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…’Cause Thursday They Drive!!!!

November 6, 2011

The Cannonball Run (1981)

Tuesday, November 8nd

Film starts at 9pm

Otto’s Shrunken Head

538 East 14st (between Ave A & B)

As always, free popcorn and $2 Vehicular Bingo

It’s that time of year again! This Wednesday November 9th, join our heroes of the highway, those rascals of he open road, those….umm

…insert road here… 

whack jobs who drive questionable vehicles at ill-advised speeds from the seedy underbelly of the Brooklyn Bridge straight through to the foggy peaks of San Francisco’s Goldengate for the annual running of the wrecks…The 2904!

Wednesday night, November 9th, we will be downing drinks in their honor (yes, let’s send them off Thursday morning with a fitting hangover…it is an endurance challenge after all) at Otto’s Shrunken Head. Festivities on Wednesday start around 8pm. Come by to buy them a beer, recount tales of the road and oggle the ‘mighty’ steeds they’ve chosen to race this year

But BEFORE that, swing by Otto’s Tuesday the 8th to get yourself up to speed on the origin of this crazy tradition…yes, that’s right, somewhere in their road hazed brains, this The 2904 thing was conceived and inspired in part by the one, the only Cannon Ball Run, and we’ll be screening it. ….’Cause Thursday they Drive!!!!

– Corinna Mantlo

Marchioness of Motors

The 2904

The Cannonball Run (1981)

Somewhere in the dark automotive recesses of our collective Gen X youth lies a film of such power and influence that it spawned an insatiable desire in a generation of gearheads to dress up like priests and drive across the country soused in Magnum P.I.’s Ferrari. That film, of course, is The Cannonball Run (1981).

Starring a who’s who of legends, has-beens, and almost stars The Cannonball Run may be the ultimate intersection of 1970’s booze and drug fueled cool. All you need to do is read the cast list and you realize you idolized, impersonated or masturbated to one of these people at least once in your life. Burt Reynolds, Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett, Jackie Chan, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Fonda, Adrienne Barbeau, Terry Bradshaw, Mel Tillis, and Dom DeLuise.
Based on the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, an actual cross-country outlaw road race from the Red Ball Garage in New York City to Redondo Beach, California the film is a strange mixture of fact and fiction collected from the 5 runnings of The Cannonball from 1971-1979.  The only rules were there were no rules. You just had to drive your vehicle as fast as could from coast to coast. To add more legitimacy to the proceeding the film’s director Hal Needham and the movie’s screenwriter and Cannonball founder Brock Yates ran the final Cannonball in the very ambulance used by Burt Reynolds in the film.

In fact most of the shenanigans in the film are based on real Cannonball events. Men dressed as priests? Check. A fake ambulance with a real doctor and a fake patient? Check. A “road legal” stock car? Check. Hot all girl team? Check. Foreigners in a Roll-Royce? Check. Two guys on a motorcycle? Check. All Needham had to do was set the wheels in motion and Reynolds, Dom DeLuise (one of the best comic duos ever) and their drugged/drunk Hollywood buddies did the rest.

An unforgettable product of a bygone era of gonzo races and gonzo film-making. Unfortunately a movie like this will never be made again. Unless they make a movie of The 2904. But that is another story…

King of Krumpet
The 2904

One Comment leave one →
  1. Bruce permalink
    March 22, 2012 9:45 AM

    I can’t express enough how much I hate that this race exists. These reckless bastards are going to KILL some poor family on the way to Denny’s and I hope they are all held accountable. It sickens my stomach to think that these self-important pricks would risk the lives of thousands of innocent people for a mere adrenaline rush. How about jumping out of a plane or racing around the salt flats? Or how about simply disqualifying anyone who speeds? It would certainly be more challenging.


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