Sunday, June 28, 2015


Welcome back to KIPS' AMERICAN GRAFFITI BLOG.  It's time to take your head out from under the hood of your hot rod and dig this examination of your favorite movie from a unique perspective. Today for your reading pleasure I've posted an examination of American Graffiti like no other.   Published in 1979 and written by B. H. Fairchild, Jr. the author compares George Lucas with visionary painter/poet William Blake. It's quite fascinating and recognizes Lucas' American Graffiti as a vision of the universal mythological depths that are at the heart of the experiences of all people, all generations and all cultures that must endure change.  ENJOY!


Copyright 2002 EBSCO Publishing


Saturday, June 6, 2015


The 2015 Mustang retains its classic look: Long hood, short rear deck, fastback roof, tri-bar taillights, & shark-nosed grill
Way back in the Fall of 2014 when Ford Motor Company wanted to introduce it's new line of Mustangs to the automotive press they decided to begin their International Auto Drive each morning at Mels Drive-in located at 8585 Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood,  California (CA.) It seemed only natural to match a classic with a classic: The Ford Mustang was first introduced in late 1963-64 and Mels, of course has been around since 1947. I recently spoke with Mels Drive-in co-owner, Steven Weiss (pronounced Weese) and he recalled the event with enthusiasm.  "Ford Mustang brought out auto writers from across the country and Europe and put them up in a hotel down the street from our Mels drive-in in West Hollywood," Weiss explained. The restaurant at the West Hollywood location normally stays open 24 hours a day but during the course of a week it was closed to the general public three hours each day from 6am to 9am during which time the Ford Motor Company photographed, filmed, and promoted the 2015 Mustangs under the tantalizing glare of the restaurant's neon lights  "They lined up twenty-four brand new Mustangs, all different models, engines and color types in our parking lot. It was fantastic!," Weiss recalled.  

Each day a different group of writers had their chance to test drive the new vehicles. They'd bring them in, give them a speech about the new line of Ford Mustangs as the press devoured the delicious classic American style breakfast at Mels. "The excited writers would get in the cars and drive all over the city on a route planned for them," Weiss recalled. It took most of the day and driving through the city is often stop and go traffic, but the drivers were able to stretch out and reach high speeds on the freeway in the San Gabriel Mountains bordering LA.  After a day of driving they'd reach the end of the course located at Peterson’s Automotive Museum in LA. At the famous museum the press were treated to dinner to top off their exciting day.

 The LA Times had this to say about the 2015 Mustang's driveability: 
The GT and its V-8 still proves the old muscle car adage: There's no replacement for displacement. This is the Mustang's valedictorian and the one to pick if you consider white-knuckle driving an athletic endeavor.  There's meaty torque everywhere during acceleration, but it's predictable and approachable. Our GT tester had the six-speed manual transmission with an easy clutch and a straightforward shifter.  The GT is surprisingly lively and fun on tight roads. Though wider, higher and a little heavier than before, the power and size of this car are perfectly matched.  Our loaded $44,290 tester had the optional performance package that included larger wheels, wider tires, a stiffer suspension setup and larger front brakes. This combination helped the GT stay planted and flat through hard cornering.  But the GT's engine growl -- half the fun -- loses something in translation through the exhaust. Like an opera singer in a ski mask, this Mustang doesn't roar like a 435-horsepower car should.
 "They put together these great videos of the event which they later posted on the internet," said Weiss. Below is a 30 second clip of footage that highlights both the new Mustang and Mels. It is slick, cool and way too short.  Not sure if this was ever made into a TV commercial for the new Mustang but it certainly works as both a promotion for the car as well as the classic-style restaurant.

2015 Ford Mustang at Mels Drive-In

Below are a few pix of the 2015 Mustang from the event. 
Please click on photos to enlarge.

The 2015 Ford Mustang GT parked at Mels Drive in on Sunset Blvd. In Hollywood, CA

They lined up twenty-four brand new Mustangs, all different models, engines and color types in our parking lot.
- Steven Weiss.

Base prices start at $23,600 for the V-6, $25,170 for the EcoBoost four-cylinder, $29,170 for the EcoBoost Premium, $32,100 for the V-8 GT and $36,100 for the GT Premium.

Read more here:

A 435-hp 5.0-liter V-8 matched with a six-speed manual transmission
 On the freeway in the San Gabriel Mountains bordering L.A.

  • Gelinas, Gabriel. [first 2 Photos of Mustangs at Mels.]  Guide Auto Web. 2015 Ford Mustang. A Brave New World.  
  •  Mustang. Car and Driver website. Retrieved 5/22/2015.
  • Jordan, Michael. 2015 Ford Mustang Review, Automobile website.
  • Undercoffler, David. FIRST DRIVE; New Mustang aims to please everyone; In the 2015 model, Ford blends 50 years of history with demands for modern powertrains, technology, safety and styling. Los Angeles Times. [Los Angeles, Calif] 18 Sep 2014: B.1. Retrieved June 2015
  • Weiss, Steven. Personal conversation with Steven Weiss 5/26/2015