Posts Tagged ‘starcar




I am always glad to see that an original star car has been kept and loved by a fan or fans over the years, no matter how obscure.  I was at the right age when the bugaloos came on to have a crush on the pretty british girl on the show, and sit through the silly antics of Sid and Marty Kroft shows, so even though you may have never heard of the bugaloos or their buggy, I thought it deserved a mention in my star car blogs!  I knew the show was awful, but hey, she was cute, and there was nothing else on. And she was cute.

The only reason to watch the Bugallos!

We only had a few channels way back then, and kids shows you took what you could find on Saturday mornings, then it went to golf around 11am!

I have gathered together some photos below as well as “official” write ups about the car from my star car books (the ones made with paper) for those who want to learn more!  Its disappeared and changed hands over the years, but it’s back in the light and up for sale next month in Europe!  It could definitely roll with members, but not sure without the fairies in the car, it would be recognized any more, as the show was on for such a short time.  Now as for the cute british girl, she lives in Spain and has a daughter.  I Think it was just that cute accent….  After sitting through a few videos,,  I still think she’s a cutie pie, but the show is even worse than I remembered! Yikes! What was Sid and Marty smoking back then? 🙂

Mercedes-Benz World will soon host the sale of some of the wackiest cars ever made, including the Bugaloos Buggy from the  children’s TV show of the ’70s.

The Bugaloos Buggy was used on The Bugaloos tv show between 1970 and 1972.

This was from the era of the fiberglass dune buggies, and all the custom car makers were doing big business selling and customizing these drop on bodies during the late 60-s and 70’s.

the Bugaloos Buggy was purchased by a collector from a Barris Auction in 1983. The car is said to have come directly from L.A., and spent some time in a Spanish museum. After that, the buggy was sold to another collector in 1990, and was placed in underground storage in 1993 where it remained for at least a decade.


Buggy with current owner, Gary Hillman (r), and creator, George Barris

Barris at the Buggy

Seen in public for the first time since being sold at auction in 1983, the Bugaloo Buggy is pictured above featured in a car show in Sweden, April 10-12.


The Bugaloo Buggy has been found – AGAIN! The last we knew of the whereabouts of the Buggy was in France in dark, underground storage. Well, I am happy to say the Buggy is back in the light and has a new owner, Gary Hillman!

Bugaloo BuggyBugaloo Buggy info from cars of the stars book:

the Bugaloos Buggy, featured on “The Bugaloos” television series.  Since the concept of the show, starring Martha Raye and the four Bugaloos, showed the group with wings enabling them to fly, it was determined logical for the car to “fly” and to “ride” on water.  The buggy was equipped with two large flapping butterfly wings, and twin screws installed under the rear body for high-powered water sporting.  Oversized headlights looked like the eyes of a bug, while the  taillights were tunneled portholes that illuminate at night.  Wide oval Firestone tires were installed on Ansen one-piece sprint wheels.  The interior was individualized for each Bugaloo – each star having his/her own telephone system and Muntz stereo tape system with individual earphones.  The buggy was painted in a green, yellow and orange butterfly theme with orange and purple pinstripes. – Cars of the Stars, ©1974


 The Bugaloos buggy was another television show car constructed especially at the Barris Kustom shop for Krofft Productions.  The producers desired a small, wild-looking, fun buggy to incorporate into their new NBC-TV series.  To supply an automotive interest for the series, Barris built the buggy in late 1969 to be used in the 1970-71 TV season.  His motivation: the vehicle was to possess all of the fun characteristics that made the Meyers Manx dune buggy famous – yet push the concept beyond the envelope with attention-getting color and design elements.  The goal was a completely different and vibrant look.  Using a four-passenger body mounted on a Volkswagen floorpan, the buggy actually looked just like a  bug – mixing well with the show characters who could fly and walk on water like little flying insects.  The design featured a T-shaped rollbar set over the rear wheels with a pair of “wings” that gave the effect of an airborne bug yet allowed plenty of space for television camera maneuvers.  The chassis rolled on Ansen Spring alloy wheels, highlighted with orange spoked centers.  The fully fendered four-wheeler featured oversized headlights that looked just like bug eyes.  On the outside, the paint scheme was a wild combination of green, yellow and orange applied to copy the markings found on a butterfly’s wing.  There was much more.  The interior was fitted with four custom bucket seats with leaf-like design elements that continued the buggy’s nature theme.  Four Capitol Communications telephones and four Muntz stereo tape cartridge players were also installed.  A four-tone horn was on board as well, offering a distinct tone for each one of the characters.  Fully street legal, The Bugaloos buggy was used extensively in the show.  When the series was introduced to the airwaves, Barris contracted with model kit manufacturer MPC to design a plastic model kit based on the program vehicle (which never saw production. See MCP catalog in Collectibles). 
Barris TV & Movie Cars, 1996.
The Bugaloo Buggy was sold at the Cars of the Stars collector car auction at the Sheraton-Universal Hotel on Sept. 25, 1983.   The auction catalog featured this write up:

