Updated: Feb 16, 2022
Bo "Bandit" Darville Owned the Kenworth
Most Smokey and the Bandit fans forget that the Burt Reynolds character "the Bandit" owned and operated the flashy Western-themed semi in the film. The movie begins with the Bandit driving his KW in numerous situations, until we see "the Bandit" making an appearance at a truck show, where he takes photos and signs autographs for his fans. It is at that point where Bo meets Big and Little Enos Burdette - and the $80,000 venture to deliver 400 cases of Coors beer is laid down. Upon
making the deal/bet to bootleg the 400 cases of beer, the Bandit drives his KW straight to his buddy's house - Cletus "the Snowman" Snow to get him involved. Cletus then ends up driving the Bandit's KW throughout the rest of the film. We here at Semi Freaks are freakin' crazy about semi trucks and we don't miss details! The Smokey and the Bandit Kenworth WAS NOT THE SNOWMAN'S TRUCK! Now that's off our chest - the actual truck used was a 1973 "Golden Anniversary" Edition, W900A Kenworth. There were at least two trucks used in the filming
(see the photo proof below)!
The subtle differences are noted in the trucks external air breathers; one truck had the slim, oil-bath elements, the other had the wider dry-type air breathers. The main truck used can be seen with the special Anniversary KW keystone with a GOLD background - denoting the golden year of Kenworth in 1973.
The second unit truck was not a '73.
Now we don't just call ourselves Semi Freaks for no reason, we are far from the normal truck fans. With that, we have set out decades ago to find one of, or both - or even some parts from the ORIGINAL Smokey and the Bandit KW's! Sadly, we hit dead ends all along the way. There are many, many, rumors, and many, many TALL STORIES about where and what happened to the actual trucks . . . Although we will continue to search until our last drop of fuel is burned up - we believe the original rigs have long been scrapped (tears falling). Trust us, we have heard dozens of stories, tips, and flat out jokes as to the whereabouts the film KW trucks went to- or might be. There was only one way to honor the Bandit's rig -build the best possible tribute truck of all time (a screen accurate, bona fide twin sibling)!
Sure, there are a few tribute trucks around, one even used on the Bandit episode of the American Trucker TV series from years ago. However, the other replica trucks are FAR from screen accurate - except for one, owned by Brad Wike in NC! We have Semi Freak
Certified Brad's Bandit as screen worthy. Why (you might ask)?
Here are our some of our freaky reasons:
1.) The truck is a 1973 Anniversary Edition W900A (go buy one).
2.) The truck is rolling on its original two-piece (widow-maker) Budd rims with 10.00 22 tube-top BIAS ply rubber!
3.)Hooked to the 5th wheel is a 1976 HOBBS 40' trailer - dry van with a dummy Thermo King Refer!
4.) That authentic HOBBS trailer really distances itself from the other Bandit rigs - IT IS HAND PAINTED (no wrap)!
5.) It's full of key details - including: the correct CB and Pace scanner, correct CB antennas and a real close detail -
note the stacks in the photo below (with our Model Jolene).
We are fans of movies (freaks for the retro trucker flicks ) and we certainly realize that Burt Reynolds played Bo, a trucker with a sweet KW. Movies aren't real, but the screen vehicles DEFINITELY are - seeing even a replica dances on all the right nerves.