-top stunts, wanton mayhem and destruction, leering shots of scantily clad babes, AND enough tear-jerking melodrama to shame the cheesiest soap opera. (Note that we’re not counting the movie’s ending among those melodramatic moments—Furious 7 closes with an understated, genuinely touching tribute to deceased star Paul Walker.)
Art can imitate life, life can imitate art, and sometimes advertising can imitate them both.
Some of the graying—or maybe balding—ex-children who once imagined their favorite toys coming to life will soon get a chance to see what that would have been like. The legendary 1970s “Snake” and “Mongoose” Plymouth funny car dragsters—famously rendered in miniature as coveted Hot Wheels toys—will make a short tour in the U.S. in August and September.
Anybody who follows the Emmy-winning cable series Mad Men, which just concluded its sixth season, knows that the fictional ’60s advertising agency at the center of the show recently picked up a significant, but challenging, new account: a car known by its cryptic code name, XP-887. Anybody who’s a fan of postwar American cars (or anyone who follows Mad Men fan sites) knows that the XP-887 is the star-crossed Chevrolet Vega.
While channel surfing on a lazy weekend afternoon about five years ago, I stumbled across a program called Wheeler Dealers, airing on Discovery Channel’s HD Theater (now called Velocity TV). The premise of this British television show was fairly simple. Former car dealer Mike Brewer would purchase a “modern classic” car, hand it off to expert mechanic Edd China for a light-to-moderate restoration, and then sell it in the hopes of making a profit.
Cars were an important part of the Jazz Age and of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald mentions only two cars by make in The Great Gatsby— Nick Carraway’s Dodge and Gatsby’s Rolls-Royce. The rest are left to the reader’s imagination.
The Chicago Auto Show is predominantly about new and upcoming production vehicles that can be bought at your local dealership, but the show also gets its fair share of concept vehicles, one-off custom cars, and TV and movie cars. Here are three Hollywood-inspired machines that we came across at this year’s show. . . .
Note: Also see Ed’s What Would Mario Drive? (And Other Nintendo Characters).
Today we shift from the eldest of the three primary video game console companies to the youngest. Microsoft entered the home console market in 2001 with the original Xbox, which had the largest footprint of any such device since the Atari 5200. Redmond’s (Microsoft’s hometown in Washington state) large black monolith sported some forward-thinking features, including a built-in hard drive and the first centralized online community, Xbox Live.