Sunday, September 25, 2016

AmeriCarna Graffiti

Check out the 1958 Impala from American Graffiti in the new AmeriCarna Graffiti Videos On Youtube.

Profiles In History Hollywood Auction 74 - 2015. Stever Bolander's 1958 Impala from American Graffiti

I was cleaning up here at Graffiti Central and figured I would scan this before I put it away. I didn't buy this before the auction as it's a bit pricey!!! I was lucky enough to find a used one for half price online. After receiving it I better understand the price. It's a beautiful catalog. They obviously spend a lot of time and money on them.


After I received this catalog I called Mike to B.S. and catch up. Mike wasn't overly chatty about the sale and said Jeff  "It's not my car anymore". After I hung up with him I rolled that around the BozoPuter for a while.

I guess sometimes even I forget Mike's story. I mean this was his first car. Mike didn't buy because it was a movie icon. The film had not even been released yet. He bought it because he liked car and it was in his price range. Remember he had been saving all of his seventeenth summer to buy a car.

Mike describes him self as "Lucky" that he bought this car. I think were the lucky ones. I know because of Mike and his Lucky purchase I have made several friends. In case I never mentioned it THANKS MIKE!!

But Lucky doesn't begin to cover it when you think of the life long friends and memories Mike has made because of this car. From that memorable first ride home to cruzin by the theatre when Graffiti was playing.

The Impala has a been a family project since it's early days.

(76 Street Rodder)
       After years of hibernation in a California garage, the family time with the car continued as a father daughter project to bring the Impala back to life.

(2010 Northern Reach)

From family to friend's Bolander's Impala has been there.

Mike and Glen spending some quality hood time together. I only got to talk to Glen a few times before we lost him. He was a hoot! He had me laughing every time we talked. Just wish there would have been more of them.

Getting to spend time with the cast from the movie. "What a Babe!"

Forty plus years of ownership and all those memories just to name a few... well that's got to be hard to let go of at any price.

Lucky... Lucky Mike didn't make good on his 76 Street Rodder quote.

Even though the car had been freshly painted at Orlandi's for the movie the filming process had left the car with it's fair share of chips, scratches and dents.
I questioned Mike on this photo from the 2010 Northern Reach article. I said it looks like the real car but this one has a door handle?? Mike said "dumb things you do as a kid". As a youngster Mike had chipped the bondo out so that he could install a door handle.                                                                                                                              
I guess you could call that dumb luck. The Impala was in a shop having some paint and body issues taken care of before it went to the Profiles In History Auction and that's where Ray Evernham ran across the car and learned of it's up coming sale.  
Mike the 58 may not be part of your family anymore but your part of the 58's story for ever.    
I'm sure Ray will let you have supervised visits!!!! LOL
You guys already have two things in common. A love for this particular Impala and neither one of you paid full asking price!
                                                                                                                    Be Good. Jeff                                                                                                 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The 1958 American Graffiti Impala has a new owner. Ray Evernham

Pretty exciting Graffiti kinda day. I got to sit down with Ray Evernham. You may have heard of him?? He's the new owner of the 1958 Impala from American Graffiti!!! Really nice guy, really passionate about cars. AND!! Turn's out he's a fan of my web site....

With all of the Nascar racing going on at Chicagoland Speedway this week I figured I would give it a shot. So I asked if he would be in town over the weekend and turns out he was. I gotta say I was pleasantly surprised when Ray graciously agreed to meet with me.

I won't lie it was a bit of a stressful day. Logistics! First I had to borrow a car to go to Chicago as my extended cab work truck complete with a pipe rack on the roof doesn't fit in most parking structures. My only car is my Coupe and we all know!! It's still not finished!! So save the comments! (big grin)  Luckily one of my Boss's slide me the keys...or should I say FOB for his newer Caddy. I am so old school. I felt like I was piloting the U.S.S. Enterprise. That car has more controls/knobs/switches....and lights and buzzers than any video game I have ever played. 

I never figured out the stereo or climate controls but did get to spend some quality time trying to find the most comfortable seat settings as Saturday afternoon traffic on the 290 didn't disappoint and was good for better than an hour of my day on the way into the city.

 I figured parking would be fun. No surprise that there were no street parking available so you know what that means......

Parking Garage!!!!!

After driving the concrete corkscrew for five levels I find a space. Whew I finally made it!

