Jul 7, 2021
Fifty years ago, automotive journalist Brock Yates and Car and Driver editor Steve Smith conceived the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, a timed race from East Coast to West Coast of America. The first “Cannonball Run” from New York City to the Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California, was covered in a widely-read article, and the race was run four more times throughout the ‘70s. By the end of the decade, a movie was in the works, to be written by Yates and helmed by stuntdriver-turned-director Hal Needham. Two 1976 films - Cannonball and The Gumball Rally - beat Yates’ and Needham’s film to the screen, but their 1981 film - which boasted Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise, and Farrah Fawcett leading a stacked cast - became the sixth highest-grossing film of the year and remains an enduring classic. Now, forty years later, we’re putting pedal to metal and checking out The Cannonball Run!
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