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Hawaii Five-Oh (5-O) Classic w/ Jack Lord

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I've been binge watching old Hawaii Five-Oh shows on Amazon. (Man, how much I like Amazon Streaming) All 12 seasons are available, if you look carefully. Watching the shows back to back, and skipping around from season to season, I've noticed a few things.

For a show of the late 1960's to 1980, it covers some very delicate themes. Sexual Harassment, PTSD, and other 'sensitive topics', were tackled by the shows writers. In there later seasons, there are certain sly references to Steve and his personality. (i.e. "Book Me, Danno" when he was caught violating Hawaii Quarantine laws, and other small "In Jokes" that only the most rabid Fans would get. So there was, a bit of self depreciating in the later shows about McGarret and his 'Straight Arrow" personality. However, by 1980(the shows last season) you can really see that the show has 'Jumped the Shark". There is ample evidence in the scripts, and pacing, and camera shots, that the Show's Production Team is suffering from a Terminal Case of "Try Too Hard" syndrome. The last seasons shows are just sad compared to the earlier seasons.

But, This is a Model Car Forum, so let's talk about that. If you are a Police Car, or Emergency Apparatus Modeler, or you really want an unvarnished look at what life was like in the 1970's, watch this show.  The shows creator/producer, Leonard Freeman, had the audacious idea to do everything in Hawaii. Thus, almost every thing you see, is strictly local. With the exception of a Guest Stars, brought over from the Mainland it is an all Hawaiian show. The Police cars (almost all Fords) are very similar from beginning to end. Blue and White, but with the white markings ending and the end of the C-Pillar, instead of the door cutline. All, Blue single Rotators. Simple white numbers and letters. Also shown in many episodes, are Unmarked, Four Door Sedans, (in many cases Non-Ford) that have only the the Blue Beacon, a radio, and a (presumed) under-hood siren. I've seen a big Buick, a Chevy and a couple others in background shots. Speaking of Back Grounds, this is where the show really shines! Look at the cars on the streets, behind our Hero Cars. I've seen every thing from a Model A Ford, to a Citroen 2CV! While many cars are just Plain Jane sedans, odd stuff jumps out. And the villains drive some unusual iron too. Now, there are some of the usual TV Cop Tropes. All Cars Going over Cliffs, Will Explode!(unless McGarret or another 5-Oh member is in the car). Most Cars Run Perfectly (unless Car Trouble is needed for a Plot Point). There are others. 

Emergency Equipment. Fire Trucks are seen often. The variety, especially in the older seasons is great. I've seen open cab trucks from the 1940's all the way up to Crown Units that would look right at home on the "Emergency" Set. And, there are Yellow Fire Trucks. Not the later Lime, but honest yellow trucks. I'm not sure why, but I've seen them. Ambulances are usually the Big Caddy Units, but bodies are hauled off to the morgue in a wide variety of big, old Station Wagons. Some with minimal markings. If you had a resin mid '70's wagon, some Hawaiian plates, and you got a TV Show car.

That brings me to my last point. This show is a Model Builders bonanza! Except for McGarret's big Mercuries, there are plenty of possible builds shown. Either Hero Cars, (the recent AMT 1970 Ford Police Car), or background cars, there are loads of subjects to chose from. Watch some shows, get a kit, and have fun!

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Saw an Austin Mini-Moke on an episode last night.

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Separate, but related:  I recall reading an article in the mid-late '70s (Motor Trend-Car & Driver?  One of the "mens" magazines like True or Saga?)  that cops assigned to traffic enforcement in Hawaii got re-imbursed for use of their private cars.  A number of them had Gran Prix's and Monte Carlos with Corvette engines installed at a dealer in Portland, OR and shipped over.  So there was a whole flock of unmarked traffic car with nothing outward but a little blue bubble light.

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My favorite go-to site is IMCDB.com (International Movie Car Data Base)

Type in any TV show or movie and there are clips of various cars used or captured in the background of that show.

Hours of fun for the car enthusiast.

I've typed in shows like Emergency!, Andy Griffith, CHiPs, Happy Days. As well as movies like Gone in 60 Seconds, Smokey and the Bandit, Bullitt and American Graffiti. There are so many ideas in there.

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8 hours ago, The Junkman said:

Separate, but related:  I recall reading an article in the mid-late '70s (Motor Trend-Car & Driver?  One of the "mens" magazines like True or Saga?)  that cops assigned to traffic enforcement in Hawaii got re-imbursed for use of their private cars.  A number of them had Gran Prix's and Monte Carlos with Corvette engines installed at a dealer in Portland, OR and shipped over.  So there was a whole flock of unmarked traffic car with nothing outward but a little blue bubble light.

I believe they are still doing that.

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I do the same thing with "Adam-12" that Alan does with "Hawaii 5-0." I have all 7 seasons of "Adam-12" (stored on an obsolete WD TV box).  The series first aired in 1968, so it's a real gold mine of Vintage Car Porn.  Also great scenes of Los Angeles in those long-gone days.

Product placement was very much a thing back then, same as it is now.  Just today I watched one of the later shows, when AMC was providing Matadors for the show and the real LAPD.  The show had a scene of a car thief breaking into a dealership.  An American Motors dealership, of course!  A new, bright red '72 Javelin was sitting on the showroom floor.  The thief smashed it right thru the front doors of the dealership and escaped. But not for long...

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Wanna see some really old stuff actually divining around with close up views ?

Try the Waltons.

Think about the year portrayed and the year of the vehicles shown and how old they would be and what they would cost at that time. some great automotive fodder for thought

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