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  #1  
Old 10-26-2011, 10:01 AM
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Default Smoky and the Bandit

I love Smoky and the Bandit.... great movie and even part two is great. But one thing that gets me is the plot.... It can't be done today. It's not politically correct and Coors is now sold in every Super Market here in Florida. Why was it illegal back then to have Coors beer?
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:25 AM
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I always thought it was a union issue - Teamsters wouldn't carry loads from a non-union shop in many states. Who knows, it may have been a capacity issue, or just a marketing ploy to create the aura of mystique for an average product. Growing up in So.Cal., I drank the stuff, but today, the industrial beer market has nothing I care to imbibe in. Give me a good Dopple Bock Dunkle like "Andechs" in Germany, or an Imperial Stout like "Old Rasputin" from the North Coast Brewing Co. in Fort Bragg, CA,, or a microbrew "Big E Scottish Ale" from Ellersick brewery in Lynnwood WA. & I'm a happy camper.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:30 AM
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Burt, Jerry and of course Sally Fields

Don't remember why they didn't have Coors east of the 'Big Muddy'
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:37 AM
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it was a Coors thing. not sold east of the mississippi.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:40 AM
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I think I beat burt by a year to the punch with my 76 trans am with the chicken on the hood. Life is backwards.

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Old 10-26-2011, 10:46 AM
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Nuther picture of it.

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Old 10-26-2011, 10:52 AM
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As one can see in the photo, I also liked Jerry Reed. He was a fantastic picker and fairly good actor.

As to the Coors Beer, back in the early 60's the closest distributor was in Longview TX. The company was expanding eastward from CO and had not yet made it to many of the eastern or southeastern states. I would drive the 70 miles to Longview about twice a month, load my car trunk down with cases of Coors and bring it back to sell at a profit to friends. I never drank beer and did the trips just for the money to be made.

This photo of Jerry Reed and myself was made in 1972. We were all drinking together at a club and he was playing in the town. My wife had some photos made with him as well but those can not be posted on this site.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:13 AM
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As I said, life is backwards!
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldman45 View Post
As one can see in the photo, I also liked Jerry Reed. He was a fantastic picker and fairly good actor.

As to the Coors Beer, back in the early 60's the closest distributor was in Longview TX. The company was expanding eastward from CO and had not yet made it to many of the eastern or southeastern states. I would drive the 70 miles to Longview about twice a month, load my car trunk down with cases of Coors and bring it back to sell at a profit to friends. I never drank beer and did the trips just for the money to be made.

This photo of Jerry Reed and myself was made in 1972. We were all drinking together at a club and he was playing in the town. My wife had some photos made with him as well but those can not be posted on this site.
send them to me in a PM! LOL!
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:34 PM
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Coors restricted where their product could be sold. It was unpasturized back in the 1960s and didn't keep very well if allowed to get warm. Or at least that was the story we were told. Folks around any college town would pay big bucks for a case of it.

The plot was to bring the stuff east where it could be enjoyed, and it played well.

In 1967 I had a VW that got pretty good gas mileage if you babied it. You didn't really have much choice, since mine had the 40 hp engine. Somebody gave us a 6 pack, which we drank with great pleasure. Really, it wasn't any better than any of the other brands, but we were taken in.

I lived in a dorm room with 2 other roommates (efficiency apartment, one single bed, one bunk). Those two guys were from PA, one with significant money, but no car. He suggested we take off early Friday and head west, with him paying for the fuel. We took the back of the back seat out to increase room for beer and left town after our last class. The car wasn't a speed demon. But by switching drivers we got to Denver where it was sold everywhere. That was late Saturday afternoon. It was November and cool enough we didn't have to worry about refrigeration.

We heard all kinds of stories about guys getting pulled over and having their beer confiscated, so we rode in terror. Worse, it was awful hard to not sample our cargo. But we did turn the VW around and headed back toward home. I have no idea why, but it took us a lot longer to go home than to get there. Must have been midnight Sunday when we got back to school.

We still had some obstacles to overcome. The first was how to dispose of it. Back then you couldn't just carry in 10 or 15 cases of beer into a dorm. That year we were on the 2nd floor, but dorms are full of people who would squeal at the chance. We went inside, took a leak (and signed back in, as required then.) Then went out the stairwell door, stuck a rock in the door so it wouldn't lock, then carried in a few cases. It filled our fridge. Then before bed, we had a cold one!

The next day we set about bootlegging (marketing our stash). Back then 6 packs of local beer cost about $2, which is what we paid in CO for the Coors. We could easily get $6 each for them ($1 a beer). And we lived in terror because all that good stuff was stored in the back seat of my VW.

I took a few cases to my parents house and stored them in the extra fridge out on the garage. Then in a stroke of luck, one of my classmates from across the parking lot lived in the Sigma Chi house. He heard we had some beer and they'd had a party planned. When they heard the very reasonable price of $1 a can, they offered to buy up all we had. It was a simple drive across "Lot #1" to their house. And it made the entire trip a financial success for us. We didn't have any confiscated, none stolen, and we were hero's.

I still remember my partner/roommate asking every night if our other roommate could have "A" beer. And my stock reply was always the same. OK, but just 1. He thought he'd struck it rich rooming with guys that had Coors and would generously share it. Except he had to buy beer when we went out to the local joints.

The plot really was the way things were back then. The frat house even offered to finance another run west if we were game. But then they discovered they had a brother with an Econoline van. The beer retailers out in Colorado knew what we were doing, but they liked the business. We felt we were big time smugglers.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 681ismyfavorite View Post
it was a Coors thing. not sold east of the mississippi.
Which reminds me of an Andy Griffith episode. The one where they go to the auto show in Raliegh. Andy is on the phone at a gas station, and a Coors truck goes by.
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2011, 01:45 PM
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Fun movie with no real plot, car chases and just relaxing entertainment. I am always amazed at people who somehow(???) link the movie with the Dukes of Hazzard. Obviously they have never seen the earlier movie Moonrunners.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:58 PM
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In the late 60's I was an avionics tech in a training squadron at Cecil Field, Jacksonville where we frequently sent detachments to MCAS Yuma. One of our aircraft had to be returned for maintenance that couldn't be done in Yuma and the naval aviator loaded up the blivet on one wing with his personal possessions (golf clubs, etc) and the blivet on the other wing was loaded with Coors. When he landed in Jacksonville, he went to sign in the aircraft and was highly irritated to find about half the Coors gone when he got back out to the flightline. He had brought it back for the officers in the squadron but it seems some enlisted man in Yuma who had to load the beer snitched on him. Hey, at least the Zero's got to keep half their beer.

The scene where they were loading up the truck in Smokey and the Bandit was actually shot about 5 miles from me in downtown Jonesboro, GA. The train station that had the Texarkana sign on it is now the Gone With the Wind museum.

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Old 10-26-2011, 03:30 PM
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Durring world war two Tony Levier was lockheeds chief test pilot. He took a P-38 overseas to demostraight how to fly it more eficently and teach the pilots what she really could do. They put a ice cream maker on the belly and hooked up a little free wheeling prop on the front end of it. They flew at high freezing altitude and when they landed they had ice cream. I found it interesting that Tony hired into lockheed as a test pilot the day I was born, april 29th 1941. I hired in 1965 and knew tony a number of years after that yet! He was still chief test pilot and flew everything we had, I think. I belive he was the only person to deadstick a F-104 in when he had a flameout.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_LeVier

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Old 10-26-2011, 03:54 PM
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I thought most you southern boys drank falstaff when I was there in the early 60s?
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Old 10-26-2011, 04:17 PM
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Highly entertaining movie! My wife gives me grief every time I watch it. "How many times do you have to see it?" she'll always ask.

Of course I like Burt, Sally, and Jerry, but I thought Jackie Gleason stole the show!
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:01 PM
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For years Coors was only sold in the 11 western states. This was a supply delivery issue with the company. I also believe it was also a marking ploy, we all want what we can't have. In high school and early college days I drank my fair share of Coors, and I gotta say it was second rate at best, had a faint hint of grapefruit juice to it.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:09 PM
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They filmed some scenes where they went through the river and where the car hauler took off the door of the car just outside Helen GA- a many local were aggravated because it tied up traffic on Unicoi for a week or two.

Same thing happened when they filmed Black Dog with Randy Travis up here.

I don't think the river scene would be filmed today because of the work of Trout Unlimited.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:36 PM
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That's a big 'ol smile on your face there merril!!!

I wish I had a car that made me smile like that.... One day!
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
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Of course I like Burt, Sally, and Jerry, but I thought Jackie Gleason stole the show!
+1 to that! Sheriff Buford T. Justice in high speed pursuit of a maniac!
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:41 PM
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Now that I have a son, one of my favorite quotes to tease my wife is:

"when I get home, I'm gonna' bust yo' momma in the mouth!"

Classic
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:35 PM
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"You sumb*ches couldn't close an umbrella."

I think that movie was made in '76.....I was made in '78. I love that movie! Without Gleason "Smokey and the Bandit" would probably be an all but unknown movie by now.


"There's no way....NO WAY you could come from MY loins....."
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:50 PM
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It was made in 1977. I just checked. My trans am was a 1976, last of the single headlights. Burts was a 77 with the double headlights.
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Old 10-26-2011, 07:56 PM
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Quote:
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I think I beat burt by a year to the punch with my 76 trans am with the chicken on the hood. Life is backwards.

So Burt got the mustache from ya, too?
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Old 10-26-2011, 08:17 PM
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Dunno. Used to work at Universal studios myself way back. He might have seen me? Quite positive I never gave him my autograph though.
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:05 PM
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I remember it as a pasturization issue where Coors required that it be shipped refrigerated. Also there was a size issue in South Dakota; at that time Coors was packaged in 15 ounce cans rather than the standard 16 ounce. South Dakota law mandated that 16 ounce back in the early 70's when I was stationed at Ellsworth AFB. The SD state police would often stop cars coming in from Wyoming and confisticate any Coors because of the packaging laws. Many a time we would haul Coors into SD from WY when returning from missile sites since the blue Government vehicles would not be stopped. Guess I was a smuggler back then!
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Old 10-26-2011, 09:36 PM
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Jackie Gleason doing Broderick Crawford. Classic.
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:36 PM
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smokey-and-the-bandit-beer-run Recreated
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:12 AM
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Talking hahahhahaahhahahaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Dunno. Used to work at Universal studios myself way back. He might have seen me? Quite positive I never gave him my autograph though.
ROTFLMBO!!!!!!!
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Old 10-27-2011, 12:43 AM
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Thanks! Sprexfix, I had to look that one up! That one reminds me of a old war story. I did work at universal studio`s ----as a guard. I wasnt there long, this was back in late 64 or early 65. I was assigned to the movie, "The rare breed". I was there a little while and asked another worker, where is Brian Keith? Ive seen Jimmy stewart, marine O`Hara today, but not keith. I thought he was suppose to be here. Oh yeah? Well I just saw you BSing with him for the last 20 minuets! Keith had on a red beard, I didnt reconise him and thought him a "extra". Later keith and I had a good laugh over it. The next day he brought me in a nice publicity picture of himself with the dog that played old yeller in another movie. I had told him I was dateing a widow who had a son that by coincidence was named brian keith. (middle name keith) The boy was about 3 or 4 at the time. I hadnt asked for anything, but the next day he got ahold of me and told me to send it to the boy! He had nicely autographed it, "To brian keith from brian keith and old yeller!
Lots of those old actors were nice. Jimmy stewart bought my lunch that day too. I wasnt there long and went to lockheed.
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Old 10-27-2011, 05:10 AM
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I'm not a drinker, never have been, but back when Coors first started to be marketed around here, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. My wife, and the kids were out at dinner one evening, and I ordered a Coors. My boys stared at me, wide eyed and open mouthed..."DAD IS DRINKING A BEER!!"

I'm not sure if they were impressed or disapointed.

I wasn't impressed enough to order another.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:16 AM
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I remember having to stan in line to see with my then girlfirend and now wife. I liked it so I bought it on DVD. When I was completing basci training my wife came down and she brought with her on the plne a case of Coors and a case of point beer. On of my basic training buddies was from Stevens Point and felt home sick. When she left the plane she had a lot of offers of help to carry the beer.
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:54 AM
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Years ago in wisconsin it was "Oshkosh" beer. I had a uncle in california that liked it so well, I remember him loading up his car to where the tail pipes were almost dragging when he went back west. Berlin used to have a brewery too.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straightshooter2 View Post
In the late 60's I was an avionics tech in a training squadron at Cecil Field, Jacksonville where we frequently sent detachments to MCAS Yuma. One of our aircraft had to be returned for maintenance that couldn't be done in Yuma and the naval aviator loaded up the blivet on one wing with his personal possessions (golf clubs, etc) and the blivet on the other wing was loaded with Coors. When he landed in Jacksonville, he went to sign in the aircraft and was highly irritated to find about half the Coors gone when he got back out to the flightline. He had brought it back for the officers in the squadron but it seems some enlisted man in Yuma who had to load the beer snitched on him. Hey, at least the Zero's got to keep half their beer.

The scene where they were loading up the truck in Smokey and the Bandit was actually shot about 5 miles from me in downtown Jonesboro, GA. The train station that had the Texarkana sign on it is now the Gone With the Wind museum.

CW
Sounds like my initial journey into life!

When Beaufort SC MCAS switched to F-18's from F-4's I went to Cecil for the training.

I spent many a day at Yuma, yuck! A sister squadron's FA-18 ingested fuel from an incorrectly installed fuel cap on the center tank and blew up right in front of us all with live 1000 pounder's

PS
you know you're getting old when the bases you were at are closed and the aircraft you flew or worked on are all in museums, gate guards, and bone yards!!
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:59 AM
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Default Ah, Coors Beer

Received a 6 pack from one of my professors when I graduated from college after my service in the USMC! Back then, Coors was rare in GA! This professor was from Colorado and had just been home. Colorado Kool Aide! One of the best gifts I'd ever received. Of course, Coors was plentiful in CA, AZ and other western states.
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Old 10-27-2011, 02:18 PM
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Maybe some people still do this but I doubt many do like they did back in the 40s or early 50s. Friends or relatives would take a road trip and probley be designated or hit up to bring some favorite thing back from the area they were going to. For instance my folks would drive to the UP from wisconsin and be sure to bring back oleo as wisconsin being "the dairy state" had some law that wouldnt let the stores sell it back then. Also we would get smoked chubs that they sold in stands along the road on lake michigan, pick up 5 gallon buckets of cherrys from door county etc. They always tried to make the trip at least partialy pay for the gas or whatever. People from other states might go straight to the cheese factorys and load up with a wheel of cheese to take back.
Not many do that kind of thing now. Either easy money or welfare makes it too easy to lower yourself to do doarkey things like our folks did.
EDITED: Got thinking about it, I belive out of state you could buy yellow oleo like butter! In wisconsin they gave you a yellow wafer of dye that you had to squeeze in and mix to make your white oleo look yellow like butter to fool guests!

Last edited by feralmerril; 10-27-2011 at 02:22 PM. Reason: add or change info
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:40 PM
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More reasons other than beer that that movie couldn't be done today. For one thing, the art of the movie car chase is over. Any idiot with the right computer software can create one today. All those actors and stuntmen in those days who drove them are a dying breed. Steve McQueen, Bill Hickman, Bud Ekins, and Carey Loftin were among the greatest Hollywood wheelmen around. Plus, I'm a Mustang man for sure, but I just don't see one in a "Bandit" remake, and GM sure doesn't make anything else that would even come close. Corvettes are really cool, but a little pricey to be material for Bo Darville (how many y'all knew that was Bandit's real name?) to drive on a beer run.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:58 PM
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Feralmerril: I remember the same thing as a teen ager in Connecticut, another dairy state: margarine came in a plastic bag with a litle dye pill in it, and you had to pinch the pill and then knead the margarine until the color was uniform. Of course, being a teen ager, I was the one delegated to do that. Probably why it sticks in my mind.
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Old 10-28-2011, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
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Bo Darville (how many y'all knew that was Bandit's real name?) to drive on a beer run.
I did know that. He identifies his name as Bo to Frog and later at the end when the mutual respect business is going on he tells Buford "This is Bandit Darville."
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:31 AM
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Durring world war two Tony Levier was lockheeds chief test pilot. He took a P-38 overseas to demostraight how to fly it more eficently and teach the pilots what she really could do. They put a ice cream maker on the belly and hooked up a little free wheeling prop on the front end of it. They flew at high freezing altitude and when they landed they had ice cream. I found it interesting that Tony hired into lockheed as a test pilot the day I was born, april 29th 1941. I hired in 1965 and knew tony a number of years after that yet! He was still chief test pilot and flew everything we had, I think. I belive he was the only person to deadstick a F-104 in when he had a flameout.

Tony LeVier - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Little known fun fact about Tony LeVier: On orders from Kelly Johnson, Tony found and selected the aircraft testing site that would later become known as Area 51.

[thread hijack over]

I used to drink Coors, but it has no real taste, the only good thing about it is that it's not bitter. I hate bitter-tasting beer.
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  #41  
Old 10-28-2011, 05:01 PM
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From the link above:

..handed over the keys to a resto-mod 1978 Pontiac Trans-Am. The Bandit car is packing a 605-horsepower LS7 engine with a five-speed transmission, Baer six-piston calipers on 14-inch front and rear rotors and a roll-cage with a five-point racing harness...

