March 23, 2006 Update
April 17, 2006 --- OUR CLASSIFIEDS SECTION IS NOW UP!! PLEASE CLICK ON THE BUTTON FOR OUR CLASSIFIEDS PAGE. Please follow the rules as outlined on the submission page when you submit your ad.
WELCOME BACK to the most anticipated update of this company's history!!! That's right, boys, you're finally getting your update that everybody's been bitchin' about!! First off, I would like to say, we are not out of business, and we will probably never, ever go out of business - as this site does not generate enough revenue to either make or break us! This site is done entirely on the love of the car - that's it! It is NOT money motivated!! So the only way that we will ever go out of business will either be by turning great hatred towards this car or by death - that's it! So, please - no more E-mails to see if we are still in business! If you can access the site, we're still here! Future updates will be few and far between - this is entirely based upon the time of day. This meaning that I work a full time job, I have a wife and 3 kids, and I'm building two American Graffiti Coupes - plus still gathering all the correct info / research on this car (which takes up a good portion of my time). You do the math - sometimes there just ain't time for an update! But, nevertheless, you will get them - this I promise!
Now that we've established that we are not out of business, and are not going out of business, let's get on with the update!! JUST A QUICK NOTE TO START: PLEASE CHECK EVERY BUTTON OUT AS NEW STUFF HAS BEEN ADDED!! Lots of new clones and updates on clones pages are also now ready for you to view. Check out everything!!
This update is going to contain a lot of stuff- in fact, this will probably be one of the biggest updates in company history!! First, I would like to start off by mentioning the new buttons we have listed above. The first button I would like to talk about is the Armed Forces button. This button is entirely dedicated to all of our men and women serving in the Armed Forces. We have been noticing over the past several months that a fair number of our hits have come from our troops overseas. In fact, one of the members of Milner's Mafia is currently serving in the Middle East. So, this button is in honor of all those serving. If you would like to see your photo, your platoon's photo, your unit's photo, your battalion's photo, your tank crew's photo, your flight crew - etc. etc. etc., please send us your photos and we will post them on our site. You DO NOT have to be a hot-rod fanatic, you don't even have to own a hot rod. Just by posting your photo is our way of saying thanks for the hell of a job that you are doing for this country, and the country that you are fighting for. So, please, send us your photos, as we would be honored to put them on our site.
The next button I would like to speak about is the Site Popularity button. This button has been put up to show everyone out there on the world wide web just how fucking popular we are becoming. As you can plainly see, we are getting over 200,000 hits PER MONTH!! Boys, I ain't making this shit up! This is pulled directly from our hosting service logs. So we figured we would put it up for everyone to see. Plus you can see what countries are visiting this site. Yes, we were amazed by these numbers as much as you! And remember, we have never advertised anywhere (except for the occasional E-Bay ads). This is not to pat ourselves on the back or to boast ourselves - its just to let everyone know how much traffic is coming to our web site.
You will also notice a button at the top for Other American Graffiti Cars. This button is dedicated to all the die hard American Graffiti fans. Basically, it comes down to this. Not everyone loves the AG Coupe. Other people like the '55, the '58, the T-Bird, the Edsel, the Merc, the Citron, and hell even the Vespa!! So, this button is dedicated to all of those who build these cars or have one sitting in their garage. So, if you would send us pictures of your Graffiti car, we will gladly add them to this site. Upon doing so, please make sure that your photos are nice and large, and that you include your first and last name, and the state that you live in. If you have a Graffiti Coupe, we will gladly add it to our Graffiti Coupe Clone page - all others will be posted on this page. We hope to get many, many, many replies to this. So, get 'em coming in!!
Now for what everyone has been wanting to hear!! What happened on our San Francisco Trip!!!?? Well, boys, it goes like this. . . First off, it was the first time that all 4 partners have come together and met each other. So, finally after hours upon hours of phone conversations, we finally came face to face. And let me tell you, it is a weekend that none of us will ever forget! Yea, we had that much fun! It was almost like being reunited with your long lost brothers that you haven't seen for a long long time.
