Posts Tagged ‘TV car

06
Oct
13

Yasushi Shiroi’s Japanese Star Car from “Ultra Seven”

Sometimes it takes a new friend to remind you of an old one! A star car pal is traveling to Japan, and his new hobby is making short videos about movie and TV star cars and their owners.

As I have been in the “star car” game since the 70’s he figured if there was a movie or TV car in Japan, I would know about it. Only one car came to mind, and that was Yasushi Shiroi’s Ultra Seven build. I found his car by trolling for Batmobiles and the Green Hornet’s Black Beauty info and his car was built on a Chrysler Imperial. He also said his car was as famous as the Batmobile!
As far as I can tell there is only one page on the internet about his car,and one fan posted a few photos in the passing decade since we first shared our affection for TV star cars. Searching deeper I found one video of him driving his car, and a few photos from Japanese car shows. That’s not enough!

So I want to feature our “star car pal” in Japan in a blog! If you have contact info, or know Yasushi Shiroi, please send me the info, or send him this blog!

GO TO ABOUT 5:30 TO SEE THE CAR, BUT THIS SHOW IS AWESOME FUN!

Here are his words, describing his Ultra Seven car:finished side
This is the story of the most famous Imperial in Japan and the efforts of Yasushi Shiroi to recreate an exact replica of the original, which was destroyed.

In 1967, a very popular television series named “Ultra-Seven” debuted on Japanese TV. Ultra-Seven is the story of a spaceman (Ultra-Seven) who fights evil aggressors as a member of the Earth Defense Force. The car that the EDF used for battle and VIP transport was named “POINTER”. This car is as famous in Japan as the Batmobile is in America.

Most people never knew that POINTER was based on a heavily modified 1957 Imperial. This was due to the small TV screens of the time and the extensive modifications to the original, not to mention that 57 Imperials were very rare in Japan.

The original POINTER was not in great shape during the series and, in fact, did not run. During filming it was pushed around by the TV crew. The TV series only ran 1 year and after the series was cancelled, POINTER was given to a kindergarten. After that, no one knows what became of her. It is presumed she was scrapped and crushed.
In Japan, a car over 10 years old must pass a very extensive, and expensive, safety inspection. Because of this, most cars are removed from service before they are 10 years old.

The original builder who worked in a repair shop in Yokohama. The builder told him that he built the car from a design of Toru Narita, a famous Japanese artist. The design concept was the car which could be used in both of the sky and the land. To create the illusion of flight, both rear fenders were extensively modified into a big horizontal wings and a vertical fin. The front of the car was also heavily modified. Below the fenders are small holes which were laser cannons.
readyforpaint

building
Yasushi Shiroi dreamed of recreating Pointer. He had watched Ultra-Seven as a child and never forgotten the magnificent machine. By 1985 he had a job and was still single. This was fortunate because this was a very expensive process. He wanted it done right but could not find a 1957 Imperial so he began with a Japanese car which had a similar side profile.

In Japan, remodeling a car involves very strict laws and it is very difficult to alter the basis structure of the car. Even so, modifying the Japanese car was very time consuming and expensive and Yasushi often “lived only on drinking water for a week before payday.” As work progressed, his version of POINTER was smaller than the original. The car came out very well and Yasushi was satisfied at first, but as time passed he wanted to make a “real” POINTER based on an Imperial.

In 1991, a classic car show was held in Tokyo and Yasushi went to look for a 57 or 58 Imperial. While many Imperials of this vintage survive in America, no one thought that any would have survived 40 years in Japan. After a 3 month search a 58 Imperial was located and obtained. Yasushi became the leader of a group who wanted to recreate the original. As leader, the burden of work fell to him and, again, he drank a lot of water to survive as the project took on a life of its own.

A year later it was finished. The original car was followed faithfully based on the TV series. Many new parts were fabricated and, of course, Japanese law had to be followed. Fortunately the original

The original craftsman remembered the original car had single headlights instead of duals but the main structure of the 58 appeared to be the same as the original 57.

During the project, many surprising things were discovered such as how similar the 40 year old transmission is to modern transmissions, a testament to the quality of the original Imperial. When the transmission failed, they were able to able to get it repaired.
in costume
In 1992 the car was first shown at the classic car show in Yokahama and was in many Japanese car magazines and the subject of much attention. People became aware that POINTER was based on an Imperial. At least one person became angry because of the changes to a “Classic”. For that reason, Yasushi became concerned about showing people photographs of the “Imperial”.

