Love and marriage, love and marriage.. Go together like a Griswolds and Family Truckster. Wait, that's not right. But believe it or not National Lampoon's Vacation and Married With Children share a connection. A scene in fact. In the early episodes of Married With Children, a scene from the movie was reused in the opening credits! Season 1-4 featured an aerial shot of Chicago skyline and interstate system. If you look closely in the Truckster.
Looks like the Speed Channel has something new for us car nuts this week. Car Warriors, a new series springs up on Wednesday nights at 9pm starting Feb. 23rd 2011. The series Car Warriors will feature a custom car build off style competition between classic car building stars and local hot rod shop guys and girls. Not to mention an all star panel of judges to include legendary George Barris, `King of the Kustomizers`, So-Cal Speed Shopï¿½s Jimmy Shine - Star of `Hard Shine` and ï¿½Mad Mike Martin - Star of `Pimp My Ride`.
The set of the show is at the famous Ted Moser's Picture Car Warehouse at the Los Angeles Center Studios. For those are not familiar with this venue's history, let's just say it's where they build and store a lot of the famous TV/Movie cars we talk about on this blog. Now that we've covered the who and where, what about the "what"? Well the "what" is the objective of the show. Which is the fact two teams of eight (stars vs. locals) using the shop's resources will have just 72 hours to design, dissemble, build and polish 2 cars to be judged by the star panel. The task of building these monsters in such a tight time frame will be sure to test the wits, stamina and skills of it's contestants. We're looking forward to see what materializes out of this series. I'm sure we'll all be in for a surprise. You can find out more about this series at SpeedTv.com See ya next time!
Every family is a little different. But to say the TV family The Munsters were 'different' would be an understatement. The '60s show portrayed the life and times of a family who were some what monster like. Herman Munster a Frankenstein Husband. Lily a dark mistress wife. Eddie a boy Frankenstein. Grandpa Munster an older Dracula like fellow. Last but not least, attractive niece Marilyn (deemed abnormal by the others). Yes they were an odd bunch. But for every unique family a usual mode of transportation is in order. For the Munsters it was a legendary George Barris creation, The Munster Koach.
This car/piece of art was built of out three Ford Model T's. George Barris and his team custom built this ride in only 21 days. The frame is 11 feet long and completely hand fabricated. The over-all length is 18 feed long with the rumble seat on the back. A 289 cu Ford Cobra V8 engine bored to 425 cu with 10 Weber carbs provides a mean power-plant. Backed up by a four speed transmission pushing the power to a beefy rear-end. A whole lotta car being pushed but a ton of muscle. But how did the family get this kinda machine?
Well it all started in Episode 4 of Season 1 (Rock-A-Bye Munster). Lily (Herman's Wife) wanted to surprise him with a new car. Unfortunately Herman and Grandpa had been eavesdropping in on pieces of a conversation about the car. They thought maybe Lily was having another child. She managed to sneak around enough to get Herman's car ordered. But not just any car would do. During a trip to the car lot she found a custom T-Bucket Hotrod and a old hearse she liked. She asked the salesman to contact the body shop and see if they could put the two together. Resulting in the Munster Koach. What a sweet present!
"....don't forget about the seat covers...oh she is talking about a child..."
The Munster Koach was used throughout the series short two seasons. Another interesting episode entitled "Hotrod Herman" puts him in the racers seat at a local dragstrip. However after placing a stupid bet Herman looses his car. Out of desperation Grandpa puts together a plan to build a new race car to win the car back. The team puts their effort together and build the Dragula. A drag car built out of a real coffin. Reports say George Barris was behind this creation as well. But we'll leave that for another post.
There ya have it. The car built for a Munster, The Munster Koach. I can remember watching reruns of the show as a kid on Nike-at-Nite. Looking back I can say I've probability seen every episode of the show. But from the first time I saw the Munster Koach I don't think I could get it out of my head. Just an interesting car. Some families drive mini-vans and station wagons. But not this one. If you haven't seen this show. Have no fear Netflix has both seasons. Use the link below to watch them. If you missed out last post. Check it out. We have some great info about Netflix and the great car movies available online there. Till next time. Keep your monster car clean.
It's a safe bet that if you lived through the '90s and watched TV, that you've seen the show Family Matters. When I was growing up, I know my family sure did. Family Matters was an every Friday night affair. The whole cast and characters were great. But it was Steve Urkel who really made the show come alive. But how many of you remember Urkel's car?
Who could forget that crazy little BMW Isetta? Steve's car was featured several times throughout the series. The car first appeared in episode 76, entitled "Driving Carl Crazy." The episode starts with Steve being excited about getting a BMW. His uncle gave it to him as a bribe to keep him away. Steve is dying to learn how to drive to impress his wanna-be girlfriend Laura. However no one will show him how to drive. Carl, Laura's dad, reluctantly volunteers to teach Steve how to drive. All of this is going on while Carl is trying a new technique to lower his blood pressure. As with everything else that happens between Carl and Steve, it doesn't end well. Carl's blood pressure spikes as an overly-excited Steve backs through the garage door. The clip below shows the scene where the Isetta first appears on screen.
The car is spotted off and on throughout the rest of the series. There were two other episodes that Steve's Isetta played a big part in the show. For example episode 98, "It Didn't Happen One Night" Laura oversleeps and misses her ride to a cheer-leading competition in Cincinnati. Steve volunteers to drive Laura to the competition in the Isetta. The two head out on the road, and Laura quickly becomes frustrated by the slow speed of the Isetta (top speed of 53 mph). She stomps on the gas and pushes it hard, only to have engine failure shortly after. The two end up staying in a hotel later that night.
The last episode the car was featured in was number 129, "Paradise Bluff." At this point in the series Steve is dating a girl named Myra, who is madly in love with him. The two are on a date in the Isetta, parked at a make-out point called Paradise Bluff. Things are not going so well for the couple. Myra gives Steve an ultimatum to commit to her or its over. In the heat of discussion the car lurches forward over the cliff. The Isetta is lost, but the two escape just in time. To our knowledge this is the last time the car was seen on the show.
Steve Urkel's BMW Isetta will live on in the hearts of millions of Family Matters fans. I think it's one of the funniest looking TV cars of all time. It's a perfect car for the perfect nerd. Granted there is nothing special about the Isetta used in the show. It's a stock BMW Isetta. It's the story behind the car that makes it interesting. Till next time keep your suspenders tight and your pocket protector in check, while we work on bringing you more On Screen Cars!
Update: Have you seen the new 2011 BMW Isetta? Do you think Steve Urkel would approve?