Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Professional Stuntman Invitational: Here's a car you probably haven't seen ... at least in person ...

You know, we're always so amazed at the creativity we see when we attend car shows such as this past weekend's Professional Stuntman Invitational in Concord, N.C. Oh sure, we get used to seeing the beautiful blazin'-orange General Lees and the abundance of sheriff's cars from "The Dukes of Hazzard." We also note the occasional Daisy Jeep, or Boss Hogg Caddy. The "Back to the Future" car tends to pop up now and then. But today, our coverage of the Invitational continues as we take a look at a quite unique vehicle making one of its first car-show appearances.

Take a close look, now. Does it remind you of anything? Maybe a movie you saw once ... maybe in your youth ... back in the '80s? Maybe the first of a series of movies ... starring Chevy Chase?

Yes, it's the Family Truckster of National Lampoon's "Vacation." Or a very nice replica of it. Right down to the luggage and the ... er, family member ... on the roof (not a real family member, of course! or even a real person! and take heart -- there was no dog on the leash in the back!).

Gary Schneider, known so well in the "Dukes of Hazzard" community for his General Lee story, brought this attention-getter to the show. He tells BRBTV he's owned the car for about a year, and he just completed it a month ago. He's taken it to a couple other car shows around his local Chicago area, but this is the first bigger show for the Truckster, which also made some laps around the track at the Concord Motorsports Park on Saturday. And this beauty didn't get trailered here like some of the other unique autos -- it made the drive itself, all the way from Chicago.

Designed by George Barris, the Wagon Queen Family Truckster was a fictional car created for the 1983 movie and based on a Ford LTD Country Squire station wagon. Schneider's is actually a 1986 model, which he says is the same body style as 1983. Don Schisler, former transportation director of "The Dukes of Hazzard" who just recently passed away, also served as the process car driver in "Vacation" and inspired Gary to build the car. Schisler provided him with a rarity -- the only known remaining crown emblem from the cars. You can see some construction photos of the Truckster at

And just so ya know ... it might seem like it, but this is not the only Family Truckster out there. At least one more exists, Schneider says, in Missouri.

Besides the Truckster, there were plenty of other star cars inside the track for the event, such as Herbie, the "Smokey and the Bandit" Trans Am and, of course, lots'o Lees ...

Photos by Billie Rae Bates / BRBTV
Copying with credit is OK; a link would be grand

No comments: