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Welcome to Fraser Fast Facts Vol. 1, Issue 48

A Christmas Story

Whee Anything That Could Go Wrong, Does... perfectly!

This classic holiday movie features a 1937 Oldsmobile F-37 Six Touring Sedan.

fff xmas story 1937 olds movie cover

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. 😉

fff xmas story 1937 olds xmas tree e1607697655206

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.

fff xmas story 1937 olds in garage e1607697628575Though 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.

fff xmas story 1937 olds engineAt 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.



FRASER FAST FACTS: (Movie Mistakes)

  • fff xmas story 1937 olds frameOn Christmas morning (of what is supposed to be 1939 or 1940), the family is listening to Bing Crosby’s “Merry Christmas” album while they open presents. That album was not released until 1945 (and reissued in 1947).

  • A kid in a classroom scene has The Dukes of Hazzard digital watch; a 1980s math book is sitting on Miss Shields’ classroom desk; and the wind-up chattering teeth in Miss Shields’ confiscation drawer weren’t invented until 1949.

  • The fight the smelly hounds are having over the turkey in the kitchen is in reverse. The dogs seen entering the shot are walking backwards. The sound is not backwards though.

  • During director Bob Clark’s cameo scene when The Old Man is outside looking at the lamp, he can be seen wearing a Miami Dolphins knitted hat. The Miami Dolphins did not exist at that time.

  • The BB gun is wrapped in red-embossed, solid-color paper with a metallic finish. Wrapping paper of the period was typically non-metallic paper lithographed with repeated designs, such as Santas, sleighs, snowflakes, and the like.

  • At the shopping mall to see Santa, many of the extras are dressed in modern 
    (early 1980’s) clothing or have modern (early 1980’s) hairstyles.

  • The lamp in one scene is a left foot. In every other scene it is a right foot.

  • When Black Bart is escaping from Ralphie’s backyard, you can see a crew member’s head skimming the top of the fence as they are leading the horse from left to right then again from right to left as they leave the horse for Black Bart.

  • If you like these movie mistakes, you can read dozens more here.

Thinking about building a replica with an american-made engine? Fraser has the right engine ready for you!