Gary Johnson at the wheel of the 1973 Kenworth W900 Bandit Rig

It’s no every day you obtain to fulfill an icon. But, that’s what Gary Johnson, a driver native California did.

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Johnson, who has actually been steering for more than 17 years, to be able to acquire behind the wheel that a truck made famous by the many successful of all trucker movies, Smokey & The Bandit. The drove a replica that the 1973 Kenworth W900 and also 1976 Hobbs trailer through the sophisticated stagecoach holdup mural indigenous the 1977 movie.

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

“I was like a kid in a liquid store,” claimed Johnson, an owner/operator leased to an unified Transport, a family-owned glass hauler situated in main Point, Oregon. “It to be an certain euphoric event.”

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

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was the result of Johnson to win a photo contest sponsored by the RoadPro family members of Brands. The contest — which attracted an ext than 450 entries — commemorated the 40th anniversary of the movie starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason, and which capitalized top top the popularization of the CB radio as provided by over-the-road truckers.

Johnson, who lives in Fresno, California, winner an all-expenses-paid pilgrimage to Charlotte, north Carolina. There the former company driver of numerous years and his wife Cindi and also daughter Brittney met Brad Wike, of BPW Transport, that owns the Bandit Rig and who additionally stages the yearly Southern standard Truck display at his location in Lincolnton, north Carolina.

Gary Johnson and also the Bandit Rig

In addition to owning the Bandit Rig, Wike own the 1960 Peterbilt 291 that menaced Dennis Weaver in the 1971 movie Dual, as well as the red 1970 Plymouth Valiant Weaver journey in what to be Steven Spielberg’s very first film.

The van from Smokey & The Bandit and Dual will when again be on display screen on Hollywood Hill during this year’s Southern classic Sept. 8. Those 2 trucks will be joined by the 1980 Kenworth K100C indigenous the TV display B.J. And also the Bear and also the Rubber Duck 1970 Mack RS731LST native the 1978 movie Convoy.

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

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