Ozzy Osbourne to Ozzie Nelson: A Look at Famous Fathers and Their Superstar Cars
(BI) Susanna Daniel
COSTA MESA, Calif. -- From the squeaky clean Cleaver clan to the outrageous Osbournes, we Americans love our TV families.
And no matter how perfect or peculiar, we've always had a passion for guys like Mike Brady and Andy Griffith -- famous fathers who knew how to run the show.
Those same Dads had a passion too -- a love for the automobile, and if you take a look at past and present shows of the small-screen, you're sure to find a car or two that made its 'acting debut.'
Mike Brady, The Brady Bunch
The infamous head of the Brady clan drove a variety of different vehicles during the show's run, from a 1968 Dodge Polara convertible to a 1973 Chevy Caprice convertible. Probably the most memorable, however, was his 1971 Plymouth Barracuda convertible with an MSRP of $3,124. Today, that same car's high retail value is $51,800 -- one heck of an investment for a guy with six kids, a house in the suburbs and a live-in maid.
Ward Cleaver, Leave it to Beaver
Beaver Cleaver kept his family on their toes with his innocent antics. It makes sense, then, that his dad Ward would seek refuge on the open highway in his beloved car -- a 1961 Plymouth Fury 4-door hardtop. Back then, the car sold for around $2,777. Today, that same vehicle would sell for $6,475. Not exactly the investment Mike Brady made, but definitely not a loss. This should make Ward (who some speculate was an accountant on the show) pretty darn happy.
Sheriff Andy Taylor, The Andy Griffith Show
Ah, the good 'ole days of Mayberry, where life for Opie, Andy and Deputy Barney Fife was about as warm as Aunt Bee's hugs. And who could forget Andy and Barney's squad car -- a Ford Galaxie. Rumor has it a nearby Ford dealer would supply the set with cars free-of-charge and every time a new model came out, the show's old Galaxie was returned to the dealer where it was re-painted and sold. Let's say Mayberry's top crime fighters drove a 1963 Galaxie. Its price tag back then? $2,562. It's high retail price today? About $9,000. (LoJack not included).
Ozzie Nelson, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
Not much is written about the Nelson family car, although urban legend has it a 1932 Ford Roadster appeared in two episodes. Seems Ozzie's son Ricky was desperate to buy the car with earnings from the show (what kid wouldn't want a car like that), but like most fathers of that generation, Ozzie put his foot down and firmly refused. Today, a 1932 Ford Roadster, similar to the one that appeared on the show, sells for $46,500 high retail. In 1932, you could buy one for right around $460. Maybe Ozzie should have put his foot down on the Roadster's accelerator instead.
Ricky Ricardo, I Love Lucy
Don't tell Lucy, but it seems Ricky had another love ... his red & white 1955 Pontiac Star Chief convertible. Mr. and Mrs. Ricardo took their '55 Pontiac cross country from New York to California in episode #110, entitled "California Here We Come." With 180 horsepower and a hydra-matic transmission, its price tag in 1955 was $2,691. Today, a '55 Pontiac Star Chief convertible sells for about $56,500. No wonder we love Lucy ... and Ricky, for that matter.
Al Bundy, Married with Children
Al Bundy's not a sports car kinda' guy. In fact, he hates his job, his wife is lazy and his kids are a dysfunctional bunch. About the only thing he DOES like is reminiscing about his high school football days and his Dodge Dart (which dates back about as far). Sources say Al thought his '72 Dart was the color brown, but after a car wash in episode #917, it turns out the car was red after all. The vehicle's original price tag -- $2,420 and what it would sell for today -- $6,175. This guy just can't catch a break.
Ozzy Osbourne, The Osbournes
He's been dubbed the 'Prince of Darkness' -- not exactly an Ozzie Nelson-type, but modern-day families have fallen in love with (and can seemingly relate to) Ozzy Osbourne. This quirky Brit and his 'eccentrically normal' family -- Sharon the wife, Kelly the daughter and Jack the son -- have become favorites among younger generations. So what does a multi-millionaire Beverly Hills rock star resident drive (or rather, ride in)? A limousine, of course. Seems you can buy a Matchbox replica of Ozzy's limo on eBay these days. The price tag for a 2003 black Cadillac? About $75,000. Forget the Crazy Train -- Ozzy knows how to ride in style.
Tony Soprano, The Sopranos
He's ruthless. He's powerful. He's a ... Dad? Tony Soprano might be a hardcore mob boss, but he's a softy when it comes to his kids -- and, it seems, GM sport utility vehicles. Ever since the show's debut, he's owned various SUVs, including a red Chevy Suburban and two Cadillac Escalades. His most recent ride, a 2003 Cadillac Escalade ESV, sold for $57,620 new (with all the bells and whistles). Ba-Da-Bing.
Hulk Hogan, Hogan Knows Best
Believe it or not, Hogan knows best and Hogan knows cars. This modern day Dad owns an impressive car collection, including a 1994 'Hulkster Viper' (with yellow stripes), a 1996 Viper GTS and a 1998 Toyota Supra TT. Our favorite? A candy apple red 1957 Chevy Bel Air 2-door hardtop sport coupe (one heck of a 40th birthday present). With an MSRP of only $2,399, this car's high retail price today is about $45,400. In the ring or on the road, big muscles or muscle cars, we like Hulk's style.