Project X ’57 Chevy brought to the big screen in The Hollywood Knights!

Hollywood. Like it or hate it, it’s indisputable that it often captures – and sometimes shapes – our car’s culture. One such movie that did both is the cult classic 1980 movie hollywood knights. But to us he’s most famous for a particular yellow ’57 Chevy 210 we call Project X.

Filmed in 1979 and released in 1980, Columbia Pictures was directed by Floyd Mutrux and had a solid cast of newcomers who would later go on to some pretty big things, including Michelle Pfeiffer and Tony Danza (best known at the time for being on the TV show Taxi), Fran Drescher, comedian Robert Wahl, Gary Graham, T.K. Carter. It also had a killer soundtrack that was woven into the film by legendary disc jockey Dr. J. These mid-’60s tracks included songs by Ray Charles, The Birds, The Beach Boys, Supermates, The Drifters, Mamas and Papas, and more. But for us, the real stars were the cars along with the car culture centered around the movie’s main car club, The Hollywood Knights.

This teen comedy wasn’t trying to compete with Shakespeare. It was a series of gags and scenes tied together with a general main plot and three subplots.

The film’s primary location was Tubby’s Drive-In, which was actually the fire-damaged A&W Root Beer location at 7310 Van Nuys Blvd in California that was closed. The drive was completely rebuilt for the movie and even had a real kitchen that could actually make cheeseburgers and fries. The effect was very convincing. In a quote Floyd Motrox recalled, “People thought this was the real thing. They were driving away from the street and demanding our eight cents, a large one with a side of french fries and a shake. When we said we were making a movie, they were wistfully referring to the menu and prices, and asking Why can’t we serve them anyway?” People sought to buy the place after the movie was over and turn it all into a public drive, but unfortunately, that never happened.

The main plot was that Tubby’s was locked down by a bunch of old Beverly Hills solids, and the characters were determined to make out with a fanfare. Producer Richard Lederer noted: “There are few directors as disciplined as [writer-director] Floyd Motrox. And it’s a paradox since then Hollywood Nights It is really about chaos.” Motrox added: “Anarchy is different from rebellion. In 1965, the children were innocent. It was their elders, the sanctified and holiest of hypocrites like the civic benefactors of Beverly Hills, who were giving them a broken world to live in. So the kids, these kids, resisted the only way it made any sense: by having fun.” The movie happened on Halloween night in 1965; ironically, I wrote this story on Halloween and was born in 1965. Scary, isn’t it?

The first three subplots starred Project X. Our yellow Chevy was the ride owned by Duke (Tony Danza), who had a serious but often happy romance with Suzie Q (Michelle Pfeiffer). Susie wanted to be an actress, and Duke thought that would kick him out of her life. Among the angst of the teens, there was a lot of car traffic, the hustle and bustle with the local stuttering cops, and the action of street racing.

The second subplot involved Jimmy Sheen (Gary Graham) being drafted lamenting being shipped to Vietnam. There was even a scene where he told the club he wanted them to have his car, a 1940 Ford Coupe, if anything happened to him in Vietnam. It was one of the few serious scenes in this comedy.

Subplot number three, which is the film’s R rating, covered the antics of Hollywood Knights Automobile Club founder Newbomb Turk (Robert Wohl) and his crew of miscreants as they pull endless gags on cops, hardening society, and attempting to stalk girls, usually without Feasibility. At least they have good taste in magazines, as evidenced by their old version of hextra time Stick. Fun fact: The New Bomb Turks (from Columbus, Ohio) took their name from the character in the movie.

The movie is full of vintage cars, and although it was filmed in 1965, the cars had a mid-70s vibe. The star was Duke’s ’57 Chevy 210, our very own Project X. At the time, it ran a small block with Roots blowers, four speeds, and no hood. When the filmmakers needed cars, there was nowhere to call and ask for great rides. Instead, the director hired auto detective Billy Davis to find the muscle cars needed for the movie. In addition to Project X, he put together a truly impressive collection of toys, which were also complemented by cars owned by the cast and crew including Porsche writer and director Floyd Mutrux and a 1946 Woody buggy owned by then-PolyGram Pictures president Peter Guber.

Street racing, yes, it’s a terrible idea, but it looks great in the movie and really captured the feel of that era. The main opponent here was the 1966 Shelby Cobra and was driven by two Asian men without speaking lines. They just spent the movie hitting other cars while racing at the stop light. Want proof that this was filmed over 30 years ago? Look at the size of that magazine in the background! If you watch closely, you’ll see “smoke” when you damage the Project X engine while shooting. We also heard that the lower blow spool fires, hits the radiator, and shoots water over the top of the car. Others say the engine was hurt, but no one here remembers for sure. We respond to the blower spool that comes out of the story. Fun fact to read hollywood knights Facebook page about the cobra. It’s real (CXS3285) and had a Holman Moody cam under the hood. The guy driving it in the movie was the original owner, and he wouldn’t let anyone else drive the car. He also had his own security for the car. I can’t say we blame him.

The movie had some really cool cars, including the chopped-up 1940 Ford Coupe and geared. When it’s revealed as a gift to Jimmy Shane, Duke asks, “Is that yellow pee?” To which the creator replied “No, it’s Tony Nancy Yellow!” You see, the builder is the legendary painter Tony Nancy, and this yellow was his signature color. We’re not sure what his streak was supposed to be, but we’re glad they kept it the way they did.

Next to Tubby’s was Smitty’s Speed ​​Shop where a lot of hot paddling took place. This was before internet speed stores like this were the lifeblood of our hobby.

Project X in hollywood knights It was just one of many appearances Project X has had over its 56 years as a project car. But since it was a movie, most people picture it when they think of Project X.

For low-cost teen comedy, hollywood knights She has amassed a large number of followers. They have a huge fan club on Facebook (The Hollywood Knights/Classic Car Club has over 7,000 members) and the movie has inspired real-life car clubs, real speed shops, and countless honors. There’s even a great template for Project X produced by ACME.

And of course there are honor cars. This one is owned by hot Ken Farrell, and we saw it on the 2021 HOT ROD Power Tour. Check out the full feature to see more of the Ken’s X Tribute.

Cars in the Knights of Hollywood

  • 1957 Chevrolet 210
  • 1965 Chevrolet El Camino
  • 1965 Pontiac Le Mans
  • 1923 Ford Model T
  • 1956 Chevrolet sedan delivered
  • 1961 Ford Galaxy Starliner
  • 1940 Ford Coupe
  • 1953 Ford F-100
  • 1966 Shelby Cobra
  • 1946 Ford Woody Wagon
  • 1961 Cadillac Pickup “Eureka”
  • Plymouth Hemi Koda

Watch: Project X gets the Hollywood audio treatment!

HOT ROD had the opportunity to spend a day with part of the voice cast crew – Mark Stoekinger, Paul Olesino, and Charlie Campania – who worked on Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw. We pulled Project X, our beloved Chevy ’57, from hot rod He used the garage as a prop for the film, had the guys record his voices on location, and then went back to the studio to put them on some Volkswagen SUVs. Volkswagen’s big four-door utility vehicle has never looked better. Read the original story here!

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