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Motion Pictures American Graffiti - The Perfect Car Movie?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, Apr 21, 2022.

  1. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 6,951

    Staff Member

    “As for the famous flat black ’55 Chevy, noted car builder Richard Ruth built three ‘55 Chevys for the initial “Two-Lane Blacktop” movie. He also has a bit part in the film as a gas station mechanic wearing a “Glendale Speedshop” shirt. When Taylor and Wilson arrive for fuel at a gas station, Ruth makes his cameo.

    Of the three Chevys in “Two-Lane,” one was used as a camera car for interior shots, of which there are many, while the second and third were utilized for racing, street, and highway scenes. The main ‘55 Chevy featured a 454 engine with aluminum heads, tunnel ram intake and dual Holley carburetors. The transmission was a rock crusher Muncie M-22 hooked to 4.88 gears. A straight axle and four-wheel disc brakes were also employed. Lots of fiberglass was used, and sliding Plexiglas was used for windows. One car was built for a rollover scene that never made the final movie cut.

    Thanks to Gary Kurtz, who was involved with both movies, the same “Two Lane Blacktop” Chevy appeared in “American Graffiti.” He took the primer flat black ‘55 from “Two-Lane” and converted it into the shiny black ‘55 used in “Graffiti” and driven by Harrison Ford. The big hood scoop was replaced with a smaller one, chrome wheels were added along with different windows and a hinged trunk instead of the “Two Lane” lift off. Other than that, it is the same vehicle.”
  2. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 8,542

    Marty Strode

    And a Three Musketeers !
  3. SS327
    Joined: Sep 11, 2017
    Posts: 2,200


    Yes! You get it! American Graffiti happened to us damned near every time we left the house in high school. What other movie can you say that about? Star Wars? Towering inferno? Any other movie ever made? It was the perfect movie!
  4. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 6,818

    from Ks

    The only thing they didn't cover was changing a waterpump on my 64 impala ss while on a date. Went to my Dads and she never even got out of the car! Damn that sob was hot. LOL Luckily his place was only 1/2 mile from town where we were cruising. Everyone says 220 isn't hot. The hell it ain't!!!!
  5. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 2,691

    427 sleeper

    Wasn't there Beef Jerky in there somewhere???
  6. I liked AG, but I can't say it was much of an influence. That had been handled by Grand Prix. Watching James Garner go through the gears, and the terrific race and pit scenes had already sealed that deal. AG was entertaining, but since I was already racing by that time the street seemed rather tame.
    Last edited: May 12, 2022
  7. Harms Way
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 6,890

    Harms Way

    chevy57dude and lothiandon1940 like this.
    Joined: Jun 6, 2007
    Posts: 5,159


    It looks like it was filmed in and around Thornville Ohio, east of Columbus, based on signage clues I saw.
    As a native buckeye that's cool.
    Chief 64 and Petejoe like this.
  9. Saw it as a young boy in the 70’s....have loved it every of the best memories I have is watching it with my Dad...he laughs his ass off when the cop pulls out and loses the rear end...always thought it was funny they mentioned a Midwestern guy, Darryl Starbird, instead of a California guy..and the Wolfman...come on...when I grow up I wanna be a Wolfman...

    As much as I love it...Hollywood Knights does it for this day me and friends quote lines from this movie...

    both great movies of simpler...better times
  10. AG was defiantly a movie that ingrained in my brain as a kid. With growing up in the 90s in a sea of the billet street rod craze, the movie just sucked me in with how the cars looked and the music was awesome. While the 32 and 55 were cool, it was that 58 Impala that did it for me. If a cool custom like that 58 with Toad behind the wheel could land a girl like that, well sign me up, lol.

