We are counting down the Top 50 hot rods and street cars of all time that have made an appearance in a television series, or a memorable television episode. Starting from #50, and counting down to our #1 pick, follow along with our memories, and see where your favorite show lands.
34. The Andy Griffith Show: 1954 Ford Customline Town Sedan
Although the Andy Griffith Show featured many automobiles – including Mayberry squad cars – there is one car in particular that we wanted to include on the countdown – a 1954 Customline Town Sedan appearing on season three, episode 27.
In “Barney’s First Car,” police officer Barney Fife (Don Knotts) purchases a 1954 Ford Customline Sedan from Myrtle “Hubcaps” Lesch, a sweet old lady from the next town over (some of you may recall this character played by Ellen Corby as the grandma on another show, “The Walton’s”). Innocent, she is not – the scam put Barney’s 300 clams of his life savings in the pocket of this con artist, leaving him to hold the bag.
With four doors and seating for six, the gang gathers for a drive through the country – but not before distributing the weight of his passengers evenly throughout the cab. Spot-on behavior of a timeless car guy, Barney shoos Opie (Ron Howard), and the others hands away from his prized automobile so they won’t scratch the paint.
Nice and cozy for the drive, and singing together on back roads, trouble soon hits as the center cap on the steering wheel begins to rise into Barney’s face like a charmed cobra … followed by an ominous hissing sound from the engine bay.
Barney soon realizes his dream car is a lemon when the resident mechanic, Gomer Pyle (Jim Nabors), delivers a laundry list of repairs that are needed to get it back on the road, but not for long. After a second breakdown, a tow into a garage soon leads to a string operation, and the arrest of the con artists that results in the return of all Barney’s money.