Year of release: 1971.
The car: 1955 Chevy.
Why it’s special: The very fact the lead human characters were named The Driver, The Mechanic and G.T.O tells you all you need.
Best bit: Existential driving philosophy such as ‘You can never go fast enough’.
Pub fact: Two of the three 1955 Chevrolets built by Richard Ruth for the film were re-used in American Grafitti, driven by Harrison Ford. The main argument about the film is whether the star is the 55 Chevy, or the 1970 Pontiac GTO 455 it’s up against, which was owned by Universal Studios and also appeared in other movies and TV shows until it was sold in 1988 to a private owner.
Plot overview: Two car-crazy men drive across the US as Driver and Mechanic picking up a girl on the way and then finding themselves in a drag race with an older TV producer.
For: The Chevy, The GTO, and the lack of a plot.
Against: It’s lucky James Taylor and Dennis Wilson both had music careers to fall back on.
CAR verdict: It’s the purest American road movie ever.
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