Author Topic: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.  (Read 551 times)

Online Ncdan

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THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« on: November 26, 2021, 05:22:56 PM »




I watched this old classic yesterday for probably the Umpteenth time yesterday after a great Thanksgiving Dinner.
This is one of those movies that brings back childhood memories.
I actually remember going to the Drive-In picture show with my parents, in a 58 Chevy Impala my Dad had just bought, (348 with 3 deuces).
I read where the movie was actually based on an actual event that had occurred, a while prior to the movie.
The places, roads and area is still somewhat in tack and some has even been labeled and preserved.

I started thinking that since the area is close to Tennessee, Kentucky and good ole North Carolina.
That maybe this spring those of us who live close by could make a motorcycle event out of meeting somewhere near by and retracing the route where the song and movie described.
We can take a closer look but I believe my river house in Ashe Co could work as the meeting place and it wouldnít cost anyone who would wanted to go on an adventure, like this, one red cent!
Any thoughts?

Here is the description of the route that I got online.


The locations heard in the song "Thunder Road" (sung by Robert Mitchum) actually describe real places in east Tennessee and Kentucky. The "Thunder Road" route runs south from Harlan, KY, thru The Cumberland Gap to Maynardville, TN, just north of Knoxville. The moonshine runner then goes through downtown Knoxville and onto Kingston Pike where he crashes on Bearden Hill (Bearden is a Knoxville suburb). The route is easily followed on a map.

H
The locations heard in the song "Thunder Road" (sung by Robert Mitchum) actually describe real places in east Tennessee and Kentucky. The "Thunder Road" route runs south from Harlan, KY, thru The Cumberland Gap to Maynardville, TN, just north of Knoxville. The moonshine runner then goes through downtown Knoxville and onto Kingston Pike where he crashes on Bearden Hill (Bearden is a Knoxville suburb). The route is easily followed on a map. ere is





« Last Edit: November 26, 2021, 05:23:56 PM by Ncdan »

Offline cliffrod

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2021, 05:45:20 PM »
To add to this-

in 1982 on the weekend before the Worlds Fair opened in Knoxville, several of us went on a weekend trip with a friend's stepfather to Sliding Rock over in western NC.  It was slammed crowded and COLD COLD like getting in a brook in VT.  With that fail realized, he said "Hey guys- Let me show you where they filmed the big crash over a waterfall in "Thunder Road."  He drove us over to the big falls below Lake Keowee/Toxaway where the film crew supposedly ran a car in flames off the road and over the falls.  We spent the bulk of the afternoon there and had a blast, back when it was still pc to let a bunch of idiot teenage boys to play daredevil on giant bareface granite waterfalls with no safety stuff posted.. 

No idea how this location fits into the rest of the route.  The roads up there to the falls are a great twisty but I haven't been back since the 80's.  It's probably all $$$$ condos, private property and such now.
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Online Tkelly

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2021, 06:14:28 PM »
Tom Wolfe wrote about those days and the birth of stock car racing interviewing  lot of those characters in an Esquire article back in the 60 s or early 70s.If you want a copy Dan send me your mailing address.

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2021, 06:37:13 PM »
Tom Wolfe wrote about those days and the birth of stock car racing interviewing  lot of those characters in an Esquire article back in the 60 s or early 70s.If you want a copy Dan send me your mailing address.
Coming your way 👍

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2021, 06:37:13 PM »

Online Ncdan

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2021, 06:46:55 PM »
Iíve tried to find this movie in the past but have only been able to find clips and such.
For whatever reason it just popped up yesterday on Prime Video for free. They are featuring classic cult movies and making a run in several this month.
I also have a CD of the movie if anyone wants to make a copy of put in on their computer to watch.
If anyone has never saw the movie and you were born in 50ís itís a must see. However I believe that regardless of age itís a great old flick.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 06:20:34 PM by Ncdan »

Offline twowheeladdict

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2021, 08:29:26 PM »
Except for riding through downtown Knoxville, it sounds like a fun adventure.  Spring is my busy work travel time, but I will do what I can to participate if this comes together.
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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2021, 09:32:41 PM »
Except for riding through downtown Knoxville, it sounds like a fun adventure.  Spring is my busy work travel time, but I will do what I can to participate if this comes together.
If a few of us can get it together we can probably work around schedules👍

Offline kballowe

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2021, 05:41:55 PM »
Never saw that movie - but the road trip sounds like a good idea.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 05:42:32 PM by kballowe »
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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2021, 09:00:15 AM »
Always enjoyed the movie.  Keely Smith was a famous singer in the '50s.  Worked with Louie Prima.  The acting is a little stiff.