In 1995, the car was exhibited at a show in Tokyo and Yasushi met a young woman who worked for the exhibition. They are now married. Her photo is in the following photograph along with Yasushi. Both are in authentic costume of the Ultra-Seven series.”

OK back to me, Nate Truman talking!
We emailed back and forth, translating our emails, and a lot got lost in translation. I found I couldn’t use “colloquialisms” as those tended to be translated into gibberish. (Like “Coke adds life” translated into “Coke brings your ancestors back from the dead!”)
So hopefully I can reconnect with Yasushi somehow, and we can make a video of him and his famous TV car, and make the distance between our two worlds get a little smaller in the process. Great job Yasushi!

UPDATE! The fates were with us, as a pal was going to Japan, and was at the time making videos about star cars in my group, so I said “I know a guy in Japan with a star car! Click here for Ultra Seven video! Enjoy!

PFuji

Pside

rear

58imp-4

hotwheel

pomodel

front

metal-po

metal-po2

po-toy

27
Aug
11

Rockford Files shooting locations, then and now!

I have to admit I am a sucker for fan stuff like this!  Being able to stand in the very place where movies or shows that I loved actually shot is just a fun “touchstone” to bring me closer to the action that I remember seeing on the big and little screen!  Below is super Rockford fan Jim Suva’s write up on his trip to Rockford Files locations!  The Herbie owners are planning a three day event to do pretty much the same thing for their Sothern California locations next month, so any group of fans can pull this sort of thing off, and if you do, well tell me about it with great info and photos like Jim does!  Enjoy! 
Nate Truman

Rockford Files Locations

 

Written by Jim Suva

In July 2011, Pat McKinney and I went to find the locations that were used on The Rockford Files.  Below are some of the locations we found.

Here is the original location of Jim Rockford’s trailer in the parking lot by the Malibu Pier on Pacific Coast Highway.

The first two pictures are from the show.  Last two are 2011.

Original trailerloc Kirk6    100_1190 100_1189

First picture below is Lankershim Blvd. in 2011.  A number of scenes of Jim driving down this street have been used. The second picture is St Charles Boromeo.  The inside of the church was used while filming “Find Me If You Can”.  The church is located on the corner of Moorpark and Lankershim Blvd.

100_1210    100_1211

“The Real Easy Red Dog”  First picture is from the episode.  It shows the Services entrance to Ruehmanm Pontiac in 1975. The next picture is of the dealership today.  It now sells BMW’s.  The third picture is the house where Stefanie Powers character lived in 1975 and the fourth is 2011.

Red1 100_1214      Red4 100_1212

Jim entering the house and the side view of 4265 Denny Ave. North Hollywood.

Red3     100_1213

“The Trees, the Bees, and T.T. Flowers”  The church is located on the corner of Cahuenga and Whipple in Toluca Lake.  The first two picture are from 1976.  The third picture was taken 2011.

TT1 TT3      100_1209

“Beamers Last Case”  This is Tony’s Body Shop located at 4730 Blix Street in North Hollywood.  First picture is from 1977 and the next two are 2011.

Beam1    100_1217 100_1219

Here is Jack Kelly’s characters home at 4365 Forman, Toluca Lake.  First picture is the gate to the property in 1977.  The next picture is the gate 2011.  Third picture is the driveway 1977.  Fourth is the driveway 2011.

Beam2 100_1205    Beam3 100_1206

“Hotel of Fear”  Here is the Mob Bosses Nova’s house located at 4256 Navajo, Toluca Lake.  First two pictures are from 1977 and the last two are 2011.

Fear1 Fear2    100_1207 100_1208

“Rosendahl and Gilda Stern are Dead”  The intersection is at Cahuenaga and Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake.  This is where Abe Vigoda and Robert Loggia’s characters met.  The first two pictures are from 1978 and the last two are from 2011.

Rose1 Rose2    100_1224 100_1225

This is Rocky’s House located at 3654 Lankershim Blvd., Studio City.  The house has had an addition built on the front of house.  It now has a row of trees in front.

Jersey1 Jersey2    100_1221 100_1223

This is Bob Morse’s Beach Cafe, Paradise Cove.  It use to be called the Sandcastle.  It has changed quite a bit over the last few years.  Jim Rockford’s trailer use to be parked in the parking lot.    That part of the  parking lot is now a sandy beach with tables.  Below are pictures of Paradise Cove, July 13, 2011.

P1010001 P1010003 P1010004 P1010007

P1010008 P1010009 Chrispic27 P1010035

I hope you enjoyed these pictures.  It is always nice to see what the locations look like today.

