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‘East Bound and Down’

by Lori Dunn | May 15, 2012 at 9:21 p.m. | Updated July 8, 2015 at 9:18 a.m.

Texarkana residents, many of them Trans Am or "Smokey and the Bandit" fans, gathered at 9 a.m. at Broad and Laurel streets.

About 250 people, in 150 Trans Ams, are making the trip from Texarkana to Georgia. This year marks the 35th anniversary of "Smokey and the Bandit," the movie starring Burt Reynolds and Sally Field about hauling beer from Texarkana to Atlanta, Ga.

The cars were scheduled to be in Lafayette, La., Monday night.

"We appreciate everybody coming and joining us. It's going to be a fun week," said Bandit Run organizer David Hall. "Instead of sitting at a car show and baking in the sun, we are going to be on the road."

The first Bandit Run was in 2007, and many of the same people participate each year. Most drive black Trans Ams, but some of the cars in the convoy that headed out of town on U.S. Highway 67 were silver, blue or red.

Larry and Susan Smith of Illinois drive a red 2002 Trans Am.

As the couple waited to join the procession of cars, the song "East Bound and Down" by Jerry Reed played on their stereo.

Susan Smith played a part from the movie by wearing her wedding veil, just like Sally Field's character.

"It's my wedding veil from our wedding 43 years ago," she said.

Brad and Mason Herrington of Texarkana stood on the side of Broad Street to admire the muscle cars.

Brad Herrington said he had always liked Trans Ams.

"I grew up watching 'Smokey and the Bandit' and 'Dukes of Hazzard.' That's my generation," he said.

Dan Nicholson of Texarkana was downtown to do some work at the American Legion building but also took time to take video of the Trans Ams.

"I love antique cars. I used to own a body shop," he said.

He said he watched "Smokey and the Bandit" on Sunday to refresh his memory, and the movie still holds up well.

"It was good to see it," he said.


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