Here's just a few things that happened to us: We got sent to prison (a.k.a. the Rock), we got lost in San Francisco (repeatedly), we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge (probably by mistake), we ate some mighty fine food, met some really really cool people, and, oh yea - we saw the Original American Graffiti Coupe!! This whole adventure started by myself (Rick) and Trapper meeting Project THX's first buildat the airport - basically our flights came in at the same time. We rented a hot rod 2006 Ford Taurus to tear up the town in, and headed off to the hotel. Once we got settled in the hotel, we figured we better try this city out and see what she had to offer. For those of you who have never been to San Francisco, let me just say this: JESUS CHRIST!!! THIS TOWN IS A BITCH TO DRIVE IN!!!! I mean, we were on the freeway, literally going 100 mph, and getting passed like we were standing still!! I am not exaggerating at all! Then, if you do happen to make it downtown (which is really a trip all itself), driving downtown is a whole other experience! I have never seen so many one way streets or NO LEFT TURNS in my entire life! If you miss your street, you're fucked!! You'll be on the other side of town before you can turn around. Now, you're saying "What's so big about that?" Well, considering that you are driving in 90 degree angles, up and down, trolley carts on your ass, people walking out in front of you - it gets to be a bit aggravating to say the least! So, I basically say - you can have San Francisco! I'll stick to my Kansas City driving, where the roads are flat - which is always good for racing!
So, after kinda finding our way around a little bit, we decided to head back to the hotel and call it a day, until the next day when our 4th partner ,the Guru Doug Bjorn showed up. Doug showed up in the early morning of the 14th. From there, we went to breakfast, sat around, bull-shitted, and then figured it was time to go to our new hotel and get our stuff un-packed. Ironically, this was also the date of Project THX 138's one year anniversary! From this point we ventured out to the Cow Palace, which we had found quite by accident the day before. Now, I don't know about you guys, but needless to say, I was very excited about seeing the original Coupe for the first time. And to be quite honest, so was Trapper and Doug. Project THX's first build, not so excited since he was the only one of the partners who had actually seen the coupe before. So we ventured our way through the car show until we found it. Now let me just tell you guys, when I first saw it the angels sang . . . for two minutes. I had come to the realization that what I was looking at was the exact same thing I had been working in my garage on for the past year - I mean, no difference, except the one I am working on is much nicer!! Now this part of the story, I'm going to skip - because we're going to come back and talk later about the coupe. So now, we're going to venture out of the car show, and go straight on to Saturday.
Saturday was a cold and rainy day. And we ventured out to the Rock (a.k.a. Alcatraz). For those of you who ever get to come to San Francisco and have never been here, we highly suggest that you take a trip to the Rock. This was one of the highlights of our trip, and was well worth the $16 admission fee. The history of this place will actually floor you. I'm so glad we did it, as if I ever go back, I will go to the Rock again. Now, upon our adventure to the Rock, we had an appointment to keep for Saturday night. That appointment was with one of our own club members, Jim Radford (a.k.a., Sleepy) all the way from England. Now, why is it a.k.a. Sleepy? We'll get to that! So, the boys from Project THX decided we had fucked around enough that day -the Rock, the Golden Gate, getting lost, visiting Mel's Diners - and we figured we had better get back to the car show, as this is where at precisely 6 pm that night we are to meet Mr. Radford. So we all show up at 6 sharp! The show is packed, but we make our way to the Coupe. We wait, and we wait, and we wait, and we wait, and we wait some more. . . but no Mr. Radford is to be seen!! So after enough waiting (3 hours), and us not really seeing eye to eye with Mr. Figari, we decided to get the hell out of there and head out to get something to eat. Now you're probably wondering, what didn't we agree with Mr. Figari on - believe me, we will get to this part of the story down the line, as it is a story all by itself.
So, after a very filling dinner of steak and lobster, we decided to head back to the old hotel, and watch some hot rod movies, that the Guru himself had brought for the trip. As we walked down to our room, we passed Mr. Radford's room, and we all started yelling "WAKE UP YOU FUCKING BASTARD!!!" just joking around. So after about a half an hour of being in our room and watching some movies, we get a knock at the door, and who should it be, but Mr. Radford - who looked like he had just gotten up! Well, guys, he DID just get up!! Mr. Radford, who flew all the way from England, slept all through the show! Yep, he flew 3000+ some miles to see a car and hang out with us - and he slept through EVERYTHING!! Now we have a picture of Mr .Radford as he entered our room, and we would love to post it - and we will!! When we find it! That's right, Jimmy!! We are posting this on a BIG PHOTO!! So now you know how he gets the name Sleepy! But in all seriousness, Jim is really one hell of a guy. He hung out in our room for a couple of hours. We talked cars, and we talked family - and I just can't say enough about Jim. He is someone I hope you all get to meet! And remember, Jim, you're ass better be stopping in Kansas City on your way to Sturgis - this time I'll make sure you don't sleep through anything!!
