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Camera car for web 72 dpi

Sign With Pictures 72 dpi


The Museum has been searching for a vintage camera car for many months to add to our exhibit that explores filming technology as used in movies and of course, that supported an era of Western film making. A call from Museum supporter, Jack Minton, in mid-June informed me that a 1928 Lincoln camera car was going up for auction in a few weeks in Shawnee, Oklahoma.1928 147 A Sedan

A few calls and a little research with the Benson Ford Research Center at The Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, helped clarify the cars provenance. Built on March 6, 1928, the car, production # 49706, with body type 10-1957 and noted as a 147A, (that designation indicates original car was a 4-door, Dietrich designed sedan. The original color was delivered in cobalt blue. The production car would have had an eight cylinder flat head engine. Somewhere along the 50’s the engine was replaced with a Cadillac 331 with a Carter Quad. The suspension was revised to carry the extra weight of rails, platforms and equipment that were mounted on the car and the universal replaced with a heavy duty International truck rear end. Note: Production records indicate 4204 Dietrich designed cars were sold in 20’s, 1023 in 1928 – the last year they were produced as noted from George H. Damman's book, 50 Years of Lincoln Mercury.

Many camera cars were used in filming from the 1930s - Similar cars were used along Movie Road in filming Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy and many other films shot in the Alabama Hills.

Sunset Screen Grab 2 72dpi

Once owned by Hollywood Studio, RKO, the 1928 Lincoln has been in the possession of collectors for many years, most recently being owned by Clifton Hill, who has been collecting cars for over 50 years, but has recently decided to liquidate his collection. The car has been used in many movies including the 1981 Orion Pictures film, Under the Rainbow and the 1988 Sony Tri-Star Film, Sunset with Bruce Willis and James Garner. Earlier the car was owned by Pat Hustis, stuntman and legendary camera car pioneer famous for his chase scene work on Steve McQueen's movie, Bullitt.

The Lincoln was in pretty good condition given it’s 88 years old. While there is rust, there are few areas rusted through! As noted, the original engine was replaced with the Cadillac 1953/1953 V-8 engine. We are told the car has not “run” in over 20 years. (Our engine guru, Richard Wren is going to see what he can do about getting it running again.)

Click Here For
History of Camera Cars, Inserts and CameraTrucks

By Marc Wanamaker

Only the left rear stop light was missing. Cabin/dash is missing wood but gauges look pretty good. The door windows both work remarkably well on both sides, and if you look close you will see they are chain driven. The back window is missing. Original wire wheels are in very good shape and as noted, new tires will be installed. The metal rails that hold camera mounts and accessories are also in good shape. Two have words, one "Shepherd" and the other "Hollywood Scene Dock." We are told that both companies have been out of business for many years.  Gas tanks are located on both sides.

Through generous donations of our membership and friends and financial support of the Museum Board, we were able to raise the funds to acquire the car and to transport it from Shawnee. Preliminary work in Lone Pine with the assistance of Jeff Ray, Tony Chavez and Richard Wren prepared the car for a modest restoration. David Mull, NAPA, helped in acquiring new tires. Doug Brown, Browns Salvage in Bishop, had his team sandblast the years of rust and paint off.  Tib Wilkinson, Inyo Mono Body’s team has painted the car black. We will soon have the RKO emblem, painted on the doors to pay tribute to the cars original heritage.

After the Festival we will work on the interior and local Lone Piners will take a shot at getting the 1953/1954 Cadillac 331 V-8 back in service.

The Museum is fortunate to have a few large reflectors, lights and other standard accessories that were typical for camera cars. We are in talks with a few collectors to add some additional features, hopefully adding a few Mitchell cameras, typical of the era, to complete the exhibit.                    



Dietrich Inc. was an American coachbuilder founded in 1925 by Raymond H. Dietrich (1894-1980), co-founder of LeBaron Incorporated in New York. He was a close friend to Edsel Ford who supported him by talking Fred Murray, owner of the Murray Body Corporation into partly financing the venture. Murray was itself a vendor of standard bodies to the Ford Motor Company, and hoped for an in-house source for designing and building custom bodies for luxury cars. Dietrich himself held 50% of the stock.

Dietrich, Inc. did substantial styling work for standard bodies for Packard, Franklin, and Erskine, a corporate make of Studebaker. Further, Dietrich, Inc. built custom bodies to single orders, and proposed semi-customs (similarly built as full customs, but in small lots of usually 5-10 units) for the catalogues of Lincoln (then headed by Edsel Ford) or Packard. Raymond Dietrich further was a design consultant with Packard.

By September 1930, Dietrich was out of his company. Dietrich, Inc. was closed in 1936; Raymond Dietrich became in 1932 the first head of design of Chrysler (until 1938).

