Perry Mason and Classic Cars
Perry Mason is the detective show that started it all. The show debuted in 1957 and lasted until 1966. The television show was based on the collection of over 80 novels that sold over 135 million copies. Perry Mason, the hard working attorney, became the inspiration for detective shows like Bones, Dexter, CSI, and Criminal Minds. It also became an inspirational show for classic car collectors, especially those who work on authentic restorations. Collectors and restorers simply have to watch the DVDs to see what their favorite vintage cars looked like in mid-century years when the show was first released.
Perry, himself, drove a Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner. This car saw three years of production in a hard-top convertible and a traditional sedan style. Perry Mason drove the Skyliner as his personal vehicle for work and play. The car was as versatile as he was. When he was seriously working to get the bad guy, he kept the top up; but, when the sun went down, so did the top as Mason used the car to help charm the ladies. This car is highly collectible today because it was the first car with the hardtop convertible and because so few were produced.
Another iconic 1950s car that appeared frequently on Perry Mason was the Pontiac Star Chief. This car appeared on not one, but two popular television shows. It showed up in several Perry Mason car chases, and it also showed up on I Love Lucy when Lucy and the gang drove to California. A white 1954 four-door sedan appeared on the show in 1957 where it was featured in a car chase. A convertible 1957 Star Chief made it into another car chase in 1957. A third one appeared in a 1958 episode.
Perry Mason also drove a Cadillac Series 62. Since General Motors was one of the advertisers, it was only expected that he would drive in a flagship model. He drove to and from work in 1957-1959 models that featured the bullet tail lights and fin bumper. This particular Cadillac model eventually became the Cadillac Calais in the 1960s when the brand realized that the fins and bullets had seen better days.
Watching classic television shows are useful tools to learn about the style of the day. The 1950s and 1960s had a unique look that is embedded into the cars of that time.