Thursday, December 03, 2009

Zoom Zoom

There is a 327 Small Block Chevy sitting in the American Graffiti Coupe. It was there when Steve Fitch brought it home from Universal Studios, and current owner Rick Figari is quick to point out that he is leaving the Coupe untouched. Nearly every article written about it mentions the 327. But not every one. In one of the first stories written exclusively about the movie's vehicular stars, Pat Ganahl states matter-of-factly that the Coupe had a 283 mounted under the hood supports. He's a well respected journalist and certainly a hot rod aficionado. As probably the first car guy to look into the Coupe's specs, his article has to carry a little weight.

Since we were trying to recreate the car from the film, it was important to us to figure out why there was a discrepancy in the descriptions. Early on we developed a theory as to the origin of the Milner Coupe's power plant and why it changed. And we have stuck pretty close to that hypothesis as we progressed.

As with so many other aspects of the Graffiti Coupe, the actual drive train that left Falfa behind cannot be positively identified. Unless Gary Kurtz produces a build sheet, or the sales documents from the purchase of the car, any statement of fact is really just an opinion. Even if Henry Travers was still with us, asking a professional car wrangler to identify an engine he didn't build thirty years prior, probably doesn't guarantee an answer.

So we make our best educated assumptions from the mountain of research 'da Hui performed. And this coupe builder is pretty confident that Pat Ganahl was right. A few years ago that opinion generated quite a few comic rebuffs from the 'gurus' and 'Milner experts'. But now-a-days we've noticed more than a few of them changing their minds. It doesn't really matter, cause we've known we were right all along... but we wouldn't bet on it.

'da Hui no ka oi

Electric Light Orchestra - Roll Over Beethoven