Female Cop Pulling Over Lamborghini Babes (uncredited)
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J.J. (Burt Reynolds) and Victor (Dom Deluise) are driving a 1978 Dodge Sportsman. Seymour (Roger Moore) is driving a 1964 Aston Martin DB5. Blake and Fenderbaum are driving a 1977 Ferrari 308 GTS. Terry (Terry Bradshaw) and Mel (Mel Tillis) are driving a 1976 Chevrolet Chevelle Laguna. Marcie (Adrienne Barbeau) and Jill (Tara Buckman) are driving a 1980 Lamborghini Countach LP 400S. The Japanese team is driving a 1980 Subaru DL. The Sheik (Jamie Farr) is driving a 1976 Rolls-Royce Shadow 1. Mad Dog (Rick Avilas) and Batman (Alfie Wise) are driving a 1980 GMC C-35 Pickup. Brad (Bert Convey) and Shakey (Warren Berlinger) are driving a Harley Davidson Sportster. When Mr. Foyt shows up at the hotel, he's driving a 1972 Volvo 142. At the opening, (Dom Deluise) is driving a 1973 Honda Civic. The plane that J.J. and Victor are flying is a Maule M 5-235 Lunar Rocket. During the first appearance of Captain Chaos, he and J.J. are driving a 1969 Porsche 911.
There are numerous James Bond references throughout the film, resulting in a rumor that Albert R. Broccoli had Roger Moore sign a contract which forbid him to spoof or make references to the James Bond character in any other non-Bond film. However, in September 2014 during an audience Q&A in Torquay (as part of his book tour), Moore stated there was no such contract but that he had promised Broccoli that he would never do anything that would hurt the James Bond character.
In the scene where the airplane is taking off after JJ and Victor get their beer from the store, the airplane turns around in the street. From behind the aircraft, you can clearly see the camera crew at the end of the street filming the next shot as they are pulling up.
Shakey Finch (who rides on the back of Bert Convy's motorcycle) is clearly replaced by a dummy in all wide shots. The most amusing of these is when they arrive at the blocked-off California road near the end of the movie; the dummy is lifelessly pitched forward on the motorcycle seat.
When the Rolls arrives at the hotel, Sheik strides to the rear of the car and a boom mic is visible in the windshield following the actor, the shadow of the mic then appears on the ground at the right-front tire.
Yes, the script writer, Brock Yates, was inspired to write the screenplay by a real race that took place four times in the 1970s called Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash.Yates himself has a bit part in the movie as the "Organizer", the man who speaks to the racers right before they leave.