Archive for January, 2011

30
Jan
11

THE LAST STARFIGHTER star car! Where is it now? Hello? Mcfly!

Here is a request from a Starcarcentral.com fan!  Has anyone tried to reproduce, or know where the original car is today from “The Last Star Fighter”?   In “The Last Starfighter” it was driven by Centauri played by Robert Preston best known for his performance in the “Music Man”.

Preston’s last film role featured him as sort of an intergalactic con man, with a tip of the hat to his famous role in “The Music Man.”   He recruits a young kid who beats the high score on a video game that in reality is a training device for star fighter pilots.  Robert Preston con’s the kid into his car, which was actually a space ship, and he takes him off to be a reluctant starfighter pilot.

I know that after it’s star turn in the film, like many Hollywood oddities are often shoved to the back of a transportation lot and  left to slowly die, unless that sort of car is called for again in another movie. This did happen to the Starfighter car, in the famous Back to the Future Trilogy. Gene Winfield is credited with building this car, along with many other futuristic vehicles like in “Blade runner”.

In the film Back to the Future Part II it can be seen as a car parked on one of the streets in the 2015 future setting.

 


 

 

Here’s a still of the blade runner car also in BTTF part 2 

Gene has built lots of famous movie vehicles, including the “Wraith” the “Reactor”

seen on Bewitched and even built a  familiar mode of transport for captain Kirk!

Few people know that Gene Winfield designed and built the full-sized prop of the “Star Trek” Galileo Shuttlecraft while working at AMT in Phoenix, AZ.

The Star Car from “The Last Starfighter” is rumored to now be in France and painted red.

So, if there is a replica out there, or info on it’s current whereabouts, let me know!

write to me at info@starcarcentral.com

 

29
Jan
11

Buy the cars from Captain America movie on March 3rd!

Not every superhero has a signature vehicle, like the batmobile.  That doesn’t mean there aren’t some cool vehicles in their movies! This summer’s Capt America set in the 1930’s is done with shooting and now has a lot of vintage vehicles on their hands, that they are selling off – only problem, is they are in England! So if you want a piece of the Captain, and you are willing to ship it across the Atlantic, then you can have one of the cars below!

Marvel Studios is putting 47 different cars and trucks from its upcoming ‘Captain America’ movie up for auction – own and drive a piece of the movie for less than $10,000.

Captain Americe title and logo for auction

At some point in his life every boy has wanted to own some version of the famous Batmobile or dreamed of cruising around in some other vehicle they saw in a movie. In general, most people can never own a piece of vehicular cinematic history due to price or practicality those that can, join the StarCarCentral.com crew!  But if you don’t want something as high profile as the SCC member’s drive, then maybe one of these Captain America classics are just right for your garage!

Marvel Studios recently announced they plan on selling almost every vehicle used during filming of Captain America: The First Avenger at an auction held in England, which will be facilitated by the auctioneers Historics at Brooklands.

 

There are a total of 53 vehicles ranging from cars, trucks, ambulances and school buses and some even include movie paraphernalia such as logos and actual bullet holes.

Auctioning off equipment and props used for a film isn’t a new idea and has been done before by other studios. However, what Marvel Studios is doing by making this MANY vehicles from one movie available to the general bidding public is unprecedented. There are three other factors regarding this auction that make it truly unique:

  • Each vehicle is authentic, is restored and was ACTUALLY used in the film – there are no replicas being sold.
  • With the exception of one truck, every vehicle is estimated to sell for under $10,000 – most are valued around the $3500 – $4500 range.
  • Most vehicles have little or no reserve.

You might be wondering why Marvel Studios would want to sell off the vehicles they spent good money putting together and customizing. The answer is pretty simple – Captain America director Joe Johnston and executive producer Nigel Gostelow are both passionate classic car fans. Says Gostelow:

“I, along with our director, Joe Johnston, are both avid ‘petrol heads’, and so historical accuracy was vitally important to us. When it comes to movie production, the settings need to look and feel real, and these cars played a large part in that process.”

Historics at Brooklands will hold the open auction on March 3rd, 2011 and you can bid on any vehicle of your choosing by telephone or through an online bidding process – even if you don’t live in England. If you are interested in seeing pictures of the cars’ interiors and engines, then be sure to check out Historics at Brooklands’ website . We’ve posted the profiles of the seven most interesting-looking vehicles below with the remaining forty in a gallery on the next page.

