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CRABTREE, David & wife, Barbara
(My Mother the Car)
( Madison 6-4699
213 Hampton Street

David "Dave" is a lawyer. He shares his home with his wife, Barbara, their children Cindy and Randy and Dave's deceased mother who lives in the garage inside the chassis of a 1928 Porter automobile. And Dave is very possessive. He won't let any one else drive his mother but him.

Jerry Van Dyke & Maggie Pierce - MY MOTHER THE CAR

It all began when Dave Crabtree went shopping for an inexpensive car at the Smiling Dutchman's used-car lot, and one of the cars talked to him when he sat on the black-button upholstered seat on the driver's side. The voice (heard over the car's radio) was Dave’s dearly departed mother whom had returned from the afterlife in the form of a vintage touring car.

Dave immediately paid $200 for the car, got it repainted a brilliant red at A. Schreib's Auto Painting shop and then drove it home and hoped that his family would accept it (Dave was supposed to buy a station wagon). Now whenever Dave had a problem he visited the garage and talked to his mom. Before Dave left his mom for the night, he placed a blanket over her radiator to keep her warm. And on Mother's Day, Dave gave the car a lovely bouquet of flowers.

Having his mother back among the living (well, sort of) was great for Dave. He had missed her since she died twenty years earlier. But when he tried to tell his family that "MOM" was back (as a car no less), his wife, Barbara thought he had gone bonkers. As Dave tried to convince his family of the benefits of a car that talked, he enthusiastically cried "Honey, the kids will finally meet their Grandma!"

Barbara and Dave Crabtree - MY MOTHER THE CAR
Barbara wonders if Dave has lost his mind.

When Dave tried to get his mother to talk to his wife, Mom refused and told her son "Honey, the world isn't ready for a talking car. They'd cart me off and I'd be playing auto shows, maybe even the Smithsonian Institute. And you know how drafty those marble floors get." Dave asked again "So you won't talk?" but Mom held firm and said "Only to you, son...only to you."

The main conflict in Dave Crabtree's life was a mustachioed antique car collector named Captain Bernard Manzini (Avery Schreiber) who desperately wanted to add Dave's car to his collection of antique automobiles. But Dave was not selling for $400.00 (Manzini's offer) or at any price. After all, who could sell their mother?

To gain possession of the Porter, Captain Manzini employed a barrel of tricks to snag the car. For example, he challenged Dave to a drag race (with the Porter as the spoils of the race); he plotted to get Dave's wife, Barbara to sign the car over to him; he tried to drug Dave; he hired a Swedish sailor to act at a double for Dave to steal the automobile; and he hired thieves to replace Mother with a counterfeit.

Besides the Manzini escapades, Dave's mom experienced a number of other adventures. She got amnesia when she bumped her bumper; she won an appearance on a TV game show; she did a brake company TV commercial; and she discovered a plot to assassinate a foreign leader. But possibly, the craziest adventure occurred when Dave takes the car shopping but forgets to engage the car's parking brakes. Consequently, Mother rolls down a hill and into a moving van filled with other cars headed for Mexico. Of course, Mother finds her way back home and into the waiting arms of her son, Dave and her newly adopted family.

Some Porter stats: The Porter still had its original brakes ("Stop-on-a-Dime" Brakes); the carburetor contains sixteen nuts, fourteen screws and three bolts; and the car's license plate read: PZR-317. When the car needed servicing Dave took it to Doc Benson's Auto Clinic. But watch out, antifreeze does funny things to the Porter.

1928 Porter Car from MY MOTHER THE CAR - Located at Stars Cars Museum in Tennessee, USA
The coveted 1928 Porter, a.k.a. Dave's Mom

Continued on page 2 >

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