Another most creative TV show by SID & MARTY KROFFT, the Bugaloos, starred Caroline Ellis, Wayne Laryea, John Philpott, John McIndoe, and Martha Raye.  BARRIS was given the challenge to make the group’s fantasy rod with BUTTERFLY WINGS mounted on the sides of a BOOMERAND fiberglass bodied dune buggy.  This buggy was powered by a VW engine.  The buggy is equipped with four bucket seats and four telephones for the stars.  Multi-colors were sprayed and combined with contrasting pin stripes by BOB BOND.  Quad KRACO units were installed for music backup with the singing group.  This feature toured the HOT ROD SHOW WORLD and ROD & CUSTOM EXHIBITS.
Below are two other cars for sale that are not starcars, but sure could roll with us as well! Snake Pit and Bunk bed car!

 But if speed is more your thing than nostalgia, the Snake Pit (above), also built by Barris, will be a better fit. Made specifically to break speed records, the huge Snake Pit has an estimated 2,000bhp from six Ford Cobra V8 engines.
This inordinately complicated caricature of a car has 48 exhausts, two Ford automatic transmissions, 12 four-barrel carburetors and two Pontiac rear axles.
The bright orange car will be difficult to park for two reasons: it’s 23-foot long, and it doesn’t work, so the buyer will have to employ someone with the taste and skills for the extraordinary to start having a go at land speed records again.
There’s not reserve, but fully functional it’s reportedly worth around $100,000 (£65,000).  The Bunkbeds is another star turn that doesn’t work, though when it does it has a Ferrari-matching 600bhp from an, erm, headboard-mounted V8 engine. It promises to be the best handling bunk bed ever made, thanks to Formula One-wide Goodyear tyres and disc brakes on all four wheels; it can be steered from either the top or bottom bunk.
It’s worth around £15,000 – around the same price as all manner of family cars guaranteed to send their occupants to sleep.

All the cars will be sold at the Historics at Brooklands sale at Mercedes-Benz World, Surrey, on Saturday February 18.


Hawaii Five-O star car! Book em, Danno!

Every star car has it’s biggest fan, and they usually end up owning the car of their dreams.

On a rainy day television shoot, SCC member Dave Kunz turned me on to this story of the Hawaii 5-0’s Mercury.

If I am channel surfing and see Hawaii 5-0 (for the fiftieth state) I will watch to see if I can catch a chase scene with huge American cars tearing around the roads of Hawaii.   There is not much info on the cars from the TV series so I will simply let Michael Timothy tell the story of his car, his way!  Read on, Star Car fans!

Swishing Tahitian hips, flashing blue lights, boom-boom-boom giant combers crashing into shore, jerky camera shots and a black Mercury hardtop racing off into the Hawaiian night.

For twelve remarkable years, from September, 1968, to April, 1980, the U.S. television public was treated to a weekly viewing of CBS Television’s number one rated series, Hawaii Five-O. For at least six of those years, my Mercury was the automotive star of that show. A trip to Hawaii in March, 1986, and subsequent return with Steve McGarrett’s undercover car ended a burning desire to acquire this special Mercury and make it part of my collection. Here is as much of the story as I can disclose.

For many years I was impressed with the big, black hardtop — a 1968 Mercury Parklane Brougham 4-door. This car was used from the series premiere on September 26, 1968, to its partial destruction during the 1978 season. This car is perhaps the most photographed Mercury in existence, having appeared in approximately 130 Five-O episodes. Three black Mercurys were used by McGarrett during the life of the series; the least frequently seen was a ’67 Marquis, black, red interior. [A 2-door car.] This vehicle was used in filming the pilot and for stock footage. My Brougham took over once the series began and was in use by McGarrett through the 1973 season. In ’74, McGarrett got his last Mercury, a triple black ’74 Marquis Brougham 4-door hardtop. Someone go out and find this one. [This is the one owned by John Boley Nordium, Jack Lord’s stunt double.]

