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In this photo from 2010, Keith and Marilyn Smith drive down a ramp in their 1919 Dodge Brothers Touring Car after it was delivered to their Johnstown home. The car was used in the filming of the classic Christmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life" and will carry the grand marshal in the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018.
Steve Stoner, The Loveland Reporter-Herald
In this photo from 2010, Keith and Marilyn Smith drive down a ramp in their 1919 Dodge Brothers Touring Car after it was delivered to their Johnstown home. The car was used in the filming of the classic Christmas movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” and will carry the grand marshal in the Rose Parade on Jan. 1, 2018.

The old black car that George Bailey ran into a tree in “It’s a Wonderful Life” will roll through the streets of Pasadena, Calif., during the Rose Parade on Jan. 1 with its owner, a Johnstown resident, behind the wheel.

“We’re quite honored to have been invited — more like the car has been invited,” said Keith Smith, a collector who bought the 1919 Dodge Brothers Touring Car seven years ago. “The Rose Bowl parade, as far as we’re concerned, is a high, high honor.”

Parade grand marshal Gary Sinise and his wife, actress Moira Harris, will travel the 5.5-mile parade route in the car. Smith will be behind the wheel.

Smith said the theme of this year’s parade is “making a difference,” and the producers of the event wanted the car from the 1946 movie that has been voted the most inspirational film of all time.

“It’s in the Library of Congress that way,” Smith said. “That movie has made a difference in a lot of people’s lives.”

Smith and his wife helped restore the old car more than 20 years ago so jumped at the chance to buy it in 2010. They use money they earn from the car through photo shoots and fundraisers to help struggling veterans.

“The reason we bought that car is that we all have had a wonderful life because of what our veterans and their families have gone through,” Smith said.

To read more of this story go to reporterherald.com

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