One type of vehicle that always draws attention at car shows is an un-restored original vehicle.


A car or truck that has a Popeye-like ” I am what I am” history.


Never restored-never even had a need for restoration.


These kinds of vehicles are the eye candy of any show. Somehow they have managed to discover the fountain of youth in a perfect storage facility. Somehow they have survived decades of existence in a rare and pampered world of idle non-use.


They are strangers to winters and hard work. They have barely left a climate-controlled garage and their odometers are accurate- yet they have few numbers on them. They are the automotive equivalent of Peter Pan and they are instant celebrities at any show or collector car auction on the planet.



Actual sightings of these vehicles are as rare as plans to visit Libya for a summer vacation of rest and relaxation this year. But they actually exist in abundance, and they are hiding in plain sight for the unwashed masses.



The endless parade of vintage classics is no further away than an endless supply of old movies, TV programs and instructional films. None of the car stars of these films led pampered lives; they were simply background to a sequence in the filming process.



But everyone from the Three Stooges to Audrey Hepburn has shared their celluloid stage with cars. We just didn’t notice at the time.




The vehicles were a vital part of the scene, but very common on the roads at the time. Rust and the passage of time have claimed these four-wheeled background extras just as relentlessly as bad habits and a great social life claimed Jerome (Curly) Howard, the greatest Stooge of them all.



But old film and TV programs can open up a window to the motoring past when the cars and trucks were a part of the fabric of the era. They were all un-restored originals in their prime.



Now I find myself scouting old TV and movies for visible signs of street scenes filmed without the need to raid a local car club for a period scene. Many of these vehicles were simply in the right place at the right time on a typical city street or highway at the time.



Occasionally I find myself drifting away from my lifetime infatuation with Samantha (of Bewitched fame) and Jeannie (of I Dream of Jeannie fame) and actually noticing the amazing cars on the road in reruns of their TV shows.



That was most definitely not the case when the two magical hotties first appeared on TV in my young and impressionable kid years.



Sure I loved cars then too-but the cars in the scenes were also cars on the roads in my town. There were no sightings of Sam or Jeannie in my town during that time.



These days even a boring instructional film that put viewers into deep comas in the past can become a great source of prime time old iron car shows-un-restored and in their glory…



Jim Sutherland

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BOB:”Didn’t Darren have a 396ci Chevelle or Camaro convertible?”