17
Jul
11

STAR CAR NEWS FROM AROUND THE USA AND THE WORLD! GO TEAM SCC! (THAT’S STAR CAR CENTRAL!)

Starcar fans are all around the world, and starcarcentral.com 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 madmaxcars.com. 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: http://www.madmaxcars.com/events.shtml

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 StarCarCentral.com, 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!

24
Jun
11

KITT and Batmobile NOT everyone’s top movie cars! Here’s some rarely talked about star cars!

 

Here is Jim’s list of his favorites, and his reasons for choosing them!

My favorite TV and movie cars: It’s not KITT and the Batmobile

Lists of great movie vehicles are pretty boring because they usually list the same blockbuster choices. Here’s a few from off the beaten path.

1969 Dodge Charger YEE-HAW: The General Lee (a ’69 Dodge Charger) takes a ride. (Photo courtesy of CBS)
The next episode of “Hollywood’s Top Ten” (Friday night at 11:30 p.m. Pacific on ReelzChannel) features viewers’ choices for the coolest movie/TV cars, and you know what they’re going to pick: the Batmobiles, the custom Cadillac Ecto-1 from “Ghostbusters,” the jalopy on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” James Bond’s Aston-Martin, KITT from “Knight Rider.”
They wouldn’t give me the whole list — that’s why you tune in — but here are a few of the winners:
  • The Trans Am from “Smokey and the Bandit”
  • The ’69 Charger from “The Dukes of Hazzard”
  • The ’56 Thunderbird from “American Graffiti”
Ho-hum. But there are some less-heralded cars out in movie and TV land, and here are my five, very personal, favorites:
Volvo from The SaintThe Saint’s Volvo: The Saint, played by Roger Moore on the 1962-1969 TV show, drove a Volvo 1800S, just like me. Mine was even the same color as his. The Saint was a low-rent James Bond, and the car — a sporty version of the 122S, with nearly identical mechanicals — was no Aston-Martin. The Saint could pursue criminals, but not if they were moving too fast. Switching into “overdrive” provided a powerful visual, but the 1800 topped off around 100 mph. And zero to 60? Well, maybe 11 seconds.
Alfa-Romeo DuettoThe Alfa-Romeo Duetto from “The Graduate”: Another personal connection because I owned that car’s linear descendant, a 1976 Alfa Spider (with a cut-off Kamm tail instead of the Duetto’s rounded example). Alfa even created a “Graduate” model because of the popularity of the movie and the car’s starring role in pursuit of a stopped wedding, with Dustin Hoffman at the wheel. The exposure garnered by this ’66 Duetto 1600 didn’t save Alfa’s fortunes in the U.S., but it probably postponed the departure for a number of years.
Mercedes from Bad TimingThe “Bad Timing” Mercedes: Admittedly not a star movie car, this circa 1959 Mercedes 220S from Nicholas Roeg’s 1980 “Bad Timing” again duplicates one of my own cars — my all-time favorite. It was probably the scene with Denholm Elliot and Teresa Russell, captured in the video below, that stimulated my interest in the car in the first place. Alas, I let mine get away, and now I couldn’t touch a nice one for less than $10,000. If you get a chance, it’s a really good movie (forget what the blurb says) — from the director of “Walkabout” and “Performance.” Kind of hard to find, though.
Buick from Julie and JuliaThe “Julie & Julia” Buick: I’d love to own one, but they’re worth $40,000, so it’s not likely anytime soon. The movie’s production designer describes the car as “a 1947 wooded blue Buick station wagon.” It was nicknamed the Blue Flash, and found in France where they filmed much of the movie. Sorry to disagree with Mark Ricker, but I think it’s actually a later car than 1947. Can I suggest that it was actually a 1950 Roadmaster with a 1949-style two-piece windshield? “It could have been Paul and Julia’s original car, as far as we knew,” said Ricker. Maybe.
1962 Cadillac Coupe de Ville from Mad MenThe 1962 Cadillac Coupe de Ville from “Mad Men”: Don Draper (John Hamm) brings home this beauty in the second season, at his boss’ urging. It’s interesting that there was no product placement here — instead, it’s exactly the right car for the character at that time. It’s the car Don thinks he wants, even though it turns out all wrong for him. This is the pinnacle of  “Standard of Excellence” Cadillacs, for a guy on top of the Madison Avenue nest of snakes. There were some great Cadillac ads in National Geographic around this time. The Draper-type owner was shown heading into a country club with his fur-bearing wife, looking back at the car that his power and prestige had secured for him.
There’s actually an Internet Movie Car Database you can search by make. Have fun with it. Make up your own list and post your choices below in the comments — I’d love to see what you come up with.
25
May
11

Wizard World Comic Convention and Star Car Central.com in Anaheim 3 day eventorama!

