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Celebrity Car Death Match: The 1955 Chevy From Two Lane Blacktop VS The Same 1955 Chevy From American Graffiti!

Celebrity Car Death Match: The 1955 Chevy From Two Lane Blacktop VS The Same 1955 Chevy From American Graffiti!

We know what you’re saying right now and it has lots of swear words in it. We’re good with that because this is death match that absolutely has to happen and you know it does too. There can only be one supreme 1955 Chevy movie car and the fact that both movies used the same damned cars isn’t letting us down one bit. Know why? Because this isn’t real, so just calm the eff down and let’s have a little fun. OK? Before we get into this shoebox slaughter, let’s look at yesterday’s hot Mustang on Mustang action (wait…that didn’t come out right).

[box_dark]The 1973 Mustang Mach 1 from Gone In 60 Seconds 1974 VS The 1967 Mustang From Gone In 60 Seconds 2000

Result: 1973 Mustang Mach 1 DEFEATS 1967 Mustang fastback

Insert insane and incoherent Nick Cage screaming from every one of his movies here[/box_dark]

As we mentioned above, this is a battle where two versions of the same car will be effecting fighting themselves. Think about that too long and blood will shoot from your ears. The good thing is that they aren’t exactly the same, so that could give the edge to one or the other. We’ll start with the black ’55 from American Graffiti. Bob Falfa lost the handle on this bitch while trying to take down John Milner for the title of “fastest in the valley”. Falfa’s ’55 was powered by a tunnel ram equipped 454ci big block Chevy engine, backed by a Turbo 400 transmission and an Olds rear end. The car was 100% steel and it hauled some ass as was evident in the move scenes that depicted it streaking across the screen while trying to intimidate John Milner in his 1932 Ford. The car has a four point roll bar, white tonneau cover where the back seat would be, small hood scoop that may have come from a Pontiac, Ford truck, or some other aftermarket company of the day. It wears chrome reverse wheels, has fuzzy dice, radiused rear wheel openings, and probably smells a little like the last babe that old Bob Falfa tagged in the front seat. The dude was obviously a player. Wonder what ever happened to the actor that played him in the movie. Falfa hurled cutting insults at Milner regarding his color choice for the 1932 Ford, but it was to no avail. The car was crashed on Paradise road (albeit when leading Milner) and burned up, melting Falfa’s tough guy persona like an overdone shrinky-dink. (Thankfully the car shown burning up in the movie was a junkyard hulk).

Revving the engine in this corner is the 1955 Chevy from Two Lane Blacktop. While it is true that the ’55 in American Graffiti was also in Two Lane there are differences! The main camera cars used in Two Lane were equipped with Muncie M-22 four speed transmissions, 4.88 geared Olds rear ends, one had an L-88 427 and the other had a 454 engine shipped straight from GM to Richard Ruth who built the cars. Other differences include the wheel/tire combo with mags instead of the chrome reverse pieces, fiberglass nose, trunk lid, and doors with sliding windows that looked to provide as much ventilation as those holes you poked into a sneaker box when you caught a frog as a kid, along with primer paint. Driven simply by a man known as “the driver” as played to James Taylor it was also street raced in pivotal scenes, but not crashed up like the Graffiti car. Taylor hurled more subtle and cutting insults at street racing foes during Two Lane especially when choosing off with the little old Chevy coupe at the drive in. He called the car “nice for a home built” and then “a two bit piece of junk”. The ol’ 55 then went out and kicked the little coupe’s ass in front of all the assembled throngs. The M-22 is one of the stars of the film if you’re a gearhead because you can hear it whining during all of the interior shots that were used in the final product. The car sounds wicked when being street raced and legally raced at a couple of drag strips in the film. Downsides? Apparently the thing needed to be jetted every 12 minutes per Dennis Wilson’s character who never once asked about food, shelter, money, or any other type of basic human need, instead he constantly worried about the jetting in the dual carbs atop the tunnel ram.  Could that be the flaw that the other car can capitalize on?


