History of BB #1 (Part II)
Life For BB #1 After The Green Hornet
In February of 1969, BB #1 was registered in Santa Monica, California, to a Dorothy Evans Egbert. Mrs. Egbert, it turns out, was the ex-mother-in-law of former Fox Studio employee, Edward Arter. Mr. Arter went on to become a transportation director in the film & television industry for many years.
Ed recently confirmed that he purchased BB #1 directly from the studio (it never went to auction) for the grand sum of $500! At the time, he was employed by Fox as a mechanic. Ed explained that he had worked with both Black Beautys on the set... as well as with the Mockup car on the soundstage! Constructed primarily of wood, the Mockup “car” was a glorified prop. It was used for close-up filming inside of “The Black Beauty” and could be pulled apart as needed for camera and lighting placement. It was also used for some tight exterior shots (scanner deployment and like scenes). According to a contact at Fox, the Mockup car eventually went to Japan.
Mr. Arter relayed that he found nothing of interest inside BB #1 after he took ownership (e.g. props, paperwork, etc.) It was empty. He also confirmed that BOTH Black Beautys were fully functional. BB #1 was the primary vehicle used for "Hero" work, but BB #2 was also utilized a good deal of the time... and not mainly for promotion, as once believed.
Ed Arter had fun owning BB #1, but the police generally weren't happy about it being on the road. It became necessary for him to add sidelights, mirrors and such to make the car street legal. Ed further explained that he had also fiberglassed over the rear gas gun… removed the rockets… and threw all of the excess away.
Due to an increasing number of people gawking at the car, Ed wisely moved BB #1 over to his in-laws' place. As a matter of privacy, he registered it in his mother-in-law's name… which kept the public from knowing where to find it. This lends creedence to the above document, which shows a woman as the owner: "Dorothy Evans Egbert".
Ed Arter later divorced his wife. In a not-so-uncommon breakup scenario, she burned all of his photos of BB #1… along with numerous other keepsakes. C'est la vie.
Enter The Dragon...
In 1992, after years of sitting exposed to the elements, BB #1 found a new home with Daniel "J.R." Goodman.
Ed Arter explained that he'd met J.R. while out riding his motorcycle. Goodman had a nice bike, so Ed first considered a trade of BB #1 for J.R.'s motorcycle. That discussion fell through, however, and J.R. purchased the car from Ed for $10,000. This was Arter’s account of that time; however, Goodman disputes Ed’s recollection.
Badly deteriorated, BB #1 was taken straight to Dean Jeffries for assessment. Mr. Jeffries undertook an extensive restoration of the vehicle, and the job was finished in February of 1994. Unfortunately, there was a disagreement between Mr. Goodman and Mr. Jeffries over the restoration's final bill. A court case ensued. As with any disagreement, there are always two sides. The details of this dispute are between those individuals involved and will not be recounted here.
While in Mr. Goodman's possession, BB #1 was widely publicized. It was shown at a number of venues and featured in newspaper & magazine articles. The restored car was also on display at his home, where fans would often stop by to take a look at it.
Next Up, Louis Ringe…
On February 16, 1999, BB #1 was sold to Louis Ringe. Once again, the car was returned to Dean Jeffries for some revisions and corrections. During Mr. Ringe's ownership, BB #1 was shown at several events, and was even brought to the 2000 MoPar Nationals Car Show in Columbus, Ohio.
BB #1 was also featured in the Brentwood released DVD, "The Green Hornet". A 15-minute featurette, hosted by Ringe, showcased all of The Black Beauty's unique mechanical features.
Several magazine articles were also published at this time, and the car was also on a limited loan for display at Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA.
The Final Stop…
Louis Ringe was eventually approached by unnamed investors (entrepreneurs) who were interested in purchasing the car. Terms were agreed upon and the vehicle again changed hands.
On December 12, 2003, BB #1 was sold at the 'Profiles In History' auction in Los Angeles, California, for a reported $192,050.
The purchaser was none other than Robert Petersen (of Petersen Automotive Museum). Mr. Petersen placed BB #1 on display at that time. Despite his passing in 2007, The Black Beauty remains on permanent display in the museum.
Vintage photos of The Green Hornet and Kato w/ The Black Beauty No.1
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