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42dodgeguy

custom car in old movie

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I recently saw the most fabulous custom car I think I've ever seen in an old late 30's early 40's? movie named "Topper" It was a Cary Grant/Constance Bennet movie. This car appears repeatedly in the movie. The front end looks kind of like a Cord, but it has G.M. looking headlights (Multibeams I;d guess). The front fender line goes into the doors like the early 40's Buicks, and there's a tire changing scene that shows what looks like a Buick brake drum with the pin on it. It has a boat style windshield, and has a boat tail rear, but unlike the Cord/Auburn boat tails, this one has a fin down the center. My guess is that this is basically a G.M. based creation, kind of like Harley Earl's "Y" Job, but at least in my opinion much cooler. Does anybody know the provenance of this like car, like who built it? What is it;s basis? Does it still exist? Who's got it?

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The fancy finned-back car driven by the Kerbys was custom built by the Bohman & Schwartz Co. using a 1936 Buick Roadmaster chassis. Originally the producers had in mind to use a coffin-nosed Cord, but it wasn't large enough. In the custom-made Buick there were special compartments for camera equipment, etc. The Buick resembles a Cord, but the supercharger pipes on the side were just decorations (a Cord comes with an actual supercharger). After filming the Buick was bought by the Gilmore Oil Co. and was used for promotional purposes for many years. It was updated in 1954 with a Chrysler Imperial chassis and drive train.

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Keith: Thanks a million for the reply. My curiosity is satisfied, but as an admirer of pre-war cars, I must say I was really dismayed at the later bastardation that the car underwent. I personally liked the Cordlike front. The 50's version was more reminiscent of a Crosley or a Studebaker I thought.

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Posted (edited)

Keith: Thanks a million for the reply. My curiosity is satisfied, but as an admirer of pre-war cars, I must say I was really dismayed at the later bastardation that the car underwent. I personally liked the Cordlike front. The 50's version was more reminiscent of a Crosley or a Studebaker I thought.

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I saw the movie too-this past Wednesday afternoon on TCM. Two things of note. First, we had a topic running in this section about door locks and I had mentioned that at least in the movies everyone seems to enter/exit most of the time from the rt. door. Plenty of scooting across the seat in this movie. Second, Topper wouldn't be seen in anything but a Buick. Why? Topper is a banker, and Buick is the bankers hot rod! But alas I must regress, the Buick was the Kirby's car and Cosmo owned a 1936 Lincoln model K.

Good old Topper ( Roland Young ) and the Good witch of the north in the Wizard of OZ Billie Burke...my god she pasted on forty one years ago!!!!

Don

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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