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62 thoughts on “Celebrity Car Death Match: The 1955 Chevy From Two Lane Blacktop VS The Same 1955 Chevy From American Graffiti!

  1. Mr.Blue

    Easiest one yet………..the two-lane car was LEGIT!………..Hell, i’d probably rate GTO over the AG car…..i’d run off and leave him in twenty minutes! DONT PUT ME ON, i been around a track to many times! 500 ft/lbs of torque…whatever that is……..

  2. John T

    aw this one’s hard…..I’ll narrowly go for 2 lane blacktop, purely because it is a far more “winning” car in that movie, I like, too, the realism angle of it just driving around the place. Plus I really like how it looks in primer…Finally, it comes with its own set of jets!!

  3. Silver68RT

    I like the two lane blacktop version. I’d actually like to build a clone of that car. I just think it’s a much tougher look, and I prefer the primer, daisy mags and aluminum scoop versus the American Grafitti black paint, chrome reverse wheels, and fiberglass scoop.

    I saw a straight axle ’55 Chevy project on craigslist a while ago pretty cheap, and I was barely able to restrain myself.

  4. Ron Ward

    I gotta go with the Falfa incarnation of the 55. I just dug it with the chrome reverse wheels and that sinister black paint.

  5. squirrel

    Two lane…..if only because we got to spend so much time riding along in the car, while watching the movie. The Falfa car was all about Falfa, the TLB car was all about the car

  6. RacerRick

    Two lane all the way. Just plain meaner, and in the trim it was shown in the movie was a legit 10 second car in the early 70’s!

  7. Dan Moore

    Splitting hairs: Even though TLB was a far better hot rod movie, and the car did more racing (and winning), I like the looks of Falfa’s black ride, and the hood scoop looked much cleaner. Both Big-Block Chevy’s, hard to not like either one, IMHO.

  8. Joe Toney

    TLB all the way, easy win with the STICK and mailbox scoop. “396??- 454…..-No shit??!!!”

  9. C1BAD66

    The Two-Lane Blacktop ’55 for the win!

    I think I’ve seen more clones/tributes to it than the Graffiti car, too.

    ‘Too bad about Taylor dissing the movie. I heard a rumor years ago about him attempting to buy up all copies of the film so he could destroy them. What a ‘tard…

  10. Mark

    The Two Lane car looks more hardcore, with the A G car being ‘pretty’ ! Besides, I like James Taylor – plus, as has been commented – there’s more ‘car’ in the Two Lane movie.

  11. Dan Licharson

    Tough call. Falfa was a much “cooler” character, but hands down, the TLB car has the attitude. My vote goes to Two Lane Blacktop

  12. Tracy

    The white corduroy back seat cover was too much dead weight. That and the TH400. AG could never have beaten TLB, even if Falfa kicked into hyperdrive. And American Daisys beat chrome reversed wheels any day.

  13. Gearhead Jake

    TLB –
    An L88 427 can give the 27 cubes to a 454 & still run circles around it, especially with an M-22 – provided no missed shifts!

  14. 75Duster

    The Two Lane Blacktop ’55, because its a legit street/ strip car and ” Its the jets man.”

  15. Turbo Regal

    TLB ’55.

    “There’s nothing like building up an old automobile and wiping out one of these Detroit machines. That’ll give you a set of emotions that wil stick with you!”

  16. nxpress62

    Technically the graffitti car couldn’t have a big block in it, movie was supposed to take place in 1962. Woulda been a 327 or .100 over 283, or even a 409. Tires and LS-7 would have won the day for the two lane car easy..

    1. Johnny

      The Falfa car was supposed to be a 409……which is a big block. I take the Falfa car; if you watch the movie it had a 4 speed in it when he was driving it, the burning car had the automatic trans in it.

  17. Monk

    My ’55 Chevy started out looking like the TLB car and now is in
    American Graffiti dress.
    Hafta go with American Graffiti…….but also because the movie represented my memories of back then.
    I spent many a night partying over buddies leaving town………..most all going into the service.
    With Viet Nam going on at the time…….we never knew if we would ever see them again.
    I had my send off and was lucky to return.

