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Hot Rods American Grafitti coupe radiator too low?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by JimSig, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Hey, is it just me or would the yellow American Grafitti coupe look better if the radiator were about 2-3" higher? The radiator support rods run downhill. Is there a reason for that?
    I realize that this is an iconic car, loved by many, but it still looks wrong to me.
    OK, beat me up.
     
  2. HotRodBen1987
    Joined: Jul 29, 2009
    Posts: 691

    HotRodBen1987
    BANNED

    ha yeah i know what you mean but i think it's just to maybe give it a raked look? i like them a lot better too short than too tall. who knows, its a legend now though
     
  3. 50stude p/u
    Joined: Jul 14, 2009
    Posts: 169

    50stude p/u
    Member

    Its cuz when George Lucas's crew bought the car they just wanted one that was already chopped. I think it already had a sectioned grill. And ya it looks bad. But its easy to believe that the guy built it himself
     
  4. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,911

    need louvers ?
    Member

    I remember an article on that car when the movie was just out that stated the car was channeled when Lucas got ahold of it. that would explain why that thing is so short.
     
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  5. I think that he( George Lucas) actually wanted a chopped and channeled 32 like the one he had seen when he was a kid. They started with a full fendered car they sectioned the grille and then decided that channeling the body was too time consuming and the car had to be ready in a short period of time so the idea was aborted. This why the car has a short grille and the body doesnt match it.
     
  6. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    I'm off work today, so I'm shaking the dust off this thread to throw out a question for the AG crowd to ponder. Why didn't Milner have a roadster? Most lake cars were roadsters. Roadsters are higher profile and thus more popular. From a filming perspective, it would have been easier to film people in a convertible, IE just about every older film done with a car has the main characters in a convertible. So, why, from a historical and logistics view, did Lucas choose a coupe over a roadster?
     
  7. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Is it just a coincidence that the two most iconic film hot rods (the Kookie Kar and the Graffiti coupe) have the 32 grill mounted "too low"? I don't think so. I think they are just are more photogenic and pleasing to the eye. Nothing makes your early hot rod uglier than the grill not substantially lower than the cowl. Every time I look at my avatar I think the grill on my roadster is too high.
     
  8. abone1930
    Joined: Jan 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,313

    abone1930
    Member

    Your T is awesome, Reminds me of the Kookie car :)
     
  9. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    Thank you abone I guess that is "the look" i was going for. But don't you think the grill should go down maybe an inch or two? But everything is a compromise.
     
  10. Yea the reason is that it was a scabbed together piece of shit.

    Actually the radiator and grill shell are perfect for the car. Perhaps not perfect for any other car but it is what it is. I had an old ford sedan once that had dog dish hubcaps on the front and none on the back. looked dumb as hell when you get right down to it but it was perfect for the car at the time.
     
  11. tfeverfred
    Joined: Nov 11, 2006
    Posts: 15,796

    tfeverfred
    Member

    Hmmm.... I have to disagree, Rebel. The too short grill shell looks broken to me. It works on Milner's coupe and the Kookie car because we got used to it. Your grill shell is cool because it's based on the Kookie car.
     
    dana barlow likes this.
  12. [QUOTE="tfeverfred, Why didn't Milner have a roadster? Most lake cars were roadsters. Roadsters are higher profile and thus more popular. From a filming perspective, it would have been easier to film people in a convertible, IE just about every older film done with a car has the main characters in a convertible. So, why, from a historical and logistics view, did Lucas choose a coupe over a roadster?[/QUOTE].....No glove box in a roadster.;)
     
  13. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    We can probably dig around for logical answers to why George did certain things certain ways, but only George knows for sure. He probably gave the people putting the cars together a certain "vision" that he had but the details were left up to them to iron out, he just gave them a guideline.

    That is why the 55 that Ruth ended up building was way more sophisticated and better built than it needed to be. Richard simply was given the task of building it and he did it the way he always did on other cars. I think he commented one time that if he knew then what he knows now he wouldn't have gone so far on the car as he did.........it was just meant to be a movie prop but he built it as if it was a car for himself.

    Same with the coupe. I have heard that the grille shell was chopped in anticipation of channeling it but then either time ran out or plans changed and they simply went with an unchanneled body and a chopped grille shell. Movie cars are just props, like a lamp or tree to the people making the film. They don't care about having them perfect or correct, they just want them to get on stage and perform with no problems.

    I don't know if George has ever been interviewed about the details surrounding the construction of the cars, but I would love to hear his recollections of how it all came together. THAT would be a car show I would watch !

    Don
     
  14. First it was a movie car, so as long as it looked OK on the Big Screen that's all that mattered.
    That being said, your correct, the rad, grill shell is too low. by a few inches. But it is period correct, in that hot rodders worked with what they had, and usually with a tight budget. They just wanted it to get on the road & burn some rubber!
    [​IMG]
     
  15. steel rebel
    Joined: Jun 14, 2006
    Posts: 3,604

    steel rebel
    Member Emeritus

    The late Bill Burnam wrote a great column about just this in the '90s for Street Rodder. If anybody can dig this out it is a great read as was all his columns.

    I say if the '32 grill on your hot rod isn't too low it is too high. Does that make any sense to anybody but me?
     
