My Mother, The Car

September 14, 1965 – September 6, 1966
30 half hour episodes (1 season) on CBS in color
Created by: Allan Burns and Chris Hayward
Filmed at: United Artists Television, Hollywood, CA


  • Jerry Van Dyke – Dave Crabtree
  • Maggie Pierce – Barbara Crabtree
  • Avery Schreiber – Captain Bernard Manzini
  • Cindy Eilbacher – Cindy Crabtree
  • Randy Whipple – Randy Crabtree
  • Voice of the car (Gladys Crabtree) – Ann Sothern
  • The car – 1928 Porter


Opening Theme

“My Mother, the Car”
Written and performed by: Paul Hampton

Everybody knows in a second life, we all come back sooner or later.
As anything from a pussycat to a man eating alligator.
Well you all may think my story, is more fiction than it’s fact.
But believe it or not my mother dear decided she’d come back.

As a car …
She’s my very own guiding star.
A 1928 Porter.
That’s my mother dear.
‘Cause she helps me through everything I do
And I’m so glad she’s near.

My Mother the Car.
My Mother the car.


Dave Crabtree (Jerry Van Dyke) is a happy successful attorney who while shopping for a family car hears one of the cars talk to him, unfortunately it happens to be a dilapidated old 1928 Porter. Of course he buys it and later discovers that it is the reincarnation of his deceased mother, Gladys Crabtree .

Dave is the only person that the car will talk to and his family is none to happy about him going out for a station wagon and coming home with this wreck. He takes it to the shop and has it totally restored convincing his family that it’s a valuable antique. His wife Barbara  (Maggie Pierce)gives in and the kids learn to love their new antique car.

As it turns out, it really is a valuable antique and an unscrupulous collector Captain Bernard Manzini  (Avery Schreiber) wants to get his hands on it at any cost, or underhanded scheme. This situation lends itself to some of the better comedy in the show.

Mom manages to give Dave good advice about his family and job and she is a big part of keeping Captain Manzini’s from getting his hands on her.

It was a good premise that just didn’t work. Maybe viewers didn’t buy the whole reincarnation thing or maybe they did and were just too freaked out about their mothers coming back to haunt them that they tuned the show out. Just to let you know, Jerry Van Dyke turned down Gilligan’s Island to do this.

Video Clip of My Mother, The Car


Maggie Pierce died in 2010, she was 78
Avery Schreiber died of complications from diabetes in 2002, he was 66
Ann Sothern passed away in 2001 of heart failure, she was 92


The 1928 Porter was actually built of parts from three different car models.
Two of them were built. One had removable floors and hidden mirrors that allowed a stunt man to drive the car without being seen so it appeared that Mother was driving herself!