  18. BOB

    Although AG is probably my all time favorite car cult movie with TLB definitly in the top ten, my vote is for the 2 Lane Blacktop car. I love the raw, strictly business attitude of that car. With its glass front end, glass deck lid, lexan windows and stripped interior, big block power and manual trans it would also beat the AG car in a race. I read somewhere that the 2 Lane car was supposed to be in a crash at the end of the movie but the movie ending was rewritten to “save” the car for the American Graffitti movie????

  19. Andrew

    Definetely American Graffiti, because that movie got me into chevys especially this’55 bel air and the ’58 Impala.

  20. tiresmoke!

    The primered,’glass nose, dual-quad big-block 4-speed TLBT version does more for me….has all the fire&fury.

    The slick black paint and chrome-reverse makeover for AG looks great, but doesn’t grab me.

  21. gmc gasser

    Two Lane Blacktop because it is about the car. The 55 is the vehicle that presents the whole movie.


    I love them both!! If I had to pick though, I guess I’d pic the American Graffiti ’55…wait…ummm ya I dunno…

  23. DDP

    Bob Falfa loses again, first to John Milner and then to James Taylor. The AG car is cool and pretty, the Two Lane car is uber-cool, ugly and fast as hell. Oh and sorry about using the word “uber”….

  24. Caveman Tony


    4-Speed VIOLENCE beats Han Solo’s macho bravado, all day long, everyday.

    Taylor’s understated seething anger would probably have beaten Ford’s wimp-ass cowboy hat in a fistfight too. Good thing he took it all out on the four-speed.

  25. The Outsider

    “Two-Lane” over Falfa every time . . . Falfa’s car is just an ordinary street machine . . . a bit player with only a couple of big scenes.

    But the “Two-Lane” ’55 is iconic . . . pure . . . fiberglass tilt front . . . lift-off trunk . . . sliding Plexiglas windows (I wonder why that’s not seen more today) . . . function over form in virtually every way possible . . . a car that’s inspired thousands of Bangshifters’ dreams!

  26. The Outsider

    “Falfa’s ’55 was powered by a tunnel ram equipped 454ci big block Chevy engine, backed by a Turbo 400 transmission and an Olds rear end.”

    Two-thirds of that driveline would not have been possible in ’62 (No TH 400 until ’64; No Mark IV Rat until ’65) . . . another reason to pick the original (“Two-Lane”) over the watered-down successor.

    Of course, because they never show what mill Falfa’s packin’, Bangshifters have always been free to imagine Falfa’s car with a 409 or something that WOULD have been era-correct in ’62.

  27. Pizzandoughnuts

    I would have to say Two Lane Blacktop, a manly man’s car, uncomfortable as hell, loud, wind blowing through every crack, no heater, on insolation, and damn tools in the back. Who needs paint when it is a purpose built car, let’s work the M22 and run it flat out for a while!!!

  28. Mopar or No Car


    Nobody every said about James Taylor, “Ain’t he neat!” All business, no bluster.

  29. 3nine6

    If you listen closely to Falfas car in the one scene of Graffiti, it sounds like a dubbed in funny car burnout, totally fake. There’s no mistaking that Muncie “whine” in TLB. Tilt front ends, tunnel rams & M-22’s beat chrome reverse and nice paint every time. TLB wins.

  30. Johnny Porsche

    TLB Chevy is the most beautiful car in the world! The Movie is the coolest, as is Dennis Wilson the mechanic. American Graffiti has a few cool scenes but it is most a pussy movie about high school girlies. What a fail. Falvas car is a shame, as they runined the best race car ever! Two lane, two lane, two lane!!!

  31. 4dr57

    The 2 Lane car would clean up because it had a “Driver”. Alfalfa was not a driver. He was cast as “stupid” so he’d probably just crash again

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