Daily Features

DUEL: A PLYMOUTH VALIANT VS PETERBILT 1971 TV MOVIE MISMATCH

By on December 31, 2017
screenshot20171126_duel_1971_full_movie_hq_sa_prevodom__youtube1(2)

screenshot20171126_duel_1971_full_movie_hq_sa_prevodom__youtube1(2)

 

TV Westerns ruled the airwaves when I was a kid. For me, the toughest choice was to pick my favorite show and TV hero.

 

I lived in a television universe that offered a multitude of incredible choices ranging from Bret Maverick (James Garner) on ‘Maverick’, to Josh Randall (Steve McQueen) on ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’, to Marshall Dillon (James Arness) on ‘Gunsmoke’.

 

Nowhere on my list was Dillon’s wimpy sidekick Chester Goode; a skinny deputy who was ably played by Dennis Weaver. Chester was a nice guy, but he was a sidekick to Dillon and was never able to handle a situation as well (and violently) as Marshall Matt Dillon.

 

news-002

 

Thus I was not surprised after I watched ‘Duel’ when it aired on TV in 1971 because Dennis Weaver was the star of the show-along with a 1971 Plymouth Valiant four-door sedan and a 1955 Peterbilt 281 big rig hauling a fuel tanker.

 

screenshot20171126_duel_1971_full_movie_hq_sa_prevodom__youtube

 

The movie ‘Duel’ became a launch point for a then-unknown director by the name of Steven Spielberg and was a big surprise to car guy viewers when it hit the small screen in the early 70s.

 

Unsurprisingly, Weaver played a wimpy salesman named David Mann and was perfectly suited for a TV movie role which involved a deadly confrontation between Mann and an unseen semi-truck driver.

 

Screenshot-2017-11-25 Duel 1971 Full Movie HQ (sa prevodom) - YouTube(3)

 

Weaver drove a Plymouth Valiant that was supposedly equipped with a Slant Six engine, although the collection of movie cars included 318 V-8 versions for stunt purposes. The Peterbilt was a beater that appeared to need a major rebuild-but was still on the road rolling coal and dense blue smoke.

 

Screenshot-2017-11-25 Duel 1971 Full Movie HQ (sa prevodom) - YouTube(4)

 

The entire movie stemmed from an incident wherein travelling salesman Mann (played by Weaver) passed the big rig and somehow ignited a confrontation between the two drivers.

 

The truck driver targeted Mann and easily caught the Valiant whenever the spirit and level terrain moved him.

 

screenshot20171126_duel_1971_full_movie_hq_sa_prevodom__youtube4

 

Mann was unnerved by the situation and was forced to drive well beyond his limits as a driver-and well below the speed limit in the early stages of the movie. Mann’s lack of speed was an understandable situation because this guy was a complete gelding and the truck driver knew it.

 

I drove a 1971 Plymouth Duster equipped with a Slant Six through the Rocky Mountains several times after I saw ‘Duel’ and never experienced extended time under the speed limit or psychotic truck drivers who wanted to destroy my Duster and me during my years behind the wheel of my Valiant-based model.

 

DUSTER 2-001

 

My Leaning Tower of Power (225 six cylinder Mopar engine) was able to handle the highway pace through the mountains with ease. Consequently, my biggest concern was over-speeding and radar traps in front of me-not driving too slowly and crazed big rig killers behind me.

 

DUSTER 30-001

 

However, I was not in a TV movie where it was difficult for the weak-willed Mann/Chester to outrun a big rig presumably powered by diesel and evil.

 

There are many twists and turns in the ‘Duel’ plot and its curvy mountain roads. The tension rises and I was left with only two questions when ‘Duel’ reached the closing credits: What would Marshall Dillon do under similar circumstances and why didn’t that Slant Six blow up when the radiator hose blew up?

 

Screenshot-2017-11-25 Duel 1971 Full Movie HQ (sa prevodom) - YouTube(2)

 

 

I learned later in my Duster (and car guy life) that a Slant Six was a tough engine to kill. Chester learned that fact earlier in the 70s.      

 

BY: Jim Sutherland

 

Jim Sutherland is a veteran automotive writer whose work has been published by many major print and online publications. The list includes Calgary Herald, The Truth About Cars, Red Deer Advocate, RPM Magazine, Edmonton Journal, Montreal Gazette, Windsor Star, Vancouver Province, and Post Media Wheels Section. 

 

 

print
44180 Total Views 8 Views Today

About admin

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Facebook

Featured Ads

Rear View Mirror

kin 4

MAY 8, 2015: A LIKABLE TV STAR/CAR GUY–MSCC TALKS WITH BITCHIN RIDES’ DAVE KINDIG

  The brightest new star in the TV car show constellation is ‘Bitchin’ Rides’.   The show’s ratings have gone through the roof since its September 2014 debut on...

May 8, 2015 View more...
52 imgp2908

APRIL 21, 2015 (MAY 2015): A 1952 CHEVY PANEL: THE PURPOSE-BUILT TRUCK FROM THE GENERAL

  A 1952 Chevrolet panel (sedan delivery) was not built for fun family outings.   It was a working vehicle with many applications in the practical world.   These...

