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Columbo's Car

While Death lends a Hand was in the planning stages, Levinson and Link decided that Columbo should have a dilapidated car to fit his personality. Falk resisted this idea. Columbo already had the wife, the cigar and the raincoat. That was enough. No more gimmicks were needed. Peter looked at cars on the Universal backlot there was every make and model imaginable he did not like any of them. It was the day before they were to start shooting way at the back  "I just saw the nose of a car sticking out", it didn’t even run, it did not have an engine but Falk said "This is the one".

The car was the closest thing the series had to a regular supporting player. It would appear in most of the episodes. Twice the car was involved in accidents: a fender-bender at the beginning of A Matter of Honor and a spectacular collision with speeding police cars in Make me a perfect Murder. In several episodes, the car serves as a rich source of humor Short Fuse, Etude in Black, Negative reaction.

After Columbo ended its NBC run, Falk remained convinced that the car was safely stored on the Universal backlot where he first recognized the automobile that must belong to Lieutenant Columbo. When ABC announced plans to revive Columbo in 1988, Link discovered that Universal had sold the car. Parties in Florida and San Diego claimed to have the original Peugeot. The car was found in Ohio.


Sent to us by Ted Kerin

Question 1. What is Columbo's NEW license plate number?
Question 2. What kind of car does Columbo drive?
Question 3. How many of Columbo's model of car does he claim are in the USA?
Question 4. Where is the cap to the gas tank in Columbo's car?
Question 5. What kind of tires does Columbo put on his car?

Picture sent to us by Nico Trenti


Any Old Port in a Storm ( 1973 )

Valet: Boy you sure don't see many of these things around.
Columbo: I've got over 100,000 miles on it. You take care of your car, it'll take care of you.

Candidate for Crime ( 1973 )

Policeman: You ever consider getting another car?
Columbo: I've got another car. My wife drives it. But that's nothing special   just transportation.

A friend in Deed ( 1974 )

Charlie Shoup ( used car salesman ): Yes, indeed. It's a real honey. You know we   don't get to see many of these around anymore - especially in this condition.
Columbo: Well, I try to take good care of it.

Q. What is the make, model and year of that old wreck Peter Falk drives in the
    "Columbo TV movies"?

A. Like the 70-year-old Falk himself, that beat-up vehicle on Columbo seems to get better with age. It's a 1959 Peugeot convertible, Model 403. Only 504 were produced in France, and Falk's production company owns two (the second is used as a backup car). Despite their dilapidated appearance, the cars are treated with kid gloves.

During location shooting around Los Angeles, the dusty gray autos are carefully transported on trail-ers. Incidentally, last month's ABC movie "A Trace of Murder", which marked the 25th year on TV for Columbo, co-starred Peter Falk's real-life wife, Shera Danese, 47, as the murder suspect's wife.

For more information on Columbo's Car please visit the Scrapbook

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