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Since Alexander Winton invented the early semi-truck in 1898, the history of the semi has been full of interesting twists and turns. However, 18-wheelers really hit their stride in popular history with a spate of movies glorifying the trucker lifestyle and big rigs starting in the 1970s.
Perhaps the most famous movie on the list, this action-packed comedy stars Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, and Jackie Gleason in an exciting story of smuggling beer across state lines. Premiering the same year as Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope, Smokey and the Bandit was the second highest grossing movie of 1977. Three Kenworth W900A short-frame semi-trucks are used in the film, each with 38-inch sleepers.
Riding the new interest in trucker movies following Smokey and the Bandit, Convoy came out the following year in 1978. The movie was inspired by the 1975 song of the same name by C. W. McCall. The song is included on Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time. In the movie, Martin "Rubber Duck" Penwald (Kris Kristofferson) is chased by Sheriff Lyle "Cottonmouth" Wallace (Ernest Borgnine).
Truck driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) finds himself rescuing the fiancée of his friend Wang Chi in this action-packed adventure set in San Francisco's Chinatown. Initially a box office flop, this film has gone on to achieve fame as a cult classic. In the movie, Jack drives a Freightliner FLC 120.
Patrick Swayze plays Jack Crews, a truck driver recently released from prison for vehicular manslaughter. In need of money, Jack agrees to haul toilets from Georgia to New Jersey. When things start to go wrong, Jack realizes he's not hauling just toilets! The title "black dog" comes from the term for hallucinations brought on by lack of sleep. The film soundtrack is packed with classic trucking themed songs.
From box office flops to critical successes, here at Country Supply, Inc., we love being part of the culture and history of trucking. Contact us to learn more about the best in semi-trailers.
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