Wizard World Conventions are all over the U.S. and Canada and over the last few years I have sent a few area chapter members out to appear with their movie or TV car, mostly on the East Coast and Canada.  But when Adam West and Burt Ward, the original Batman and Robin make a rare appearance here in nearby Anaheim, well the batsignal goes up, and starcars roll out!   More of the original Bat cast was in attendance as well, Lee Meriweather who was catwoman in the Batman Feature film, Malichi Throne who played the villain “False Face” as well as a host of celebrities and artists from all walks of fandom!

Nateman (That’s me!) and my Natemobile were up near the entrance, and right in front of Batman and Robin! Even though I was a bit lonely without my star car pals, it was a fun time meeting all the batfans and helping to raise money for the “Friends of Angels” Autism Camp.  We are in our eighth year and going strong!

Meanwhile, in the back, the rest of the peanut gallery were putting on their own show, and having fun talking to the press and fans!

Paul agreed to a rare interview about his car.... 🙂

When it comes to any comic con, you never know what “crossgeeking” surprises you  will see. (Crossgeeking means a fanatical pursuit or interest in two divergent areas of traditional geekyness, Such as owning a Herbie the Love bug, and also speaking klingon – copyright Nate Truman 2001! Go ahead and google it!) Here is an example that popped up, a Flux Capacitor in a Magnum P.I. Ferrari!

The fans crowded in to see the star cars we had on display, and lots of interviews for various media outlets, both TV and online sites were constantly quizzing the star car owners in front of the cameras.

The crowds were non stop all day long, and everyone had a great time checking out costumes, artists and celebrities that they got to spend time chatting with in person.  Hey, I got to talk with the 80’s Captain America about the release of the new one. Reb Brown is still in great shape and could pick up the shield!

But you can’t see the cars, so here is a shot of the set up before the doors opened up.

Rockin' the 80's... well Herbie spans several decades!

My A-Team van was on display for Friday only, then we swapped out the van for Brian’s James Bond BMW Saturday and Sunday along with three day attenders Oscar and his Ferrari from Magnum P.I. Paul’s BTTF Delorean, Alex’s KITT from Knight Rider and Brian’s Robo-Herbie. (Also there were two classic “Snake and Mongoose” funny cars! )

Being inside with fans who “get” our cars is always a treat. Plus, the fans are a lot more interesting to talk to and people watch at a comic con too!

Even Kermit the Frog came by to do some interviews!

Lots of dinner’s out and buying stuff we just had to have as well as meeting old friends made for a great weekend of fun fandom!

Look for us in November at the Los Angeles Comic Con, Danny’s BTTF Delorean inside at the San Diego Comic Con!  When this many fans line up to see us, well, we are always glad to share our famous movie and TV cars!

11
May
11

Burbank on Parade StarCarCentral.com wins again!

Hey Star Car Fans!

Yes I know I am behind on my blogging! We are having too much fun playing with our toys lately to stop and write about it!  So let’s catch up a bit!  On April 9th, 2011 a BIG group of the ever changing line up of cars at Star Car Central.com showed up to drive in the Burbank Parade!  For the second time in a row, we won our category!  Novelty, Non Commercial!  Not sure if we had any competition, but we won!

We had a few new members, some Burbank locals that rarely come out and a bunch of the “regulars” all lined up once again for a fun parade on a beautiful day!

Our “Banner Girls” lead the way out in front with Sue in Her Get Smart Sunbeam and machine gun!  After a long wait on a beautiful tree lined street we finally got started and the crowd loved seeing all their old “four wheeled friends” from TV and movies from the past!

Here’s a nice shot of Sue with our award banner at the end of the parade!

Paul brought out his “MAD MAX” Interceptor for a rare look at his very rare replicar with right hand drive and meanest looking police car around!

New to our group this year is Stephen and his Jurassic Park Explorer! He is actually more into rock climbing than star cars, but his truck is a crowd pleaser!  We have yet to get Stephen and Ari together, who has a Jurassic park Jeep!

Transformers, assemble!  and then turn off your engines and wait for a bit longer!  John’s BumbleBee Camaro from Transformers is followed by Jason’s “Ratchet” Transformer ambulance from the cartoons! You can also see Tony’s top notch Smokey and the Bandit Trans am and Lou’s Torino from Starsky and Hutch bringing up the rear in the above photo.

