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Celebrity Car Death Match: John Milner’s Deuce VS The California Kid 1934 Ford!

Celebrity Car Death Match: John Milner’s Deuce VS The California Kid 1934 Ford!

Oh, so you thought the battle of the 1955 Chevys the other day was a tough barn burner, but those shoe boxes have nothing on these two truly iconic hot rods. That’s right, we’re placing the 1932 Ford of John Milner into the death match ring with the famous Pete Chapouris built 1934 Ford known as the California Kid. Holy smokes, this ought to the interesting. But first, as we do each day, let’s review yesterday’s match up!

[box_dark]It was Broson VS Norris, Ford VS Dodge, truck VS truck and the winner….

The 1968 Ford F100 of Charles Bronson DEFEATS The 1982 Dodge Ramcharger of Chuck Norris


Ok, so here’s the deal. We’re pitting two of the most iconic movie/tv hot rods of all time against one another. John Milner’s foe, Bob Falfa went down in another public, flaming defeat the other day so the American Graffiti crowd may circle the wagons around the yellow deuce coupe known as the “fastest car in the valley”. With a small block Chevy, chrome reverse wheels, a roof chop, bobbed fenders, and all the comic rightness in the universe around it, Milner’s car is pretty boss. The car is not without faults, though as Milner admitted to Toad nearing the end of the movie that he was losing to Falfa’s 1955 Chevy at the point that Bob put ‘er in the weeds. The car is pretty heroic and there isn’t a BS reader who hasn’t hunched over, hung his arm out the window on a warm night, and channeled the spirit of John Milner in the evening air.

The flamed, lettered, and Martin Sheen driven 1934 Ford known as the California Kid sits in this corner. Power comes from a 302 Ford backed with an FMX transmission. Like the ’32, this ’34 was involved in a climactic race which resulted in its foe being damaged beyond repair. The good news for the ’34 is that it helped end the reign of a true villain in the form of the evil sheriff who killed speeders by pushing them off the road into a canyon. The ’34 sounds boss hoss in the film clip below and seems to have more attitude than Milner’s car, but that’s up for you to decide. Both of these hot rods were the scourge of the local PD. Of course in the case of the ’34, the local PD was also staffed with a cold blooded killer in a massive old Plymouth. The stakes were pretty high in the clip below when the hot rod spat in the eye of evil and sent him off a cliff!


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77 thoughts on “Celebrity Car Death Match: John Milner’s Deuce VS The California Kid 1934 Ford!

  1. Johnny G.

    Well Milners coupe was one of the first hot rods i ever saw, so im gonna have to go with piss yellow/puke green deuce

  2. John

    No contest – the yellow deuce is responsible for hooking an entire generation of folks on this hobby – how many people have actually watched the other movie?

  3. GuitarSlinger

    Much as I love the ‘ Milner ‘ Coupe its gonna have to be the ‘ California Kid ‘ hands down .

    Why is simple . The ‘ Milner ‘ Coupe is a ‘ Pop ‘ movie legend that in truth had little or no influence on Hot Rodding overall …… where as the ‘ California Kid ‘ is an absolute Hot Rodding Icon that builders are still trying to replicate

    1. Robert M.

      Ditto above.

      The Milner coupe was a quickly cobbled together movie prop.

      The California Kid is a masterpiece.

      Stop and think about this for a minute before you vote!

      1. Mr.Blue

        I agree with the above…….taking the movie characters out of it is hard………the ’34 is bitchin and sounds great……….

        California Kid suprisingly gets my vote……

        1. Mr.Blue

          Changing my vote based on this……..
          To maintain the persona of a bad-boy hot rod, Lucas and Kurtz stipulated that the engine should be loud and ragged-looking. Starting with a mid-’60s Chevrolet 327 small-block, Johnny Franklin’s shop filled the bill using some interesting components. The four-pot intake manifold is a rather rare Man-A-Fre that holds a quartet of Rochester 2G two-barrel carbs, and a pair of finned no-name valve covers were set atop the camel-hump cylinder heads. It’s been reported, too, that Lucas defined how the exhaust headers should look, stipulating a pair of Sprint race car-style pipes to emphasize the car’s bold appearance. The remainder of the drivetrain included a Super T-10 four-speed transmission and a set of 4.11:1 gears in the ’57 Chevrolet rearend.

          Read more: http://www.streetrodderweb.com/milestones/0102sr_american_graffiti_coupe/#ixzz2RUzCJpCw

          Where as the kid had a 302/fmx………gotta go with the “go” over the show………


          1. GuitarSlinger

            Heres the real quote you should be reading Mr Blue ;

            From ” Deuce ;75 Years of the finest 32 Hot Rods of all time ”

            And I quote verbatim ;

            ” REAL Hot Rodders know that this chopped semi fenderless coupe with the cut down grill was simply a movie prop quickly built in slightly odd proportions and slapped with just enough make up to shine on the screen ” Pat Ganahl

            Emphasis here on REAL hot rodders

      2. GuitarSlinger

        Well Robert M …..from all appearances it sure looks like Pop Culture Hype trumps Quality and Legend amongst the crew on this site …. unfortunately

        As to Mr Blue’s ‘ findings ‘ ….. I’m afraid thats a whole lot more Internet ‘ Myth ‘ than reality according to TRj , Jeff Beck etc . The point was to make the Milner coupe ‘ Appear ‘ to have performance potential …. not that it actually had it ( which it didn’t and according to JB still doesn’t )

        In conclusion Mr Blue …. have a look around at how many new Hot Rods have been directly influenced by the California Kid ( hell …… one look at Alloway’s shop says it all ) Then tell me how many builds the Milner Coupe ( other than the couple of clones out there ) there are …. Pretty much ….. Zero

        As for a quote … from ” Deuce ;75 Years of the finest 32 Hot Rods of all time ”

        And I quote verbatim ;

        ” REAL Hot Rodders know that this chopped semi fenderless coupe with the cut down grill was simply a movie prop quickly built in slightly odd proportions and slapped with just enough make up to shine on the screen ” Pat Ganahl

        Emphasis here on REAL hot rodders

  4. Allen

    Miner’s coupe will rule, until the last person that watched that awesome movie on the big screen as a kid dies. That car so so wrong its perfect!

  5. Ron Everett Jr

    Com’on . . . California Kid can’t even break the wheels loose. Hands Down John Milner’s Hot Rod is the clear winner. It is the fastest car in the Valley Man !!!!

    Wheels Up Brother . . .

  6. THReynolds

    Fenders and an automatic trans? No way! The bobbed fendered, stick shifted coupe, hands down!

  7. Ed

    tough one for me, but I gotta go with the California Kid. True, cool hot rod, with iconic black with flames appearance.

    1. GuitarSlinger

      And ….. unlike the Milner Coupe …. the California Kid ….. actually Works !

      I’ll repeat quote this once again ;

      From ” Deuce ;75 Years of the finest 32 Hot Rods of all time ”

      ” REAL Hot Rodders know that this chopped semi fenderless coupe with the cut down grill was simply a movie prop quickly built in slightly odd proportions and slapped with just enough make up to shine on the screen ” Pat Ganahl

      1. Joe

        You, GuitarSlinger, are an idiot. Not only does Milner’s coupe have the ‘go’, it’s also way more than a cookie-cutter ’34. Sure Pete Chapouris built it, and it was in the movie, but other than that, it’s just like the rods you see all over. Milner wins, hands down.

  8. Don Richardson

    John Milners deuce is my favorite hot rod of all time. We’ll take ’em all on, eh, Toad!

  9. SidS427

    Another reason for the California Kid; When Billy Gibbons wanted to build the iconic ZZ Top Eliminator Hot Rod, his reference was the California Kid!

  10. Eric

    Simple. Milner’s car was an overhead cam small-block chevy. The California Kid was a Ford flathead. SBC for the win.

