The Cannonball Run! from Cadaco (1981)

Company: Cadaco | Release date: 1981 | Ages: 8 and up | # of players: 2 to 4 | Where to purchase: eBay

“A star-spangled wacky race game.”

Released in 1981 by Cadaco, The Cannonball Run! board game was based on the action-comedy film of the same name.

With box art featuring seven of the movie’s stars including Adrienne Barbeau, Sammy Davis Jr., Burt Reynolds, and Dean Martin, the race game drew inspiration from the French card game called Mille Bournes. Players took on the roles of cross-country drivers and attempted to win the 3,000-mile Cannonball Run race.


Before starting a game, up to four players each chose a car that matched the colour of one of the tracks on the board and placed it on the square marked Start. Players were dealt hands of six cards, with the remaining deck placed face down on the Grab space in the middle of the game board.

All moves in The Cannonball Run! were made from drawing, playing, and discarding cards. Cards with mileage markers were used for moving forward on the track, while other cards represented roadway hazards that forced a car to stop its forward momentum. Players could also strategically impose hazards on other players to impede their progress.

The first player to complete the Cannonball Run with the exact card count of 3,000 miles was declared the winner.


A complete game included a game board, four cars, and 110 yellow cards. Instructions were printed on the underside of the box top.


Cadaco produced enough copies of The Cannonball Run! to satisfy consumer demand. The game is easy to find, but the cardboard components were vulnerable to environmental factors or being lost over time.

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