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Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

Posted August 30, 2012 9:00 AM by dstrohl

A group of Dodge Challenger enthusiasts is preparing to set off on an excursion to visit the sites used in the filming of the cult-classic movie, Vanishing Point, known to most muscle car fans, thanks to the white 1970 Challenger driven by the main character, known simply as Kowalski. Andy McCraner of Denver, Colorado, filled us in on the trip and the story behind it.

It seems that several years ago, Andy, who owns a 1970 Challenger, was regularly visiting a web board dedicated to the model, The Dodge Challenger Board, and met a few other enthusiasts who were also big fans of the movie. As it turned out, the board was actually started by a British Challenger fan, Dave Robson, who, not surprisingly, was also a fan of Vanishing Point. According to Andy, it's not as unusual as it might seem to Americans for Europeans to be familiar with the film, as it was released and enjoyed far greater success in Europe than it had in its home market.

After a number of discussions about the movie, Andy, Dave and some other board regulars began to talk about a road trip in the States to trace the route of the film. Because Andy was a native of Denver, the launching point for journey undertaken by Vanishing Point's protagonist, he began to investigate the movie's actual locations, in the process meeting Ed Kocoran, who'd actually moved to the United States some years earlier from Czechoslovakia in a pilgrimage motivated by his own infatuation with the film. Ed has indeed sniffed out most of the more obscure locations, and pretty soon the road trip was taking shape.

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#1

Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/30/2012 9:39 AM

Sounds like a neat trip.

Was a great movie and a great ad for Mopar.

Made us all want to go out and buy a 70 Challenger R/T!

Movie was made 41 years ago - YIKES!

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#2

Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/30/2012 11:06 AM
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#3
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Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/30/2012 1:08 PM

Bullitt chase scene...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBLOLi_Ex-Q

Cops in Charger R/T vs. Kowalski in Challenger R/T....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONChzy1Aiw8

Movie trailer...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sn1w1yJKKE&feature=related

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/30/2012 1:15 PM

Nice links - Thanks

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#5
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Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/30/2012 4:11 PM

I was let down when the villains showed up in a Charger in the Bullitt chase scene.

I always viewed them as lead sleds, and no match for a souped-up Mustang.

Good chase scene, none the less.

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#6
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Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/30/2012 4:35 PM

I guess it all depends on how they are setup....gear ratio's, tire size....Here's a compilation of 50 muscle cars and their drag strip test results by various magazines...

1. 1966 COBRA 427
ENGINE / 425 HORSEPOWER 427 2x4 BARREL
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.54 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 12.20 @ 118
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR AND DRIVER 11/65

2. 1966 CORVETTE 427
ENGINE / 425 HORSEPOWER 427 4 BARREL
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.36 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 12.80@112
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR AND DRIVER 11/65

3. 1969 ROAD RUNNER 440 SIX PACK
ENGINE / 390 HORSEPOWER 440 SIX-PACK
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 12.91 @ 111.8
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPER STOCK MAGAZINE 6/69

4. 1970 HEMI 'CUDA
ENGINE / 425 HORSEPOWER 426 HEMI 2x4 BARREL
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.54 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.10 @ 107
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR CRAFT 11/69

5. 1970 SS454 CHEVELLE
ENGINE / 450 HORSEPOWER LS-6 454
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.55 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.12 @ 107.01
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE 11/69

6. 1969 ZL-1 CAMARO
ENGINE / 430 HORSEPOWER 427 ZL-1
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.16 @ 110.21
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HI-PERFORMANCE CARS 6/69

7. 1968 CORVETTE 427
ENGINE / 435 HORSEPOWER 427 3x2 BARREL
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.70 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.30 @ 108
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HI-PERFORMANCE CARS 5/68

8. 1970 ROAD RUNNER 426 HEMI
ENGINE / 425 HORSEPOWER 426 HEMII 2x4 BARREL
AS TESTED / TORQUEFLIGHT TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.34 @ 107.5
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPER STOCK MAGAZINE 12/69

9. 1970 BUICK GS STAGE 1
ENGINE / 360 HORSEPOWER 455 STAGE 1
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.64 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.38 @ 105
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / MOTOR TREND 1/70

10. 1969 CHARGER 500
ENGINE / 425 HORSEPOWER 426 HEMI 2x4 BARREL
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.48 @ 109
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HOT ROD MAGAZINE 2/69

11. 1973 TRANS AM 455 SD
ENGINE / 310 * HORSEPOWER 455 4 BARREL
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.42 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.54 @ 104.2
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HOT ROD MAGAZINE 6/73
* DENOTES NET HORSEPOWER

12. 1969 CORVETTE L-88
ENGINE / 430 HORSEPOWER 427 L-88
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.36 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.56 @ 111
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HOT ROD MAGAZINE 4/69

