Thursday, February 23, 2012

And the Oscar goes to ... Pontiac Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit

The Academy Awards are this weekend. I know this, because General Motors put out a press release talking about how they have provided a lot of the cars featured in big movies over the years.

Recreations of famous cars are all over the place. I always threaten my wife that I’m going to build a Fall Guy truck. Of course, the last thing I need around here is a junky old lifted ’82 GMC long bed. But still, if I had unlimited space, time, and resources, I’d be rockin’ it like the Unknown Stunt Man.

I’ve written before about all the TV and movie cars that turn up at car shows around Kansas City. There’s an awesome Family Truckster in the area with a Chevrolet LS1 engine under the hood. I mean, this thing is so good, you’d be hard-pressed to tell it wasn’t from the movie.  He even has a dog leash tied to the rear bumper.  Brilliant!

General Lees are always popular. I’ve been seeing those things running around ever since I was a kid. Of course, it makes sense. The General Lee could jump over a grain silo and keep going. I was born in the ‘70s, and am not ashamed to say that I’m a Dukes of Hazzard fan. I own every season on DVD—even the Coy ‘n Vance episodes. I’m not sure I’d want a General Lee, though. That may actually push my conspicuousness comfort level. I like looking at them, though.

The single greatest movie in the history of the world is Smokey and the Bandit. That is a fact. I was looking at the list of nominees for this year’s Academy Awards, and there is not one film in there that is worthy to lick Smokey and the Bandit’s cowboy boots. Anyway, that movie is well-represented in Kansas City. I’ve seen several nice Bandit Trans Ams, which is expected, but some of the support vehicles turn up occasionally as well. I’ve seen the Snowman semi recreation around several times, and it is just fantastic. Buford T. Justice’s ’77 Pontiac police car turns up occasionally as well.

There is a Starsky and Hutch Ford Torino that hits the North Kansas City cruise sometimes. The owner added the red light, but Ford actually produced some of these cars from the factory. The “Striped Tomato” look was pretty popular in the 1970s. Those slotted mag wheels are pretty sweet, too.

Police cars are the staple of American cinema. Without them, who are people supposed to run from? Around here, we’ve seen police units from Adam 12, The Any Griffith Show, Highway Patrol, The Dukes of Hazzard, Transformers, and many more. It’s a wonder any of them survived this long to be in car shows, because most of them seemed like they were destroyed in car chases.

In honor of this weekend’s Academy Awards, I’m giving you a slideshow of TV and movie cars. Most of them are from Kansas City, but I took a few of these other places, like Universal Studios, Hollywood. Now, I know what you’re thinking … I’ve showed you this slideshow before. Well, that’s not completely true. I revamped the whole thing, adding all kinds of fun new pictures for this story. You are going to see every TV and movie car that I have over the past few years. I actually have a lot of fun looking through this album. I hope you enjoy it too.  Captions are available by clicking the baloon at the bottom left corner.


  1. Not to be argumentative or anything, but hafta disagree with you a bit on the movies. Smokey and the Bandit is indeed a fun flick, but shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as American Graffiti...

  2. I love American Graffiti as well, but my statement about Smokey and the Bandit still stands.

  3. Well, certainly your statement about no current films being worthy to lick the boots of "Smokey" is accurate; but still, to propose it being in the same league as Graffiti? tsk tsk... How to settle this? hmmm - Pistols at dawn? ;)

    [please, please note the wink!]