Afterwards, he freelanced as Raymond H. Dietrich and finally Ray Dietrich Inc. One of his primary clients was the Checker Cab Manufacturing Company, (renamed Checker Motors Corporation in 1958) in Kalamazoo, MI. while at Checker he partnered with Auburn engineer Herb Snow and developed the ill-fated front wheel drive, transverse engine Model "D" Checker prototype. Dietrich was also instrumental in designing the Checker Model A2 introduced in the fall of 1947. Dietrich's office at Checker remained untouched years after his death.

Dietrich retired to Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1960 at the age of 66. At the time, Kalamazoo was the home of Gibson Guitars. In 1962, Gibson boss Ted McCarty, convinced Dietrich to come out of retirement to design a new solid body electric guitar that would not be limited by the traditional ways of designing and engineering an electric guitar. The result was the classic, 'reverse' Gibson Firebird, released in 1963, one of the most iconic and recognizable electric guitar designs ever.



June 21, 2016

                              DSC05580     DSC05581     Camera Car Front with rails 2

From Under the Rainbow,
Orion (1981)
Under the Rainbow 1981 1
Under the Rainbow 1981 2
Under the Rainbow 1981 3

Examples of Studio Camera Car Pictures Courtesy of Marc Wanamaker

        Camera Cars 20thCFox 1945 Insert Car010  Camera Cars Lone Pine location Republic Gene Autry at Lone Pine Down Mexico Way or Trail to San Antone   Camera Cars Paramount 1939 on location at Lone Pine California003   Camera Car RR pic

Transporter Pictures
Pick up July 5, 2016 Shawnee, Oklahoma Delivered Lone Pine - July 11th..............................

                   Randy Loading 7 Shawnee 72 dpi 7 5 2016 Randy Loading 9 Shawnee 72 DPI 7 5 2016 Randy Loading 10 Shawnee72 DPI 7 5 2016

                   Randy Loading 6 Shawnee 72 DPI 7 5 2016 Randy Loading 3 Shawnee 72 DPI 7 5 2016 Randy Loading 8 Shawnee 72 DPI 7 5 2016

Orignal 1928 Lincoln Model 147-A 4 Passenger Sedan

1928 147 A Sedan




August 6-7  Remove rails, knuckles, & lights

                             Camera Car Front less rails 8 7 2016  Camera Car Driver Side less rails 8 7 2016Camera Car Back less rails 8 7 2016

UPDATE: August 25
Car went to Bishop last weekend for Sandblasting @ Brown Salvage (Thanks Doug Brown) Started today - Here are a few videos. They will finish by Monday then goes to Inyo Mono Body Shop (Thanks Tib) for primer and final Black coat!

NOTE: CLICK ON 4 arrows icon right of "HD" to go full screen

BEFORE & AFTER PICS - Roll cursor over pics

Fender BEFORE 72 SidePanel BEFORE  
 Wheel BEFORE 72    

Camera Car 1942 Republic Pictures

More on Camera Cars : Article Location Update Magazine - "On A Roll with Camera Cars"
Click Above to Read

Thank you to the following friends who made financial donations (over $6000 raised) and/or provided services towards acquiring and restoration work on the Lincoln. To the Museum Board for further financial support and to Browns Salvage in Bishop for sandblasting and Inyo Mono Body Shop in Bishop for paint job.

David Achzet
Holly  Ames
Jim  Bonslett
Jerry N  Bransom
Doug  Brown
Jeff Burton
Gilbert Calhoun
Tommy Cray
Gale Creasman
Candace  Cuhlmeyer
Doty DeeWain
Earl Evans
Dassve Filipo
Larry  Floyd
Dan  Gillespie
Tommy Hiatt
Art  Hickman
Denise Holden
Dave  Hulbert
James  Jennings
Peter Korngiebel
Dorothy Kosich
JoAnn LaMar
Debra Longenbaugh
Earl ltd
Peter Mason
Janet McKenzie
Dave  Mull
Lee Nashold
Gregory Parker
Ron Ranson
Jeff  Ray
Jack & Nancy Reed
Michael Riese
Jamie  Schamp
Jerome Selmer
Joseph Sherwood
Linda  Sherwood
Dennis Taylor
Debra Van Hyfte
Dean Vander Wall
Sherill VanSickle
Frosty Walker
Marc Wanamaker
Bob  White
Jay Dee Whitney
Tib Wilkinson
Scarlett  Wirtt
Page Williams
Richard  Wren
K.C. Wylie


Contact Info

The Museum of Western Film History
701 S. Main Street
Lone Pine, CA 93545