April 21, 2015 View more...
jr-g001

APRIL 23. 2014 (MAY 2014): 1962 DODGE STATION WAGON: THE REAL STORY BEHIND “VACATION”

  The movie “Vacation” was based on a typical baby boomer family vacation to Wally World with some Hollywood overtones like motel robberies, hostage-taking and armed conflict with police....

April 23, 2014 View more...
apr13-chca location 001-001

APRIL 13, 2013: THE REAL STARS OF 50s & 60s TELEVISION-THE WORKING VEHICLES OF A SMALL TOWN TV STATION

  Most of the Baby Boom demographic looks back at the 1950s and 60s as the Golden Era of television.   In some cases like Gunsmoke, Andy Griffith or...

April 13, 2013 View more...

Most Viewed

My Star Showcase

news-mill-jjmscc_Neon-001

SIGN UP FOR THE MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR DAILY NEWSLETTER!

SIGN UP FOR THE MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR DAILY NEWSLETTER!   Are you too busy to check out MSCC regularly? That’s too bad because MyStarCollectorCar is updated every day.   You don’t...

October 25, 2017 View more...
mill-jjmscc_Neon

MSCC MARKET REPORT 2018

  MSCC MARKET REPORT 2018   Welcome to the MyStarCollectorCar Market Report.   This will be a regional look at prices for collector vehicles based on actual sales so...

August 3, 2017 View more...
products-IMGP5647

MSCC Products and Services Showcase

These are all great businesses and they support MyStarCollector Car through their advertising  so we can continue to bring you our  insight into the old car hobby 365 days...

July 13, 2016 View more...

More At My Star

BYE BYE TRI-FIVE: THE DAWN OF THE 1958 CHEVY

    The 1950s became famous when the finned car era took flight in the back nine of the decade.   GM joined in the reindeer games in a big way with their lineup and car guys witnessed the evolution of the fin on the 1955 to ’57 Chevys.   The three model years became See More

WHY THE SHOEBOX FORD WAS (AND STILL IS) A HOME RUN

  One of the most famous cars in automotive history is the Shoebox Ford.   This iconic car from the Blue Oval boys was introduced as a 1949 model and built until 1951.   The car represented a giant step in the post-war automotive era because 1949 was the first year for new car styles See More

MSCC APRIL 18 “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY: HEADLIGHTS, GRILLES –IT ALL ADDS UP

.   WELCOME TO MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR “WHAT’S IT?” WEDNESDAY FOR 2018   This is the third year for MSCC “What’s It?” Wednesday.   This feature was an overnight success back in 2016 so the only thing to do was keep it rolling in 2018.   Look for the first clue at the top of the section See More

WHY I LIKE THE 1967-69 DODGE DART

  The Dodge Dart was heavily associated with the compact car movement and economy from a bygone automotive era.   That practical image went flying out the open window of a fast-moving Dart when the Mopar crew added a V-8 option for the Dart in the 1960s.   The revamped style of the Dart caught See More

Editor’s Picks

69vw-IMGP0830

APRIL 2018: A 1968 VW BEETLE CONVERTIBLE IS NAMED AFTER A FAMOUS TV STAR

  The VW Beetle began life in pre-war Germany as the “People’s Car” under order from the highly unlovable but ambitious Adolf Hitler.   One has to wonder how...

April 15, 2018 View more...
TWO

REALITY IN THE HOBBY—WE’RE DOWN TWO MORE CAR GUYS

  The car hobby is a great world but one of its biggest enemies is found in the demographics.   There are a fair number of car guys in...

April 13, 2018 View more...
59

DO IT YOURSELF CAR APPRAISALS—YES, YOU CAN HANDLE IT

  I had my first experience with vintage car appraisals back in the late 90s with a ’59 Plymouth.   I needed an appraisal for insurance and they definitely...

March 29, 2018 View more...
duke

TALKING CARS WITH CATHERINE BACH—YES, DAISY DUKE IS DEFINITELY A CAR GIRL

  The Dukes of Hazzard ran from 1979 to 1985 and in that time this TV show became an icon to car guys.   Car guys liked this show...

March 13, 2018 View more...

Car Shows and Events

ST1
SAINT ALBERT ROCK’N AUGUST—THE BIG SHOW RETURNS AUGUST 7-11

  Rock’n August is one of Western Canada’s biggest annual car shows.   The whole community gets behind this week-long event because this is a showcase for the best...

December 16, 2017
IMG_4818
JULY 28, 2018 19th ANNUAL MICHENER ALLEN CLASSIC AND COLLECTOR CAR AUCTION

FEATURE CAR—THIS MONSTER ’69 CHARGER       The 2nd Generation Chargers are widely seen as one of the most iconic muscle cars ever built. They looked fast from...

June 19, 2017
EG-ED2018
JUNE 23, 2018 Our 11th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino!

  EG Auctions Is Proud To Present: Our 11th Annual Calgary Premier Collector Car Auction at the Grey Eagle Casino! SATURDAY MAIN EVENT June 23rd – 2018 INDOORS!!!! CONVENTION...

April 21, 2017
116-003
APRIL 2018 CAR SHOWS AND EVENTS MYSTARCOLLECTORCAR

  APRIL 1: KAMLOOPS, BC VCCC Kamloops Chapter Easter Parade   APRIL 1: EDMONTON, AB The Edmonton Antique Car Club will be Celebrating Easter with our 55th Annual Easter...

October 5, 2015

Ads

Ads responsive