On this day in auto history - November 13th

Fri 13th Nov 2020

It was on this day in 1971 that the iconic thriller Duel - regarded by many as the first ‘great’ motoring movie - was released to critical acclaim.

In what represented the full-length directing debut of a then unknown Steven Spielberg, Duel starred Dennis Weaver as a terrified Plymouth Valiant driver who is stalked and menaced upon lonely Californian canyon roads by an unseen driver of Peterbilt tanker truck.

Three trucks were used in the movie in all, one of which - a 1960 Peterbilt - re-emerged from storage in the 1990’s and is currently on display amongst a truck collection in North Carolina.

Not only did Duel provide Spielberg with his big break but the film’s success is credited with ushering in a wave of 1970’s motor movie classics, including The Driver, Vanishing Point and Smokey And The Bandit.