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TRIVIA NOTE: The 1928 TV car was designed by Barris Kustom Industries and powered by a 283ci Chevrolet V-8 and a Powerglide automatic transmission. The car's body (finished in Metalflake carnation red with a white top) was made up from various vehicles including a Model T Ford, a Maxwell, a Hudson and pieces of a Chevrolet. To make it appear that the car was driverless (when the ghost in the machine drove it) the rear floorboard was removed so that a second driver could be placed out of sight of the viewing audience. He drove the car using a mirror.

Jerry Van Dyke, the brother of actor/comedian Dick Van Dyke was born on July 27, 1931. He has been a performer since his high school days in Danville, Illinois.

His TV credits include appearances on The ED SULLIVAN SHOW, THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW, 13 QUEENS BLVD, and his brother's show THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW (where he played Rob Petrie's younger brother, Stacey who played the Banjo and walked in his sleep).

In recent years, Jerry Van Dyke is best know as Luther Van Dam, the hapless assistant coach for the Minnesota Screaming Eagles on the sitcom COACH/CBS/1989-97.

Years earlier, Jerry Van Dyke was offered the role of Gilligan in the now classic sitcom GILLIGAN'S ISLAND but he refused the role because he thought it was a silly premise and one of the worst things he had ever read. Instead Jerry picked MY MOTHER THE CAR which over the years has earned the dubious honor of being one of the worst TV series of all time along with some others like BATTLE OF THE NETWORK STARS, ME & THE CHIMP, PINK LADY, SUPERTRAIN and YOU'RE IN THE PICTURE (which lasted one episode and was declared "the biggest bomb" one week later by Jackie Gleason (the show's host) who reported "this one made the H-bomb look like a two-inch salute."


Jerry van Dyke - MY MOTHER THE CAR

"My Mother the Car"
Theme Song Lyrics
(by Paul Hampton)

Everybody knows in a second life
We all come back sooner or later
As anything from a pussy cat
To a man-eating alligator
Well, you all may think my story is
More fiction that it's fact
But believe it or not
My mother dear decided she'd come back
As a car...
She my very own guiding star
A 1928 Porter, that's my mother dear
'Cause she helps me through everything I do
And I'm so glad she's near.


MY MOTHER THE CAR/NBC/1965-66

Jerry Van Dyke as Dave Crabtree
Maggie Pierce as Barbara Crabtree
Cynthia Eilbacher as Cindy Crabtree
Randy Whipple as Randy Crabtree
Ann Sothern as Voice of Dave's Mom
Avery Schreiber as Bernard Manzini

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