‘Wonderful Life’ movie taxi visits AACA Museum

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Post-movie patina was preserved during taxi's mechanical restoration | AACA Museum photo

Though it’s not a car movie, there is a vehicle that plays a role in the beloved holiday movie It’s a Wonderful Life. The vehicle is Ernie’s GMC Taxi, which carries a despondent George Bailey, portrayed by actor James Stewart, around his hometown of Bedford Falls.

That taxi, a 1930 model, went on display last week at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and will remain there for viewing through February 2019, the museum said.

After the filming, the taxi was privately owned by a man who planned to restore the vehicle. However, upon reaching age 82, he realized that wasn’t going to happen, so he sold the vehicle, which became part of Nicola Bulgari’s collection. The NB Center for American Automotive Heritage restored the vehicle mechanically but kept the interior and exterior patina.

The taxi is displayed at the museum through the NB Center and the Historic Vehicle Association.It

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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