Trucking’ TV Nostalgia
Many of you would be no doubt old enough to remember the Cannonball TV series from 1958. It followed the adventures of Mike Malone (Paul Birch) and Jerry Austin (William Campbell), two truckers who haul freight across the USA and Canada for the fictitious Toronto-based C&A Transport Company Ltd.
The truck depicted in the series was a GMC Model 950 COE (cab-over engine) two-stroke GM diesel prime mover built and sold in the same decade by General Motors in the USA.
The supporting cast included Beth Lockerbie as Mary Malone, Mike’s wife; Beth Morris as daughter Ginny Malone; Steve Barringer as Butch Malone, the couple’s son and Howard Milsom appears as C&A Transport Company Ltd dispatcher Harry Butler.
The duo’s adventures ran over 39 episodes and came to an end in the series final episode titled ‘Tunnel Vision’.
Austin, who was Malone’s co-driver on the truck, had an opportunity to finish college. Malone knew this but realised Austin was reluctant to take the opportunity because it would break up their partnership.
In his yearly medical check up, Malone pretended to have tunnel vision (lack of peripheral vision), which meant he was no longer qualified to drive trucks. This freed Austin who was able to finish his college education.
Here is the YouTube link – https://youtu.be/umvbqPUMoKg – to the opening and the first episode. Remember, it’s 1958, so it’s become a bit ‘scratchy’ in the conversion in its 58-year-journey.
Enjoy the nostalgia and the cadence of the two-stroke Jimmy.