You never know if he made it out alive.   :grin:  OK, I guess we know.  That what he gets for driving a Ford.   :evil:
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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2021, 09:24:45 AM »
Always enjoyed the movie.  Keely Smith was a famous singer in the '50s.  Worked with Louie Prima.  The acting is a little stiff.

You never know if he made it out alive.   :grin:  OK, I guess we know.  That what he gets for driving a Ford.   :evil:
Is it just me or did the motor and exhaust of the cars they used in the movie sound like 6 cylinders with split manifolds?

Actually back in that era of moonshine hauling, many of the haulers put Cadillac motors in the haulers.
When I worked for ABC we made a still bust in Yadkin Co NC and the old guy actually had a 40 Ford coupe, that was actually a retired runner from that era, in and old building that had the Caddy motor. We couldnít take it because it didnít have any liquor in it. But it almost did🤔👿

A little more trivia I learned during the 9 years I working at ABC, part time after I formerly retired in 07, was that during most all runs there was a lead car that would BUST through the  route and lead the ATF (FEDS) on a chase and the hauler would just cruise on through.
It was a constant cat and mouse game between the LAW and the Shiners.
The biggest discovery the Feds made was that they didnít have to depend on snitches, which was far and few between, nor stomp all over the mountains looking for the Stills. They discovered that all they had to do was to follow the SUGAR trail.
My unit that I left a couple years ago now busted 3 large stills this year. However the worst punishment thatís handed out now days is that the IRS gets involved and the back taxís shuts the stills down for years to come.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 09:37:37 AM by Ncdan »

Offline guzzisteve

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2021, 03:05:27 PM »
The Mayor most likely rides on those roads, he lives right there Dan. (hint, hint)
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Offline cliffrod

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2021, 04:49:11 PM »
Is it just me or did the motor and exhaust of the cars they used in the movie sound like 6 cylinders with split manifolds?

Actually back in that era of moonshine hauling, many of the haulers put Cadillac motors in the haulers.
When I worked for ABC we made a still bust in Yadkin Co NC and the old guy actually had a 40 Ford coupe, that was actually a retired runner from that era, in and old building that had the Caddy motor. We couldnít take it because it didnít have any liquor in it. But it almost did🤔👿

A little more trivia I learned during the 9 years I working at ABC, part time after I formerly retired in 07, was that during most all runs there was a lead car that would BUST through the  route and lead the ATF (FEDS) on a chase and the hauler would just cruise on through.
It was a constant cat and mouse game between the LAW and the Shiners.
The biggest discovery the Feds made was that they didnít have to depend on snitches, which was far and few between, nor stomp all over the mountains looking for the Stills. They discovered that all they had to do was to follow the SUGAR trail.
My unit that I left a couple years ago now busted 3 large stills this year. However the worst punishment thatís handed out now days is that the IRS gets involved and the back taxís shuts the stills down for years to come.

There was a legit retired 37 Ford runner not far from here in Inman in a Ford man's driveway until sometime in the mid/late 90's when he died.  There were a number of runner cars around but they were mostly newer or subsequently changed, not "as used."  Bob left it exactly as it was built & used (reputedly by him, but he wouldn't talk to us kids about such things) just parked it in his driveway.  Very Cool car but it didn't have a caddy v8 in it. 

