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Author Topic: Smokey and Bandit Car - Engine?  (Read 13095 times)
Mark G
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« on: July 17, 2011, 11:35:48 AM »

Ok, I just watched Smokey and the Bandit the other day. There seems to be a lot of effortless smoking of the tires. Way more so than my 78 can do. The cars used for the movie were supposedly donated by GM, but does anybody know if they were 'prepped' in any way for more HP, either by GM or a specialty shop? What is known about the cars used for the movie?

Thanks,

Mark G
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winks79
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Chad 79' WS-6


« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2011, 11:44:21 AM »

i'm pretty sure they were a couple of them that were warmed over a little bit. also, if you will notice, most scenes show automatic cars, but they used a 4-speed on some of those tire burning shots. dump the clutch and go.
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LeighP
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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2011, 06:20:12 PM »

I've read interviews that told at least one of the cars was a 455/4 speed - just for those tyre spinning scenes....since the cars were actually 76 models with pre-production 77 panels and parts, it stands to reason there could easily have been a 455 manual car used.
All shakers callouts in the movie were "6.6 LITRE" for continuity reasons, regardless of the engine used.
That being said, the engine sounds that were dubbed over the soundtrack for the T/A were supposedly recorded by the transport supply company using one of the BBC powered 55 chevies built for Two Lane Blacktop and later used in American Graffiti that the compan ystill owned at the time of production (1976).
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Regards,
Leigh

Sydney, Australia
Former Firebirds -
1971 Pontiac Firebird 455
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
1976 Pontiac Trans Am
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 convertible
1967 Pontiac Firebird 400 coupe

solargold
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2011, 07:22:54 PM »

Hal himself in person at Bowling Green said the bridge jump scene was modified as the run length was to short for a stock car to make the jump, they needed 85mph in a sort distance and the drivetrain was a race car set up. Other than that he did not elaborate on the cars, except he was given 5 Trans Ams. 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.
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My name is Mike and I am a Trans Am addict
Mark C.
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2011, 03:44:12 PM »

Hal himself in person at Bowling Green said the bridge jump scene was modified as the run length was to short for a stock car to make the jump, they needed 85mph in a sort distance and the drivetrain was a race car set up. Other than that he did not elaborate on the cars, except he was given 5 Trans Ams. 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.

They got the motor from a local Nascar team in Ga. I believe it must of been a small block Chevy motor.

I guess the 76 or 77 model year cars used in the movie, may remain a mystery. I asked Hal one on one one night amd he doesn't have the foggiest idea what model year they were. All he said is the bridge seen totaled one, and the football field dugout scene killed another one. Said the last remaining TA would not start, so they pushed it into the final scene. Not sure if he meant final scene they shot or the final scene of the movie.
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Mark
OriginalHO
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2011, 05:07:30 PM »

Yup!  Movie directors usually do not give a rip about the cars.

A couple of years ago, I was asked to build a 1978 T/A for the movie "Eldorado", which is to  be released in the USA near the end of this year.  My first question to the director/producer was: "are you going to jump this car?", ala the "Smokey & the Bandit" bridge jumping scene.  He said no and did not jump it, at least with this one in the USA.  There were two T/As also in the U.K., but I don't know what happened to them, whether they were "jumped" or not -- at least until I see the movie.

Eventually, I delivered the USA T/A to one of the well-known actresses's place in Malibu, CA.  Apparently, it was (part of) her compensation for working in the movie.  See the movie and figure out who she is.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 05:09:25 PM by OriginalHO » Logged

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solargold
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« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2011, 06:53:01 PM »

He also said the river scene totaled one as the driver hit a boulder and it ripped the oil pan and transmission apart, that's 3 totaled.
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My name is Mike and I am a Trans Am addict
Maryland Bandit
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« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2011, 07:21:57 PM »

Quote
Eventually, I delivered the USA T/A to one of the well-known actresses's place in Malibu, CA.  Apparently, it was (part of) her compensation for working in the movie.  See the movie and figure out who she is.


Shes a blonde, and played a mermaid.
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DriveIt
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« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2011, 08:34:08 PM »

Daryl Hannah owns the '79 Trans Am from the Kill Bill movie.

http://www.alcoholcanbeagas.com/node/1353
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Kevin
'78 Firebird Esprit, Oldsmobile 425 on Ethanol

Here's my build.   http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=44268.msg393763#msg393763
OriginalHO
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« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2011, 04:24:11 AM »

Shes a blonde, and played a mermaid.

