April 03, 2009 : “Fast & Furious” is top opening-day car movie

Introduction

In addition to the “Fast and the Furious” franchise, street racing has been depicted in such popular movies as “American Graffiti” (1973) and “Grease” (1978). The 1976 movie “Cannonball,” starring David Carradine, was based on a real-life, illegal, cross-country race called the Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash. That race was first held in the early 1970s, in part to protest America’s new 55 mph speed limit. (Cannonball Baker refers to Edwin “Cannon Ball” Baker, an auto and motorcycle racer who became famous for his record-setting cross-country drives in the early 20th century.) In the 1980s, the actor Burt Reynolds also starred in a series of films inspired by the outlawed race: 1981’s “The Cannonball Run,” 1984’s “Cannonball Run II” and 1989’s “Speed Zone!”

Article Details:

April 03, 2009 : “Fast & Furious” is top opening-day car movie

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    April 03, 2009 : “Fast & Furious” is top opening-day car movie

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fast-furious-is-top-opening-day-car-movie

  • Access Date

    April 19, 2018

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks