|The coupe parked in the Universal Studio's shed circa 1975|
Hey, how’s it hangin'? If you're like me than the answer is, "A little to the left." Any whooo, before I head off up to Petaluma, CA this Thursday, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of American Graffiti, I thought I'd post a special article featuring cool pictures of the yellow coupe (now known as Milner's Coupe). In a previous post sub-titled "The Fastest Thing in the Valley" I described the controversy over the size of the '32 Ford Coupe's engine and the rumors that exist as to the motor being swapped sometime after it was first featured in the film. Is it true? Is it not? Do we care? Is the new Pope Catholic? So, in an attempt to clear up the confusion (or add to it) the coupes’ current and longtime owner, Rick Figari sent me some scraps from his scrap book to share with my readers. That would be you. It’s the least we could do for those of you who aren’t able to attend the celebration. The pics featured here are from a short period in the car’s history and are exclusively of the coupe’s engine as it appeared directly after it was featured in the 1973 film up until it was restored in 1982 by the individual who purchased it from Universal Studios after the sequel, More American Graffiti, Steve Fitch. After looking closely at these pics of the motor over the years, and some logical deduction, I'm pretty convinced that since it was first featured in the 1973 film, the coupe has had the same engine - just worse for wear each year. Enjoy, and I'll see ya at the finish line.
|The engine as appeared around the time it was featured in the film, The California Kid (1974)|
|The engine circa 1976. Notice the chorme beginning to rust and the carbs and manifold covered in grime and bird droppings from the shed it was housed in.|
|This pic was taken circa 1979 right before it was put back on display on the Universal Studios Tour. Notice the oil filler cap is missing. It still has the original spark plug wires.|
|1979 Passenger side view of the engine with a dirty manifold and super cruddy carbs. Notice the original wires are held together with electrical tape.|
|This pic shows how the engine looked in 1981 after Steve Fitch purchased the car from Universal Studios in a private auction.|