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Route 66 News

The star of “Two-Lane Blacktop”

Although I didn’t like “Two-Lane Blacktop” much, I always wondered what happened to that souped-up 1955 Chevrolet that essentially starred (along with singer James Taylor) in the 1971 cult film that was partly filmed on Route 66.

A story in the Berkshire Eagle in Massachusetts answers that question. Walt Bailey of Maryland owns the car, and he took it to the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mass., for a James Taylor and Friends event earlier this week.

“I never dreamed it in ‘71, when I saw it in the movies, that I would ever have the real car. Who would?” said Bailey. […]

Bailey’s car was one of three used in the film and primarily for interior shots. While the movie wasn’t a big commercial success, it has found a cult following and is even shown in many film schools. “To me, it’s a big piece of my history and a big piece of cinematic history,” Bailey said. “It’s like an artifact in a way.” […]

The biggest treat for Bailey, though, was getting to reconnect the car with its on-screen partner. “It’s like a dream come true,” said Bailey, who took the car over to Tanglewood Tuesday night to show Taylor, or as he called the encounter — “a James Taylor time machine.”

“He jumped right in, it was like not a single day had passed,” Bailey said.

The cool part was that Bailey had the car restored by one of the film’s mechanics and even returned the vehicle to its dark color seen in the movie.

Here’s the trailer for the film, where you can see the Chevy and Warren Oates’ sweet-looking Pontiac GTO.

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One thought on “The star of “Two-Lane Blacktop”

  1. Trevor Hilton

    I’ve wondered about many automotive movie stars. Such as “The Fall Guy’s” GMC truck, and the “Smokey And The Bandit” Trans Am’s, for example.

    I know most of the 007 cars are in museums. One of the Eleanor’s used in Nicholas Cage’s “Gone In 60 Seconds” is in a museum. The “Beverly Hill Billys” truck is in a museum in Missouri. The “Mad Max” car was found in an Australian salvage yard, and restored.

    But many others I’ve never heard anything about.

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