The American Graffiti coupe

TS3X65MPH

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The American Graffiti coupe
« on: June 21, 2016, 04:27:39 PM »
THIS ONE DIDN'T MAKE THE TRIP.
FROM  http://americangraffiti.net/index.html
George Lucas wanted a car that would evoke circa 1962 memories of the cruising he experienced growing up near Modesto.  He and movie producer Gary Kurtz whittled a list of potential car candidates down to a red, full-fendered coupe, finally basing their selection on its chopped top.
 
Henry Travers, the film’s transportation manager, was given the enviable task of overseeing the coupe’s construction as a bona fide hot rod.  Henry trailered the car to Bob Hamilton’s shop in Ignacio for the conversion. Lucas wanted a highboy with bobbed rear fenders to emphasize the fender laws that hot rodders continually confronted 45 years ago.  Reconstruction included the addition of motorcycle front fenders, aluminum headlight stanchions, and chrome plating for the dropped I-beam solid axle. Also, the grill and shell were sectioned a few inches.
 
Next, it was trailered to Close Orlandi’s Body & Fender in San Rafael for its coat of Canary Yellow lacquer paint.  The interior, which was red and white tuck and roll Naugahyde, was dyed black.
 
Johnny Franklin’s Mufflers in Santa Rosa added the Man-A-Fre intake manifold, a quartet of Rochester 2G two-barrel carbs, and no name valve covers to the 1966 327 Chevy motor with fuelie heads.  Franklin’s also built and installed the Sprint racecar-style header-exhaust system based on dimensions provided by Mr. Lucas. The remainder of drive train included a Super T-10 four-speed and 4:11 gears in a ‘57 rear end.
 
You can still see the holes in the frame for the special removable platforms used by the camera crew for close-up filming of the street cruising scenes.
 
The prop department made the THX 138 license plate as a play on the THX 1138 science fiction film made by George Lucas while in film school at USC in Los Angeles. This letter-and-number combination was also used on a jeep in a scene (along with Mr. Lucas) in Francis Coppola’s 1979 movie Apocalypse Now. Prior to More American Graffiti (1979), the coupe went back to Orlandi’s shop for a new paint job; same color but acrylic enamel replaced the lacquer.
 
In 1983, after the More American Graffiti movie, Steve Fitch acquired the coupe in a sealed auction bid.  He had previously acquired the movie’s black ‘55 Chevy.  In 1985, Rick Figari purchased the coupe.  Rick then entrusted the coupe to Roy Brizio’s shop in South San Francisco to make it road worthy again. Work included rewiring and rebuilding the T-10 four-speed, aluminizing the chrome headers, and making stronger front fender brackets. The 327 was also rebuilt. A funny note about the coupe:  After the film was finished, they tried to sell it and couldn’t get the asking price of $1,500. Today, both the '32 Ford Coupe and a clone of the '55 Chevy are owned by San Francisco resident Rick Figari.
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 04:44:19 PM »
SOME SAY THIS WAS THE HOT ROD THAT BROUGHT THEM TO THE FRONT AGAIN ?
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

Tom

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    • http://hotrodcraft.com
Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2016, 04:45:26 PM »
I had this poster hanging on my wall

Baron

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2016, 04:46:13 PM »
It is the car that got me out of Corvettes and into Hot Rods. Built two Grafitti style coupes. First one in 1978.  This is a picture of the last one I built. Decided to paint it black (too many yellow ones). Sold this one back in 1999(wish I had it back!).  Have 95 % of the parts to build another that I hope to take into retirement with me. The new one will be sort of a cross between piss yella' and puke green.  :)


Baron

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2016, 04:46:41 PM »



TS3X65MPH

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2016, 04:48:30 PM »
George Lucas and crew
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2016, 04:49:27 PM »
THE RACE
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

duaneshotrods

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2016, 04:50:32 PM »
Does Rick still own the 5 window? I met him at BTT50's a few years back, he was a firefighter in San Fransisco.
Get the stance right, followed by fit & finish.

Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2016, 04:52:37 PM »
SOME SAY THIS WAS THE HOT ROD THAT BROUGHT THEM TO THE FRONT AGAIN ?
I have to agree...That picture is perfect.  Started my love affair with the deuce and especially the 5 window coupe.

DavyJ

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2016, 04:53:04 PM »
True classic American Success story,  the movie, the director, and many of the stars..............all reaped much success.  I remember leaving the theater after watching that and jumping in my 57 Chevy and then the looks as I cruised past the people exiting the show................Never miss an opportunity to watch it when i spot it..........................Beppie, you have a habit of picking topics that make everyone smile with old memories!
Living life at a 100 smiles per hour!

ohio32

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2016, 04:53:18 PM »
Cool pics!

TS3X65MPH

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2016, 04:59:16 PM »
A few more
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2016, 05:02:04 PM »
From the movie
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

TS3X65MPH

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2016, 05:02:40 PM »
More
You Aren't Living If Your Windshield Isn't Dirty.

Tom

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    • http://hotrodcraft.com
Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2016, 05:04:46 PM »
The race

3Windo

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Re: The American Graffiti coupe
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2016, 11:51:43 PM »
Over here in England, Geoff Beck the guitarist has the registration, (title), THX 138 on one of his 32s.

Frank
Anything is possible if you don't know what your talking about.