Archive for July 17th, 2011


“The Great Race” IS my favorite car movie and “Prof. Fate” had the best GADGET cars ever! The Hannibal 8!


The Fabulous Fates and the Hannibal 8!

OK, I may be biased, but the amount of stars and future stars in this film, along with the amazing race footage of classic cars will always keep this movie in the top ten comedies and top ten of my favorite car films of all time.  Watch it once for the story and the comedy, then watch it again for the amazing footage of turn of the century cars really being pushed to the limit and driven hard! This film was an homage to all the Keystone Cops and Buster Keaton era car stunts that all of the world had seen and enjoyed in their youth at the dawn of movies, and they did a “bang up” job! Hats off to the stunt men on this film too!

Jack Lemon’s performance as Prof. Fate,  along with Peter Faulk (aka Columbo) as Max his dimwitted assistant are the highlight of the film.  I got a chance to spend some time with Mr. Lemon and asked about the film and he obviously enjoyed every minute of filming, except the second day of the pie fight.  (The first day was fun, then they had to put on the costumes from the day before covered with old merengue and  pie crusts. He said the smell was horrendous!)


Luckily all of the original screen used cars are still around, and had been hidden away for many years before SCC member Jerry W. bought them, and had them put on display at the Volo museum.

The actual Professor Fate Great Race vehicles,  now owned by a member  are on display for the first time in nearly 4 decades!   Three vehicles from the famed Warner Bros. movie, The Great Race with legendary stars Jack Lemmon, Natalie Wood and Tony Curtis and a cast of thousands!  The Great Race was one of the most expensive and advanced movies of its time.  Its production cost in 1964 was $8 million. These Professor Fate vehicles,  untill now, had not left the borders of California since their construction in 1964.  After their release from Warner Bros. they became one of the prime attractions at the world famous Movie World museum in Burbank, where they were on display until the museum closed its doors in the late ‘70’s.  The cars, along with the rest of the Movie World collection, did not see the light of day for nearly 3 decades until 1993 when a portion of the collection was offered for sale at an elite auction and that’s when our Jerry purchased the trio for his private collection. 

The Hannibal 8 custom built by Warner Bros at a cost of $150,000 ($150,000 in 1964 is equivalent to over $1 million today).  All hand constructed, it is a true work of art.  Powered by a Corvair 6 cyl and 3 speed manual transmission; all 4 rear wheels are powered and chain driven.    The car remains in its original un-restored condition as when it was used on the movie set.  Still fully operational this beauty does actually run and drive!  It was assigned a VIN, has a title and can be registered.  Original documents include full history and Warner bros title from 1964.

All Original Hannibal 8 Dash!

As this was long befor CGI, everything had to be made so it actually worked!  Scissor lifts, smoke screens, firing cannon, these cars were really a tribute to the car/prop builders that worked on the film.

high speed rail car and rocket!

The Rocket Car  is actually functional!  Special effects include gas nozzles inside the prop rockets provide flames for propulsion effects. It drives and rides on rails and is powered by a Corvair 6 cyl but with an automatic transmission. It is in its original un-restored condition as when it left the film set.  In the film, Prof. Fate and his assistant Max try to break a speed record on rail, but go airborne in a hilarious fashion.

Then there is the NOISE seeking Torpedo, complete with its screen used trailer!  This torpedo is originally fitted with an electric motor and actually floats!  The rudder turns side to side as does the “hearing apparatus”.  Again, in true “good guy, bad guy” fashion, Prof. Fate’s attempt to stop the Great Leslie in his speedboat, but  instead it comes after Fate and Max to end badly once again for the villians!  Only a big budget comedy could have ever created something like this just for a quick gag! How great that they are all together! 

Jerry was glad to be able to display these at the Volo Museum, but with a VIN number and registration I want that Hannibal 8 back here in California and lets start driving it, Jerry!  The cannon sure would help in traffic!

Yeah, I know, Tony Curtis had a cool car too, “the Great Leslie” had a pretty white car, but until I meet an owner who wants to come out and play with the SCC, only Jerry’s Prof Fate vehicles will get their own blog! MAX!  PUSH THE BUTTON!



Starcar fans are all around the world, and is trying to keep up with all of our members and chapters so you can find the famous movie and TV car events near you!

One of the most active groups outside of Nate Truman’s  Hollywood division is run by Dee up in the upper left corner of the USA!  He has even started a “starcar Concourse”.  After searching for star cars all over the U.S. Dee and Nate found several owners and they all started hanging out together up north!  So heres the info on their upcoming event!

Its time for the big 5th Annual ‘Star Car Concourse Classic” show at the Americas Car Museum.

The show is always the last Saturday in August, this year the 27th, and is held at the LeMay Museum’s Marymount location in the Tacoma/Spanaway area. This will be a ‘sanctioned’ AMCA event, hosted by the International Movie & TV Vehicle Owners Association and The larger event, the LeMay/Americas Car Museum’s “Openhouse” that we are featured at, is a VERY COOL annual event even if it were not for the moviecars contribution, so it is well worth the trip. You can find the basic details on our events page here:

Then out in the middle of the USA Michael Knight has a great group that is now doing Comic cons and features one of the two original Monkeemobiles!  Here’s a few shots of them sharing the star cars with fans of all shapes and sizes at a recent con!

"Robin, you seem.... Different?"

Original Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson showed up to see and sign the Ghostbuster tribute car (Hey, before you point out it’s not the right body style, not everyone can find a 1959 Mercury Meteor Ambulance, ok? )

Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson and SCC chapter leader Mike Knight!

Everyone had a great time chatting up Ernie about his time as a ghostbuster, and he even signed their car!

"To, thanks for the cool car... what? I don't get to keep it?"

Like I mentioned before, They also have one of the two Monkeemobiles from the old TV series, and it showed up at a live Monkee show!

Well what did you expect them to be rolling in?

Meanwhile, over in Europe, France specifically, Claude has been hosting a great star car get together each year, and it keeps getting bigger each time!

And an article in the french mag “La Vie de l’Auto” The N°1 for the collectors in France! 🙂

Thanks to guys like Michael, Dee, and Claude – fan boys and girls around the US and the world have opportunities to see and get up close to their favorite movie and TV cars!

Where ever there are two or more starcars gathered in the SCC name, you are sure to have a party with some fun loving people!  So to all those who are lovers of cool creations for the screen,

thanks for being part of the star car movement in your neck of the woods!  TO THE BATMOBILE! Transformers, ROLL OUT!   If you see a star car, or better yet, a bunch of them together,

Make sure you say “HI” and tell them you saw them here first!

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starcarcentral posts

July 2011

star car news archive

nate truman

Television and Movie cars batmobile, Delorean, Ghostbusters exto-1, Knight Rider KITT, General Lee, Herbie, the love bug, scooby doo, the A-Team and many more all gather here!


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