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If you are not familiar with the holiday classic 1983 movie, A Christmas Story, are you in for a treat. It is simply hilarious. You certainly will recall a few of the iconic scenes, like Flick getting his tongue stuck to an icy poll after accepting a “triple-dog-dare”, and the father (aka old man Parker,) winning a “major award” lamp fashioned as a woman’s leg in fishnets and a stiletto heel. But beware when watching this film… you might shoot your eye out. 😉
The film’s creator, Jean Shepard, was a total car guy. In developing the film, he and director Bob Clark were determined to set the movie in the late 1930s, but not in a specific year. Additionally, they purposely chose to omit any reference to World War II, as it would have
dramatically changed the tone of the film for many viewers. So, the vehicles spanned two decades, and the story was narrated as if told around the fireplace to old friends.
In the frozen tongue scene, Flick is rescued by police and firemen who arrive in a 1948 Chevrolet Stylemaster police car, and a 1938 Ford LaFrance fire truck, respectively. Rusted Ford Model A frames, a Briggs Tudor Sedan, and even a Hudson Terraplane, serve as the backdrop for more scenes.
But our unsung hero was the family sedan, a 1937 Oldsmobile F-37 Six Touring Sedan. Though, as many of the threads of the story go, the Olds is a major headache for the old man, constantly stalling or falling apart.
Though subtle. The blue four-door shows up in several memorable scenes, parked outside the home, and the Chinese restaurant, and notably when the old man and Ralphie have to change a flat tire, aka the “Ohhh FUDGE!” scene.
At an affordable $900 in 1938, the Olds was a 95 horse-power, six-cylinder, and offered good power, great size, and even fair fuel economy, even though gas was a whopping 20 cents a gallon. It could comfortably transport a family, and their Christmas tree, and (for the movie,) it was donated by a Cleveland antique car collector.
Filmed in Cleveland, Ohio, there exists to this day the “A Christmas Story House & Museum”, and the loveable, original 1938 Oldsmobile Touring Sedan rests comfortably in the adjacent garage for all to see… just like the major award in the front window of the house.
Thinking about building a replica with an american-made engine? Fraser has the right engine ready for you!