Tip of the hat to Jeff Parietti with Kenworth Trucks for this little item, a story he notes he “found all the way from England…”
Seems trucker Neil Ashworth of Huddersfield, England, is now the owner of a 1985 Kenworth W900B he purchased from another U.K.-based owner. After researching the vehicle’s history here in the U.S., he realized the truck had in fact been part of the Burt Reynolds co-owned Skoal Bandit NASCAR team back in the late 1980s. Actor Reynolds, of course, played the Bandit in the classic Smokey and the Bandit films, which had inspired trucker Ashworth’s desire to own a truck “like the one in the film” in the first place, as reported the U.K.-based Huddersfield Daily Examiner newspaper.
What that one looked like? Though I’m sure many of you remember the rig well, here’s a couple pictures of a tractor-trailer replica put together at the small fleet/custom truck shop of owner-operator Brad Wike, based in Lincolnton, N.C., from when I had the opportunity to visit the shop back in 2012 (it then housed the now-completely-restored Evel Knievel Mack haul rig for a time):
Just how Ashworth translated that old fascination with the movie into eventual ownership of the 1985 model — and the absolutely uncanny nature of the story behind the fact of its prior ownership — is something to read. Check out the Daily Examiner’s full story at this link.