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Last Update: 11-20-2016
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I Love Cars - So There, Ralph Nader!

Jean Shepherd's America - Season 2

June 25, 1985

"I LOVE CARS, SO THERE, RALPH NADER!" It' s fantasy-fulfillment time as Shepherd supervises the assembly line where his Ford Mustang is taking form and climbs behind the driver's wheel of a 1924 Dusenberg to race none other than the legendary "Duke" Nalon in his 1929 Packard Touring Car at the Indy 500. "I Love Cars - So There, Ralph Nader!" is Shepherd's definitive statement on America's love of four-wheeled motion .
Fan Comments
[ Courtesy: Pete Delaney - 09-18-2016 ]
A loving tribute to the American automobile, "Our silver chalice of freedom and personal mobility!'' with none of the anti -family rhetoric of the two 1971 episodes about driving. At a Ford assembly plant Jean watches as his new fire engine red convertible is constructed before his eyes. This is an important vehicle for him as the Shepherd family purchase of a convertible was vetoed by his mother some 50 years earlier. Shep is given the rare honor of turning the ignition key of his new Ford for the first time and then is allowed to drive the car on the testing grounds. Shep enacts another automotive honor when he and a classic Deusenberg challenge legendary Indy 500 driver Duke Nalon and his lethal Packard to a race around the Indianapolis Speedway. Shep's third car fantasy come true sees him racing his car along the sands of Daytona Beach. Like the 1971"Beer'' episode, there's clips from commercials including a great old spot from the 1960s where a nerdy guy gets nostalgic about his trade- in. Just before the show ends with a roll call of great car names we see the ultimate end-of-the-road: an auto junkyard.
Additional Comments:
Music played on the show: Muzak version of "How Gentle Is The Rain" Theme from the movie "The Great Race" "Bahn Frei" Eduard Strauss *********************************************************************************************** In the 1985 Press Kit Shep wrote a small piece The Devil Has All the Best Lines by Jean Shepherd I'm not one for fantasies. In fact, I can't honestly say that l've ever consciously had one. As a kid, I never fantasized that I was Joe DiMaggio or Mickey Mantle or Humphrey Bogart. Sure I admired them. But fantasizing that I was them? Never. But there are things that we all secretly would like to have done-or have been had time and circumstances allowed. I wonder how it would have felt to have been a knight during the reign of Richard The Lion-Hearted, or a buHalo hnnter on the Great Plains in the days of Cochise. I've always seen television, at least my television, as a kind of magic wand. You can go places and do things that nobody in his right mind could ever pull off. For example, who among us has never wanted to visit Death Valley? Now there's a romantic name. Death Valley Soottyl The 20-mule team! .All of that. Well, why not go? And not just as a visitor, but as a participant. So, in my new public television series, I played the role of a grizzled prospector struggling across the salt flats under the blazing sun, my only companion my faithful burro Flower. Who wouldn't like to do that? And what red-blooded male hasn't always secretly wanted to turn a few laos at Indianapolis - the Brickyard- the home of the legendary 500? Why not? So seated in a magnificent million-dollar Dusenberg, in another of my new shows dressed in the costume of an early Indy race driver, I raced against the heroic "Duke" Nalon, a real race driver of the Indy's glory days. What a gas! How 'bout playing the Dev.il, with cape and sinister Palm Beach hat, visiting night time New Orleans for a little recreation and a field trip to see how sin is progressing on earth? We did, and 1 can tell you l began to feel that I was typecast as Satan by the end of the shoot. I loved it. As George Bernard Shaw said, "The Devil has all the best lines." Fantasies? No. Television is magic, and I love it.

Production Information:
Studio / Network: WGBH - Snow Pond Productions
Director: Fred Barzyk
Asst Director:
Producer: Olivia Tappan, Leigh Brown
Executive Producer:
Running Time:
Links to Further Information:
• Season 2 Press Kit
Photos:


May 1985
Article from the 1985 Jean Shepherd's America press kit which appeared in West Michigan magazine

Courtesy: Steve Glazer

    
Screenshots:

Jean Shepherd's America - Cars

Jean Shepherd's America - Cars

Jean Shepherd's America - Cars

Jean Shepherd's America - Cars

Jean Shepherd's America - Cars

Jean Shepherd's America - Cars

Jean Shepherd's America - Cars

Jean Shepherd's America - Cars