Stair car basics: In order to get this thing up to a minimum speed, you’ve got to jam on the gas pedal for about a minute, okay? But in order to slow this thing down, you’ve got to get almost immediately back on the brake pedal, ’cause you’ve got about two tons of stairs behind you. — Michael Bluth
Despite the persistent—and at times rabid—fan base that lead to the show’s Netflix revival, from 2003 to 2006, Arrested Development wasn’t doing so hot. If you take a look at the ratings from its last season you’ll see that it ranked somewhere below Beauty and the Geek and the hopelessly out-of-place Pamela Anderson work place ensemble comedy Stacked.
For some perspective, here’s a promo from Stacked:
I couldn’t even find an actual clip of it, and as it is, this was released by FoxLife Serbia which may or may not even be official FOX property. That’s how bad it was. Not even worth memorializing on the Internet. And when you consider that someone thought That 80’s Show was worth archiving, you quickly realize just how bad Stacked was.
Like Futurama, Family Guy, and Firefly before it, Arrested Development was a FOX show cancelled before its time. Back when we all watched network television, heartbreaks like this seldom came as a surprise—a show a little too out there, a little too cult, a little too ahead of the curve would be put on FOX, we’d all fall in love, but we’d fall in love knowing it was only a matter of time before its series finale would be very much on purpose aired against the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
For those of us old enough, we’d lived through the cancellation of My So-Called Life, so our sense of television-abandonment was finely tuned, waiting for the next big disappointment of what would turn out to be many, all squeezed into the space of just two decades. FOX just happened to be the biggest perpetrator, but all the big networks were guilty—NBC, ABC you’re not off the hook.
Arrested Development was a show that would have done much better in today’s media landscape, where we have the luxuries of Netflix and Hulu and Amazon original series. It was a show designed to be gif’d, re-watched, binged, Tumblr’d… unfortunately, it was created in an era where few of us had so much as a TIVO.
One of the best things about Arrested Development was its running gags… from the Bluth’s impressions of a chicken to Steve Holt, the show was chock full of them. At CarStory, our favorite AD gag is naturally the Bluths’ stair car.
To refresh your memory: due to the Bluths’ financial and legal trouble, they end up selling their company jet…but unfortunately, also because of their money problems, they’re forced to keep the jet’s stair car with the company logo emblazoned on the side, which Michael is forced to use as an every day vehicle. In the show, the stair car is way more trouble than its worth, knocking down banners, luring on “hop-ons,” aiding in prison escapes…but you gotta wonder, in real life, just how bad would it be?
The truth is…Not very. The Bluth Stair Car is actually just a super modded Ford F-350, which is one of the best heavy-duty pick up trucks currently on the market. If you really had to drive the Bluth Stair Car, stairs and all, you’d actually be able to go pretty quick – something that’s not depicted in the show. The Ford F-350 is actually known among trucks as being one of the quickest, strongest pick-ups on the market. And you might be surprised to learn it’s also very durable: it has an industrial-strength chassis. If there’s any car that can handle some wear and tear it’s the Ford F-350.
Now if only Mitch Hurwitz wrote that in…
Interested in your very own F-350? Check out this great deal out of Chicago:
Photo credit: Flickr user Riley