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First try at diorama at age 73! Fifties TV sit-com rods; Lumpy's 'purple bomb' and Bud's ratty flamed Model A tub

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  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Chico, CA
First try at diorama at age 73! Fifties TV sit-com rods; Lumpy's 'purple bomb' and Bud's ratty flamed Model A tub
Posted by Wick Humble on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 1:26 PM

I'm starting my first try at a diorama at age 73 ! (Today is my birthday!) I love fifties TV sit-com rods; and am going to attempt Lumpy Rutherford's  'purple bomb' '40 Ford ragtop, and Bud Anderson's ratty flamed Model A tub in a street scene.  Long before "American Grafitti" had the Pharohs jerk the rear axle from under Holstein's '61 Ford cop car, the (very leathal, folks!) same trick was done on "Leave It To Beaver" in its last season, with comic results.  No, what is depicted is pretty far fetched, and even the repairs by Eddie Haskell and Wally Cleaver are not particularly realistic, but it was a classic episode, and full of car adventures.  You may want to advise me, but: I'm going to recreate the Rutherford's driveway (scene of the crime) with chain, banjo rear end, and victim '40 (really a lovely car, obviously once someone's pride and joy - door handles shaved, chrome door reveals, duals, w/w's and so forth - they let it's flat motor roar in a couple of episodes; very nice!) sitting in street.  The car is obviously a lacquer job, from the sheen, and once June Cleaver describes it as 'a horrible purple'; so that's settled.  Bud Anderson's A-tub is really a 'ratty' specimen, mostly stock but pure jalopy, it features a faded old-school flame job (painted with a 1-inch brush, mostly, it appears) with the remainder grubby black; Billy Gray was nice enough to answer my question about the color, and he said all he could recall 65-years later was 'sort of grayish' (Thank you, Billy; you're a class act yet!) which could well be true.  It was something that the prop department undoubtedly created, and probably the camerman asked for something easy to photograph in living B&W, I'll bet.  I'm going to do it in powder blue Delstar (left over from a '51 Merc restoration I did in the early 'eighties) faded to light blue, as it reads that hue.  It has old carpet (not Mexican blankets!) over the seats; Bud says 'genuine Persian carpet' in one episode, as I recall; I'm going to make it from an ad photo of some I clipped from "Archtectural Digest", glued over paper towel ala papier mache.  Stock wires (absolutely bald tires), original drive-train, and no top -- or windshield glass in first show.  Probably be broken down, parked at curb opposite the '40 prank.  There are other great cars in vintage shows (B&W era); a rodded Chevy (!) roadster with 265 and Deuce grille in one 'Donna Reed' where 'Scotty' tries to teach Mary to drive!  Some great other traffic scenes in that one, with Dr. Stone's '61 Merc 4-dr HT.  Of course there was the iconic (I used that word!) roadster that Junior gets in "Life of Riley", and Grandpa McCoy's A-bone where he's helped by NHRA rodders in "The Real McCoys", and possibly more!  A caveat: I've never attempted figurines, which would make it fun, if done well, so... any suggestions?  View the shows online to see what might work.  I'll send photos when I get it done.  {I'm using an OLD AMT '40 coupe, and Monogram Model A rod basis.} Happy B-DayThanks, Wick

  • Member since
    January, 2018
Posted by htown3 on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 1:49 PM

Manufactures used to supply cars to tv programs back in 60's.  If memory serves me, Plymouth in Leave it to Beaver, including the really sort of bizarre looking early 60's models.  Variety of Mopars on Beverly Hillbillies aside from the Clampett's truck which was based on an vintage Olds touring car.  Fords on Andy Griffith, all the back ground cars and the squads.  Pontiacs on I Love Lucy.  Studebaker on Mister Ed.  Dodge trucks on Lassie. I'm sure there are others.

  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Chico, CA
Posted by Wick Humble on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 2:06 PM
Beaver changed newworks (don't know why) after 3rd season, went from Fords to Plymouths. There are a number of great 'car shows' on Beaver; I have the complete 7 season set! The second Betty White show 'Date With The Angels' had a complete title film featuring the new 'Forward Look' '57 Plymouths, including an animated section that morphed to live action! And on and on; Perry Mason had a few distinctive rides, esp Paul Drake, the PI's T-Birds, even after the show went to Buick. Ricky's 'Puntiac' ragtop was about the only late model on I.L.L. until the last season, where they take two gawd-awful '58 Roadmashers to Mexico, then Lucy plays chauffeur to Rick and Ernie Kovacs in the last episode, in a gigantic Lincoln Continental, as I recall. So many shows did use sponsor's cars! Thanks for the feedback!! Wick
  • Member since
    July, 2008
Posted by Foxer on Thursday, August 23, 2018 6:00 PM

Sounds like a good and fun project.

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