Mayberry Squad Car

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FAQ: Mayberry Squad Car

It was my understanding the squad car was a 1963 Ford Galaxie, but if the show started in 1960 how could this be? Is there more than one car? Or am I just incorrect in my knowledge?

The producers always used the newest model available for the squad car. The cars were supplied free of charge by a nearby Ford dealer, and whenever the next year's model came out, it was sent to the studio and the old one was returned to the dealer who re-painted it and sold it as a used car.

Altogether, there were about 10 different cars used throughout the run of the series and it's spin-offs. Almost all of them were Galaxie 4-door sedans, but in the "color" years they used a Ford Custom sedan part of the time. On Gomer Pyle -- USMC and Mayberry R.F.D., a Dodge squad car could occasionally be seen on the streets of Mayberry.

The pilot episode on Make Room for Daddy was a 1959 Ford.

My personal favorite of all the cars was the '63 model.

Does anyone know the police radio frequency of Mayberry? I do remember the long whip antenna on the Ford Galaxie police car....was that particular police car loaned to the show from another community?

That's a mighty interesting question! Let's see if we can get us a mighty interesting answer. For starters, the cars seen on the show were not real police cars. They were loaned to the studio by a nearby Ford dealer in exchange for a mention in the closing credits which read, "Automobiles furnished by Ford Motor Company." Each year, a new Ford sedan (usually a Galaxie) was furnished to be used as the squad car, and the old one was given back to the dealer who repainted it and sold it as a used car.

About the radio frequency, I can't help you much there, but I do know that the radio used in the squad car was a Motorola. The only episode I know of in which the car radio can be seen is #34, "Barney's Replacement." It is shown very, very briefly in a "missing" scene in which Barney shows Bob Rogers the equipment in the car. I showed this video clip to a Motorola dealer, who confirmed that it was a Motorola radio from the late 40s-early 50s era. He couldn't identify the exact model, though. It was decided the frequency was somewhere between 140-150 MHZ. (Lo band frequency...) In the 60's, most of the law enforcement frequencies were in that range.

--Answer above by Paul Mulik and Jack Fellenzer

The Police/ Public Service band of that era was 45 to 52mHz. This is why there is no such thing as TV channel #1 because the frequency range was already in use forPublic Service dating back to the FCC radio act of 1934. TV channel 2 is 53.5 to 59.5mHz. The idea was to “reclaim” TVchannel #1 later but so much surplus 2 way gear was available the FCC never gave Channel #1 to the TV broadcasters. The American Red Cross still uses some of this really old surplus VHF-LO equipment to this day.

A VHF-HI 150mHz ½ wave mobile antenna is about 2’ 6” tall.

A VHF-LO 50mHz ½ wave mobile antenna is about 7’ 6” tall.

--Answer above provided by Kevin McClure