13. 1969 SUPER BEE 440 SIX PACK
ENGINE / 390 HORSEPOWER 440 SIX-PACK
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.56 @ 105.6
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HOT ROD MAGAZINE 8/69

14. 1969 BOSS 429 MUSTANG
ENGINE / 375 HORSEPOWER BOSS429
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.91 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.60 @ 106
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HI PERFORMANCE CARS 11/69


15. 1970 CHALLENGER R/T
ENGINE / 390 HORSEPOWER 440 3x2 BARREL
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.23 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.62 @ 104.3
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE 11/69

16. 1970 TORINO COBRA
ENGINE / 370 HORSEPOWER 429 SCJ
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.91 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.62 @ 105.9
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPER STOCK MAGAZINE 3/70


17. 1968 BISCAYNE 427
ENGINE / 425 HORSEPOWER 427 4 BARREL
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 4.56 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.65 @ 105
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPER STOCK MAGAZINE 4/68

18. 1964 POLARA 500
ENGINE / 365 HORSEPOWER 426 4 BARREL
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.23 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.70 @ 107.3
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HI PERFORMANCE CARS 4/64

19. 1969 GTX
ENGINE / 375 HORSEPOWER 440 4 BARREL
AS TESTED / TORQUEFLIGHT TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.70 @ 102.8
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / MOTOR TREND 1/69

20. 1969 DART 440
ENGINE / 375 HORSEPOWER 440 4 BARREL
AS TESTED / TORQUEFLIGHT TRANSMISSION AND 3.55 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.71 @ 105
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE 5/69


21. 1971 ROAD RUNNER
ENGINE / 390 HORSEPOWER 440 SIX PACK
AS TESTED / TORQUEFLIGHT TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.71 @ 101.2
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE 1/71

22. 1971 'CUDA
ENGINE / 390 HORSEPOWER 440 SIX PACK
AS TESTED / TORQUEFLIGHT TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.72 @ 106
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPER STOCK MAGAZINE 4/71


23. 1971 CORVETTE
ENGINE / 425 HORSEPOWER LS-6 454
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.36 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.72 @ 102.4
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR LIFE 8/71

24. 1971 SUPER BEE
ENGINE / 425 HORSEPOWER 426 HEMI
AS TESTED / TORQUEFLIGHT TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
PERFORMANCE / 13.73 @ 104
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / MOTOR TREND 12/70


25. 1968 HURST OLDS
ENGINE / 390 HORSEPOWER 455 W-30
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.91 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPERSTOCK MAGAZINE 8/68
PERFORMANCE / 13.77 @ 103.91

26. 1968 FIREBIRD H.O.
ENGINE / 335 HORSEPOWER 400 H.O.
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HOT ROD 3/68
PERFORMANCE / 13.79 @ 106


27. 1967 CORVETTE
ENGINE / 435 HORSEPOWER 427 3x2 BARREL
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.55 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HOT ROD MAGAZINE 5/67
PERFORMANCE / 13.80 @ 108


28. 1971 BOSS 351 MUSTANG
ENGINE / 330 HORSEPOWER BOSS 351
AS TESTED /4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.91 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / MOTOR TREND MAGAZINE 1/71
PERFORMANCE / 13.80 @ 104


29. 1966 SATELLITE
ENGINE / 425 HORSEPOWER 426 HEMI
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.54 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR AND DRIVER MAGAZINE 4/66
PERFORMANCE / 13.81 @ 104

30. 1968 CORONET R/T
ENGINE / 375 HORSEPOWER 440 4 BARREL
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPERSTOCK MAGAZINE 4/69
PERFORMANCE / 13.83 @ 102.27


31. 1968 CYCLONE GT
ENGINE / 335 HORSEPOWER 428 COBRA JET
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 4.11 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / MOTOR TREND MAGAZINE 8/68
PERFORMANCE / 13.86 @ 101.69

32. 1969 NOVA SS396
ENGINE / 375 HORSEPOWER 396 4 BARREL
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.55 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HOT ROD MAGAZINE 7/69
PERFORMANCE / 13.87 @ 105.1


33. 1969 SHELBY GT-500
• ENGINE / 335 HORSEPOWER 428 COBRA JET
• AS TESTED / 4 SPEEDTRANSMISSION AND 3.91 REAR
• DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPERSTOCK MAGAZINE 9/69
• PERFORMANCE / 13.87 @ 104.52 34. 1970 4-4-2 W30
• ENGINE / 370 HORSEPOWER 455 W-30
• AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.42 REAR
• DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR CRAFT MAGAZINE 11/69
• PERFORMANCE / 13.88 @ 95.84


