Race teams have gathered in Connecticut to start their cross-country race. One at a time, teams drive up to the starters' stand, punch a time card to indicate their time of departure, then take off.
Among the teams are:
J.J. McClure (Reynolds) and Victor Prinzi (DeLuise), drove a souped-up, but otherwise authentic, Dodge Tradesman ambulance. (In reality, this was Hal Needham and Brock Yates's vehicle in the actual 1979 race.)
Former open-wheel icon (and Scotch-swilling) Jamie Blake (Dean Martin), and his teammate Morris Fenderbaum (Sammy Davis, Jr.), dressed as Catholic priests drove a red Ferrari 308 GTS. (Based on an entry in the real-life 1972 race, in which three men disguised as priests ("The Flying Fathers") drive a Mercedes 280 SEL sedan, which they claim is "the Monsignor's car" to an ecumenical council of prelates in California.)
Jill Rivers (Tara Buckman) and Marcie Thatcher (Adrienne Barbeau), two attractive women started the race in a black Lamborghini Countach.
Jackie Chan and Michael Hui raced as drivers of a high-tech, computer-laden Subaru GL Hatchback with a rocket-powered engine.
A pair of good ol' boys, played by Terry Bradshaw and Mel Tillis, drove a street-legal replica of Donnie Allison's Hawaiian Tropic-sponsored NASCAR Winston Cup Chevrolet stock car owned by Hoss Ellington. (It starts off as '75-76 Laguna but after they paint it, it becomes a '76-77 Monte Carlo.)
Roger Moore played "heir to the Goldfarb Girdles fortune" Seymour Goldfarb, Jr., who perpetually identified himself as actor Roger Moore; his character behaved similarly to James Bond and only once (by his mother) is referred to by his real name, making it unclear whether Goldfarb and Moore are the same or if Goldfarb is simply delusional. He drove a silver Aston Martin DB5.
Jamie Farr portrayed an oil-rich Middle-Eastern Sheikh driving a white Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow.
At the starting line, observing from the shadows, is Mr. Arthur J. Foyt (a play on the name of racer A. J. Foyt), a representative of the (Safety Enforcement Unit), who tries to stop the race because of its environmental effects and safety issues. In the car with him is Pamela Glover. Shortly after they leave the starting line, J.J. and Victor (driving their ambulance) come across Foyt and Glover, who have been involved in a minor
See also Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash