BEHIND THE SCENES 10/6-7/1976
46th Anniversary of Filming Day #29-#30
"Hold on to Fred son. Here comes the calvary."
(Note: These dates are estimated from other confirmed filming and scheduling dates and based on the damage done to our HERO CAR #1)
Today we are back on Hwy 400, just south of Cumming, GA filming the start of the final chase back to the Lakewood Fairgrounds.
Our HERO CAR #1 takes on some serious damage during this filming. We are near the end of the filming schedule so having a pristine car is not as important as it was. This car will take on even more abuse when we get back to Jonesboro.
We have our EBA filter truck. We also have HERO CAR #1 Trans Am. Identified by the small dent in the driver's door.
Sonny Shroyer joins us as the Motorcycle Cop. This is the 3rd movie Sonny has done with Burt Reynolds. He was in the Longest Yard and Gator prior to this. Most everyone recognizes Sonny from his role as Enos Strate on the Dukes of Hazzard.
The windshield has the "G" logo (Guardian). Another identifier for our HERO CAR #1 Trans Am. Also this scene has the best view of the BAN ONE license plate. This is the last time this car is filmed in this nice of condition. It is about to get some serious abuse.
During this scene we lose the front RH wheel spoiler. You can see it rip off the car after the front end touches the grass.
Here the front subframe gets bent and the LH fender is bent out in the front. This is the worst of the damage, but we are not done yet...more damage tomorrow.
You can see the front fender damage in other filming scenes from today. The bent frame causes the rear tire to come off the ground in a sharp right turn.
Another scene during this time is called "Chickie Run" in the script. This is where the patrol car swirves to avoid a head on collision with the Bandit, jumps a bank and lands on the back of a flat bed truck. According to Hal Needham, during the first take the car over shot the flat bed and landed on the other side. The car was still running and drivable so they circled around and did the stunt again. This time it hit its mark.
Here is an excerpt from an early copy of the script:
The car was strapped down to the truck and we see the patrolman pop his head out and say "Son! You reckon you can let me off at the next exit?". The patrolman was a real life Georgia Highway patrolman at the time; Ronnie Gay and was hired to work on the set when Hal asked him if he wanted a part in the movie.
SPECIAL NOTE: Ronnie Gay is currently battling liver cancer. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.