Roll Your Own Cannonball Run

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The Cannonball Run wasn’t just the greatest film ever made (with the second greatest being Cannonball Run II).

Before it was the highest peak of cinematic engineering, it was an actual, real and non-pretend road race from coast to coast, with the fastest mofo crowned the winner, while the rest of the pack took their own lives in shame.

But surely a Prius owning, hummus eating, ‘Sister Act’ loving chap like you couldn’t ever be involved in anything as cool as a Cannonball Run, right?

Probably, but just in case, here are some pointers.

History of Cannonball Run

The ‘Run’ or ‘Cannonball Run’ as it’s also known, is named after Erwin G. “Cannon Ball” Baker, who was both famed for driving quickly from coast to coast and having the middle name “Cannon Ball” which was quite unusual for the time.

In honour of this great man and as a reaction to the recently enforced American speeding laws, car journalist Brock Yates drove New York to Los Angeles in 40 hours.

Then he asked other people to do the same thing and tried to beat them while doing it. This was the both the first ever Cannonball Run and the first ever race in history.

Some think that Greeks did it first, but they are liars.

Then Burt Reynolds made a film based on the race and Dom Deluise’s antics made every one stop doing it for a while. Then in the 2000s, Cannonball Running began again and the ghost of Erwin smiled in a happy and ghostly fashion.

What You Need

Just because the Americans did it first, doesn’t mean you can only do it in America.

Cannonball Runs have sprung up all over the world. You just have to get from one place to another as quickly as possible. In a car. Not from one side of your bedsit to the other. You’ll need to be a bit more ambitious than that.

So all you need is a route and some ably vehicled competitors. In recent European Cannonball Runs, the destinations (or ‘missions’ as they call them) are kept secret, making it even more exciting and special.

And of course, this has to be done LEGALLY. In fact, I don’t even think you’re allowed to call it a race.

So, you and your car driving friends drive in legal fashion (wink wink) to a specified destination (wink wink) and do not compete at all (wink wink).

Don’t Forget!

Even though everything is above board and legal, there are some items that might make your non-race even more fun in a legal and above board fashion.

GPS and police scanners could aid you in various ways, as will numerous spare parts for your car and numerous vitamins, energy drinks, sugary snacks, a reserve fuel tank and something to go to the toilet in and on.

If you are travelling in intercontinental fashion, you’ll need various currencies, your passport and guides to the laws of the destinations you’ll be passing through.

Can the cops be bought with the promise of a newborn calf? Yes, if you are in Latvia. Will your fun little adventure turn into a nightmarish remake of Midnight Express if you’re arrested going 4 miles over the speed limit? Yes, in every single EU and NATO nation.

Make sure you have some sort of smartphone too, if you quickly have to translate ‘you know, like Burt Reynolds’ into Dutch.

Tactics (Read: Dressing Up)

Nuns. That’s a good one. Unless you are passing through a nation where nuns are considered evil.

Any sort of animal costume may cause a certain amount of confusion if you need to stall for any reason.

Being naked is not recommended, unless you are in Germany. Same goes for dressing like a big baby.

Moustache Care & Attention

Obviously, just like Burt in the film, you’ll need a moustache. Even before you get a car, you’ll need a moustache.

Even if you’re a lady, you’ll need to endure a painful series of hormone injections or grafts to ensure you have a sufficiently bushy, healthy moustache.

To be perfectly honest, you shouldn’t even be reading this if you don’t have a Burt.

In Conclusion

So you’ve got a moustache, some kind of vehicle, an array of wacky characters to not-race against and a destination. Now you just have to win! Because winning is everything. After moustaches.

Further Reading