Aug 29, 2015
Gary P. Garry
Comments Off on Black Gold, Texas Tea, and a 1921 Olds Roadster

Black Gold, Texas Tea, and a 1921 Olds Roadster

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I’m not sure why it was, but there were a number of TV shows based on some pretty way out premises back in the 1960s and 70s. When I was particularly young, we had I Dream of Jeannie. This was about an astronaut who had a hot-looking female genie who could grant real-life wishes.

Another show that was based on a crazy idea was Mister Ed. The creators decided that the viewing public could buy into a situation comedy that starred a talking horse named Mister Ed. Believe it or not, the show was quite popular back in the day.

The Beverly Hillbillies was yet another sitcom based on very unlikely circumstances. As the story went, a backwoods yokel named Jed Clampett accidentally struck oil on his land in some unnamed state, presumably in the southeast. Old Jed sold the land to an oil company and became a rich man, but he really didn’t have any particular aspirations.

People around him convinced Jed to move to where all the rich people like him lived: Beverly Hills, California. So he loaded up his truck and his family, they bought a mansion in the opulent enclave, and the high jinks ensued for ten seasons.

The truck that they loaded up was a 1921 Oldsmobile Model 46 Roadster fitted with a flat bed rear end, but it had to have a certain look to fit into the hillbilly motif. Who would you turn to if you wanted to customize a car for television back then? The go-to guy was George Barris, who also did up the Munster-mobile and many other TV classics.

This vehicle may not be the most attractive car that ever graced the small screen, but it is still an iconic piece of automotive history. In May of 1976, the creator of the show, Paul Henning, decided that he wanted the car to go where it could be seen by fans of the show in the appropriate context..

The Ralph Foster Museum is situated on the campus of the College of the Ozarks, which is near Branson, Missouri. Henning donated the car to this museum, and you can check it out if you’re ever in the vicinity.

There are many other attractions in Branson, so it can be a fun all-around trip. Admission is just $6 for adults, and the museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 until 4:30.

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