1937 Chevrolet Four Door Stunt Taxi

1937 Chevrolet Four Door Stunt Taxi from Captain America

1938 International Harvester D Range Panel Van

1938 International Harvester D Range Panel Van from Captain America

1941 Chevrolet Half-Ton Short Bed Pick Up Truck

1941 Chevrolet Half Ton Short Bed Pick Up Truck from Captain America

1942 Chevrolet Gillig Brothers School Bus

1942 Chevrolet Gillig Brothers School Bus from Captain America

1942 GMC 352 Military Truck

1942 GMC 352 Military Truck from Captain America

1943 Dodge Military Ambulance

1943 Dodge Military Ambulance from Captain America

Berliet Military Truck

Berliet Military Truck from Captain America

Marvel Studios is putting 47 different cars and trucks from its upcoming ‘Captain America’ movie up for auction – own and drive a piece of the movie for less than $10,000.

28
Jan
11

“Burke’s Law” Rolls Royce Silver Cloud 2


Here’s a “blast from the past” in the world of star cars.  “Burkes Law” was a popular show that ran from 1963-66 and featured one of the earliest “star cars” where a recognizable car was featured in every episode.  For those that remember the show (which was remade in 94 for a short run as well!) here’s what the famous Rolls Royce looks like, inside and out!

1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II
from both “Burke’s Law” and “Amos Burke, Secret Agent”

silver cloud Rolls Royce II from Burke's Law


Amos Burke was a Los Angeles chief of detectives who was also a millionaire with a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce, a mansion, and a high-wheeling lifestyle. The hallmarks of this series were glamorous, sophisticated settings, unusual twists on formula homicide plotlines, and big-name guest stars. After a couple of seasons, its format was radically revamped. Burke left the police force and became an agent for US Intelligence. At that point, the show’s name changed to “Amos Burke–Secret Agent”. Burke’s adventures were briefly revived in 1994, under the original title.
1962 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud ll, the actual car used in the “Burke’s Law” and “Amos Burke, Secret Agent” television series. A little history of the car: It was acquired by Four Star Productions for use in the “Burke’s Law” series.  This car was featured in every episode, playing a central “casting role,” with loyal Henry chauffering his boss, Captain Amos Burke, along with many gorgeous Hollywood celebrities of the day. It’s just hard to imagine the number of famous female Hollywood stars whose derrieres have graced that back seat!!!  

When Four Star Productions decided that Amos Burke/Gene Barry should become what many other Hollywood stars were reincarnated as in the mid ’60’s -a Secret Agent- the series became “Amos Burke, Secret Agent.” Amos Burke now had many tricks up his sleeve – among them, a “video” camera that was built into his Rolls Royce (the same Rolls Royce used in “Burke’s Law”). The “lens” for that camera was contained in a spotlight that affixed to the car for the series (it is still on the car today, along with the window decal that you can see in some close ups on the lower right hand windshield).

After the end of its use by Four Star Productions, it was declared surplus and a director of Four Star Productions, Robert Gageby, acquired the car, immediately taking it to his home in Washington, D.C., where at one subsequent point it even made an appearance at the White House!!! The car was retained in the family for over 30 years, afterwards going through several owners.  The car is now in Florida.

 

 

*
**
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AMOS BURKE SECRET AGENT 1965 – 1966.

After Burke’s Law wrapped up its second season, it was decided to turn the show into a spy series.

All of the cast members were let go except for star Gene Barry, who was no longer on the L.A. police

force but now reported to someone only known as “The Man” (Carl Benton Reid) on his airplane.

[The “high tech” aspects of the show had Burke using a kind of pen-like device to unfold the stairs

into the airplane!] Burke still drives his Rolls Royce sans driver [talk about keeping a low profile!]

but otherwise the production values for the show were very low. Although Burke traveled in

virtually every episode to foreign shores, you never got any feeling of being outside Hollywood.

Barry played the new version of Amos Burke much as he had the first incarnation.

Barry was a master of the withering look, too well-bred to express his contempt in a

more obvious manner. The show lasted for seventeen installments.

