Tuesday, May 14, 2013

When Cars were the Stars!

 If I ask you what Eleanor and General Lee had in common what would you say?  Well General Robert E. Lee’s mother was not named Eleanor, but those two names do share something……they were stars of the TV Show Dukes of Hazard and the Movie Gone in 60 Seconds.  Bo and Luke Duke ran from Sheriff Roscoe and Boss Hogg each week as they tried to stay out of trouble in their 1969 Dodge Charger R/T named General Lee.  They jumped every washed out bridge in Hazard County and slid that car around every corner with dust just a flying! 

Eleanor was the name of the car in both Gone in 60 Seconds movies, the 1974 edition and the more popular version from the year 2000.  The 1974 movie featured a yellow and black 1973 Mustang Mach-1, but most folks remember the silver and black 1967 Shelby GT500 Mustang that was stolen by movie star Nicolas Cage.  Maybe that’s where the phrase “drive it like you stole it” comes from.

Back in the 70’s a couple of guys named Starsky and Hutch could be seen each week in prime time TV as they chased the bad guys in their wicked looking 1976 Gran Torino.  Starsky nicknamed the car the “Striped Tomato” in one of the episodes and I guess if it had not been for the show, this car would not be very high on the “Cool Car” list, but trust me the red Torino with that famous white stripe down the side will always be associated with a couple of tough cops from California.
There were so many more cars that I could have talked about and I’m sure you are screaming the name of as you read this, but I wanted to mention one more that is my most memorable star car.

Burt Reynolds, better known as “The Bandit” almost drove right out of the screen in the blockbuster movie from 1977 called Smokey and the Bandit.  He burned rubber and jumped a bridge of his own in his black and gold 77 Bandit Trans-Am.  I was only 8 years old when I went to the theater with my parents to see it the 1st time and it forever changed the way I felt about cars and may have been what lit my spark for being so passionate about cars today.  I’m not going to lie, even when I see a nice looking Bandit Edition Trans-Am today, it gets my blood pumping and it makes me want to grab for my old CB and give a shout out for the Snowman and ask what’s your 20?  If you were a child of the 80’s you know what I’m talking about!! 
It does seem that in many movies we have watch through the years that the cars were the real stars of the movie and I’m sure the Hollywood will thrill us with again with the next big car chase scene.
Thanks, Joseph