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The real American Graffiti

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Three young men wait for curb service at the Scotchman, 4960 Federal Blvd., one of the last ’50s style drive-ins. October 14, 1977 (Photo by Ernie Leyba/The Denver Post).

During the Seventies, there was a palpable nostalgia for what was then 20-year-old car culture, the Fifties. Movies like American Graffiti and Grease, shows like Happy Days and Sha-Na-Na, and the fact that drive-ins were still standing, all made mid-century Americana easy to do. Not to mention, Fifties-era cars were just, well, used cars: cheap and plentiful.

So it was that The Denver Post published a retrospective of the city’s beloved Scotchman Drive-In, complete with a glorious collection of photos capturing the scene on the night of October 14, 1977. Staff shooter Ernie Leyba seemed to have a great time photographing the crowd and the cars, including these three buddies hanging out on the hood of a perfect ’56 Chevy, complete with a lifted nose over a pair of Cragars and bias-plys. We’re gonna assume the car belongs to one of them, but if the owner was inside getting a Horrible Burger or a Kilted Taco, we can only hope they didn’t suffer the same fate as American Graffiti’s Curt Henderson. Or maybe we hope they did…

Source: The Archive, The Denver Post