The cars were stars at the Television/Motion Picture Car Club's first showThu, 11 Mar 2010 00:00:00 -0800
When we first heard about this show, we figured it would be all famous cars from famous movies: the real Bullitt Mustang, the real Herbie, the real pod racer from Star Wars. While there were some actual movie cars at the first show of the newly minted Television/Motion Picture Car Club--including the Charger from Fast & Furious and a real Dukes of Hazzard General Lee--the majority of the wheels were tribute cars made by fans who happened to work in the movie industry. The only Star Wars car was a converted Honda Civic Del Sol with a stuffed green Yoda riding shotgun.
"I'm the only guy here with a movie car from a movie that didn't have cars," lamented Shawn "Obi Shawn" Crosby.
No matter, they were still fun to look at, and the owners had a good time, so the first show was a success. The value of the show and of the club lies in their potential. Imagine getting studios to wheel out cars from great movies and putting them on public display. While the Petersen Automotive Museum's Hollywood Gallery has a good collection of them, a one-off car show dedicated to movie cars could really be something.
TMPCC (www.tmpcc.org) was formed in July 2009 as "an entertainment-industry car club for owners of enthusiast vehicles," says club founder and president Ken Latka. The first show was held in the parking lots of CBS Studios in Studio City, Calif. The spot of TV exec Les Moonves and spaces for executives of The United States of Tara and Romantically Challenged were taken over by movie and TV cars.
Lou Cicciari drove his Starsky and Hutch-look 1974 Ford Torino, complete with 351 Cleveland. ("It rumbles real nice.") ABC-TV news producer Dave Kunz brought his remarkably detailed Bullitt Ford Mustang, which has been in a Sheryl Crow video, the short-lived TV show Fast Lane and even Race to Witch Mountain.
Likewise, Alex Wong, who grew up on Knight Rider, built and brought his own KITT car, an '88 Pontiac Firebird with the dancing red lights in front.
"Fireball" Tim Lawrence--who has designed cars for movies such as Jurassic Park and Mars Attacks!--brought a Jurassic Park Jeep, the Dodge Charger from Fast & Furious and a big Chevrolet SUV from 1989's Tango and Cash, all courtesy of his friends at Cinema Vehicle Services.
Nate Truman works for Entertainment Tonight spinoff The Insider and once was the voice of KITT at Universal Studios.
"Everybody has a story about seeing a movie and saying, 'I gotta have that car,'" Truman said. So he built his own Batmobile on a 1979 Lincoln Continental. Showing it at car shows was a different deal.
"I discovered that Ferrari guys didn't want to park next to a Batmobile," Truman recalled. "So I was at Cruisin' for a Cure, and I saw a Back to the Future DeLorean, and I said to the guy, 'Hey, park next to me.'"
From that beginning, Truman got a "ragtag band" together and started supporting children's charities. His group is called Star Car Central, and it was invited to TMPCC's first show.
The most famous actual person on hand was Adam Carolla, owner of the 12- to 22-year-old male demographic. There was a report that Sophia Loren was there--"The real Sophia Loren!" one guy told us--but she turned out to be a lookalike from www.sophialorenlookalike.com. It was Hollywood, after all. Or at least Studio City, which is close enough. How can you tell what's real around here, anyway?
"If you see it, then it's real," said Kunz.
By Mark Vaughn