Smokey and the Bandit Run Coming to Texarkana + Little Known Movie Facts
Bandit, Bandit, this here is the Snowman and we’re East Bound and Down! It’s about that time of year for the 45th anniversary of the Bandit Run Kickoff Texarkana to Atlanta.
This huge event goes down on Sunday, May 22, at 217 Laurel Street and replicates the drive from Texarkana to Atlanta, GA. made famous in the iconic 1977 Burt Reynolds movie. The Bandit Run was started by David Hershey and Dave Hall of Restore a Muscle Car in 2007. Each year the bandit folks put together a new route in order to see other parts of the country and to bring in other participants from across the U.S.
If you have a Limited Edition Black and Gold Pontiac Firebird Trans Am just like the one the Bandit drove in the movie or any other Trans Am or classic muscle car you’re encouraged to be a part of this fun run. I know when this movie came out sales of Pontiac Trans Am’s skyrocketed, and everyone wanted a Trans Am just like the Burt Reynolds drove in the movie.
The Smokey and the Bandit Run Kickoff Party will be held at the Four States Auto Museum with free entry from 12 noon to 4 PM. There will be live music, food vendors, tasty grilled burgers, a raffle for a 4K TV, and a 50/50 pot. No not weed!
Do you remember where the movie was shown in Texarkana? If you said, Joy Cinema City in Nash, you are showing your age.
I thought it would be fun to let you in on some really cool facts about the movie you may already know about or not. Some of these bummed me out.
1. The Bandit’s full name was Bo “Bandit” Darville.
2. There were three Smokey and the Bandit movies with original cast members, and 4 additional movies made for television, directed by Burt Reynolds and Hal Needham. All 7 movies can be found in a DVD Box Set.
3. There were up to 10 police cars used in the making of the movie.
4. Jerry Reed who played the truck driver “Snowman” didn’t actually drive the truck. The truck was loaded on a low-boy flatbed trailer and towed around by another 18-wheeler.
5. Snowman’s dog Fred a basset hound was personally cast by Burt Reynolds because he didn’t obey commands very well.
6. The original truck used in the movie is now owned by real-life trucker Neil Ashworth of Huddersfield, England.
7. The beer they transported from Texarkana, Texas to Atlanta, Georgia was Coors Banquet and was not pasteurized and had no preservatives which is why it had to be refrigerated.
8. The Bandit and the Snowman actually didn’t drive to Texarkana, Texas to pick up a load of Coors beer. The movie was mainly shot in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area. Jonesboro, Georgia was used to recreate the city of Texarkana.
9. The scene where the Trans Am jumps over a bridge was aided by a booster rocket just like the same one Evel Knievel used in his infamous attempted jump over the Snake River Canyon.
10. The motor sound effects of the Pontiac Trans Am were actually the sound of a 1955 Chevrolet Custom that was used in the movies Two-Lane Blacktop and American Graffiti.
Check out these awesome videos and the filming locations for Smokey and the Bandit.
LOOK: See the iconic cars that debuted the year you were born