    I think also its kind of the reason I wanted Taboo back in the family so badly. It fit right into the time frame of the movie and was a killer custom in my eyes that I could feel like Toad. Although still haven't landed the girl.
  11. The 32 and the 55 are my least favorite.
    The merc,(as ugly as it is) and the 58, yep
    Man that 58 is dang near perfect.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2022
    Shalamo, SS327 and 51 mercules like this.
  12. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 6,951

    Staff Member

    I like all the cars........
  13. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 1,383


    I saw AG at a theater when it first came out. Almost stood up in my seat when that yellow '32 coupe drove across the screen. I drove my '55 to see it. Still think it's a great movie. Still got my '55 too.
    41 GMC K-18 and mad mikey like this.
  14. Collected these over the years @ West Coast NSRA shows in Bakersfield. They had the stars there signing autographs. It's my VHS box.
    American Grafitti box cover.jpg
  15. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 14,649

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    I lost my comb and drank all the Old Harper.
    Lil32, 41 GMC K-18, SS327 and 5 others like this.
  16. .............but hopefully you kept the ball point pen and beef jerky.:D;)
    Lil32, 41 GMC K-18, SS327 and 3 others like this.
  17. Truckedup
    Joined: Jul 25, 2006
    Posts: 4,661


    AG is entertaining but was nothing like my life in 1960's NE New Jersey...It was darker, more like Mad
    echo ed and LAROKE like this.
  18. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 8,895


    “The lure of hot rod culture, of self expression through your car, of rebellion in your car, and growing up *with* your car. I’m not sure any other movie made before or since has fully captured what all that really means like George Lucas did with American Graffiti.”

    American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming-of-age comedy drama film directed by George Lucas , produced by Francis Ford Coppola.


    Having owned a 58 Impala, lived in So Cal through the valuable teenage years, had a place to call our own hangout in Bixby Knolls with other teenage friends, and expanded our whole cruising grounds to include all of LA County and Orange County coastal areas, we had fun.
    upload_2022-4-22_5-36-4.png Thanks, @themoose
    Wasn’t that what being a teenager and having hot rods/drag race experience was all about back then? It was 1957-68 when the whole world started to explode with major events happening all over the place. The era was shown in good detail in the movie. The drive-ins, there were plenty of them in almost every community. In our area, the hot spots were the center of activity for the different gatherings of teenagers living in their own section of the big city environment.

    Some of its drag race scenes between the 55 and 32, could have been taken place in the empty highway in West Orange County. The one highway used daily by millions became an empty dragstrip, two miles long. The whole area was designed from overhead to pretend it was a community during the war era. Below the area in Seal Beach were ammunition storage bunkers designed to look like a neighborhood community.


    The film did capture the essence of our teenage times and for the 1973-74 opening across the USA, showed the country how a portion of Hollywood could influence what we did as teenagers in real life. Yes, the movie was a huge hit and we were all happy it was made.

    But, for our era, it was real and exciting at the time period of 1957 to 1968. The movie was good, but was not the whole world of events in hot rodding or drag racing. That had been going on for plenty of years. There were countless stories that came from those exciting times. By the time the movie was shown all across the country and world, time were changing and it became relevant for a few, but not the most important thing happening at those new troubling times of the decade from 69 to 79.

    It is too bad that some that were so influenced by that movie had never seen the real life activities and that is awful. But to base hot rodding/drag racing on that movie as the pinnacle and base future happenings using that 1973 movie as a starting point is not right.

    The movie captured one person’s viewpoint about growing up in the 50s-60s. But, every time someone uses American Graffiti as the major influence in hot rods/drag racing makes one laugh at the thought. It was not just from the Midwest or East, but in So Cal, too. The uninformed grabbed on to something and uses it for their center of reference.

    George Lucas did a marvelous job of capturing his vision of a part of history. We are all glad he did. The movie seemed more real than those old Hollywood bad guy hot rod movies. But, that day and movie was not the essence of the development of hot rodding and drag racing in our histories. It was one way to enjoy some flashbacks to what was once a fleeting memory. YRMV

    Lil32, mrspeedyt, 41 GMC K-18 and 4 others like this.
  19. Probably thinking of ''Outrage"
    49ratfink and lurker mick like this.
  20. Yes, it is just a joke.
  21. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 3,225


