Gary Johnson in ~ the wheel that the 1973 Kenworth W900 Bandit Rig

It’s no every job you acquire to fulfill an icon. But, it is what Gary Johnson, a driver indigenous California did.

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Johnson, who has been steering for an ext than 17 years, was able to gain behind the wheel the a truck made renowned by the many successful of all trucker movies, Smokey & The Bandit. The drove a replica the the 1973 Kenworth W900 and also 1976 Hobbs trailer with the sophisticated stagecoach holdup mural native the 1977 movie.

And, the couldn’t have actually happened come a an ext appreciative guy.

“I was favor a kid in a candy store,” stated Johnson, one owner/operator leased to merged Transport, a family-owned glass hauler situated in main Point, Oregon. “It was an absolutely euphoric event.”

The 36-year-old Johnson claimed he flourished up about the transportation business. His grand was an owner/operator and also he had uncles that drove trucks and female relatives who to be bus drivers. To top it off, Johnson said his “all-time favorite movie is Smokey & The Bandit.”

This once-in-a-lifetime chance was the result of Johnson winning a photo contest sponsored by the RoadPro family of Brands. The challenge — which attracted more than 450 entries — commemorated the 40th anniversary the the film starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason, and also which capitalized top top the popularization that the CB radio as offered by over-the-road truckers.

Johnson, who resides in Fresno, California, won an all-expenses-paid pilgrimage to Charlotte, phibìc Carolina. Over there the former firm driver of numerous years and also his wife Cindi and daughter Brittney met Brad Wike, of BPW Transport, that owns the Bandit Rig and who also stages the yearly Southern classic Truck present at his place in Lincolnton, phibìc Carolina.

Gary Johnson and also the Bandit Rig

In addition to owning the Bandit Rig, Wike owns the 1960 Peterbilt 291 the menaced Dennis Weaver in the 1971 movie Dual, and the red 1970 Plymouth Valiant Weaver drive in what was Steven Spielberg’s an initial film.

The trucks from Smokey & The Bandit and Dual will when again be on screen on Hollywood Hill throughout this year Southern standard Sept. 8. Those two trucks will certainly be joined by the 1980 Kenworth K100C indigenous the TV display B.J. And also the Bear and the Rubber Duck 1970 Mack RS731LST from the 1978 movie Convoy.

Johnson, who got his CDL in his at an early stage 20s, to know a little bit around Hollywood himself. A singer, he survived the first round of auditions because that America’s acquired Talent and showed up on Deal or No Deal through Howie Mandel.

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When he’s not driving above movie trucks, Johnson drives the 2017 Freightliner the bought late last year.