Saturday, August 4, 2012

Street Machine 2003 - American Graffiti Star Cars


Sounds like the guy talked to somebody who knew some Graffiti facts. Some of the story's seem a bit off. I mean I have seen internal documents from Universal Studios that showed they owned at least 8 cars from the movie not 5-1/2.

The article also states that they used the back half of a VW on a trailer for filming??? They may have but all of the pictures I have seen shows the VW with doors & front hood removed they may have made other alterations to the car but it shore looks like it had front fenders to me??

 Have a look at this picture below and I bet you can figure how this story got started.

 Bonus Photo Not From Article

This article is almost 10 years old and they mention fakes or clone cars being passed off as originals to unsuspecting buyers. I guess with most of the cars accounted for and almost everything a click away on the Internet that this practice would end but somehow it still continues to this day. I think I have seen them all Bolanders 58 is a popular one to copy along with Falfas 55. People seem to have given up on trying to pass a fake coupes as thanks to Rick Figari Milner's Deuce and it's story is pretty well known.

As far as the statement he makes about several of the movie cars going to ground?? Let's see the 32,55,58,the Merc,Curt's Citroen and even Toads Vespa are present and accounted for so this statement also seems a bit off the mark to me. Who knows 10 years ago they might not have known all of this?

 This page is packed with tidbits about the T-Bird that I have never heard before. Something seems a bit off as I have seen interviews with Suzanne Somers and she states that the owner of the car was never more than a few feet away during filming??  I have also never noticed any extra scenes of the white 56.

Finally someone covered the lights on the T-Bird. Thanks you! But now now the clone builders have this information also. Note to all as of 2012 Clay still owns the car so buyers beware.
Oh Boy now on to the Coupe. This is where he starts to derail.
1 Well he misses the red interior dyed black for filming.
2 A stock 327 with a 4 barrel carb?? guess that falls into the "Something Like This" category as he tells the it.
3 Everyone always misses that the Coupe was miss priced at 1500.00 it was supposed to be 2000.00 per internal studio paperwork.
4 Steve Fitch already owned the #1 Black 55 then got the Coupe.
5 Another mention of Steve Fitch's Ranch...... Close... it was a ranch style house
The next part of the article seems to have been written using parts of older articles that were not correct.
Yes the motor was filled with water when Fitch purchased it. Steve Fitch rebuilt the engine and he went to great lengths to retain the original block and heads during the rebuild. Steve had replaced any missing parts on the Coupe and the Coupe was in better mechanical shape when Rick bought than the car than it was in during filming. Oh and there is that story again about finding the piston knob and the plates behind a kick panel in the Coupe! WRONG! The Coupe did not even have the kick panels installed in the car when it was sold. The panels were in a box with about every single other part that Fitch had replaced on the Coupe. The original filming plates were kept by Henry Travers for years and are now back with the Coupe. The Shifter knob,2 carb scoops,oil filler cap,inner door handles and the valve covers and t-'s were all removed from the car while it was in the hands of the publicity department and displayed on the Universal Studio's tour.
I have already covered the 55's and what and where they are in other articles so I will not go into correcting this story again.
I know I have heard that Rick has been possibly misquoted in the 2007 Bilsport Magazine as saying his 55 was the original (could have lost something in translation?) then again over dubbed in a TV special to once again appear to have the original 55 but look at this 10 year old article (older than either misquotes) where Rick tells the story of buying and building his 55. That's right 10 years ago and it is still being misquoted. I hope this finally puts this disinformation to rest. I doubt it! If you read the last paragraph of this article he says " Three of the Graffiti cars tracked down" Geez!


  1. Freakin' fantastic post! Love the bigger pics, even if it mucks up the positioning of the text a bit. I love the "catch up" on the 3 cars. I believe this to be a British writer due to using terms such as "windscreen," etc. But, what's really cool is your commentary on the article. I feel like I'm watching a Ken Burns PBS documentary, or something cool like that. "This is the way it really happened, despite what you've read in history books and have been brought up to believe." THANX!

    1. Mark I have just grown so sick of misinformation I gotta chime in when I see something. As many years of fact checking in addition to my large data base of graffiti manuals I have now it's pretty easy to monday morning quarter back some of these articles as to the facts they share. Why tell the truth?? I guess talk is cheaper when the story is good. Jeff

    2. Kip!!! I do like the larger format as far as being able to read the articles but the site has no flow when I do it this way. still not shore what I am going to do. Thanks for the 2c