Running close to the time of our meeting I found myself wondering around inside a downtown hotel completely lost. With the clock ticking I quickly grab the first hotel staffer I can find and get some directions. Turns out I was on the wrong floor. Good thing was a quick escalator ride would put me to where I needed to be.

As I am riding up the escalator to my destination I begin to feel a bit under dressed.

I was immediately reevaluating what seemed to be such good wardrobe choice just a few short hours before... the black T-shirt emblazoned with a yellow 56 California plate on the front felt just a little out of place in this grand room mixed in with a flood of Suits and Gowns.

I spotted Ray and quickly made my way over. He was texting or dialing someone on his phone so I didn't want to interrupt him so I stopped short to give him his privacy during his call. He glanced up and looked at me and then went back to his phone not knowing who I was. (turns out he was texting me) I stood there for a few moments more and Ray looked up again and it wasn't like I was Waldo I was pretty easy to spot he stood and said you must be Jeff.

We shook hands and grabbed a seat. I said wow nice place! Looking up at the ceiling... Stay here often? Ray said he doesn't come to Chicago much anymore and this was his first time at this hotel. I figured since it was his first stay there that I wouldn't mention that when I was checking the place out online that I had read reports of it being haunted.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to gather info for a story for the site. Gotta keep up with the new owners you know. Meeting a Nascar legend was just an added bonus. So I sit down and wheel out my note pad and two pens (just in case!) Well we ended up talking for over an hour and I never wrote down a word. We ended up talking about racing...(more mine than his) We talked about our Dads. We did get talk about music and American Graffiti...a little before we got swarmed with suits and Ray had to move along to his next commitment.

Before the crowds rushed in Ray did show me some progress pictures of the Impala on his phone. Looks to be done or real close to it. I have never had a chance to see the Impala in person before, but after seeing the job that Ray and Axalta have done and hearing the lengths they have gone to on this car I know I am looking forward to seeing it in the future. The car looks like 1972 again.

Don't worry Impala fans before I lost Ray to a sea of people he did say that he would answer questions and float me some photos of the car for an article later.

So I skip out of the hotel feeling like I stepped through  a worm hole in time. It felt like I had just spent five minutes talking to Mr E when it had been a lot longer than that?? Didn't talk about much but we talked the whole time?? Felt more like two old friends just catching up.

After a short walk and an elevator ride I locate the Batmobile right where I left it in slot 572... After I set the turbines to speed I descended down four levels before returning to the concrete corkscrew dumping me of at the dreaded pay box.

I dig my ticket out and insert it. GIGGITY! 29.00$ Ahhh it's not just that I'm broke...I'm cheap to! I must say I did get over the sticker shock of parking in Chicago relatively quickly as the navigation screen lite up and informed me that traffic was going to make me glad I hit the bathroom on my way out of the hotel

It was right! Took me over an hour to get back home. Thing is I'd do it again tomorrow. Jeff

Graffiti Alert!!!!!     Graffiti Alert!!!!!     Graffiti Alert!!!!!     Graffiti Alert!!!!!

If you have ever wanted to see the Impala in person Ray and Axalta Coating Systems will unveil it in Axalta’s booth #22391 at the 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas on November 1-4.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Guitar World - 1985 May. One Gone Rockabilly Cat Brian Setzer

Good Luck finding anyone on the planet who doesn't know Brian Setzer plays guitar, but I'll bet far less know he is into cars and even less would guess that at one time Mr S owned the Pharaoh's Merc.  
Not a Copy,Clone or a Tribute the Real Deal
I have read that he said it was the worst car he had ever owned. It was constantly breaking down. 
Brian had a bunch of work done to the car. Ed Roth is credited for the fresh paint and stripes at the time and even the hand lettered Runaway-Boy on the quarter panel.
Stories have circulated for years that Setzer bought or sold the famous low rider to or from the lead singer of Van Halen. Years of research point to it being just that ..A Story. Diamond Dave has had his share of Merc's.. just not this one.
Fact is that Brian sold the car to a man in New York and it's still there.
If your into the Mercury you've probably also hear the "Death Merc" story. Once again "Story" Nobody died in the car!! Wrong movie....that was in Christine. 
Silly side note I have over 200 posts on this site but as I was labeling this I noticed that I had never posted an article from 1985 before. Put that in the done column! Then I started looking and all I need to cover the years 1972 to present is articles from 1988 2014-15 and 16. Looks like I need to pry the door off the graffiti vault and see if I can fill in the blanks. Till then enjoy... Jeff