27
Jan
11

Expendable Movie Truck is Expendable, apparently! Sly Stallone sold it!

the custom-built truck that Sylvester Stallone drove in “The Expendables” was just auctioned off for $132,000.

The 1955 truck – which was customized by West Coast Customs, the shop previously featured on TLC’s series of the same name – reportedly includes hidden compartments designed “to hold movie weapons” as well as a new Ford 347cid Edelbrock engine and race seats.  Jet Li was in the back and Sly at the wheel for a great chase scene where the truck was destroyed by the bad guys.

“The Expendables” sequel is tentatively set to begin filming before the summer. One can only assume that the truck won’t make an appearance in the film now that it’s been sold.

Sly had 3 identical trucks made for The Expendables… so it’s not completely clear which one he sold.

1. High-end. Engine, interior, body, etc. As good as it gets. Just to look good sitting there.
2. The stunt truck… looked the same…
3. It ran… looked the same… but was the beater.

So lets assume it was the truck pictured above, and not the other screen used truck below!
They charge more for bullet holes, or less?   Sly is a fan of customs, you may remember a pretty cool lead sled in “COBRA” and there are a few replicas floating around of that car now.

26
Jan
11

Rockford Files car on display in South Dakota!

Museum’s Screen Used Rockford Files Firebird

Nelson Garage’s Rockford Files Firebird

Written by Jim Suva

NelsonFirebird1

Nelson’s Garage is a museum located at 629 Main Street, Deadwood, South Dakota. This museum is on the main floor of the Celebrity Casino Hotel.  Nelson’s Garage is owned by brothers Don and Robert Nelson.  In November 2003, Don Nelson informed me that they were putting a screen-used Rockford Files Firebird on display in their museum.

This Firebird is a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula. It has a 350 cubic inch engine with a 4 barrel carburetor, automatic transmission, AM/FM radio, power steering, power brakes, power windows and air conditioning.

The Firebird was purchased through a prop house that has a relationship with Cinema Vehicle Services. According to Robert Nelson the Firebird has patched holes in the trunk lid and fenders. These holes were filled in after the standard rear spoiler was removed. This car also has two letters of authenticity from Cinema Vehicle Services. One letter states that this car was used in the filming of the “Rockford Files”, the second states that the car was used in the television shows “Rockford Files” starring James Garner. Both letters contain the VIN number of the Firebird and are signed by the President of Cinema Vehicle Services.

The Firebird has been on displayed for a number of years now. Robert said, “People who appreciate and know the car best are typically the people who used to watch the TV series. They love the car!” In fact, a lot of people who visit their property are retired, and that is why they felt the car would be such a good fit.

Rockford Firebird Nelson2 Rockford Firebird Nelson1

The Rockford car has been well taken care of. It is rotated with other cars on display and is serviced regularly. When the car is not on display, it is serviced and stored in a heated warehouse. I believe this one of the last Firebirds that James Garner drove as Jim Rockford. This is a nice piece of TV history and it is in very good condition.

