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

It’s not every work you acquire to meet an icon. But, that’s what Gary Johnson, a driver indigenous California did.

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

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

“I was prefer a child in a candy store,” stated Johnson, one owner/operator leased to combined Transport, a family-owned glass hauler situated in central Point, Oregon. “It was an certain euphoric event.”

The 36-year-old Johnson said he thrived up around the transportation business. His grandfather was an owner/operator and also he had actually uncles that drove trucks and female family members who to be bus drivers. To height it off, Johnson claimed his “all-time favourite movie is Smokey & The Bandit.”

This once-in-a-lifetime chance was the result of Johnson to win a photo dispute sponsored through the RoadPro household of Brands. The contest — i m sorry attracted more than 450 entries — commemorated the 40th anniversary the the movie starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason, and also which capitalized on the popularization the the CB radio as provided by over-the-road truckers.

Johnson, who resides in Fresno, California, won an all-expenses-paid trip to Charlotte, north Carolina. There the former company driver of plenty of years and also his wife Cindi and also daughter Brittney met Brad Wike, of BPW Transport, that owns the Bandit Rig and also who additionally stages the yearly Southern standard Truck show at his ar in Lincolnton, north Carolina.

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Gary Johnson and the Bandit Rig

In enhancement to owning the Bandit Rig, Wike owns the 1960 Peterbilt 291 the menaced Dennis Weaver in the 1971 movie Dual, and also the red 1970 Plymouth Valiant Weaver drove in what was Steven Spielberg’s very first film.

The van from Smokey & The Bandit and Dual will as soon as again it is in on display screen on Hollywood Hill throughout this year’s Southern classic Sept. 8. Those two trucks will be join by the 1980 Kenworth K100C from the TV display B.J. And also the Bear and the Rubber Duck 1970 Mack RS731LST indigenous the 1978 movie Convoy.

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

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When he’s no driving above movie trucks, Johnson drives the 2017 Freightliner that bought late last year.