Sounds like some serious fun to be had in that vehicle!
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feralmerril View Post
I thought most you southern boys drank falstaff when I was there in the early 60s?
For a number of years when I was much younger, Falstaff had a large brewery in New Orleans and was therefore a very popular brand in Louisiana and the neighboring states.
teesur.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:35 PM
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We never did drive like that when we crossed the river to get a load, and thank god we never got caught! it was a big deal to have coors beer back then in the late 70s, now you can get it anywhere.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:56 AM
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Back when Burt Reynolds was in the TV sitcom "Evening Shade", I was eating lunch in McClard's BBQ in Hot Springs, Arkansas, one day. Burt and some other guy came in and had lunch a few tables down. When I left there was a '76 black Trans Am in the parking lot and I later found out it was Reynold's car and they'd been in town scouting for some filming spots.
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Old 10-29-2011, 02:14 PM
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Wasnt my 76 was it? It was about a year old when I bought it in southern calif. Just kidding, I bought it from someone that didnt look like burt. That thing would shake your fillings out at around town speeds, but didnt come alive untill 80 mph or so. Then it ran like it should above that. That car got better gas mileage the faster you drove it! My biggest gripe was I had to sit down on the road to get in and out of her. I got married and civilized so it went. The 14 year old girls wou;ld all wave!

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Old 10-29-2011, 06:29 PM
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After looking at your picture, the one I saw must have been a '77 because it had the four square headlights. I'm thinking it was a '77 or '78 used in the movie.
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:38 PM
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I remember a story about the car. Seems the producers wanted something else originally, either a Camaro or a Corvette, but they couldn't get a deal on it, so they got the Trans Am. That movie did for the TA what Dirty Harry did for the .44 Magnum, screen exposure to people with cash. Sales went way up.
I still want a TA, but it has the be the TA 6.6, not the 6.6 Liter. The latter was an Olds 403, the former the Pontiac 400, if I remember correctly.
Oh, yeah, if you're planning one for my birthday, I want a 4 speed.
Thanks.
Jim
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P&R Fan View Post
I still want a TA, but it has the be the TA 6.6, not the 6.6 Liter. The latter was an Olds 403, the former the Pontiac 400, if I remember correctly.
Oh, yeah, if you're planning one for my birthday, I want a 4 speed.
Thanks.
Jim
Definitely find one with the fifth digit of the VIN being a Z. Z is the 1976-77 code for the 400 CID Pontiac. I had a '77 Grand Prix with the 400 Pontiac. Best running 70's "smog" engine ever. Got 16-20 MPG dragging around a 4800 LB rust bucket body. Never burned oil. Finally junked at 195,000 miles, but the engine still ran great.

A friend bought a '77 T/A with the 6.6L 403 CID Olds engine. I could smoke him with my 700LB heavier Grand Prix every time. He blew the engine and swapped in a '75 Pontiac 400 out of a Catalina SW. Then he had a T/A that ran.
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Old 10-29-2011, 07:19 PM
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I have a Coors story that is true.

As someone mentioned, back in the 60's and 70's Coors claimed that its beer had to be refrigerated or it would spoil. That was the premise behind them not selling the swill in the East. They actually had federal protection.

In the early 1970s I was an investigative reporter in Arizona working the federal beat. One of my main sources was the head of the local ATF.
He tipped me to many great stories.

One day he called to let me know of what he thought was a good story. The ATF had been working an investigation on a Coors beer smuggling ring for several months and had finally decided there was no way to get an indictment so he offered me the story.

As I said, Coors had some kind of federal protection from their beer being sold back East.

Some brilliant entrepreneur figured out how to beat it.

He would send people out to liquor stores all over the Southwest and buy up as much Coors and possible, enough to fill a tractor trailer truck.

He then took the truck just across the border into Mexico where he paid Mexicans to take EVERY SINGLE can out of the truck and put a Mexican
import beer stamp on each.

He then brought the truck back across into the US and under the law at the time, the domestic Coors beer was now "imported" Mexican beer and not subject to US distribution laws. He could then sell it whereever he wanted. He made millions

Coors went berserk when they found out I was doing the story and threatened my job. I did it anyway and it got a lot of viewings
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:02 PM
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I thought it was because of the alcohol content being a higher percentage?
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