(Editor’s note: After this story was published, Carlisle Events provided the rest of the story: The plan all along was to crash-land the car nose first in an effort to minimize the impact on the driver. And while the Trans-Am may have looked fine at the start, it was basically a rusty junker held together with Bondo and duct tape.)
Although the event was the annual Chevrolet Nationals, the star attraction was a re-creation of the Smokey and the Bandit jump by a Pontiac Trans-Am.
Things went well as the car launched 30 feet into the air and soared 120 or so feet through the air. But driver Ray Kohn, making his first such jump, was unable to stick the landing, the car going nose-first into the pavement.
The stunt was staged by the Northeast Ohio Dukes stunt team. A huge crowd that gathered to watch was appreciative of the effort, said organizers from Carlisle Events.
“Chevrolet weekend offered many things to many people – seminars, cool displays, activities (autocross rides with UMI Performance, Nitrofest), contests (burnouts, beauty, Real Street Shootout), special guests (Bruce Larson, Matt Avery, Charlie Morris, Larry Lombardo, Linda Vaughn and more than a half a dozen other greats from the history of Hurst) but it was the Bandit Jump that literally had folks craving more,” Carlisle Events reported.
The weekend also included Carlisle Auctions’ Summer Sale, with 200 vehicles crossing the block. The top-seller was a 1966 Chevrolet Corvette that brought $61,000.
The car show was named for Chevrolet, but was open to vehicles representing all GM brands.