The Ultimate Cannonball Run Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

You might be familiar with the movie "The Cannonball Run," but did you know there's a true story behind it? The first Cannonball Run took place in 1971 and was won by a Dodge van racing almost 3,000 miles cross-country. Take this quiz and learn more about the real Cannonball Run.

What was the name of the lead actor in the 1981 movie, "The Cannonball Run"?

It was Burt Reynolds, with co-stars Roger Moore, Farrah Fawcett and Dom DeLuise.


Most people thought that the movie was based on a _____ cross-country car race.

Many thought that it was based on a fictional race, although car racing enthusiasts knew that there was once a real Cannonball Run.


The real Cannonball Run was a car race between New York and California that took place four times. When?

The four-time car race took place in 1971, 1972, 1975 and 1979.


Who won the first Cannonball Run in 1971?

Brock Yates, founder of the race, won the first one. He later wrote the script for the movie.


Nowadays it would be virtually impossible to stage a race of this nature in the U.S. Why?

The low interstate speed limit and clogged roads make such a race virtually impossible.


With the introduction of the then 55-mph speed limit on U.S. roads, what did Yates set out to prove?

He set out in a Dodge van across country to prove that high-speed travel across the U.S. was possible.


What is the speed limit on Germany's Autobahn?

There isn't any legal speed limit on the world's fastest road.


In the first run, Yates and his team of three drove from New York to Los Angeles, a distance of 2,858 miles (4,599 km). How long did it take?

It took them 40 hours and 51 minutes.


What was the race known as prior to its being called the Cannonball Run?

It was nicknamed Cannonball Dash, a shortened version of the rather lengthy "official" title, Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash.


Who was the race originally named for?

It was named for race car driver Erwin G. "Cannon Ball" Baker, who made more than 140 drives across the States.


There were eight teams in the first Cannonball Run. As part of the rules, what did they have to pay money for?

The rules required them to pay a $50 entry fee and another $200 for charity.


In the first Cannonball Run, why did some drivers drive fairly tamely through certain states?

Some states were notorious for highway patrolmen, in particular Connecticut, Ohio and Pennsylvania.


What was the unusual story behind the Cadillac Sedan de Ville that participated in the first race?

It belonged to an elderly man who placed an ad in the paper for a driver to take it from New York to California, with the only stipulation that it be driven no faster than at 75 miles per hour (120 kph).


Did anyone get a ticket for speeding in the first Cannonball Run?

Four of the eight entrants got speeding tickets, with a total of 12 tickets received.


Who made this famous quote in the L.A. Times, "At no time did we exceed 175 mph"?

This tongue-in cheek quote was made by Yates' co-driver Dan Gurney.


Which publication brought the Cannonball Run to the fore of mainstream media with an article about the race?

An article was published in Time Magazine after the third race in 1975.


Which actor was the movie script written for?

It was originally written with actor Steve McQueen in mind, but he died before the film could be made.


When The Cannonball Run hit the silver screen in 1981, how did it fare?

It raked in over $70 million and was the seventh highest grossing movie of 1981.


Why was a fake ambulance used both in real life and in the movie?

They used a fake ambulance to pose as a husband taking his wife to the hospital so as to trick the traffic cops.


In the last Cannonball Run, what was the winning car?

It was a Jaguar XJ-S driven by Dave Heinz and Dave Yarborough.


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