Movie Cars from set of 'Public Enemies,' 'Road to Perdition'

June 19, 2009 5:15:04 AM PDT
"I have been told on numerous occasions by movie makers that if it weren't for car owners like us, who preserve and maintain these vehicles, it would be impossible for them to produce period motion pictures. "The recent film "Public Enemies", used over 100 vintage cars in the production of this film. Maybe a half dozen of these cars will truly be noticed. The majority will just be a part of the theme, not attracting any attention, but an integral part of the story.

"This is what separates these cars from the typical "collector cars". The majority of car enthusiasts strive to make their car stand out, be recognized and be striking in appearance. This typically is what the film makers don't want. Movie cars are chosen to establish the period. In every scene, the film maker has a focal point he is trying to establish and does not want any distractions of any kind. Film makers will typically "age" our cars prior to filming. This means they get wet down, sprayed with dust, white wall tires are painted black along with any bright colored wheels. This alone would usually cause Cardiac Arrest in the typical car owner. It's a part of the deal, it washes off !

"The vintage of our cars is 1928 to 1931. Most of the films that would call for this vintage car are Depression Era or gangster films. Kind of a dark time in history and definitely not up beat. Therefore they are usually looking for dark colored cars with not very distinctive body styles but different from one another so they don't all look alike. Sometimes they will take a distinctive style or color, but once it is seen by the camera, it is usually done. They usually don't want to risk the vehicle being recognized again. All four of these vehicles were used in "Public Enemies" filming for 14 to 16 days. Sometimes street traffic, sometimes parked at the curb and other times blocking some modern object which couldn't be moved from the camera eye)" - Bob Steinmetz.

Bob Steinmetz - Oak Forest, IL - 1929 Ford, Model A, Town Sedan. Bob added this car to his collection eight years ago. In addition to being used in the making of "Public Enemies", this car has appeared in the History Channel production "Forensic Firsts". Additionally, the car and driver appear in the Bill Kurtis production "Taking Out Capone" which appeared on the History Channel. Some of Bobs' other cars were used in the making of "Road to Perdition", Children on their Birthdays", "The Express" and the WTTW South Suburbs Special. Bob was also an extra in the film, "Weatherman".

Tim Dionne - St. John, IN. - 1929 Ford, Modfel A, Tudor. This car is in the fourth photo I sent showing the sedan on LaSalle Street. Tim has owned this car since the early 1970's. Tim and his car were used in the filming of "Road to Perdition". In fact, they appear in the closing scene of the film, driving thru the country as a helicopter mounted camera pulls away. Tim also appeared as the mechanic at the St. Valentines Day Massacre in a History Channel program. Tim has used other of his vehicles in the Chicago filming of "Weatherman" and "The Express".

Wally Ekstrom - Crete, IL - 1931 Ford, Model A, Slant Windshield Victoria. This car is in the second photo I sent with the machine gun guy. Wally added this car to his collection about two years ago. "Public Enemies" is the film debut for this car but Wally has used other of his vehicles in the filming of "Weatherman" as well as two cars in "Road to Perdition".

Phil Serviss - Beecher, IL - 1931 Ford, Model AA, Stake Body Truck. This is the truck in the first photo I sent you. Phil has owned this truck for the past 10 years. The truck had its' theater debut as a stage prop in a community theater production of "Grapes of Wrath". "Public Enemies" is the film debut for this truck. Phil has had a long history involved with film making dating back to "The Last of the Mohegans". Phil and another of his cars were used in the filming of "Road to Perdition".

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