May 7, 2021


The fine art of fashion

Classic ‘Perry Mason’ showcases trove of mid-century classic automobiles

Perry Mason is a person of those vintage Television demonstrates that’s lived very long past its prime time, nonetheless appreciated as six-ten years-old reruns together with these classics as The Andy Griffith Display, The Twilight Zone and Go away it to Beaver.

There are loads of good reasons for watching crime-fixing Los Angeles legal professional Perry Mason, artfully portrayed by Raymond Burr, investigate myriad crimes and wring courtroom confessions out of murderers and thieves. But for a lot of viewers now, it is the parade of stunning cars from the era, typically pushed by Mason and his protection workforce. 

Raymond Burr as Perry Mason in a 1957 Buick

Perry Mason is really a smorgasbord of mid-century cars, which can be seen on the highway or in the backgrounds of the a lot of road scenes, an apparent hard work by the show’s producers to costume up the series with automotive eye sweet, as perfectly as aiding the automakers to thrust their present-day models.  Most are American iron, despite the fact that there are a several foreign careers sprinkled in there.

A lot of of the car spottings were being the end result of car or truck enterprise sponsorships, as was the product or service-placement system of the time, with Ford and Standard Motors pretty much investing off seasons through the nine a long time that the present was on the air, from 1957 by way of 1966. 

The show’s 1st season in 1957 bounced back again and forth among Ford and GM.  Section of the time, Perry’s stylish ride was a Fairlane 500 Skyliner, the iconic hardtop convertible, shown typically with the top rated was down as Perry cruised to the newest forensic venue.

But then there were being episodes with a black Cadillac Collection 62 convertible – the protection lawyer was apparently a main enthusiast of driving al fresco. There also was a particular white Buick Exclusive convertible.

Mason and business in the 1958 Cadillac

A lot of of the lawyer’s most unforgettable rides had been Cadillacs, in distinct a chrome-laden 1958 convertible that seemed to accommodate the appears to be of Raymond Burr to a T.  The subsequent 12 months, he drove a 1959 Caddy with these dazzling tail fins. 

A person of Mason’s automobiles was featured in the final year of the sequence in the only Perry Mason episode filmed in colour, the much better to see the electrical-blue shade of his typical Lincoln Continental convertible.

Mason’s Lincoln Continental before it receives stripped by intruders

Alas, in this episode named The Situation of the Twice-Told Twist centered on the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, a youthful avenue gang led by a Fagin-like character strips the Lincoln when it’s parked on the road, an incident that results in being central to the tale.

Mason’s persons also were proven in premium rides, these as Mercurys and Buicks, which from time to time seem to be like blatant plugs for certain designs.  There are a handful of 1958 Edsels in what would seem like a vain try by Ford to catch the attention of consumers.

The suspects typically drove amazing cars and trucks, also, this sort of as one escape artist in an Austin Healey 100 roadster who evaded capture via the agile dealing with of the British sports automobile.

Speaking of sports activities autos, Mason’s indomitable and rather suave private investigator Paul Drake, played by William Hopper, seemed to have an limitless array of awesome rides, with his switching amongst Ford Thunderbirds and Chevy Corvettes in the early seasons reflective of the sponsor tradeoffs.

Paul Drake sporting the 1957 Ford Thunderbird

But Drake also drove far more-unique fare as very well, staying found at situations in a classic Lancia Aprilla Pinin Farina cabriolet from Italy.  In authentic everyday living, Hopper apparently owned 1 of these, maybe even the one particular revealed in the collection.

Perry Mason reruns are still currently being shown, furnishing prospects to look at just one of the finest criminal offense-investigation demonstrates from the first ten years of Television, as nicely as a lot of likelihood to location good vehicles from the put up-war several years. 

To dig further into cars shown on Perry Mason, examine out the Net Film Cars Databases, through which you also can investigate some of your other beloved old reveals.