As film plots go, Smokey and the Bandit is particularly flimsy.
Bo ‘Bandit’ Darville (the late, great Burt Reynolds), is a hot-shoe truck rodeo driver approached by a wealthy, and extremely thirsty, businessman looking to throw a party in the dry state of Georgia. He offers the Bandit $80,000 if he can drive from Atlanta, GA to Texarkana, TX and return within 28 hours, bringing back with him a truck-load of bootleg Coors beer.
Being the world-class opportunist he is, Bo insists on an advance to buy a brand-new 1977 Pontiac Trans Am to act as an outrider for his friend Cledus Snow, aka the Snowman, who’ll be driving the truck.
Punch the route into Google Maps, and you’ll notice it’s a fairly casual 19-hour round trip. Problem is, Bo insists on picking up a runaway bride and flirting incessantly. He clearly hasn’t been studying his Highway Code either, and dislikes driving anywhere without armfuls of opposite lock. As a result he’s pursued relentlessly by gurning Texas Sheriff Buford T. Justice.
Images: Webb Bland
This feature originally appeared in issue 291 of Top Gear magazine