Just came from the Atlantic City Car Show at the Convention Center and there was a George Barris display that included the Bat Mobile, the Munster Coach, The Monkee Mobile and one that really brought a few laughs. It was the "1928 Porter" from the TV show My Mother The Car. I barely remember the show but got a real close look at the car. The body is about 80 to 85% Model T Touring. Don't know about the running gear and the hood and radiator shell are home made. Was quite surprised about the body & fenders being T. It has no driver's side door just the stamped outline we're all familiar with.
Did it sound like Ann Sothern?
That car was originally a fairly good looking hot rod built by Norm Grabowksi before it was turned into the "1928 Porter."
(If you've ever seen the first episode of My Mother the Car, as the "before car," they used a fairly original, unrestored Ford that Jerry buys from a used car dealer and then proceeds to have it restored.)
Grabowski also built the T Bucket that was used in 77 Sunset Strip.
PS: I saw the Munster's Coach about 15 years ago in Minneapolis. I wasn't impressed. It's a very ugly car to begin with and, when I saw it, it was very shop worn.
Norm in 1960
Lots of info online about that car. I had a chance to buy it in 1985 at the Harrah's auction. I think it went for $7500
Sounds like you missed a great deal until I remembered that $7500 in l985 dollars is worth a whole lot more now.
A good friend in Edmonton has owned the other MMTC for many years and uses it regularly, including one journey most of the way across Canada. I'm traveling now so can't post any photos.
The link above mentions that MMTC is a regular finalist on the "worst tv shows" listings. I can believe it. Even as a kid, I found it to be poorly conceived with ridiculous plots....and that poor car! It was obviously a model T (in a former life) being subjected to the humiliation of being called a "Porter". In other words, I knew enough about old cars to look at it with disdain. Frankly, I hated the show.
Did I mention that I didn't like that show?
Even the AMT model kit seemed lame to me. I was a teenager driving a '25 T Touring around and kids would yell out "My Mother the Car, My Mother the Car". It just didn't seem right at the time.
They actually had a few of these model kits in the flea market area. I didn't have the pits to ask what they were going for.
"Buy it now" $126.19 Ebay Free Shipping.
I have no connection with this.
A bit of television trivia. Avery Schreiber (I did have to look up his name to make sure I spelled it correctly), a recurring foil as a ravenous antique car collector always trying to buy (or trick or steal) the Porter car, did not drive. I saw him on talk shows later, and he was quite candid about his inability to handle the operation of driving. His role on MMtC required him to drive onto the scene in an antique automobile, as he would approach Jerry Van Dyke in an effort to cajole him into selling his prized Porter. In reality, he would sit in the car (supposedly from his fabulous collection), hang onto the steering wheel for dear life, and stage hands would push the car onto the scene. They sometimes would pull a rope tied to an axle to pull him out of the scene.
I found the show's plots extremely silly, but I watched the show often (for the few short years it was shown originally and in reruns) because I liked all the antique cars that showed up on some episodes.
There was a big annual car show (used to be famous) in San Jose in those days. It was mostly hotrods, and often had a Barris display. I went there one year because the "Porter" was advertised as being on display. Walking around, I heard people "oohing" and "ahhing" the "wonderfully rare" "Porter". I finally got to where it was displayed, took one look, and said "Its just a butchered model T?" Me, at fifteen.
I saw one of these two cars in the "Star Cars Museum" in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
The other is owned by this gentleman, up in Canada:
Crazy as it may seem, "My Mother the Car" was part of what got me started in the antique car hobby. -For decades, I believed there was actually such a thing as a Pierce-Arrow "Porter," and didn't find out until just a few years ago that the car in the comedy series had been cobbled together for television and no such automobile was ever manufactured. -Why did I think it had been produced by the Pierce-Arrow company? -Because of the emblem on the radiator.
Another bit of TV trivia - Jerry Van Dyke was the first choice to play Gilligan on Gilligan's Island, but he turned it down as being too silly and decided to work on "My mother the car" instead. The studio recruited Bob Denver and the rest is history.
I'm 54. I've never seen the show. If it's sillier (Is that a word?) than Gilligan's Island, I guess i can understand why I've never seen them run it as reruns on TV. I would watch it if i ever saw it on, just to see what it was about.
Hal D, The show lasted one season ('65/'66), and thirty episodes (I had to look up how many episodes). So it didn't have enough to do well in rerun syndication. I do remember it being shown in the afternoons (after school), and I did try to watch it for awhile just because I wanted to see the cars again. But 30 is too few to last very long in reruns.
They did show quite a few really nice early cars, I remember Stanley Steamers, early electrics, and several other horseless carriages. Other antique cars were in only some of the episodes. IMDb says Avery Schreiber was in eleven of the thirty episodes. However, as I recall, in some of those episodes he would show up in a few different early cars. In about half of the episodes, the "Porter" was the only "antique" car shown.