35. 1962 CORVETTE
ENGINE / 360 HORSEPOWER 327 FUEL INJECTION
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HOT ROD MAGAZINE 1/62
PERFORMANCE / 13.89 @ 105.14

36. 1969 BARRACUDA
ENGINE / 375 HORSEPOWER 440 4 BARREL
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 4.10 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPERSTOCK MAGAZINE 8/69
PERFORMANCE / 13.89 @ 103.21


37. 1969 MACH 1
ENGINE / 335 HORSEPOWER 428 COBRA JET
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.50 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR LIFE MAGAZINE 3/69
PERFORMANCE / 13.90 @ 103.32

38. 1967 GTO
ENGINE / 360 HORSEPOWER 400 RAM AIR
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 4.33 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR LIFE MAGAZINE 10/67
PERFORMANCE / 13.90 @ 102.8


39. 1970 TRANS AM
ENGINE / 345 HORSEPOWER 400 RAM AIR IV
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.91 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HOT ROD MAGAZINE 2/70
PERFORMANCE / 13.90 @ 102


40. 1969 CHARGER R/T
ENGINE / 375 HORSEPOWER 440 4 BARREL
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.55 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / MOTOR TREND MAGAZINE 1/69
PERFORMANCE / 13.90 @ 101.4


41. 1969 COUGAR ELIMINATOR
ENGINE / 335 HORSEPOWER 428 COBRA JET
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.50 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPERSTOCK MAGAZINE 9/69
PERFORMANCE / 13.91 @ 103.9

42. 1972 CORVETTE LT-1
ENGINE / 255* HORSEPOWER LT-1 350
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 4.11 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / HOT ROD MAGAZINE 8/72
PERFORMANCE / 13.92 @ 104.01
* DENOTES NET HORSEPOWER


43. 1970 CHARGER R/T
ENGINE / 390 HORSEPOWER 440 SIX PACK
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.54 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPERSTOCK MAGAZINE 8/68
PERFORMANCE / 13.77 @ 103.91

44. 1968 GTX
ENGINE / 425 HORSEPOWER 426 HEMII
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.23 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / CAR LIFE MAGAZINE 2/68
PERFORMANCE / 13.97 @ 103.5


45. 1971 MUSTANG MACH 1
ENGINE / 370 HORSEPOWER 429 COBRA JET
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.50 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPERSTOCK MAGAZINE 2/71
PERFORMANCE / 13.97 @ 100.22

46. 1970 CYCLONE SPOILER
ENGINE / 370 HORSEPOWER 429 COBRA JET
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.50 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPERSTOCK MAGAZINE 2/70
PERFORMANCE / 13.97 @ 100


47. 1967 4-4-2 W30
ENGINE / 350 HORSEPOWER 400 W-30
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 4.33 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / SUPERSTOCK MAGAZINE 8/67
PERFORMANCE / 13.99 @ 102.4

48. 1970 CHALLENGER
ENGINE / 425 HORSEPOWER 426 HEMII
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.23 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / ROAD AND TRACK MAGAZINE 8/70
PERFORMANCE / 14.00 @ 104


49. 1966 SHELBY GT-350 S
ENGINE / 440* HORSEPOWER 289 HI PERF
AS TESTED / AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND 3.89 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED / MOTOR TREND MAGAZINE 8/66
PERFORMANCE / 14.00 @ 102
* ESTIMATED HORSEPOWER WITH PAXTON SUPERCHARGER

50. 1964 COBRA 289
ENGINE / 271 HORSEPOWER 289 HI PERF
AS TESTED / 4 SPEED TRANSMISSION AND 3.77 REAR
DRAG TEST PUBLISHED /CAR LIFE MAGAZINE 8/64
PERFORMANCE / 14.00 @ 98

http://www.chargerforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9361

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/30/2012 7:28 PM

"I guess it all depends on how they are setup....gear ratio's, tire size...."

Yes, but Wheelbase and suspension are critical when turning 90° corners at 50 MPH.

The Charger is like the Titanic in a tight turn. S

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#9
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Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/30/2012 8:02 PM

Very true, but weight is critical here....We have 117" wheelbase vs 108" but the charger probably 400 lbs heavier, plus another guy, probably 600 lbs total....I doubt that either car had original suspension....The mustang could probably out corner the Charger in real life....

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#7
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Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/30/2012 4:42 PM

I'm a bit too young to have caught the reference via the blog, thanks for the links! I'm now up to speed (kind of, I guess)!

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#10
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Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/31/2012 7:30 AM

Only had enough time to watch the first clip as getting ready to hit the shop floor. 3 minute clip with 30 seconds of looped editing but still a good clip.

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#11

Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/31/2012 10:41 AM
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Re: Challenger Road Trip Revisits Vanishing Point Locations

08/31/2012 11:16 AM

Need gas mister?

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