|The very first Route 66 Corvette.|
Surprisingly, though, the Corvette rarely had a prominent role in the plots. It did so in the series' debut 1960 episode "Black November," in which car troubles strand Tod and Buz in a very unfriendly Mississippi town. In another season one episode, "Eleven, the Hard Way," Tod sells his hubcaps to bankroll two gamblers (Walter Matthau and Edward Andrews) trying to save a small town. And, in the second season episode "Bird Cage on My Foot," a desperate drug addict (Robert Duvall) tries to steal the 'Vette in the opening scene.
|Tod's car looked pretty different by season 3.|
The color of the Corvettes has become the source of much discussion over the years. On the cover of a 1962 board game, the Corvette is cherry red and white.The DVD set covers opt for the light blue 'Vette. However, most sources state that, with the exception of the first episode, the cars were Fawn Beige or Saddle Tan because they reflected less light and thus photographed better.
I'm not a sport cars enthusiast, but have read where the luggage rack on the back of Tod's car was not an option offered by Chevrolet at the time. For me, one of the great mysteries of Route 66 was how Tod and Buz packed up all their belongings into the less-than-spacious Corvette. In at least one episode, Buz takes all his belongings off the luggage rack, implying perhaps that Tod kept his in the little trunk?
Whatever the model or color, there's no doubt that the Route 66 Corvette helped inspire a generation of sport cars enthusiasts. Even today, there are Corvette clubs, web sites, and Facebook pages named in honor of Route 66. Yet, despite its fame, the Corvette never held out for more money, never demanded more screen time, nor lobbied for its name in the credits. It was content to remain a snazzy supporting player--and, in that sense, it became the ultimate TV sidekick.
This post is part of the TV Sidekick Blogathon. Click here to read all the great posts about television's most beloved sidekicks!