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The Online Blade Runner Fan Club    

    After my interview with Gene Winfield, he hinted at having some Blade Runner props and pieces somewhere in his shop yard, if he could only locate them. I was fascinated and excited at the possibility of existing Blade Runner props. So I kept in touch, but nothing ever surfaced.

Gene on the phone surrounded by all his trophies and awards Notice the picture above his head of his famous Cadillac, "Maybelline".
    Then during one telephone call, Gene mentioned that he was moving in December. He had sold his shop and would have to find another location for his business. December rolled around and Gene still hadn't decided on a location. So in late December, I was told Gene had to be out of his shop by January 1st. I found out when the best days for me to be there were, and made it a point to be there among the crew that was there to help him move.

    Patience and kindness pays dividends. I told Gene honestly that if he did find something from Blade Runner I would find a buyer for the items.

    He did re-discover several items but the piece de resistance was a small cache of neon-lighted umbrellas found in a small shed wrapped in a canvas tarp.

Some of the umbrellas as we brought them out of the shed. Notice the two umbrella tops.
    I was very excited, of course, and I was successful in finding a buyer for the neon umbrellas in England. The Propstore is currently restoring several umbrellas to full working condition you may see them in a few months on their website. ( I have been able to find lucky owners for all the pieces that were found at the Winfield shop. Gene no longer has any screen used pieces from Blade Runner and is in his new shop working on a cool chopped coupe.

(As always, click the pics to see the larger versions.)

Green umbrella #6.

Red umbrella #5.

Notice the ball-shaped handle. This is obviously umbrella #3 in the picture to the left.

The backyard where at one time all the Blade Runner cars were parked, almost 20 years ago. Notice the shed off to the left where the umbrellas were discovered safely under a tarp.

Gene posing with one of the recently discovered umbrellas.

Gene is all smiles inside his shop.

The coupe Gene has been working on recently.

One of Gene's friends helping to move a large Winfield-made metal shear with a forklift.

Gene and friends following.

Gene supervising the lowering of the shear. (The flourescent light had to come off the top of the shear.)

Success! No one got killed.

* * UPDATE * *

    "Hey fans, here's an update on the restoration of my neon umbrella. I shipped the umbrella along with the others to Stephen Lane, owner of the Propstore in London. Stephen did research into what it would take to have them restored to working order. If you own a neon umbrella it should light up, right? He located a company that would be able to take on such a restoration. They would restore it back to it's original condition, but not take away from the props character. As you can see below, they were quite successful.

    The umbrella is totally portable like the original, using two large 6 volt batteries. Here I am with the umbrella. This is the first time since 1982, almost 20 years, since any neon umbrella has been used!! A landmark day! I'm lucky indeed to own such a prop.

    Thanks to all the efforts of Stephen Lane. "--Gary Willoughby (June 10, 2001)

Gene Winfield Interview
Working For Winfield

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