12
Jan
11

Original Screen Used Rockford File’s Truck

Original Screen Used Rockford File’s Truck

written by Jim Suva

I had the pleasure to talk with Robert, who lives in Florida. Robert is my age and is another dedicated Rockford Files fan. Robert is the proud owner of an original screen-used Rockford Files pickup truck. During the last season of The Rockford Files, James Garner appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Jim told Johnny that this was going to be the last season for the TV series. Upon hearing that, Robert asked his wife to write a letter to NBC telling them that he wanted to buy Rocky’s pickup truck. Some time passed and Robert asked his wife if she ever received an answer. She hadn’t. So he asked her write another letter. This time, Mary Ann Rhea, Jim’s personal assistant called Robert. She said they lost the original letter while moving their office, but they had Rocky’s truck if he was still interested in purchasing it. Needless to say Robert and his wife flew to Los Angeles in May 1980. They were picked up at the airport by a man named Chuck … in Rocky’s pickup truck! Chuck worked for the Vista Group, the organization that helped supply the vehicles to the TV series. They were driven to the body shop where the truck was originally painted, and had a scratch touched up as they waited. Robert heard that the owner of the body shop wanted to buy all the Firebirds and trucks from The Rockford Files, but could not afford to buy them all. That is why Robert could buy this truck. After the scratch was repaired, they were driven to a nearby community called Toluca Lake, where James Garner’s new office was located. The office was right across the street from Bob Hope’s home. Once at Mr. Garner’s office they saw that he had a 1980 Trans Am and one of the Rockford Firebirds there. Robert and his wife met and talked with Mr. Garner for over two hours. He told them all about the pickup and how everything worked. He even autographed two posters for them, which featured the vehicles from The Rockford Files. Robert said Mr. Garner was just like a regular guy. Robert and his wife stayed a few days in Los Angeles. Mr. Garner got Lakers tickets for them, and they also drove out to Paradise Cove to check out the Sandcastle Restaurant. Robert then drove his prize pickup back home to Florida. This particular pickup truck is a 1979 GMC 4X4 Sierra ½ ton. It has a 400 cubic inch engine with a four-barrel carburetor. It also boasts full-time four-wheel drive with a turbo 400 transmission. Each wheel has two shock absorbers. It still has all the Vic Hickey Enterprise equipment, such as two additional gas tanks, winch, steering wheel, roll bar and fog lights. The pickup also has two original GM gas tanks that came with the truck from the factory. Robert remembers that the GMC trucks originally came only in silver, and with basic equipment. The Vic Hickey equipment and the maroon paint were added at a local body shop. The maroon color is actually a 1976 GM color called Rosedale Red with orange pinstripes. The pinstripes are about 1/8 inch in width. The rear of truck has the names Jim & Jerry written on it in pin striping. According to Robert, his truck can be seen in two episodes, “The Big Cheese” and “Paradise Cove.” Robert’s truck has Vic Hickey center hubs on the front wheels and the standard GM center hubs on the rear wheels. BigCheeseRFT2 Robert has not driven his truck much over the years. It only has 11,910 miles on it. He currently has the truck in his garage under a tarp. It is in need of restoration. His dream is to restore Rocky’s pickup truck and show it to James Garner in person!

 

05
Jan
11

Batmobile History through the years!

Thanks to BATMOBILEHISTORY.COM

My netpal Bill has done a great service to all the batfans, he has documented and collected everything ever built or called a “Batmobile” in the comics, movies and TV and put them in order!   I want to thank Bill so below is his home page write up of his quest! Years ago Bill  gave me credit years ago for some info on the 66 batmobile and I managed to send him a few batmobiles he didn’t know about yet, I don’t think that’s possible now!!  So if you think you can send him something he DOESN’T know about the batmobile, check out his site or read his write up below about why he did it!

Batman first appeared in May of 1939 in Detective Comics #27, and although the first true Batmobile did not appear for another two years, it has become one of the Dark Knight’s best known weapons.

The Batmobile made its career debut in Batman #5, then appeared on a comic cover for the first time for Batman #20. Because of different artists’ interpretations of what the car should be, it changed size, shape, and features frequently. Later, as the car was marketed beyond the comics, more forms appeared based on practical or aesthetic considerations. In the 1960s, the first full size, fully operational Batmobile was built for the TV show Batman, and had to face financial and functional questions. A few years later the design of this car would be modified for use in the Superfriends cartoon series, with the unique considerations of making a car that could be easily drawn repeatedly for animation. Then, nearly three decades after the TV series, Batman returned to live action with Warner Brothers Batman movies. At about the same time, Batman: The Animated series came out, with a whole new take on the design of Batman and his universe. All of this was on top of the natural evolution of the car over 60+ years, taking into account new technological features like the jet engine and the computer.

I started collecting data on the Batmobiles a few years ago while trying to research a model project I was working on (you can visit my scale model site here). I discovered that there were very few reference guides to the Batmobile, and none of them covered the complete history of the car. Many focused only on a single generation (such as the Futura Batmobile), or they covered a particular genre (TV, cartoons, movies, etc.). As I collected information from all of these sources, I decided to put together my own history of the Batmobile.

Before I started this project, I had no idea how convoluted the history of the Batmobile could be. Over the last decade I have learned more about the car, the creators behind it, and Batman in general than I ever expected. Still, there’s a lot that I haven’t learned yet. If you know of anything that belongs here, or if you have any information on an existing entry, send me an e-mail at spencer1984@yahoo.com.”

You can also send any cool Batmobile art or designs to me at info@starcarcentral.com




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