We are counting down the Top 50 hot rods and street cars of all time that have made an appearance in a television series, or a memorable television episode. Starting from #50, and counting down to our #1 pick, follow along with our memories, and see where your favorite show lands.
19. Home Improvement: 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad
If there was one thing viewers could count on when watching “Home Improvement,” starring Tim Allen, it was an endless parade of bitchin’ cars that ended up either on his Tool Time program with sidekick Al Borland (Richard Karn), or in his home garage. The envy of every car man or woman, the rides were always in some need of work, and thankfully Tim was good with tools! Yeah, right. If you know the show, everything he touches either falls apart, blows up, or is forever ruined (most of the time).
With so many cars, it was a challenge to pick just one for the countdown. Looking back, you might be surprised to see the many makes and models … we certainly forgot a few! Consider these: 1933 Ford Roadster, 1946 Ford Custom, 1966 Ford Mustang, 1977 Chevrolet K-Series, a Boyd Coddington Aluma Coupe (the showdown drag race between Tim and Bob Villa who played himself in season three), Lola T94-00 Ford XB Galles Racing car, 1950 Mercury Coupe, 1967 Austin Healey 3000 (Jill buys it for herself and forbids Tim to drive it), 1967 Camaro, 1969 Chevy El Camino, 1953 Studebaker Commander Starliner hardtop, many classics from a tour of Jay Leno’s Garage (he famously played a mechanic in a guest role in season four), and more.
However, we pause on one vehicle in particular – a car that was used throughout the run of the television series, from 1991-1999. This red 1955 Bel Air Nomad was used in the show by Jill Taylor (Patricia Richardson) as her daily driver, until one day, Tim takes it to a job site to record an episode of Tool Time. Chaos ensues (naturally), and the crane Tim is learning to operate drops a steel beam from its hold, smashing the classic right down the center, from bonnet to boot.
Apparently, Tim, who is a car collector and passionate about classic cars, owned this one in real life. In the script his character said that rebuilding the Nomad would be a good reason to drop in a big-block, and make other upgrades. You gotta love art imitating life. It was sold at a charity auction in 2000-2001.