  11. cyclone03

    Guitar Slinger your missing the point,this is BangShift we’re not talking the Nicest Car here,Falfa’s 55 was “nicer” than the TLBT 55,and the California Kid ’34 is “nicer” than Milners ’32.

    BangShift is about the best tool for the job,and the job is shutting down everything on the street and strip in this match.

    So the best TOOL for the job and my vote is…

    Milners “piss yellow,puke green” ’32! By a mile.

  12. GM Garcia

    California Kid is bitchin but they used the American Graffiti coupe’s engine for the California Kid engine close up so the Graffiti coupe wins. Both are bitchin.

  13. Keith Jones

    Not sure if the California Kid is a flathead or a 302, but either way I’m gonna go with Milner – certainly my sentimental favorite. But, it won’t be by a mile. Ought to be close.

  14. LXbuilder

    Love the Kid, but I’ve got to go with Milner’s Duece.
    Never been the same since I saw American Grafitti.

  15. starterguy

    Milner’s 32 coupe all the way.
    Most forget that George Lucas bought the coupe because it was already chopped with the tuck and roll interior in it. It was already a hot rod before it became a movie icon. Doesn’t get much better than that.

  16. starterguy

    And one more to Guitar Slinger since you like to quote Pat Ganahl so much here is his quote from Feb 2009 Hot Rod magazine, 100 most influential cars.
    With its chopped grille, bobbed fenders, and black framerails, the Graffiti ’32 coupe will never make a list of Best-Looking Hot Rods. But influential? Nothing beats it. To many Americans (and others the world over), this is the hot rod. It’s the one everybody knows. It’s also unquestionably the one most duplicated-the world over. -Pat Ganahl

  17. Ralph Sajkowski

    Well if I have to pick from these 2, it’s Milners piss yellow coupe. But the Baddest car in American Graffiti and Two Lane Blacktop is the same 55 Chevy driven by Harrison Ford and James Taylor

  18. 00Spy

    Probably my two favorite tv/movie hotrods. I wasn’t old enough to see AG at the theater, but I was old enough to see The Kid on the ABC Friday Night Movie. After that movie, I thought EVERY hotrod should be black with flames. I still think that is one of the best looking cars of all time…BUT, when I think The Kid, I picture it as it looks now with the perfect stance, Halibrands and sans side pipes. When I picture Milner’s coupe…I picture it just as it was. Tough…but got to go with Milner’s coupe.

  19. Mario Calabrese

    Amen “Starterguy”. It has also been stated that the American Graffiti Coupe was singlehandedly responsible for the resurgence of street rodding and cruising! Want to know why there are so many “Milner” clones out there?? Because it’s MORE POPULAR!

  20. Half-Fast

    California Kid! I started third grade shortly after seeing the movie and when asked what my favorite color was I told the teacher “black with flames”.
    Not to mention the historical significance of the Kid in hot rodding history!

  21. Anthony Castillo

    So far it looks like I’m going to be on the short end of this vote but I don’t care. I have to be on record as supporting the California Kid! Now I should be voting for the Milner car because of the SBC power. The kid had a Ford for power, I’m a Chevy guy. But having said that, I’ve always thought the Milner 32 was pure ugly from the first time I saw Graffitti when it came out till this very day. The look of the CA Kid 34 holds up, it just looks correct, it’s timeless. The Milner car never had a time, it’s just wrong! Though it looks like it won’t be, this should be a landslide victory for the California Kid just on looks alone.

  22. Joes' Garage

    California Kid, Saw the original movie in the 8th grade & built a full fendered 34′ 25 yrs later because of the impression it left on me!

  23. Thom Soncrant

    This is a good question and personally, I choose Milner’s coupe. However, since we all have the same interest, my personal opinion is that I strongly believe that what we have here brings up a good subject and a great question between “friends” but this is not the place for name calling of a fan that has an opining that is different than yours. Or, maybe I should stay out of one’s personal choice of words.

Comments are closed.