Correctamundo.

Also, the "Eldorado" 1978 Trans Am is really a 1977 base 350 Firebird clone. If you are ever in Malibu, CA and see a bright yellow 78 T/A, that's the one.
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fiream773
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« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2011, 08:22:04 AM »

...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...
« Last Edit: July 19, 2011, 08:23:36 AM by fiream773 » Logged


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rustynail
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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2011, 03:18:47 PM »

Did burt do the bridge jump ?
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Mark C.
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2011, 04:09:19 PM »

Ahhhhh......no.   Cool

I think Hal keeps confusing the Bonneis from Smokey 2 with the Le Mans form Smokey 1.
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Keep on Pontiyakkin'
Mark
Mark G
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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2011, 08:37:53 PM »

Guys, this was a really informative thread. I've watched S&TB a bunch of times. There seemed to be a lot of 'snort' under the hood of that car. One thing I like about the move is that on some scenes they really do look like they are going pretty fast.

The one scene that I get a kick out of is when Frog says, "we're going a hundred and ten?!" and the next shot is the speedometer that clearly shows 65 MPH. You'd think they coulda unhooked the speedometer cable and hooked it up to a drill or something and run it up to at least 100. Course in the days before VHS and DVD the movie makers knew you could get away with certain inconsistancies. Nowadays they would probably not let a detail like that slide. Still funny, though.
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Aus78Formula
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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2011, 09:17:59 PM »

Much of the footage is sped up though, and if it wasn't for the car scenes than no one would watch it as the story lines and acting are disgraceful, but typical 70's.

oh yeah, 65mph = 110kmh
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1blk1
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2011, 11:54:32 PM »

always read burt did most stunts (im sure not the bridge) and did hurt himself when he took out that row of mailboxes
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rustynail
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2011, 03:21:30 AM »

The reason i asked if burt did the bridge jump is because on my "burt builds a bandit" dvd he says that he did it.Cant see it my self though but did'nt he used to be a stunt man so maybe he did do it.
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winks79
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Chad 79' WS-6


« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2011, 05:13:10 AM »

I don't think Burt did too many of the stunt scenes in the movie. i know for a fact he did not do the 4 wheel slide on the pavement(which is probably my favorite shot of the car in the movie), just before turning and going down the dirt road for the bridge jump. i will try to come up with the stunt man's name. can't seem to recall it right now.
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rustynail
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« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2011, 05:33:17 AM »

yeah i paused the dvd on the slide and you could tell that burt was not driving.Any one else notice that the slide the trans am does at the second police road block you can see a extra set of angled shocks at the back.
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winks79
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Chad 79' WS-6


« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2011, 05:50:27 AM »

I noticed that. there is also a couple of shots of the car going down the road that it had honeycomb wheels on it. i know the cars were actually 76' models, but i guess they did not think anyone would notice or even care. does not matter though, still get a kick out of watching it. probably watched the movie over 50 times. my wife thinks i'm crazy! my kids enjoy watching it though.
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1979 Trans Am ws6, 403, Platinum, 55,000 miles
Mark C.
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« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2011, 06:48:09 AM »

During Hal's talk at POCI, he said that Universal cut 1 million from his budget. Cut the shooting schedule down to 37 days. He said that they could only do two takes per scene, so that might account for some of it's discrepencies.

Also said he got his team together to see if anybody wanted to do what they say couldn't be done. And they went out and made the movie.
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Keep on Pontiyakkin'
Mark
rustynail
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« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2011, 03:09:00 PM »

I agree mistake's an all a fantastic film,without it i would probably not have one of these great car's so have got a lot to thank smokey+the bandit for  Very Happy.
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Mark G
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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2011, 08:36:46 PM »

always read burt did most stunts (im sure not the bridge) and did hurt himself when he took out that row of mailboxes

Just curious, how so?
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1blk1
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« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2011, 12:02:59 AM »

cant remember details but read he tweeked his back or neck during shooting



more controversy about number of cars used (about 2:25)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV20JzvPqDQ
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 12:32:41 AM by 1blk1 » Logged

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fiream773
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« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2011, 04:33:29 AM »

The three major conspiracy debates of the 20th century:

1.) Was there a 2nd gunman on the grassy knoll who fired the "magic" bullet?
2.) Is there a real alien spacecraft at Roswell?
3.) How many Trans Ams DID they use for S&tB?
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