...he was asked about the dodge police cars that had shakers and he basically said he did not know where they came from, who did it, nor did he care.
I was the one who asked him that & his answer actually addressed a lot more questions that I had about the cars used/abused in S&tB. When he said he didn't care about any of the other cars in the movie (what they were or where they came from), he made a point that the Bandit's Trans Am HAD to be the fastest car on the screen. I bought "Stuntman" after the seminar and finished reading it last week. The chapter on Smokey says that he got four
T/A's and two Bonnevilles
from Pontiac ( yes, we all know ther were actually LeMans sedans). He also says he got the idea for using S/E T/A's after seeing a pic of the car in a magazine. What I learned between his answer to my question and his book is that as long as the stunt makes the hero look good, everything else is inconsequential. Understand that an you gain a much clearer understanding of why he remembers every last detail about each stunt, but his memory on the cars is a little fuzzy - that stuff didn't matter to him.
I'll have to go back and look at the footage from Schinella's seminar at Nat's (yes, I'm finally working on the DVD's - hope to have them available at Nat's...). I am 99% positive John said Hal was invited to Road Atlanta where Pontiac was doing a press preview, spied the car and inquired and the deal was struck there. If I remember correctly, the HPP article on Smokey corroborated that story as well. Maybe Pontiac PR invited him after he made the phone call - making both stories gel...?
The accounts may differ, depending on who's telling the story, so who am I to argue with Mr. Needham, Mr. Schinella or Mr. DeMauro? The Trans Am got in the movie, outran everything, made Hal & Pontiac a trailerload of money, and turned us into the T/A luvin' muthas we all are. S&tB tapped into enthusiasts' frustration with high gas prices, the newly-mandated 55 mph speed limit and the gutless paint & tape "performance cars" available at the time. That's why it was the 2nd highest grossing film of 1977 behind Star Wars.
Now, please excuse me. I have to go replace the flux capacitor on my X-wing fighter...