Eventually, my desire for this car led me to acquire a ’68 Parklane convertible which I still have, and which is currently undergoing restoration. The convertible was fun but did not satisfy my desire to get a Hawaii Five-O car. As the years passed, and as I learned more about the show, I became determined to track the car down and determine its fate.

Through a mutual acquaintance, I was put in touch with the show’s star and part owner, Jack Lord. At that time, March, 1986, he was essentially retired from public life. From studying each of the show’s episodes I knew that the car was partially destroyed in a 1978 episode entitled “Number One With a Bullet.” It was now eight years later and there was virtually no assurance that any trace of the car could be found. Regardless, I set off for Honolulu International Airport.

CBS had long shut down Five-O production. However, to amortize production costs, a new series, Magnum, P.I. took over. Magnum used most of the Five-O production facilities. I knew that CBS maintained a production warehouse at Fort Ruger, and that’s where I headed. If the car still existed, it likely was in that warehouse, broken and battered. Some small talk, a little quick thinking on my part, and a generous bribe got me into the warehouse. I told the security guard why I was there and what I was looking for. In his best pidgin English he told me I was crazy — what did I want with that old heap? But he took me directly to the remains of the once proud car — it still existed! But not by much, for it truly had become a sad sight. Every panel was dented or missing; moderate front end damage from the altercation with the Kumu (Hawaiian Mafia) in its last TV appearance; many trim parts were missing; interior ripped, partially burned and ravaged by a mongoose who made a home in the trunk. A few minutes later I left with only a record of what was left of the VIN number. Then the real work began.

Upon my return to Chicago, the untold story unfolded. Numerous phone calls to CBS-TV public relations and legal departments were made. CBS personnel disavowed all knowledge of ownership of the car. I also knew that Ford Motor Co. supplied many shows, including Five-O with cars to feature. Neither Ford Motor nor Lincoln-Mercury public relations departments had any records going back to 1968, though certain employees knew from “old-timers” that corporate-owned, or “program” cars, would frequently be donated to producers and the networks for production use only. Still, I knew the car existed but could not get anyone to claim ownership, much less desire to sell the hulk.

Needless to say, I eventually wore down CBS to the point that they were pleased to get that corner of the warehouse cleared out and me out of their hair. I did not get a bill of sale, but what legally amounted to a “quit-claim” of any interest that CBS, as a bailee of the car, might assert. A check with the Hawaii Department of Motor Vehicles showed no evidence of the car ever being titled or plated on the Island. Several months, countless long distance phone calls later, the hulk was crated up and transferred by Sea-Land Transport to Long Beach, California. From there, train or truck got the remains into Chicago.

Is this, in fact, the actual car used in the show? I do not know and cannot confirm with hard facts. But circumstances strongly suggest this is the car. When I got it, damage was consistent with the car’s last appearance in “Number One With a Bullet.” The roof was drilled for a dummy antenna, as seen on the car in the series. The car was in Hawaii in a warehouse owned, leased, or rented by the producers of Magnum, P.I. This series was part of the CBS Television Network in 1986. And, much to my delight, there was a series of 10 photos in an envelope which was tucked away in the glove compartment. The pictures showed several shots of the car interior, exterior, and many of Jack Lord entering his on-location motor home. The pictures were all taken in downtown Honolulu in mid 1972. From the location it appears that the episode “‘V’ For Vashon” was being filmed. With these pictures in hand (actually, in the glove compartment), I was reasonably satisfied that this was the car.

About the car itself: It’s a ’68 Parklane Brougham 4-door hardtop. The car is fairly well equipped, with a 428-4V(345 hp), C-6 automatic, power steering, power front disc brakes, power windows, power seat, A/C, AM/FM, and cruise control. The car is all black and must have been terrible to sit in for six years in the hot Hawaiian sun.

The restoration effort took three years, and involved approximately nine parts cars. Little is original from the car as it existed in Hawaii. I have made a few minor modifications from the car’s original configuration — a bumper trailer hitch was purposely left off and the antenna was moved from the front fender of the car to the rear quarter panel because that’s what my parts cars had at the time of assembling the restoration. However, the engine is untouched, unrebuilt, and at 75,000 miles is more than capable of pursuing criminals to swift justice. All exterior sheetmetal was replaced. The original Brougham interior was thrown out, as after the mongoose was through with it, it had become a health hazard. The vinyl top was replaced, most chrome redone, and the car treated to multiple coats of PPG two-stage urethane enamel. Now we were ready to cruise Diamond Head once again.