    In 1962, I was 10 years old, building model cars, ( sniffing glue), buying the 25 cent little books at Woodson's Market, and Service Drug, like Speed and Custom, Rodding and Restyling, all the east coast books, and watching the cool, older guys in the neighborhood with their cars. Sucked at sports, loved hot rods and customs. Saw AG while stoned when it came out. None of my friends would go see it again and again, so I had to invite other people to go with me each time.
    None of the women around me have ever understood why there are certain movies that WILL BE WATCHED when they come on TV. Every time. Doesn't matter if I have it on DVD, I still watch them over and over.
    American Graffiti, Hollywood Knights, Animal House, Blues Brothers, etc.
    These movies can make a bad day good.
  22. BlueGhost
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 133


    AG is still the best.

    As an owner of a 58 Plymouth, and a horror buff, I'm also a fan of Christine.

    Alright, alright, alright... When it comes to AG like moves, bump it a couple of decades and you get Dazed and Confused. Like AG it's full of great cars, has a great soundtrack, and features some young actors that would go on to become big stars. For me it's the one that hits closest to home. I grew up in a small town in South Texas, and graduated high school in 95. Even though it was almost 20 years after the setting in the movie, Dazed and Confused is still a good representation of my high school days.
    LAROKE, 41 GMC K-18, Shalamo and 4 others like this.
  23. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 2,691

    427 sleeper

    LOL!!! Like you, Dazed and Confused also mimic's my mis spent youth, as I graduated in '93 from Hicksville, USA High School! We always seemed to be 20 years behind times, compared to the rest of the world, but God Damn, did we have fun!!! It was Dazed and Confused antic's with mid 70's to mid 80's car's and truck's and 90's fashion! The kegger's on the weekend's were EPIC!!! :cool::p;) Sorry for the side track... Now back to our regularly scheduled programing... :D
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2022
    perk03, 41 GMC K-18, Shalamo and 3 others like this.
  24. raaf
    Joined: Aug 27, 2002
    Posts: 757


    Well, while probably an unpopular opinion on this site and I do love American Graffiti, but I think Grand Prix might be my favorite overall too. The real footage is crazy and groundbreaking for the time. Won three Oscars.
  25. Well he didn't have change , so can you loan me a dollar?
  26. Brian Penrod
    Joined: Apr 19, 2016
    Posts: 214

    Brian Penrod

  27. Damon777
    Joined: Jan 7, 2022
    Posts: 26


    We saw Dazed in the theater when it came out (I am also class of '93). I can't hear Sweet Emotion without thinking about that '70 Judge rolling the HS parking lot. They mixed that song really great in surround sound.

    As far as AG is concerned, we would watch it every year wen it was on TV when I was a wee lad. Mom was into the music and culture, the cars did it for me (still like the music as well). It is still my favorite car movie (Dazed is a close 2nd).
    427 sleeper likes this.
  28. 427 sleeper
    Joined: Mar 8, 2017
    Posts: 2,691

    427 sleeper

    ^^^^^^ I Agree on ALL counts!!! :cool: ^^^^^^
  29. boozoo
    Joined: Jul 3, 2006
    Posts: 556


    My friends and I worshiped that movie. It's hilarious this thread came out right after I just did a presentation about my life called "American Graffiti; West Texas Edition."

    We had so much of that movie taken to heart. There was once this knucklehead that kept trying to race my '55 was cruising next to me trying to start something... my friend Luis started in on him with Milner's lines from the Milner-Falfa "back n' forth". We were dying laughing that our "friend" was falling into it nearly word for word until he got so mad he tossed his coke at me ... sailing right over the car by a mile. I did end up blowing his doors off a few weekends later.... it was just a matter of time. And wouldn't you know, I had Booker T&the MG's Green Onions playing when the deed went down too.

    Back in the days of cassettes, I must have worn out and had to buy new copies of the AG soundtrack three or four times (along with my Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley... Howlin Wolf... )
    41 GMC K-18, 2Blue2 and SS327 like this.
  30. Just consider the audience. Most here think it's pronounced Grand Pricks....;)

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