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Movies aren't real life. While this seems obvious, the fact becomes abundantly obvious when you see what a car jump looks like live versus on the silver screen. For a prime example of this glaring lesson, watch the clip above where a driver attempts to recreate the famous jump Pontiac Trans Am from Smokey and the Bandit during a stunt at the 2019 Carlisle Chevrolet Nationals. For a comparison, check the original version from the movie in the clip below.


As you can see, they are very different. Professional stuntman and Smokey and the Bandit director Hal Needham makes Burt Reynolds look like a hero by successfully jumping the bridge and remaining a prototypical ultra-cool dude the whole time.

Conversely, the real-world jump goes far differently. The angle of the ramp causes the Trans Am to travel in a parabola, meaning the car's front end meets the ground first, rather than the tires. The good news is that there's a roll cage, and there's no apparent harm to the driver. However, this Trans Am appears ruined. There must be severe frame damage, and the suspension appears to be collapsed. It seems like such a waste of a handsome vehicle.

Smokey and the Bandit star Burt Reynolds passed away in 2018 at the age of 82. He and director Hal Needham worked together on a string of impressive action movies in the 1970s and 80s. While Smokey franchise is likely the best known, The Cannonball Run, Hooper, and Stroker Ace are also worth checking out for their automotive action.

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