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Hagerty Employee

Cars, police, and a blond wig: How The Seven-Ups was shot in NYC

"You cannot rehearse a chase in the city of New York. Once the police department see what you're rehearsing, they're not going to let you do it for real." That was Randy Jurgensen, one of the stunt drivers in the 1973 thriller The Seven-Ups, talking about the production's high-risk approach to shooting a car chase, which has now become legendary for its very real speed and danger.
Intermediate Driver

Great choice!  This is one of my all time favorite car chases. The movie itself was a gritty, French Connection inspired police story that was good at the time but feels slow-paced and difficult to understand today. As Roy Scheider cop movies go, Blue Thunder is a lot more fun.  

The sound effects engineers make this relatively mild-mannered Pontiac Ventura sound like a beast but it's not very realistic to hear it grabbing gears. The GM X bodies were well regarded as police cars, though. They may not rate the attention that the Mustang 5.0 did years later, but as I recall Police Novas were often at the head of the chase and the first at the scene.

Intermediate Driver

Ummmm. What’s this 5.7 and 6.6 liter talk? In 1973, we’re talkin’ cubic inches so a 350 and a 400. Oh, and it is the Palisades Parkway - only one ‘l’ (Palisades Interstate Parkway, to be truly pedantic about it).

Didn't Pontiac use the litre designation in the 60s on something?


Or am I remembering a fake-out with later badges?

Pit Crew

Yes, the GTO from at least 1964 through 1967 carried 6.5 liter emblems. 77 trans ams had the TA 6.6 liter engine as an option. It made about the same horsepower as the 1976 455.

Great article, and Likes to both comments.
I too think this is one of THE best car chases, (and no green VW Beetles passed four times!)
The final crash was a morbid "tribute" to Jayne Mansfield's death.

FYI - The "Seven Ups" name is from the types of crimes the unit investigated — the penalties were always imprisonment for seven years and up.
Pit Crew

A couple of observations. 1973 Grandvilles came standard with 7.5 liter (455 cubic inch displacement) 4 barrel carburetor engines. The cars in the movie have dual exhaust, providing a 250 net horsepower rating. No 400s or 6.6 liter engines were offered in the top of the line Grandville.

Second observation, 1973 was the first year that the Rally Radial Tuned suspended was offered as an option on the full size Pontiacs. It received rave reviews in the automobile press. It included a rear stabilizer bar and Pliacell shock absorbers. I've always assumed that Pliacell meant gas charged, similar to Bilstein shock absorbers. The big Pontiacs with this package handled great, without much understeer.

The radial tuned f41 suspension that was probably on the Ventura also recently rave reviews.

The Kate Don Ellis composed the music underlying this film. He was brilliant and the soundtrack is fantastic.

The late Don Ellis...