Tue
Feb 26 2008
08:54 pm
By: Ray Collett

Here is a little trivia about the movie "Thunder Road" that might be of some interest.
The role of Robert Mitchum's character's younger brother was originally written for Elvis Presley per Mitchum's request. The script was submitted to Elvis in Los Angeles by Mitchum personally. Elvis was eager to play the role, but his manager, Col. Tom Parker stepped in and had demanded that Elvis would be paid an enormous sum of money. His request was more than the entire budget for the movie. And so that was the end of that negotiation.
All of the "moonrunner" cars in the film had actually been used by moonshiners in Ashville,N.C. area where the film was shot. The moonshiners sold the cars to the film company to buy newer and faster cars.
The 1950 Ford that Robert Mitchum drives in the beginning is actually a 1951 Ford with a 1950 grille and the chrome windspits removed. The give-away : the V-8 emblems, the "Ford Custom" emblems on the front fenders, the dashboard, and the steering wheel.
The '57 Ford used in the crash scene was specially built to withstand the force of impact when it was driven-in between the two revenuer cars. The front fenders were made of cast steel and the body and frame were heavily enforced. The weight of the car was such that special solid sponge rubber tires had to be fabricated and used. No tire of the day could support the weight and speed the car had to attain and still look like normal car tires. The engine also had to be highly modified to produce the horsepower necessary for the speed requirement.

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