Only 44 Years Ago???

Was It Just Yesterday…

It was August 11, 1973, exactly 44 years ago yesterday that George Lucas’s “American Graffiti” was released in US theaters…..  so why does it seem like yesterday?

The movie – for those not yet born – was set in the waning days of the summer of 1962.  And aside from a sound track that represented some of the finest pre-Beatles rock & roll ever pressed into vinyl, the movie also featured some of the most iconic classic cars ever to come out of Detroit.  

Without appearing to do a movie review for one of our all-time favorite “feel good” movies, the point strikes us that it was only a span of 11 years from when the movie was released (1973) and about a time in Central California (1962), so why was the movie such a nostalgic trip for people?  For sure, the story-line dealt with the relationships of the people involved (Curt, Steve, Toad, Cindy, Big John and of course, Wolfman Jack), but the film also focused on the cars of the day.

May we suggest the real “stars” of the film were: 

A white '58 Chevy Impala, (read more here)
Source: Car & Driver

A white Vespa scooter 
Source: Vespa

Source: Ford Motor Company

'58 Ford Edsel Corsair 


A yellow ’32 Ford deuce coupe

Source: American Motors
A '60 4-door Rambler


A very ‘wicked’ black '55 Chevy


A classic white '56 Thunderbird 

And the one-way traffic on the main strip was an endless parade of customized cars. 
Source: Kips American Graffiti Blog
And a mysterious "327 Chevy...with six Strombergs" – heard about but never seen….

Maybe it was just a nostalgic moment that stuck us yesterday recalling the significance of the date and the memories of watching the movie for the first time. Some of us may actually left the theater wondering would Detroit ever again produce vehicles that were as classic as those in the movie. Unfortunately, the answer 44 years later is “sorry, didn’t happen...”.

Another “classic” film released in 1978 was also set in 1962 – “Animal House”.  It would be a stretch to associate "Animal House" with classic cars.  Then again, there was the famous “Deathmobile” in the homecoming parade…
But consider this – 

If the movie were released today, and it featured the same a look-back time frame as American Graffiti, it would be a movie about 2006.  And as we sit here today, was there anything memorable about the early 21st century that would be worthy of a remake of “American Graffiti”? As for classic cars, the answer is no, and we're not so sure about what else was happening that would make us want to look back nostalgically – so we’ll load up the DVD player today and take a trip back in time. 

And - it you would like to read more about the American Graffiti movie click here to read our salute to the movie. To learn more about the"stars" (aka: cars) click here.

Drive safe and have your popcorn ready...Remember, Preserving Automotive History...One Car At a Time® is not just a slogan. It's what we do. Select this link to learn more.

The Garagistry Team