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Desperately Need 70's/ early 80s Police Cars To Be Featured In Film


Guest Beth Napoli

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Guest Beth Napoli

To Whom It May Concern,

I am a Masters student at the Florida State Film School in Tallahassee and am in desperate need to find 2 late 70’s/ early 80’s antique police cars. We are getting ready to shoot a short thesis film the first week in April. The actual shooting dates we need to use the cars are April 1st, 2nd and 6th. We are more than willing to pay for the gas and hotel accommodations for the owner. You can be a featured extra in the film as well if you’d like! These cars have a major role in the film. They are near as important as the characters themselves. We are willing to pay a small fee for your trouble and to use them in the film, but please keep in mind we are students and are operating on a small budget.

The film is the tone of No Country for Old Men and takes place in 1983 and is about a Sheriff, named Tom, whose skeletons suddenly come out of the closet. His son, Brian, went missing 12 years ago right before he was to be sent to Vietnam. When Brian’s body surfaces in a body bag to the top of a local lake, FBI agent Jacob Cooper is called in and the hunt is on to determine who is the killer.

This film is very important to us. We’re putting a lot of effort into making it festival circuit material. The show will be shot on 35mm film and we will be flying in professional actors from NY and LA. It’s also very important for us to capture the time and place of the film as best we can, which is why having authentic cars from the time period would help a great deal. Here is a list of cars that would work (although we are open to others as well!):

75’ Plymouth Gran Fury 76’ Plymouth Valiant

78’ Dodge Royal Monaco 79’ Chrysler Diplomat

73’ Dodge Polara 73’ Dodge Coronet

73’ Dodge Dart 4-door Sedan 83’ Dodge Diplomat

83’ Ramcharger

Please let me know if you or anyone you know has a car that would fit this description and would be interested in helping us out! This is the perfect opportunity to show off your treasured vehicle and your hard work. I happen to think the filmmaking process is a lot of fun, too! :)

Sincerely,

Beth Napoli

(574) 876-5966

marybnapoli@yahoo.com

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Guest Beth Napoli

Thanks for being snarky, Bob. Tell me something I don't know, like where to find a police car. All in good fun. Have a great day!

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Guest Beth Napoli

Thanks so much TG! It's amazing how much searching you can do on the internet and still never find what you're looking for! Have a good one!

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Thanks for being snarky, Bob. Tell me something I don't know, like where to find a police car. All in good fun. Have a great day!

I wish you well, Beth, and I imagine you are REALLY busy, but how did you end up finding you haven't signed all these props, that have a major role, with just a week to go before shooting starts?

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Beth, My advice to you, if you want to be able to do this again, be up front and totally honest with owners about what will be done with the vehicles.

A friend of ours trusted the film comany that made the film Matewan about the mine wars in W. Va. where I live. They lied to him. Rather than treat his car with the respect they told him they would, they drove it up a muddy, rocky dirt road in the rain where it slipped and slid. :mad: No one that knew him would ever let their vehicles be used in films.

Edited by Shop Rat (see edit history)
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Beth,

Depending on your budget, you may be able to pick those cars up off of ebay for what you would have paid to rent them. If they are the wrong color, Earl Scheib can provide the right colors on a budget price.

Also, do all of the cars need to be running, or are they background material to set a scene?

Also, try these people; they claim they have cars in all 50 states:

Nationwide Picture Car Brokering

Here's the Web site for North Florida MOPARS and links to Georgia clubs:

North Florida Mopar Association

However, as others have said, you are going to have trouble finding cars in a week. Suggest the director shoot his indoor scenes first and work around the chase and driving scenes.

Joe

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Guest Beth Napoli

Bob, the addition of the cars to the script is relatively new. I have been researching and calling car clubs and haven't had any luck. I've just now found this site to post. I've been working 6 day weeks with 13+ hour days since January and I'm doing the best I can.

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Guest Beth Napoli

Thank you, Susan, for the advice. I promise that we will be completely honest with the owners what we need to do. There is only one shot in which the car will be driven and it will be on pavement. The only other movements the cars will need to make will be pulling up a short distance and parking. Thank you!

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Guest Beth Napoli

Thanks Joe. No, only one of the cars needs to run. I really appreciate your help and I will make that suggestion to the director.

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If the film takes place in 1983 those cars are too old. A police car would most likely be 1 or 2 years old, they usually get rid of them after 3 or 4 years.

Possibly a small town would keep a car longer but not over 5 years.

It is also a question of what looks right. Anyone who was alive in the 70s or 80s, and sees a 1973 police car is automatically going to set the film in the mid 70s. If you deliberately point out the date of 1983 at some point a "cognitive reset" will have to take place that will destroy any effect of realism.

I recommend a Dodge Diplomat sedan. They made millions of them and they are still around at cheap prices, also they were used as police cars in many many early 80s movies and TV shows so any viewer will instantly click to the correct time period.

Alternative cars, Chev Caprice sedan, or Ford Crown Vic. These 3 were the leading police cars of the time especially on film. Any will work for you. The Caprice would be easiest to find if the dub wheel crowd hasn't bought them all up lol.

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Guest Beth Napoli

Jon,

Thanks to your help I located a 1979 Malibu fully restored and outfitted as a police car. It's going to work out that we get to use it in the film. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to help me! I really appreciate it and everything everyone else has done to help me find a car for the production.

Take care,

Beth

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Interesting that you got a Malibu police car. They were used for a short period of time but never caught on.

GM tried to push them as a lower cost fuel saving alternative to the big Caprice. But by the time you put in the screen divider, radio, lights, and all the other cop equipment then tried to cram in 2 big cops with guns, billy clubs, walky talkies and all their equipment, there just wasn't room.

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