Okay, name what you think is the best car movie ever. Actually, don’t. The internet is full of pages with people getting unnecessarily uppity about exactly what a car movie is, never mind which one is best. What isn’t in any doubt though is that the 1971 film Two Lane Blacktop is right up there.
Despite not really having that much of a story line and indeed no real ending as such, the antics of two men and a woman in a hopped-up ’55 Chevy and another man in a (then) brand new Pontiac GTO have long-since gone down in the annals as a highlight of the car movie genre. Mention Two Lane Blacktop and the word ‘cult’ will soon march deservedly towards the conversation.
Fans of another popular American culture film, American Graffiti, will point out that the ’55 Chevy driven by Harrison Ford’s character was made from the principal car used in Two Lane Blacktop, however there were two more similar cars which retained their identity; a ‘camera’ car for the interior dialogue scenes and a ‘stunt’ car. Only the ‘camera’ car has remained as it was in the 1971 film and it will be sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale sale in January.
As per the film, the Chevy still runs a ‘tunnel ram’ 7.5-litre big-block motor, with a Muncie ‘Rock Crusher’ 4-speed gearbox and an Oldsmobile rear axle with screaming 4.88 gears. The front end is a glass-fibre, one-piece item, the windows are cut from lexan, and most of the interior has been removed. This is the real deal and if we’re to believe what we’re told, it was capable of running 10-second quarter miles!
What it’s worth we have little idea, sadly. The Easy Rider chopper sold recently for $1.35 million, although the Chevy probably won’t go that high. Then again, in the current market, who knows?