Where were you in ‘62? That is the question posed by the film American Graffiti, which has solidified itself as not only a cult classic among auto enthusiasts, but the population in general. Released in 1973, the film looked at an era just 11 years in the past, but those 11 years had seen many changes in America, including Vietnam, the Nixon White House, and three assassinations. That’s what made the more care-free days of cruising in your car, and hanging out at the local drive-in that much more appealing, and struck a nostalgic chord with not only auto enthusiasts, but anyone that was part of it all in 1962. Heck, even if you weren’t, it still looks so darn fun, and you’ve probably heard the various stories from your parents that made it seem like a better time to have grown up.
I don’t know where Steve Edenfield was in ‘62, but I do know that American Graffiti obviously had an impact on him due to the tribute car he has. While his 1932 Ford 5-Window Hiboy Coupe isn’t meant to be an exact replica of Milner’s famous car from the movie, it obviously draws its inspiration from it....and even wears the same THX 138 license plate. The fact is Steve Edenfield’s hot rod roots run deep, and do indeed extend back into the early 60’s. His first real car was a ‘56 Chevy 2-Door with a V-8. However he always had a love of Corvettes and wanted to get one, so at age 17 he traded into a ‘58 Corvette, also owning a ‘33 Willys 4-Door he was building to race. Steve went to college in Miami back in 1967, and traded all of it for boat racing, while also getting married, and having two boys. Then came the movie American Graffiti in 1974, and it reignited his passion for cars again. He quickly bought a 1923 Ford T-Bucket, and since then has had 40 cars. That included many vintage Corvettes, and one ‘56 Vette that was featured in the Rascal Flatts video “Life Is A Highway”.
However, when he gets behind the wheel of his yellow 1932 Ford 5-Window Hiboy Coupe it is like Steve is stepping back in time, becoming one with the movie, and the magic that was the early 60’s. Pop in a CD of some oldies music, with an intro by Wolfman Jack, and the transformation is complete.
Items on his Graffiti Coupe include an all steel 5-Window body with a 3-1/2 inch chopped top, that distinctive bright yellow paint, and a set of American Racing Torque Thrust rims with whitewall tires and “cheater slicks” in the back. The car utilizes a John Heinzman Street Rods chassis, Superbell aluminum axle, Pete & Jakes suspension, and a tan colored Ultra Leather interior. Power comes from a small block Chevy that displaces 355 cubic inches, is topped with a 671 GMC blower, and the combo mated to a Turbo 350 automatic transmission that ultimately turns a 9-inch Ford rear end with 3.73:1 gears.
Steve currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida, and also has a ‘32 Ford Roadster and a 1957 Chevy Pickup. His love of cars certainly rubbed off on his two sons, Ryan and Chad, who have a 1941 Willys Coupe and a 1932 Ford 3-Window Hiboy Coupe. Yes, the Edenfields are a hot rod family, and in part owe the rekindling of the flame to a relatively low budget film released in 1974 by a then unknown George Lucas about cruising in Modesto, California. Long live nostalgia! CN