Unlike the country where I come from, American young automotive enthusiasts have an advantage of obtaining a driver’s license when they are only sixteen years old. In addition to that it seems that since consumerism hit US finding a car to drive is one of the easiest things to do. My dad always told me that number of car accidents would fall to only 30% of the current number, if parents stop buying fast cars to their kids. He was always telling me that in France there are much less car accidents because French parents don’t buy cars to their children, and that their sons and daughters need to earn enough money to buy their first car themselves. That’s why French kids never drive fast.
I’m not so sure if this story was true, or it was just an excuse for him not to buy me a car. I remember going to a rich friend’s 18th birthday (which in my country is something like a sweet sixteen) bringing cheapest wine bottle in gift wrap and seeing used VW Golf Mk4 with a big red ribbon on its roof. Thinking, omg this is what i call a birthday present. If my dad was thinking like the rich dad who shows off his love with a used Golf, I would probably never like cars as much as I do now. Since collecting enough money to buy your first vehicle when you are 20 something is probably one of the first steps in becoming an auto freak. Guys and girls who got stuff like these for their birthdays, usually get fed up with them very fast.
So lets get back the US, wonderland where 16, 17 and 18 year old kids drive their own cars. Not the ones their daddy both them. One of the favorite American past times is cruising. Driving cars slowly around town, just for the fun of it. Doing that in groups, race each other on traffic lights and pick up girls and booze along the way. All that without thinking of fuel consumption, driving safety or any other thing accept which station to play on your car radio. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
One of the most iconic movies in which cruising is presented in the best possible way, in which one of the favorite past time activities of American youth is dissected to bits, thoroughly inspected and built back again from scrap like John Milner’s yellow ’32 Deuce Coupe.
So here are the cars from American Graffiti, photos and stories about their owners and drivers: