Old Cars Weekly recognizes Mayberry car
Dorchester native Ken Anderson’s 1965 Ford Galaxie — a replica of Barnie Fife’s squad car from The Andy Griffth Show — was recently named one of Old Car Weekly’s “Cars of the Decade.”
The black-and-white Galaxie purchased by Anderson in 2010 is on a list that includes Jay Leno’s 1931 Duesenberg Model J and other classics such as a Mike Kurtzweil’s 1958 Jaguar Mark VIII.
The Stevens Point-based publication recently selected about a dozen cars and their owners for a rundown of the top restored vehicles from the 2010s decade. Old Cars Weekly, which can be found online at www.oldcarsweekly.com, first featured Anderson’s Galaxies in a 2014 article.
Editor Brian Earnest said the cars were chosen for the list for a variety of reason, such as their “cool back stories” and the “fantastic” owners who have special connections to their vehicles.
The following excerpt from the Feb. 19 “Cars of the Decade” feature was written by Old Cars editor Brian Earnest and his staff: Ken Anderson has long been a devoted fan of The Andy Griffith Show and all it stood for, but that connection reached a whole new level in 2010 when he added his Mayberry memorabilia collection — a replica sheriff’s car. The ‘65 Ford isn’t quite an exact match for the cars used in the show’s sixth season — when the series finally went color — but it’s close.
Anderson’s car is a Galaxie 500, while the car used on the show was a base-level Custom sedan. But the car looks great, is wonderfully authentic, and more than fills the bill at the many appearances Anderson makes each in year, in full police uniform, spreading the Mayberry gospel.
According to Anderson, the Galaxie 500 had originally been all white and was converted to a Mayberry TV car clone by a man in Tennessee. The Ford has the proper back-and-white paint job, police decals, siren vintage Motorola police radio, and single flashing red light on the roof.
“Mt. Pilot Ford, Mt. Pilot, N.C.” is stenciled on the edge of the trunk lid for some added authenticity. He even has an authentic “JL 327” North Carolina license plates.
Many of Anderson’s appearances involve taking kids for rides and letting them crawl around in the car and test the siren and light.
“I guess I’m not as careful as I would if it was totally restored,” he admits. “I want it to look like a police car. It’s my fun thing and I want to be able to use it.”