When Sunday came, our time in San Francisco had come to an end. And let me tell you, the time went too fucking fast, as we all knew it would. So we all drove to the airport as our planes all left at the same time, and said our goodbyes. And we look forward to seeing each other again very very soon!
Okay. . . let's get back to the show. . . First off, I would like to mention about a button we have at the top of the page called Graffiti / Car Shirts. This button will take you to a little shop where you can buy the koolest car shirts on the market. And when I say Kool, I mean SUPER KOOL! We met these people at the Cow Palace Car Show when we were walking around just a little pissed off. Now, I can't really go into details on what happened, but I would just like to say this: These people went out of their way to make our trip a very memorable trip! So, thank you Jim and Patsy for your generous hospitality and putting your neck on the line!! We here at Project THX 138 greatly appreciate it, and we can't say Thank You enough! So, all you guys that are looking for some really really kool shirts, get your ass over to this site, as you will not deal with anyone better than Jim and Patsy Haggerty! Their prices are outstanding, and their shirts and apparel are simply the best!
All right, let's get to the shit of the matter! I would like to state that these comments are entirely the opinions of the partners of Project THX 138. Our opinion is plainly this: Rick Figari has shown us that he has absolutely no respect whatsoever for anyone who is a fan of this car, and that he is also acting like he is insecure and fears that someone else will try to steal his business with a copy of his car - to the point that we no longer feel we can trust anything he says about this car, and that others are advised to be wary. I will never ever, while I have a breath left in me, say a nice thing about Rick Figari. All the rumors that you have ever heard that Rick is not a nice guy - in our opinion - they are 100% on the money! Basically it goes like this. We here at Project THX 138 expect no handouts, and no favors. BUT. . . we do think we have earned a little respect! And Mr. Figari just does not want to respect us, and we'll just leave it at that. Show some pride in it!!!! (I know that those of you who can read between lines are taking a collective breath right now!) People know when they want the truth about this car that they should come to me or to Project THX 138 and not someone who just doesn't get it, and who claims that the Danbury Mint owns the right to this car!!
Let me explain, people. When we showed up to the car show, we introduced ourselves to Mr. Figari. We were very polite and nice. In fact, we brought Mr. Figari one of the few Milner Mafia shirts that we had received at the time. From the get go, Rick was very rude, and was very elusive to our questions. Questions? What questions would we ask? How about why he changed the rear bumper on the back of the coupe? Believe it or not, guys, Figari had the balls to tell us that it was the original bumper! Was it the original bumper? Well, if it was, I have a 10 inch dick! The bumper was a home made job that was welded together and painted silver. It was bolted to the left side of the car, and rested on the back side of the license plate, and it lacked about 3-4 inches from bolting up to the right side of the car. There was no peak in the center of this - it was clearly a different bumper! Also, the car looked like it could have been in a fender bender as a lot of paint was missing off the right side rear fender. All Rick would have had to say was "It got damaged in transport," which it probably did, and that he was having the original replaced. But Rick would rather lie and say that it was the original. Upon further conversation with Mr. Figari, it was stated that if he ever needed any replacement parts for the Coupe, he could have them entirely for free from Project THX 138. However, Mr. Figari stated that he has owned this car for 25 years and knew every part on it, and needed no ones help. I would just like to say that this is bullshit, and the deal is now off!
