Mayberry Squad Car

From Mayberry Historical Society
Revision as of 22:06, 17 January 2016 by Anewsome (talk | contribs) (What is the tag number of the Mayberry patrol car?)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

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

What is the tag number of the Mayberry patrol car?

There were two tag numbers used over time on the Mayberry patrol car.

The most common license plate number is JL-327.

The tag number DC-269 appeared on three episodes. (Opie's Charity, Ellie Comes to Town, Andy the Matchmaker)