Vernon's Elsa

Vernon's Elsa

Vernon car makes star appearance

Elsa the 1966 Dodge Coronet is about to become famous.

Elsa the 1966 Dodge Coronet is about to become famous.

This fall, Elsa is making her television debut in the new TV mini-series When We Rise on ABC.

The original owner was a woman named Elsa Steinke, who lived in Vernon.

“Cars always tell a story,” said current owner Mark Leverage. “She used to get groceries and take the kids to school in it.”

He purchased Elsa in 2004 from Robert B. Shillam, aka “Trader Bob,” in Vernon and spent nearly $30,000 getting her back to her prime.

He named the car after her late owner, and signed a deal with Reel Cars Ltd., an organization that hires cars for television shows and movies.

Steinke died in 2010.

“The car (Elsa) loved and cared for will be watched by millions,” said Leversage.

A resident of Langley, Leversage found the car when he lived in Kamloops and was visiting his uncle in Oyama.

He was skeptical of purchasing Elsa at first, since he wasn’t interested in a four-door vehicle, but after some persuasion he bought her for $3,500.

The car was restored in Kamloops, with parts sourced from across North America, eBay and from car shows.

Elsa can been seen in the background of the 1971 sequence of the mini-series as a nondescript car, said owner of Reel Cars Paul Lavigne.

“She’s one of the cars parked and driving by. It sets the atmosphere and background.”

The series was shot in East Vancouver, but  is portrayed as San Francisco.

It chronicles the gay-rights movement in the United States, starting in 1969 with the Stonewall riots and stars Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker and Rachel Griffiths, according to IMDb.

Elsa is no stranger to attention. She was in the Kamloops car show Easter parade and was requested to visit a home where a former Vintage Car Club of Canada member was living, said Leversage.

“About 24 of us showed up, Elsa shone proud.”

Leversage had his own unique experiences with Elsa as well.

“When I first purchased the car it seemed to run quite well considering the year. I noticed there were nut shells on the floor. I thought that was odd and picked them up.

“Then, when I turned the heater on I noticed the nut shells were coming out of the heating vent and would get fired across the interior of the car.”

A squirrel had used the car to store its nuts in the centre of the motor.

Look for Elsa in When We Rise which airs in January 2017.