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Petaluma’s Salute to American Graffiti

If there’s a holy grail of hot rod movies, it’s arguably American Graffiti.  Released by George Lucas in 1973, this iconic film quickly became the ultimate cinematic expression of mid-century classic car culture.

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While we’re lucky enough to live in Southern California, a mecca for hot rod culture, we do keep a list of car shows and events that we dream of attending… in the state, across the nation, and even all over the world.  It’s our automotive bucket list, if you will, and we think we have a new event to add to the list.  We were delighted to learn recently that Petaluma, Ca., where many of the iconic scenes from American Graffiti took place, hosts a salute to the film each May.

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This map of Downtown Petaluma shows exactly where many of the famous scenes were filmed over the course of three months in the summer of 1972.

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Drawing thousands of visitors and hundreds of classic cars each year, Petaluma’s Salute to American Graffiti goes all out to celebrate this cult classic.

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Fans of the film will be thrilled to know that the Salute has even recreated the original drag race scene from the film down Paradise Road (which is actually Frates Road in Downtown).  Thankfully, the Petaluma Police Department cooperates by clearing the way for them to race!

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Whatever may be on your wish list of car shows and events, if you’re a fan of the film, attending Petaluma’s Salute to American Graffiti should absolutely be on your automotive bucket list!


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