The Beverly Hillbillies: The Auto Edition
The Beverly Hillbillies was and continues to be a popular show. The originals aired between 1962 and 1971. Buddy Ebsen and the crew from the sticks finds oil and is suddenly transplanted into posh Beverly Hill, California. This was the first television show in the “fish-out-of-water” genre that continues to be popular today.
Since the show features a poor family that quickly became wealthy, there are several iconic automobiles that play significant roles on the show. The opening scene features the family loudly making their way into California in a 1921 Oldsmobile Model 46, but they quickly ditch the ancient car for new and better automobiles.
While the fabulous people living in Beverly Hills are often seen around town cruising in Corvettes, Cadillacs, and Mercedes Benz models, the police officers who frequently visit the Clampetts show up in black and white Dodge Coronet models. The Dodge Coronet was chosen because of the intimidating scowl that makes the grille and the frowning eyes that are the headlights. The Beverly Hillbillies was not the only show that featured a Dodge Coronet as a fierce-looking police car.
The show also featured some one-of-a-kind vehicles. From the flower-power Meyer Manx and a customized hotrod, there were several episodes that drew in the car guys. If you were fortunate enough to catch the premier, you were treated to the rare spectacle of one television show featuring a Rolls Royce, Cadillac Fleetwood, Ford Thunderbird, and Lincoln Continental all in one show.
Even though the show centered heavily on the antics of the Clampett family, many of the episodes involved dim-witted Jethro trying to fit in with the sexy people of Beverly Hills. He never seemed to succeed, but he would often pull up to the mansion in a car with a few “friends” who usually ended up taking advantage of his simple kindness.