  16. abone1930
    Joined: Jan 16, 2006
    Posts: 1,313

    abone1930
    Member

    NA, yours is perfect, leave it alone, goes with the style of the car. Now not all cars look good withway to low a grill shell. Guess it depends on what style your after. I still personally like the Grafitti coupe :)
     
  17. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 3,703

    dana barlow
    Member
    from Miami Fla.

    Moive yellow coupe, given a shot,I'd drop the body a little,thats it,as for T rads,Norams is perfect an Steels it right on too.
     
  18. MAD 034
    Joined: Aug 30, 2011
    Posts: 772

    MAD 034
    Member
    from Washington

    The chopped shell makes the car look lower in the front. A full height shell is what many of us might use if building this car -- or maybe since I have been looking at it for 41 years it just looks "right".
     
  19. Hot Rod Nut
    Joined: Jul 1, 2006
    Posts: 526

    Hot Rod Nut

    "The Look" to me is just right on the 32 Coupe, especially in the movie when they show it cruising and it is coming right at you a knee high and Milner gooses it and the front end wants to come up , just taking the slack out of the shackles ,Man it doesn't get any better than that.
     
  20. HOLLYWQQD
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 678

    HOLLYWQQD
    Member
    from central NY

    this could get me flogged or tarred and feathered or even stoned to death , but i do not like that coupe at all . i don't like partial fenders , i don't like yellow hot rods , i don't like grill shells being anything but even or a smidge lower , and i really at the end of the day don't even care much for 32 5wdw fords . i would take a model A over a deuce 5 wdw if value was of no importance . having said that , i do think as far as coupes go , the 32 3 window is the coolest body ever made , followed closely by the 33 and 34 3 windows then the 33 and 34 5 wdw(which i have) . this is why there is such variety out there in this hobby ! let the beatings begin !!
     
    pdunn10 likes this.
  21. .....No glove box in a roadster.;)[/QUOTE]


    Carol: You're a regular J.D.

    John Milner: File that under uh, C.S. over there.

    [hands her the ticket Holstein just issued him]

    Carol: C.S.? What's that stand for?

    John Milner: Chicken shit - that's what it is.

    Carol: Oh.

    [puts the ticket in the glove compartment which is full of similar tickets]
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  22. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 17,549

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    channeled not quite the width of the frame. I just went as low as the fenders would allow. needs another couple inches and the fenders moved up. the grille is in the right spot, they just put the body on wrong.
    graffiti.jpg graffiti 2.jpg
     
    volvobrynk likes this.
  23. Should be old threads on here with the same explanation I've understood, that they set out to channel the car, then ran out of time or budget.
     
  24. Smokin Joe
    Joined: Mar 19, 2002
    Posts: 3,773

    Smokin Joe
    Member

    Only thing wrong with the Milner coupe is the stuff in front of the tail lights. So many mismatched styles in 1 little car. It looks like 1/2 west coast and 1/2 east coast. I like West coast Chops and East coast cut fenders and channels, but not both on the same car.
    I'll take an A coupe over a Deuce any day myself. It's just easier to make them look like hotrods. Deuces are money because they are rare compared to the Model A. Not even really a full model year car. Nothing really wrong with a Deuce except they look a little TOO smooth and refined to me. Don't get me wrong, I've had a Deuce myself. The good news is we all get to choose what we like. I still think Deuce grill shells look better on Model A's.
     
  25. OLLIN
    Joined: Aug 25, 2006
    Posts: 3,077

    OLLIN
    Member

    The story I've heard is that George Lucas based the Milner coupe on a channeled yellow coupe that he used to see growing up around the central valley. I saw a picture of the car a long time ago. It's bad ass.
    But yeah I guess time and budget prevented the movie car from being channeled.

    Someone on here has to know more about this or have saved the picture I'm talking about. ..

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
     
  26. B.A.KING
    Joined: Apr 6, 2005
    Posts: 3,587

    B.A.KING
    Member

    Its why we have chocolate and nillar. to each his own. I love the car just the way it is/was
     
  27. John Milner: Chicken shit - that's what it is.

    Carol: Oh.

    [puts the ticket in the glove compartment which is full of similar tickets][/QUOTE].......Danny, I think you're the only person who "got" this.:) My meager attempt at humor.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014
  28. jcmarz
    Joined: Jan 10, 2010
    Posts: 4,636

    jcmarz
    Member
    from Chino, Ca


    Carol: You're a regular J.D.

    John Milner: File that under uh, C.S. over there.

    [hands her the ticket Holstein just issued him]

    Carol: C.S.? What's that stand for?

    John Milner: Chicken shit - that's what it is.

    Carol: Oh.

    [puts the ticket in the glove compartment which is full of similar tickets][/QUOTE]
    There was no glove box. It was a pouch that was installed on the inside of the passenger door just for that ticket scene.
     
  29. Jakes38
    Joined: Aug 30, 2011
    Posts: 70

    Jakes38
    Member

    I gotta admit, the Milner car is probably my least favorite "icon". Every time I watch the movie I hope and pray and whoop and holler for Falfa to win, but alas, the 55 ends up on it's roof every time. It's okay though, cuz Falfa went on to have the fastest ship in the galaxy...
     
  30. I like it the way it is and to remember when it was built, its an original that so many have copied even with piss yellow Model A's. If the grill shell was higher it would look like every other chopped 32-5w. I feel its a true Hot Rod with an individuals own taste of what they wanted their car to be. It works for the movie just as it would have in '62. JW
     

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