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*
Are you getting as excited as I am about Barrett Jackson New Orleans 2023? This will be the first ever Barrett Jackson in New Orleans. The show starts next week on Thursday the 28th and runs through Saturday 30th. As always they'll have a live stream running of all the hot bidding action. If you happen to miss the show, don't worry it will be up on YouTube later in the coming weeks. I just finished going through the docket and we are in for a treat folks. Below are our movie and tv car related picks from the upcoming show.
Our first pick is a very nice example of a 1980 SE Trans Am. Very much like the one Burt Reynolds drove in Smokey and the Bandit Part II. Complete with a 301 turbocharged V8 under the hood. According to the listing, this car has under went a complete comprehensive restoration. The real question is does it come with a Frog? *wink*
Our next pick is a 1967 Shelby GT500 Eleanor Tribute car. Note this car is not an original screen used car. However it is a licensed replica. It features panels built by Cinema Movie Services. If you recall they're the original builders of the screen used cars. Under the hood a beafy Ford FE 429 V8 backed up by a 4-speed toploader transmission. With a 9 inch Ford rear-end sending all that power to the ground. There are several other Eleanor tributes or replicas going on the block this show. This one is our favorite.
Last but certainly not least is a 1967 Cobra Re-Creation. I'm curious to see how this one goes. Factory built Shelby's bring a ton of money. This is a recreation, but built with Shelby parts. It should do well. A lovely looking build. You may remember our article from years ago about the Shelby Cobra body and frame that came up for sale on the Sharks and Cobras episode of Pawn Stars.
This week on YouTube, the Car Wizard, works on a KITT replica! If you haven't seen Car Wizard, be sure to check out his channel. He features a little bit everything from high end to everyday autos. He and his wife run a full service garage based in Newton, KS called Omega Auto Clinic. I've enjoyed watching him for years. But why is KITT in the shop? Car Wizard mentions one of the headlights doesn't pop-up. Pretty common for these cars. The air conditioner compressor is leaking and one of the door handles isn't working. I think these are all great excuses for us to get to see a great replica up close. I'm really impressed with this build. The owner has done a wonderful job of recreating the ionic car with extras! A very clean Crossfire Injection base vehicle Trans Am to boot. We're thankful for the Car Wizard for sharing this with us.
The Mandela Effect, it's real. Ever had a memory that later turned to be false? It's earth shattering isn't it? I recently went through a similar thing with Knight Rider 4000 (KIFT). I remember seeing the Knight Rider 2000 made for tv movie as a kid. That sleek red car blew my mind. It looked so futuristic. I can remember telling myself "That's a Pontiac Banshee." Well folks, it's not. Wait it's not?! Yep, if you thought the same thing: you'd be wrong. Knight Rider 4000 is actually a Dodge Stealth/Mitsubishi 3000GT. Let me give you a minute to let that settle. Believe it or not KIFT is sort of a replica of the Banshee created by car builder Jay Ohrberg. Him and his team did such a good job that most people wouldn't notice the difference. Kinda like a cheaper store brand version: the taste is similar but not the appearance. It all makes sense. Concept cars are too rare to be used and abused the way these cars were in tv/movie productions.
Like you, I had forgotten about this car. Until recently, when Videobob Moseley on Youtube did a video about it. He's had the car in storage for many years. But now it's time to sell it. But where? How? Wouldn't be an On Screen Cars eBay Find without eBay right? In our usual fashion, we bring you another opportunity to own an actual movie car. There's just one catch. It doesn't run and there's no title. Until recently it's been in disrepair. Videobob is in the process of moving his shop and needs to offload this beast. But with all that, he has verified that this vehicle was the hero car of the two used in the film. In fact, it was driven by the man himself David Hasselhoff. You can have all of this for the low low price of $19,999.00 buckaroos. Sure you can't drive it. But you could display it right? Till next time, stay safe folks!
I'm sure everyone has had a nickname for their car at one point or another. I know my cousin has nicknamed nearly every car he's ever own (little shout out to CJ). But who could forget Frank the Tank and The Red Dragon from the hit comedy movie Old School. So with that. On Screen Cars presents: The Red Dragon.
There isn't a lot to be said for the car in the movie. It's red 1977 Pontiac Trans AM, 2nd generation car. Black interior. Flat roof. Under the hood, it looks like a small block Chevrolet possibility a 350. It's possible someone changed out the factory Oldsmobile plant out or "faked" a Trans Am. But let's not forget to mention it's the same model year as the original Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am. However it's not painted black with gold accents, no t-tops or any of the other traits of a Special Edition (SE) Trans Am. But I felt it deserved mention. Heck Greenlight Collectibles thought it deserved a 1/64 replica (you can find it here). But what is special about Frank's car?
Well I believe Franks' car represents his life as a single man. Frank in the movie is newly married. He's having a hard time adjusting to married life. They're getting settled in and they have a house. Which by the way is a real house. I found a interesting site that has the filming location info. But anyways that's where the car kinda comes in. He's got it out in the drive way working on it. Then here comes the BS! I love it though! His wife comes out to see what he's doing. The car is smoking and making some rough noises.
He says "I took the restrictor plate off to give the red dragon a little more juice, but keep that on the down low, she's not exactly street legal." Hold on. Restrictor plate? Isn't that something they used in NASCAR? Yep you bet ya. Restrictor plates were installed on carburetors on NASCAR race cars to help hold the car back from achieving unsafe speeds thus reducing crashes. Frank I'm sorry I don't think your car has a restrictor plate.
But it makes a great line for car guys to laugh about. You can watch the whole scene in the clip above. Gotta love hearing Whitesnake in the background. But outside of all that Frank's car is just another F-Body. By the way. Frank isn't the only guy to call his Trans Am a Red Dragon. The Red Dragon BS makes for a great story. It makes it feel real. If you haven't seen Old School I would advise to pick it up on Amazon. Old School [Blu-ray] It is hilarious! So next time you're out with your buddies in the shop tell'm "Hey I'm gonna take the restrictor plate off, you with me?" Till then. Drive safe and sober! Bye!