Just about every good car movie has a jump scene. We here at On Screen Cars are big fans of car acrobatics. Through our series Famous Jumps, we explore some of the best of vehicles going airborne. This week we commemorate another fine display of automotive volley. The bridge jump scene from the first Smokey and the Bandit movie. You know the one! But in case you're unsure or haven't seen it. Warning spoilers ahead.
The scene takes place toward the middle of the movie. While traveling through Arkansas, Bandit runs up on a roadblock setup by the local county sheriff's department. Bandit quickly diverts down a dirt road and the officers jump in their cars and chase after him. Sheriff Branford and his associate lead the chase. The young deputy is excited to say the least. Branford confidently tells the deputy not to worry too much about losing him. Because they're approaching the recently dismantled Mulberry Bridge at the end of the road. They think they have the Bandit right in their grip. There's no escape! But little to their surprise the Bandit doesn't go down easy. The Bandit and Frog leap through the air, clearing the bridge. Frog cheers and can't believe they've made it. Now she's on cloud nine with her Bo, wanting to jump more stuff.
It's unclear how long the jump is. But legendary stunt man Hal Needham setup the shot and made Bandit look so good. If you pay close attention you can see sand or red dirt flying through the air. Even as soft was the red dirt may have been I'm sure the stunt driver was rattled and the stunt car never drove again. In an interview with Motor Trend, Hal talks about how they used a special modified Trans Am for this scene. Hal asked his NASCAR race team to send him a 750+ horsepower motor and stick shift version of the SE Trans Am. As you may have noticed the car lands level. Chances are additional weight (often concrete) must have been added to the rear. Between all that and a well built ramp, Hal's team got the money shot we've all grown know and love.
I would like to sperate the fact from the fiction. According to the scene in the movie, they're in Arkansas. However the scene was actually shot in Jonesboro, Georgia. For those interested, the address is 365 Flint River Road, Jonesboro, GA 30238. This will take you a bridge over the Flint River that may have replaced the bridge jumped in the film. Several YouTubers have made videos about visiting the site. Only a few pillars of the bridge remain. But with a bit of imagination you can piece it together. Near the landing site, appears now be a storage center. Amazing how things change and develop. The road in the film was much wider and seemed longer. Nature sure has taken back the road less traveled. Speaking of the road less traveled, it's time for us to hit the dusty trail. Till then, keep your wheels spinning and your beavers grinning. Whatever that means. *wink*
Hot Wheels can be works of art right? Of course, especially when restoration artists like baremetalHW on YouTube get a hold of them. I came across this gem a while back while browsing for tv/movie car models. I just want to share and say he did an excellent job recreating an iconic but yet often overlooked movie car. This video was actually part of a challenge from Diecast Resurrection. Another interesting toy/model car restorer and customizer. Some of the techniques in this build used 3D design to build custom printable aesthetics to give the car the appearance similar to the vehicle in the movie. Then later in the video he applied flocking to give the appearance of fur. I'll stop for now, I don't wanta spoil the video for you. You can watch it below. But till next time, keep your tail wagging!
Love and marriage, love and marriage.. Go together like a Griswolds and Family Truckster. Wait, that's not right. But believe it or not National Lampoon's Vacation and Married With Children share a connection. A scene in fact. In the early episodes of Married With Children, a scene from the movie was reused in the opening credits! Season 1-4 featured an aerial shot of Chicago skyline and interstate system. If you look closely in the Truckster.
Party time excellent, requires excellent tunes. Do you have the right part for your Wayne's World AMC Pacer? Looking to head-bang accurately with the best of Wayne's World fans. Well you're gonna wanta pay attention to the information we have for you today's Proper Prop. Proper Prop, the segment of On Screen Cars where we tell you how to get proper prop for your tv/movie car replica.
The object we're talking about today, is the cassette tape deck used in the Mirthmobile. Ah, the Mirthmobile. The famous ride belonging to Dana Carvey's character Garth. But where did Garth get his tape deck? Well through a lot of screen pausing and analysis we have an answer for you. But it's a little complex. There were actually two cassette tape decks used in the films.
The first film used a Panasonic CQ-H08 AM/FM Cassette Deck. These units were sold around the time of the film in 1990 - 1991. You can kinda spot the front of this radio in the scene where Wayne pops in the Queen tape. I had a hard time finding photos that matched. But if you pause at the right time, you make out the words Panasonic in the upper left corner of the device as well as the words "HI-Power". The bass and treble knobs are not readable in the film, but the location on the device is unique enough for a match.
The radio in the second film was a bit easier to find. It was a Kenwood KRC160. This radio is much more noticeable. It's almost as if Kenwood sponsored for product placement. I can't think of much reason why Garth would have upgraded so soon. The features of the previous units were the same. I would suspected a in dash CD player to replace the portable one on top of the dash. But not another cassette deck. I was able to find out a lot more about this radio. You can see the specs here.
Something to note about both of the radios used. Both of these radios are a single DIN standard design (180 x 50 mm panel). Where as the original Pacer radio had a two-post radio (volume and tuning knobs). The dashboard would have needed to be modified to allow for the larger radio face. This is something very common with vehicles prior to 1984. You can actually see the larger hole that was cut for the radio in the Pawn Star's episode where Rick Harrison buys the car. Sadly at that point the radio had been pulled from the car. Logically the radio should have been the later Kenwood model. I guess we'll never know for sure.
So where does this leave us with Proper Prop? Well the answer is simple, are you building a Wayne's World 1 or 2 AMC Pacer? I hope you enjoyed this deep dive. I know we sure enjoyed digging for this piece of obscure prop trivia. Till next time, Party On!
'Taxi' may not be the most rememberable film. Sure it had it's share of laughs. But when was the last time someone said "Hey, um let's watch Taxi." For those who have not seen the movie. Here's a short rundown. A police officer (Jimmy Fallon) loses his drivers license and is forced to rely on public transportation. A crime occurs and he happens to hail the fastest cab in the city. The cab is driven by a wantable race car driver (Queen Latifah). Hilarious antics happen and that's the movie. Short and simple right? Well, I'll be honest. When the film came out, I enjoyed it. The thing I remember most from the movie though was the car Queen Latifah drove.
The car is standard looking Ford Crown Vic taxi cab at first glance. But with a press of a button it became a full on race car. Kinda neat huh? Well yea. What makes this car special is the creator. The late great Eddie Paul, the man responsible for numerous Hollywood automobile creations. xXx, Grease, Cobra, Fast & Furious to name a few of the productions Eddie was commissioned on. The base car is a P71 Ford Crown Victoria. P71 is a special order trim package created by Ford just for police use. They're pretty easy to spot. Most have the "Police Interceptor" badging on the back. Lot's of extra goodies in the package. As Elwood (Blues Brothers) would say would say "It's got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks..." Eddie made some major modifications to this car. Custom body kit, 20 inch wheels and hood scoop are most notable. But something that always threw me off was the shifter. There's a standard shifter on the column and then this other shifter in a custom console. I'm not sure which one you actually use. These features are likely all just for looks. This car did have the air bag removed and custom steering wheel replaces the factory wheel. There was a large bit of CGI used in the film to augment its appearance.
So why are we talking about this again? Well, one of the cars used in the film is for sale on eBay. At just $39,999 dollars, you too could own a movie car. Sounds steep. Keep in mind, you can actually drive this one. It's street legal. Not many movie cars you can do that with. Not sure if you would call this the hero car. But it was used in many of a chase scenes. Including the scene where the car hits a fire hydrant. Believe it or not, Eddie signed the dash on this one. Rest in peace our friend. Till next time, be safe and take the bus. See ya!