On Location Classics: Vintage Cars On Camera In Greenwich Village

My most recent return to the US had a cinematic twinge to it. For example, I got to have a huge fanboy moment by visiting the Paramount Ranch in Malibu and seeing some of the sets used in the mesmerizing HBO drama Westworld (among other shows, including Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman). And, on the other side of the country, my friend TJ and I stumbled upon a collection of period vehicles in a film shoot in Greenwich Village.

Having lived in New York City, I’m no stranger to film shoots. You generally don’t stop to look unless you’re a fan of the show being filmed (and most New Yorkers probably wouldn’t stop at all). Or, as Curbivores may appreciate, you stop if you see some vintage cars.

My friend Jason took some photos of a film shoot in the Lower East Side a few years ago which I shared here. Many of the comments you left highlighted how the selection of cars seemed incongruous. I’m very easily distracted when a period-incorrect car appears in a TV show or movie but many of you argued that, while the featured cars were of the correct time period, many of them were a little too clean for 1970s New York City. I was thinking about your comments when I walked past this film shoot.

I have no idea what was being filmed and I’m perplexed why some of the cars were much older than the others and why some of them wore Utah plates. The earliest this production must be set would be 1960 based on the dashing Imperial in the background. Would any Model A Ford be looking as good in 1960 as the one in the lead photo?

Then there’s the usual issue: the cars look just too damned clean. I wonder what some productions do – if they do anything – to make vehicles look older. Do you just throw some dirt on or do you tinker with some CGI as is often done to remove anachronistic shopfronts and signage?

Tell me: does this street scene look right for New York City, circa 1960?