Some other interesting notes on the Coupe, by the way, is that the back rear glass on the coupe IS MISSING - THERE IS NO BACK GLASS!!! IT IS GONE!!! IT IS NOT ROLLED DOWN, IT IS GONE!! Don't ask me how we know, but we know. Also, the front wishbones are severely dented on the top side, the Coupe now has stock 32 springs up front instead of the Posi's, the car also has changed out the front shocks to a dust shield covering the top of the shocks (still chromed). There are 10 leafs on the rear spring, and the car does have a P case on the rear end housing. Just in case anybody wanted to know. Please don't ask how we know this - it's just we know! Now my partners, Trapper and Doug, were told numerous times to quite taking photos of this car. Can you believe this shit?! It sits at a car show open to the fucking public that are willing to pay an admission price, and they have the balls to say no more pictures!! On top of all this shit, they say a person from the Danbury Mint is there, and so Rick is not allowed to open the car doors, we can't sit in it - basically the same shit he dishes out at every car show. In fact, it was Mr. Danbury Mint himself who told us to stop taking pictures, as Rick didn't have the balls to do it himself!!! Upon further research, Trapper has contacted the Danbury Mint - they have apologized for the incident, but were clearly baffled! It turns out that they have NEVER sent a representative to ANY car show (even the ones in their own back yard in Pennsylvania), and NEVER WOULD!! They further explained that they had no rights to any car owned by anyone else, and could not and would never prohibit anyone from taking pictures of it at a public show! They are, in fact, very concerned about this incident, as it directly reflects on their reputation. They are pursuing their own investigation to see just who exactly this guy was - and he is going to have a LOT of explaining to do!! They did say that Mr. Figari had discussed making an American Graffiti Coupe model with them a year previously, BUT THAT HE HAD BACKED OUT OF THE DEAL for reasons they could not discuss. So. . . draw your own conclusions!! These are just based solely upon facts and facts only - and here's one more for you. After returning from San Francisco, Rick found a picture of Mr .Danbury Mint on a card for VintageFord.com - who just happened to be a major sponsor of the American Graffiti Coupe booth!! So, Vintage Ford has been blackballed from any future business with Project THX 138, as has Mr. Figari. We will not and will never do business with this type of people! Please click on the tag above that says Mr. Danbury Mint to get a good look at this guy. This way, if you are ever at a show, you'll know to hide your camera if you ever see him - or better yet, take a good close up of him!! This information is in the process of being forwarded to the Danbury Mint. Remember, these only the opinions of the partners of Project THX 138, and are based upon facts that happened to us and us only - we cannot speak for other people that may or may not have had the same kind of experience at any show.
On to more positive things!! The New Age Motorsport body is now complete!! Click on Project THX's first builds Project above, or on Project THX's first build's Clone on the Clones page. Here you will see the pictures of the New Age Motorsports body. As you can plainly tell, this has the stock firewall, and it also has the stock flat floor. Project THX's first build's body does not have the stock trunk hinges, as Project THX's first buildwas needing his body now, and did not want to wait any longer. However, mine (Rick) will have the stock hinged trunk, which will be available on future cars. You will also notice on Project THX's first build's firewall that there is a small triangle cut out on the right side of the car. This is a notch for the small block Chevy; however, we are re-doing this, and all future NAM bodies will come with completely stock firewalls. New Age Motorsports will also be making the correct rear bumper for the back of the Coupe. The only difference between the NAM and the original bumper, is that the NAM bumper will be stainless where the original is chromed. Also, NAM here in the near future will also be making the correct headers. Basically, we had a couple of sets of headers made. One set is on Project THX's first build's Chassis, which you can plainly see, and the other set went to Ed. Ed is using these as a pattern, so they will be 100% correct when finished. We do not know Ed's time frame on producing either the rear bumpers or the headers - but I am sure that we will be the first to know - and when we do know, we will get it out immediately on an update.
Ok. For all of you guys that are wanting the front cycle fenders - we have kind of run into a snag in that the shop we were having build these has gone out of business. It is a small setback, but please don't worry - we will get them made! Also, we are talking to a major tire company on re-producing the JC Penney 14" cheater slicks - yes that same cheater slicks that were used on the car in the movie. These will probably will be made - in fact, it looks like a 95% chance that these will be made! The only difference will be that these will not say JC Penney on them (due to legal issues) - other than that they will be 100% correct. In talking to this major tire company, it looks as though the price for these tires is going to be $235 per tire. Yes, it's high - but where else can we get them? I will keep you up to date as further information comes in to me. As for the front fenders, please do not E-mail me as to when they are going to be done as I have no idea whatsoever; when you see them in the parts warehouse, you know we have them - and they will probably be available in a limited quantity.