Beginning in 1948, Cadillac (and Oldsmobile) had the first mass produced ohv V8 engines.  They were the engine to have before the other manufacturers went ohv.  One of the older local country mechanics about 4-5 miles from me had a 1949 Sedannette (2 dr fastback Cadillac) with the full hot rod build that he did back in the 50's.  It wasn't a moonshine car but he talked about Moonshiners building those engines just like he did his & then putting them in a liter car.  Buster had bored his engine to 4.00", still had 1x4, 3x2 and 2x4 intake systems and time slips in the mid 14 sec range from the late 50's-early 60's.  It even had Daytona stickers on the window from the 50's that he got when he drove it to FL to watch the races.  It was known to be a very fast local car in the days before muscle cars.   His 49 was the prize next to his garage that none of us could own in the 80's. 
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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2021, 05:11:15 PM »
There are still moonshiners in West NC, though I am sure none of them are driving around with it. I had a jar of it in the fridge when I bought my house, left as a housewarming gift by the previous owner.

Of course when it's legalized there's less incentive. https://grandaddymimms.com

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2021, 08:35:54 AM »
We never had a runner actually attempt to run.
The fines for moonshine now are so low itís not worth it for the haulers.
Therefore they just use a cheap old car or van and let the law Confiscate
It. At one time we had three of those junkers in our holding lot.
Only a couple people came to the public auction and they went for the price of junkyard value.

Offline Alfetta

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #14 on: November 30, 2021, 08:50:08 AM »
Please let me know when you find the actual location of the parked dozers in "Vanishing Point"


NO, It's not pronounced "moder goosy"

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #15 on: November 30, 2021, 09:15:14 AM »
Please let me know when you find the actual location of the parked dozers in "Vanishing Point"


Are you talking about the ones The 69 Camaro hit??

Offline Alfetta

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #16 on: November 30, 2021, 10:30:51 AM »
i think it was some form of Chrysler product...



NO, It's not pronounced "moder goosy"

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2021, 10:37:21 AM »
Robert Mitchum was one of the original "badasses" - 1958 "Thunder Road" trailer....

(I like how he Karate Chops the fat guy!)  :laugh: :grin: :wink: :thumb:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWCS8rvueRU
« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 10:38:52 AM by JJ »
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Offline JJ

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2021, 10:44:01 AM »
Please let me know when you find the actual location of the parked dozers in "Vanishing Point"



Final scene of the 1971 movie "Vanishing Point" filmed here! - Review of Cisco Ghosttown, Cisco, UT - Tripadvisor.
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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2021, 10:48:29 AM »
i think it was some form of Chrysler product...


No sir. It was a 1967 Camaro shell that was used it the final shots after the collision.
It also had regular steel wheels.
That was a cheesy ending to an otherwise great cult movie.

Online xackley

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2021, 02:26:38 PM »
Yep, saw thunder road on a saturday afternoon when I was a kid, and once since. Another Mitchum classic is The Night of the Hunter. And then as a nice guy in Heaven Knows Mr Allison.

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Online Tkelly

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #21 on: November 30, 2021, 04:41:01 PM »
Night of the Hunter was the scariest movie I ever watched,Cape fear is another Mitchum scary movie.

Offline twowheeladdict

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2021, 07:20:29 AM »
I watched Thunder Road last night.  Unfortunately it is difficult for me to watch movies from the naivety of youth. 

The cars were interesting and the main female character was beautiful.  The crashes were realistic except for the roll over and then drives away.  The explosion was much bigger than is usually shown with all that collateral damage. 
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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2021, 09:22:40 AM »
Yea, I even noticed that first scene was messed up even as a kid. During the chase the 50 ford rolled then the very next scene Luke does a bootleg and speeds off.

Hereís a picture that was taken back in the day.


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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2021, 09:24:25 AM »
Dirty Mary Crazy Larry.
Interesting way the last scene with the train was pulled off.
Look it up.
Earlier driving footage was filmed at "real time" speeds
And great helicopter action!
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Online Mayor_of_BBQ

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Re: THUNDER ROAD, definitely MC content.
« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2021, 11:03:53 AM »
The Mayor most likely rides on those roads, he lives right there Dan. (hint, hint)

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