Corvette News - VOL. 5 NO. 5 - 1962

Coming soon on Ohio66:
“Starring George Maharis” - by Rick Dailey

Ohio66 presents an in-depth look at the circumstances surrounding the departure of George Maharis from route 66 in the middle of the third season.

preview Starring George Maharis


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Filming a series, built in part around a car, presents some special technical problems. The solutions, in the main, are quite interesting. Running close-up shots in the Corvette, where Tod and Buz are talking, are filmed from the back of the station wagon. A tow-bar is used for these sequences. The Corvette is permanently wired for sound. Sound recording equipment is mounted in the station wagon, and dialogue is picked up by mikes hidden under their shirts. For these shots, faces are lighted with two, and sometimes three, tiny lights attached to the windshield header. Small enough to be completely hidden from the camera, their filaments handle 750 watts each and get hot enough to be thoroughly uncomfortable. Power is provided by a generator in the station wagon.

For rear running shots one of the other cars is used, often a Corvair with the front trunk lid removed. Once, while filming a race sequence at Riverside in California, the second Corvette was used as a camera car to catch the action while turning the track at close to 100 mph.

To control headlight intensity for night shots, a special rheostat switch has been wired into the headlight circuit. Dulling spray is used extensively to reduce the glare and reflection from the Corvette's bright metal trim and body finish.

Two identically equipped Corvettes are used in the filming of the series, one of them on a standby and utility basis. Together, they have logged well over 10,000 actual film miles. These are rough miles, indeed. Route 66 locations are not picked for their smooth roads. The men who work with them are very impressed with the way the show's Corvettes have taken the punishment. Mechanically, they rarely need more than minor adjustments. Particularly impressive, and important, is the way its fiber-glass body reacts to hard knocks. In one sequence, a giant sheet of plate glass was shattered on the hood. The total damage was a few infinitesimal scratches. This adds up to considerable time and money saved in the long run. "Furthermore," says Al Schultz, Transportation Captain, "even when the body is damaged seriously, the fiber glass will crack before it will spring a door or trunk lid."

Not the least of Corvette's admirers is George Maharis, who has one of his own. George, so the story goes, took up sports car driving as a hobby upon his return from Israel, where he played in Exodus. He quickly established a reputation as a highly capable amateur driver. It was this combination of talents that attracted the attention of Bert Leonard, who signed Maharis for the part of Buz Murdock.

Although the pace of filming Route 66 doesn't leave much free time, George has managed to rack up over 14,000 miles between locations. His black Corvette, with a removable hardtop which he rarely removes, has a red interior. It is equipped with the 360-hp engine, coupled with 4-speed transmission and a 4:11 axle. And as Maharis says, quite simply, "It's a bomb. I like it."

(e) Electrician Bill Carey wires tiny, but powerful, lamps to the Corvette's windshield header. Wire screen provides ventilation. (f) Dulling spray is applied to cut the amount of reflection from the car's bright surfaces. (g) George Maharis poses with his black Corvette between takes on the service drive at Marineland.

See the original page 27 here...

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