Next - a news flash for the Covico Steering Wheels. Covico is still in business, and I have contacted them to see if they can produce this steering wheel. Sorry, guys, no dice. Their technology is a little farther advanced, and they no longer deal with the older stuff, so it looks like we'll just have to keep digging for the older stuff and paying the heftier price. I would also like to mention to all of those who are building a Graffiti Coupe Clone. You might want to consider this: this being step boxing your frame. Step boxing your frame will cost you about $40 and will strengthen your chassis immensely - it also allows you easy access to your body bolts. To see how this is done, please look at Project THX's first build's Chassis. The original Coupe is neither step boxed or boxed - hence the problem it has with its frame cracking. Remember, these frames were originally rated for 80 horsepower. We are now running 200-450 horsepower on these chassis, and it does not take much to twist and crack them. Do what you like, I am just mentioning this to save you future problems. In talking about the original Coupe, at the show in San Francisco, the partners and myself witnessed a guy trying to buy the Original Coupe for 1 Million Dollars! Now let me just say this: One of the partners is an appraiser. I asked this partner what this car is really worth, and he stated that based upon it being the actual movie car, and the shape that it is in, he would appraise this car at $75,000. Myself, I don't know if I would want to give more than $30,000 for it, but to each his own. This car is in really, really poor shape! I wish a little time, care, and money would be invested in it for future generations to see. In my professional opinion, if the car is kept neglected as it is now, it won't be around in the future.
Another quick news flash - for those of you having trouble with your fan blade hitting the radiator hose, I have found a 15" fan blade on E-Bay. This fan blade can be found by typing in "15" FAN BLADE" on E-Bay. The fan will cost you around $40 but is brand new, and spins freely without hitting any of your hoses. The fan is black so it will need to be chromed.
Well, guys, it is getting very very late. I hope you find this update very entertaining. It comes from the heart, and I hope it finds you in all good health. Please check out our photos listed on the button above called San Francisco Trip as I'm sure you will all get a kick out of it. Keep all your photos of your Graffiti cars and Coupe's coming in, as we love posting them for everyone to see - for all 200,000+ visitors a month. We would also like to add that when met the four members of the cast of American Graffiti, which were Paul LeMat (Paul received his Milner Mafia shirt), Cindy Williams, Candy Clark and Bo Hopkins, they were the nicest people we could ever have wanted to meet (Rick, take a lesson from them!). They were very pleasant and very kind. It was stated by Mr. Bo Hopkins that the Ertl company is going to produce the American Graffiti Police car in 1/18 scale, and it will come with a tow cable so you can wrap it around the rear end. At this present time, we have seen nothing from Ertl, but we are keeping our eyes and ears open. And yes, Jim, we will find your photo, and it will be big!!!
Okay, this is a new added thing, as this update has taken over 14 hours to complete, and I kind of forget to put stuff where it needs to go. Basically, I am adding this to the site. I would like to add that my good friend, Brad Dougan, who owns Custom Automotive and is listed in our Where to Buy Parts section, has become a dealer for some pretty big companies. Brad is going to start some pretty good deals for people who parts through this web site. At the present time, he is waiting for his inventory to come in, but when it does, he will be bringing the stuff over to Project THX 138 where we will photograph it and set him up a web store on our site. Listed in this will be special deals for non-members of the Mafia, and special deals for members of the Mafia. Brad is kicking around even with his special deals, free shipping to everyone. One of the main things that Custom Automotive will be selling is a steel completely stock looking grill shell, and the 4 inch chopped grill inserts. As soon as Brad and I get together, I will do a small update letting everyone know that his store is open, so be on the lookout. This is some really really cool stuff, at very good prices! I would also like to mention that my good friend, Herman Schiller, who is a member of the Mafia, wanted to let everyone know that his car is in the wrap up stages. Herman said that anyone that would like photos or a movie of his car to please contact him and he would gladly get this information out to you. Herman would be glad to let everyone know the do's and the don'ts to building this car, as he has gone to great measures and great dollar signs!! Also, there is a new tag that we just added pertaining to some cool American Graffiti stuff that I thought everyone would pretty much dig, including the really cool picture of Milner's girlfriend. Also take note in the original photos of Milner's Coupe, we have added quite a few new photos. But like I said before, we have added to almost every tag on this update, so please check out everything and have fun doing so!
Until next time, keep her between the white lines, and happy hot-rodding!
The Guys at Project THX 138
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Project THX 138
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