Behind Tony is Nate Truman in his new “A-Team” van – this is the last shot of the van before the front push bar and even MORE front lights were added!  “I pity the fool” who doesn’t love Mr. T and his van!

Alex put on his light and sound show with his amazing KITT car from Knight Rider!

Cliff and his son are behind the wheel of their NASCAR inspired Herbie, like in “Herbie, fully loaded”

Oscar’s 308 GTSi Ferrari decked out like in the Magnum P.I. TV show is pretty at any angle!

Charlie brought his Green fastback Mustang like the one Steve McQueen drove in “Bullitt” the dream car of many men in the crowd!

Lou turned on his sirens and police lights and delighted all the “Starsky and Hutch” fans. His “stripped tomato” is a fan favorite!

Paul drove his Back to the Future Delorean with gull wing doors open, and  sounds from the movie blaring! Reba, get that leg back in the car!

Dave and his family tooted out the familiar sounds of “DIXIE” as they displayed their Dukes of Hazzard General Lee Charger!

A few times a year we are always happy to see “the other” batmobile! Tom’s car is sweet and he’s one of the few guys Nate has to chat with about after burners!

You are not seeing double, this is Jason’s “classic” Herbie as the lovable Bug appeared in the early movies! Jason also was running through the cars to get all these photos and did all the paperwork and phone calls so we could all play with our cars down the middle of the street!  Thanks Jason and “Dad” Dave!

Mark with his Adam-12 Cruiser gets extra “good guy” points for coming despite being in terrible pain! His “reward” for his troubles? He started overheating due to the slow speed of the parade! So he switched on his police lights and sirens and tore to the end of the parade to let the car cool down! Thanks for putting yourself through all that!   The crowd loved seeing the car tear down the street and I thought it was the “real” cops behind me – not the “REEL” ones!

I saved Brian’s car for last, as we all were amazed at his latest “upgrade” to his James Bond BMW from Tomorrow Never Dies.  He brought along a pal dressed as Super Spy James Bond, and he pretended to drive the car by remote control, just like in the movie.   No one can accuse Brian of wanting the spotlight, his friend was cool and collected walking down the road while Brian was well, it’s easier to just look at the photo!

Look closely, that seat has HANDS! That’s brian behind his seat disguise driving the car and looking through the headrest!  He truly suffered the heat and uncomfortable ride  to delight the parade goers! Too cool Brian, Aka “Q”!  We never know what gadget he’s going to build next!

True to form, after the parade my “cats” all scrambled off, some went home to get their “meds” others went to “in and out” but most of us made it to dinner to swap stories and catch up on the latest break downs and upgrades to our cars.

Ari couldn’t make it, and a new “mystery” batmobile almost made it in the parade with us but lost his keys to his electrical shut off switch – and by “lost” I mean a fan took the key!  But “G.I. Joe”mobile may be at an event soon!  Thanks to all who came and all the fans who yelled out each theme or show title as they recognized their favorite old car star!

12
Apr
11

A new Batmobile in London?

He is the iconic Caped Crusader who has starred in comic books, television series and film franchises for the last 70 years.

Now Batman is making his stage debut in one of the most lavish theatrical productions ever to appear in London, at The O2 arena. Gotham City will be brought to life in Batman Live, with a huge stage lit up by a dazzling display of pyrotechnics and special effects.

Today the villains that Batman and sidekick Robin will face during the show were unveiled as the Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Catwoman. Creative director Anthony Van Laast, who has worked on West End shows and Hollywood movies including the latest Harry Potter, said: “It’s got stunts, it’s got Batman flying, it’s a big lavish spectacular – this is going to be a really good piece of theatre.”

The Dark Knight will be helped by a brand new Batmobile created by Formula One designer Professor Gordon Murray, which will drive on to the stage before skidding to a halt.

A 100ft screen shaped like a bat will act as a backdrop for the special effects, and characters will be able to fly around the set thanks to a grid suspended above the stage. It will also include an action sequence where the Joker tries to escape in a hot air balloon, only to be shot down in flames.

The story of Batman Live follows the young Dick Grayson, a circus performer whose parents are murdered, and how he becomes Batman’s sidekick
Robin.

It will tour the world for five years!

For more details go to batmanlive.com.

But batman the musical idea has been around a while, and even was featured in one of the Batman:The animated series episodes!

Take a look! One of my favorite clips!




Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 372 other followers

starcarcentral posts

October 2019
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

star car news archive

nate truman starcarcentral.com

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!

POSTS BY CATAGORY

Vote for your Favorite Movie or TV car!


%d bloggers like this: