‘Cobra Kai’ star Macchio likes his memorabilia


How Ralph Macchio got Mr. Miyagi’s car

Ralph Macchio

Ralph Macchio likes to take mementos from his various projects. Of course, he always asks first.

From the iconic 1983 Martin Scorsese drama “The Outsiders,” he has his character Johnny Cade’s shoes. From the 1986 road movie “Crossroads,” there is a Fender Telecaster guitar in his posession. And from “The Karate Kid” movies, he has a number of items, most notably Mr. Miyagi’s (the late Pat Morita) vintage “wax on, wax off” car, the 1947 Ford.

That very same vehicle plays a role in Macchio’s current project, “Cobra Kai,” the reboot of the “Karate Kid” films that begins streaming its second season Wednesday, April 24, on YouTube Premium.

“I offered to buy (the car) from the studio in hopes that they would give it to me, so that was my negotiation tactic,” the affable 57-year-old actor recalls with a laugh. “And they did. And I didn’t hear anything. I mentioned it to the head of the studio at the time, that after doing the second sequel (1989’s ‘The Karate Kid Part III’), I said, ‘Boy, I would love to have that car. I don’t know how much it would cost but maybe we could find out when we’re all done shooting …’ ”

Nothing more was said and Macchio forgot all about it until after filming concluded and the movie was released, when a surprise appeared in front of his Southern California home.

“On the day that film came out,” he recalls, “that car was on a flatbed sitting in front of my house. From Columbia Pictures.”

A nice reward for a piece of pop culture history that endures to this day.


Full name: Ralph George Macchio Jr.

Birth date: Nov. 4, 1961

Birthplace: Huntington, N.Y.

Current residence: Los Angeles

Family ties: With wife Phyllis, has two adult children, Julia and Daniel

TV credits include: “Eight Is Enough,” “The Ties That Bind,” “The Outer Limits,” “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” “Twice in a Lifetime,” “Entourage,” “Ugly Betty,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “The Whole Truth,” “Happily Divorced,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Psych,” “Kevin Can Wait,” “The Deuce”

Movie credits include: “Up the Academy” (1980), “The Outsiders” (1983), “The Karate Kid” (1984), “Teachers” (1984), “Crossroads” (1986), “The Karate Kid Part II” (1986), “The Karate Kid Part III” (1989), “My Cousin Vinny” (1992), “Naked in New York” (1993), “A Good Night to Die” (2003), “Beer League” (2006), “Hitchcock” (2012), “A Little Game” (2014), “Lost Cat Corona” (2017), “A Dog and Pony Show” (2018)


George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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