MovieChat Forums > Thunder Road (1958) Discussion > Moonshine capacity over rated

Moonshine capacity over rated


About 50 minutes into the film, while checking the dump release lever on the shine hauler, a comment is made: "she'll soon be ready for 250 gallons".... Well... thats a bit high. alcohol has about the same consistency as water, which weighs 8 pounds to the gallon. subsequently, 250 gallons of shine = 2000 pounds of weight. W-A-Y more than a car can handle, no mater how beefed up the suspension is. Pick up truck ratings are for what weight they can haul. 1/2 ton truck can haul 1000 pound payload.... now.... look how big a 2 ton truck is....it's huge. needless to say, a Ford car cannot haul 250 gallons of shine. Also consider the volume.... 250 gallons would take the space occupied by aproximately 4 1/2 55 gallon drums.... the ones used for trash / burning barrels... where would you fit that size cargo in a car? 250 gallons? sounds good in the story line, but in reality it's a no-go!

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Akvintage is exactly right. You could not get 250 gallons in either a 50 or 57 Ford if you rolled the windows up and poured it full. Even if you could the weight would make the car unmanagable and the extra horse power needed would be equivilent to another separate engine. The most common mode of transport for moohshine, mountain dew, corn squeezings, rouckus juice, etc. was by the case using Ball-Mason fruit jars in the 1/2 gallon size. Each case contained 12 jars or 6 gallons. A 1940-1950 Ford, properly prepared, could handle 18-20 cases, which required stacking the cases both in the trunk and the rear passenger areas of the car, of course with the rear seat removed. Some would even remove the front seat and simply sit on a stool, a case of whiskey, or an old bucket seat from some other type of vehicle. This would put about 1000 lbs additional weight on the car requiring the use of heavy duty shocks, and rear helper springs to enhance the handling of the car at highway speeds. The transporters would come to town on Saturday to get their weekly provisions with the back end of their Fords hiked up indicating that they were running empty, but would leave town in some cases with the car sitting perfectly level indicating that among the provisions acquired were several 50-100# sacks of sugar, a main ingredient of home made hooch!

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Hey now, you could fit 250 gallons of moonshine in any car and drive it without any modifications made so long as they were mystical Holywood gallons witch weigh a mear 1.5 oz each.

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But if they used mason jugs in the film, we wouldn't have gotten that great scene where Luke finds the tank not fully drained, and how he cooly straightens the guy out!
I agree. Too heavy. And even if they did beef up the springs - there were no aftermarket brakes to match the weight change.

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Question about that scene. First off, the guy does pull a Mason jar out of the trunk before Luke straightens him out. Then when he asks him to check again to make sure the tank is empty, it appears that the shine is pouring out the same spouts that dropped the oil slick a minute before. Surely they wouldn't contaminate their product like that?

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Pure ethyl alcohol weighs around 6.7# per gallon. BUT, still heavy and the volume too great for the car.

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The mason jar was the guy's, to test the strength of the alcohol. If it was all in jars, what would that drain be hooked up to? (still - coolest scene!)

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"Moonshine Runners, History, and Their Cars" on the web site of Hot Rod magazine is an excellent source on this question. I grew up in a era in the Carolinas when bootlegging was not uncommon, and law officers of that time were quick to pull over cars with snagging rear ends.

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Re thunder road car had two sets of shocks and truck springs and truck rear end to haul load.

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