Re: Cars & The Movies
Sir William’s genius for enforced obsolescence should not be underestimated. My Mum’s 1961 Mark 2 needed a respray 4 years later, with rust appearing on the boot and other areas. When she sold it in 1967 the paintwork was beginning to look tatty again and, additionally, mould was inexplicably appearing on the headlining. Also (though I can’t really blame Sir Bill for this) at 12 years old I drove it into the garage wall whilst valet parking it, so I think our family could have achieved a close approximation of the Withnail look by 1969.
The general problem about sketching in characters within the short timeframe allowed by a movie means that you can’t be too clever with the choice of car. On a TV series there is probably more scope though, for every Columbo Peugeot 403 convertible, there is some other cop driving around in a totally inappropriate classic or old wreck, which is lazy shorthand for ‘this guy is a fascinating outsider’.
Another point to mention is engine noise. Even now, it’s still common to hear the sound of a completely unsuitable engine dubbed over whatever vehicle is being driven. And whilst I’m at it, like acting with dogs and children, some can act with cars, some can’t. The sound of a handbrake being pulled on its ratchet, or the car jolting forward when it’s stopped in gear, is the sure sign of a Bad Car Actor, even if he/she is a multiple Oscar winner.