Q: Who owns the classic Mustang that Conrad drove on "Matlock"?

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Adam Thomlison / TV Media

No one seems to know what happened to Conrad McMasters' (Clarence Gilyard Jr., "Walker, Texas Ranger") red, mid-'60s Ford Mustang convertible, his hiding place for many a stakeout and other investigative tasks for his friend and employer, Ben Matlock (Andy Griffith, "The Andy Griffith Show").

Presumably the last known owner is Dean Hargrove Productions, which produced "Matlock," but even that's not certain -- cars, particularly rare ones, are often rented to productions by private owners.

I don't even know which is the case with this particular Mustang. When the Conrad character joined "Matlock" in 1989, the car would have been about 24 years old. That's old, but Mustangs, being classics, were better preserved than many, and so weren't exactly rare at that point.

The lack of information about Conrad's car can be chalked up to the fact that the car isn't a particularly iconic piece of Matlock memorabilia.

Conrad was only in the show for the middle few seasons -- he was a beloved addition, but not a central one. And so, the car itself is even further removed from the center of the show. 

This is in comparison to, say, the 1968 Mustang featured (really featured, almost as a character) in the 1968 movie "Bullitt." I can tell you who owns it now, how he got it, and who owned it before that.

You can also compare Conrad's car to more notable (and compact) pieces of "Matlock" memorabilia. There's a whole museum dedicated to "Matlock" star Griffith, in his native city of Mount Airy, N.C. The museum displays a number of "Matlock" props, most notably a couple of the suits Griffith wore on screen. And you can purchase more common bits of "Matlock" memorabilia (autographed set photos, magazines, etc.) from auction sites such as eBay.

All this is to say that tracking ownership of a film prop, even one the size of an American muscle car, is tricky in the best circumstances, and these aren't the best circumstances.


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