Where does Jack Lord fit into the story? Quite actually, nowhere. I did solicit his assistance to open doors at CBS corporate and was met with stony silence. He has a very chatty wife who thinks the project is a lot of fun, and won’t Jack be thrilled to see the finished result, and no, dear, I don’t think he wants to drive the car again, because you know he spent six years in that car in full makeup and his white dress shirts with that hot Hawaiian sun and if you’re reading this, you can book me, Jack, but I still won’t give your car back.

More photos and info at IMCDB

and for a look at many of the vehicles that appeared with Tim’s car, take a look at this page with lots of vintage photos of the vehicles that got Jack Lord and Danno around the islands!

This article originally appeared in Quicksilver, a publication of the International Mercury Owner’s Association.


Il Tempo Gigante, The most famous Star car of all….. Norway!

Can you name them all?

After THE BIG BUS write up, it got me thinking about the more obscure star cars I have encountered in my searches over the last 30 years or so.   There are a few foreign films that featured custom cars with lots of gadgets.  There is one  Pugeot with wings that comes to mind, but that’s another blog!

This article is a long time in the making.  I first became aware of  Il Tempo Gigante when I saw photos of it in an old book on concept cars called “DREAM CARS” that was originally printed in France.

because it was printed in Europe, it included the most famous movie car of Norway!  As I had never seen the film, nor was I from Norway I sort of glossed over it as a rip off of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Decades later my starcar pals alerted me to a shirt design I would probably like that featured the outlines of most of the famous movie/tv and video game vehicles.

All my star car buddies snapped up a shirt or two, and we happily started pointing out all the movies attached to each vehicle.  Some where easy, others took a bit of thinking, but the Star Car Central members eventually identified all of them except one, and I decided it was the  Il Tempo Gigante.

I would say “I knew what it was from my old book, but it was in a box somewhere and I never got around to getting it out to find the name of the film or car to start my search.”   But I am finally tired of telling my pals “I know what it is, I have it in a book, but I just have to find it!” So here it is in all it’s glory.

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Now if you are from Norway, you may think “How can anyone in the world not know this car?”  But for the rest of the lovers of star cars that DON”T live in Norway or Russia or Japan allow me to introduce the star car I finally got around to blogging about!

Flåklypa Grand Prix (released as an English dubbed version under the title Pinchcliffe Grand Prix) is a Norwegian stop motionanimated feature film directed by Ivo Caprino. It was released in 1975 and is based on characters from a series of books by Norwegian cartoonist and author Kjell Aukrust. It is the most widely-seen Norwegian film of all time, having sold some 5.5 million tickets since its release to a population which currently numbers just 4.9 million!!!

Here is the car in action!

The family that made the hit movie also made a full size working version of the stop motion animated car, and it’s a hit where ever it goes!

As always, if you want to be an expert, go to Wikipedia for lots of info on the movie and its history. Or just go to the site of the creators of the movie, and the car and take a look around!

As for the full scale car they did an amazing job of making a fantastic looking and sounding star car!

Listen to this motor as it comes off a trailer!

It’s obvious it is a well loved star car in Norway if you watch the videos of the car driving around on youtube.  Hey, it’s an official Star Car when people take the time to crossgeek

it with other starcars, like James bond! Ian Fleming actually headed up a comando unit in Norway during WWII . He also wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang all before this film came out, so Fleming’s influence can be seen as well in the Tempo Gigante.

On a side note on CrossGeeking (TM nate Truman 2003) it is rumored that Lucas used the race scene from this movie as a inspiration for the StarWars Pod race

in Episode one!  StarWars experts, what do you think? Arab backer, problems on the starting line, mid race repairs, dirty tricks, I can see why it came up!

May just be that Norway knows this movie so well, when they saw Star Wars, many fans saw the similarities?  We may never know! Star Wars fans have stated “The podrace sequence on Tatooine appears heavily influenced, if not lifted wholesale, from the chariot race in Ben-Hur. Other films likely to have influenced the pod race are Nicholas Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause, which featured actor James Dean, a partial inspiration for Anakin Skywalker’s character, and John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix, which not only features the Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune but also features camerawork done by Lucas himself.”

The Arab backer seems familiar though…..

Anyway, that’s what I thought the car is, but now looking at it, it looks more like it’s got three wheels and it has paint brushes.   It’s also not included in the new version of the shirt, so anyone else have a guess?  It’s not the back of  Il Tempo Gigante! from The Pinchcliffe Grand Prix, but it did make me finally write about it!

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