Wednesday July 25, 2018
Life can be challenging for the classic car enthusiast when they are watching a film or a television programme. For those of you who are berated by their family or friends for kindly and selflessly pointing out a glaring automotive error in a production – I share your pain. As a child I noticed that the Morris Minor in the opening edition of the rather good National Service comedy Get Some In was a) a 1000 b) had amber flashers rather than trafficators and c) reflective number plates – all totally wrong for “1955”. Over twenty years later I noted much the same indicator-related error with the police Wolseley 6/80 in the 1953-set The Idiot’s Lantern episode of Doctor Who. Unfortunately, I was prevented from elaborating at length on this issue by my youngest stepdaughter threatening me with a rolled-up newspaper, but these are the risks that the true aficionados sometimes must endure. Here are just some of my favourite glaring errors – as many of us already know, there are countless more -
1) The interior of the Volvo P1800 in The Saint is often that of a four-door saloon.
2) Dr. No. – the Sunbeam Alpine Series II makes tyre on tarmac noises as it travels on a gravel road, a Chevrolet Bel Air has a Ford Fairlane dashboard, and the hoods’ La Salle hearse suddenly becomes a Humber Super Snipe pre-crash. As for the back-projection –
3) Remaining with our Bond theme, the Leyland Sherpa in The Spy Who Loved Me. Yes, I know that this is Roger Moore’s finest outing as 007 but as Egypt drives on the right, why is the Telephone Service using an RHD van?
4) The final reel of The Shawshank Redemption takes place in 1966 but Andy Dufresne is seen at the wheel driving a 1969 Pontiac GTO; the film-makers planned to have a 1965 Mustang Convertible shipped from Miami to the location St Croix in the US Virgin Islands but the Ford owner ‘baulked at the last moment’. There then ensued a last-minute attempt to find a suitable replacement.
5) The villains’ henchmen in the 1959 version of The 39 Steps drive a Ford Zephyr Mk. II which has the magical power to transform into a Consul from shot to shot.
6) The police in “Greece” use an RHD Vauxhall Cresta PC Standard in the not very good/extremely bad/ran out of funds midway through shooting horror film Incense for The Damned . The explanation is simple - the picture was partially shot in Cyprus
7) There was once a time when The Sea Wolves seemed to be aired every other week on afternoon television – and every time I noticed the 1955 Hillman Minx Phase VIII in the Second World War.
8) Patrick McGoohan’s Dodge 100 Tipper in Hell Drivers turns into a Leyland Comet before hitting the ground.
9) Foyle’s War and that Routemaster Bus making a (very) surprise appearance during the 1940s.
10) The Ladykillers is a true masterpiece of Ealing Studios, so it feels slightly churlish to point out that Danny Green’s Austin FX3 Taxi transforms into a Nuffield Oxford.
11) Ah, where would us continuity-spotters be without the glory that was ITC productions? In addition to their “White Jaguar” footage there was also the “Red Dauphine” but sometimes there was a slight confusion between the exterior and interior shots.
12) Beneath Loch Ness. A film that is magnificent in its badness, not least for the police in “Loch Ness” arriving in LHD 4x4s with flashing red beacons. And you thought Jaws: The Revenge was dire…