BACK TO MAYBERRY: Local couple recreates classic Andy Griffith car

Published 6:30 pm Friday, June 14, 2019

Widower Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son Opie lived with Andy’s Aunt Bee in Mayberry, North Carolina. With virtually no crimes to solve, most of Andy’s time was spent philosophizing and “managing” Deputy Barney Fife.

Sound kind of ho-hum TV entertainment for today’s high-tech, “right now” world?

No way.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Andy Griffith Show, a situation comedy that aired on CBS from October 3,1960 until April 1, 1968, is one of the most popular re-runs on cable TV and is number one among blue collar workers.

Clyde Adamson and his wife Pat Williams Adamson grew up watching The Andy Griffith Show and, if it’s on TV, the couple is “glued to the tube.”

“It’s a TV show for people of our generation,” Pat said. “We grew up in our own Mayberry worlds and there was no better place to grow up. The Andy Griffith Show takes us back to our own Mayberrys.”

Clyde said it would “suit me just fine” to be back in a Mayberry.

“I’ve seen every episode of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and I don’t care how many times I see one, I enjoy it just as much as I did the first time.”

Clyde said he’s not exactly sure when they got bitten by the Mayberry

police car  bug. But he does know that its bite is contagious “because Pat’s got it, too.”

“I got it in my head that I wanted a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500,” Clyde said. “That’s the same kind of car as the Mayberry police car. So, we started looking, Pat and me.”

Looking was easy but finding a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 to buy was not that easy.

“We went all over and found several but most of them were too much money or were not in all that good of shape,” Clyde said. “One was just about what you would call a ‘wreck’ and they wanted a big price for it. We looked so long that I’d almost given up.”

Then, one day, the Adamsons got a call from a friend who alerted them to a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500 that was for sale in the Birmingham area.

“I thought this one would probably be a dead-end just like the others,” Pat said. “But I told Clyde that Birmingham was not that far so we might as well go see what they had.”

What “they had” was just what the Adamsons had been looking and hoping for and more.

“We did couldn’t believe what we were seeing,” Pat said.

Clyde was almost dumbfounded. Not only was the Ford Galaxie 500 his dream car, it was almost in mint condition.

“It was a one-owner car and had all of the original equipment,” he said. “Even the interior was original. I couldn’t believe it.”

And, the Ford Galaxie 500 had a story.

“The car belonged a young man, Donnie Murry, Jr.,” Pat said. “He told us the car had belonged to his grandparents, Eulys and Eula Hartley of  Ozark. His grandfather worked in a cotton mill and served in Europe during World War II.

“Donnie said his grandfather would only dive Fords. He purchased the Ford Galaxie 500 and took possession on December 19,1963. His grandfather died in the late 1960s in a car accident. He was driving his red Ford truck.”

Murry’s grandmother kept the car in Oneonta until her death in 1994.

“Donny inherited the Ford Galaxie 500 and took the car to Jefferson County and then to St. Clair County before he had decided to sell it,” Clyde said. “I knew it was probably not an easy thing for him to do but I was so happy he did. Donnie said he had enjoyed the car and he hoped and prayed that we would enjoy it, too.”

Clyde said he and Pat started enjoying the Galaxie the minute they saw it.

The couple had their dream car painted to look just like the Mayberry police car.

“When I get under the wheel I feel just like Barney Fife,” Clyde said, laughing. And Pat gets that Mayberry feeling and goosebumps pop out all over her. That’s the way life is when dreams come true, the couple said.