As far as silly goes, it was basically on the same level as "Gilligan's Island" or "Mister Ed". Hey? If a horse can talk? Why not a car?
I remember one of the cable channels (I think it was TVLand) showed a few episodes about 25 to 30 years ago. Otherwise, I don't think it has shown in broadcasting very many times since 1970.
It does appear to be available on DVD, although my search seemed to be a bit misleading, so if interested? Check it out for yourself first.
Thanks Wayne. I may do that just to see the cars. Gilligan's Island had Maryanne, after all.
Hollywood fantasy cars include the bizarre autos fabricated for the movie "The Great Race" made in the mid 60s with Tony Curtis (as The Great Lesley) and Jack Lemmon (as Professor Fate) a silly but very engaging movie that doubtless was inspired by the real "great race" of 1907 won by the Thomas Flyer. I wonder what happened to the "Lesley Special" and Fate's car ? I saw an article years ago about how they were built and with what parts but I don't recall any details.
As for horses talking, they most certainly do, but few people bother to learn the language ! It's similar to learning how to listen and understand what your Model T is telling you, and a lot of our members here are very good at THAT ! ; )
Those who enjoyed the privilege of watching Mister Ed will remember that Ed spoke to Wilbur Post only when they were alone together. When anybody else was around he would clam up and be just an ordinary horse. So when I try to show folks how easy it is to crank start my runabout and it gets stubborn and takes several pulls, I call it Mister Ed.
A little-known bit of show business lore is that in real life Mister Ed spoke with such a strong New York accent that the producers feared the show wouldn't play well in the south, so they hired another actor to dub his lines.
Professor Fate's car was also in "The Charge of The Model T's".
MMTC was on one of the channels here in Portland in the last year, so it's still in syndication. I would rather watch Gilligan's Island, RE Mary Ann, what a sweet heart!
My questionable memory tells me the article Rich spoke of was in Rod and Custom magazine. Warner Brothers built several of each car to ship to various shooting locations. 6 Leslie's and 5 Fate cars perhaps. Only one of the Fate cars was made with the scissors jack lift installed. The Leslie car was built on a Ford pickup chassis with a 6 cyl motor and the Fate car had a Corvair engine in the rear.
Now where did I put my glasses?
Rich, I'm sure you're right, and I'll bet I read that article in your copy of R&C ! I loved that movie !
Here is Wikipedia's version:
"The hero's white car, named the "Leslie Special" was specially built by Warner Brothers to resemble a Thomas Flyer, the car that won the 1908 New York to Paris Race. According to the Petersen Automotive Museum, four "Leslie Specials" were built. One of the four is at the Tupelo Automobile Museum in Tupelo, Mississippi, listed as a 1963 Leslie Special Convertible.
Another of the four appears painted dark green in the 1970 Warner Brothers film The Ballad of Cable Hogue—the grille can be seen bearing the words "Leslie Special", with the wheels and tires remaining their original white color. This vehicle shows up during the last 30 minutes of the movie carrying a lead character, and has a pivotal role at the end of the movie.
The villain's black car was named the "Hannibal Twin-8"; five were constructed. One of them is on display at the Petersen Automobile Museum, powered by a Volkswagen industrial engine. Another is at the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois. This model includes a prop "cannon" and a working smoke generator. The Volo museum describes the Hannibal Twin-8 as built by Warner Brothers at a cost of US$150,000, powered by a Corvair six-cylinder engine with three-speed manual transmission and six wheels. All four rear wheels are powered by a chain drive.
Both vehicles were first on display at Movie World's "Cars of the Stars" museum in Buena Park, California, until the museum closed in the late 1970s. It was located adjacent to the Planes of Fame Museum."
The car in the Charge of The Model T's has the cannon, smoke and scissor lift. But darn, I would have to go rewatch the movie to be sure.
My wife got me the DVD set of the entire series on Tbay a few years ago. It was fun watching every episode again. We did watch it as a family back in the 60's.
Last year at the great race rally stop at the sthal automotive museum they had Lesley Special and Fate's car on display and there was another fate car in the museum. Not sure witch ones these are or if even recreations. But my understanding they belong to Corkey Coker of Coker tires.
The Leslie Special in the Stahl Museum is signed by Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood.
The Thomas at the Coker Museum bears little resemblance to the Leslie Special.
I was mistaken. I was under the impression that those 2 cars that were out side with the Great race Rally stop were traveling with the Great race and were owned my Corky Coker (Who was running the Rally) In reality they belonged to the Sthal Museum. And they had participated in the great race rally in past years.