Jackie Gleason's scenes were filmed first because he was ill and he wanted to be finished with the movie as soon as possible.
To the chagrin of the stunt crew, the Turbo Trans Ams didn't have quite the performance they were hoping for. So to get a respectable amount of speed out of them, they installed nitrous oxide tanks.
The Pontiac Trans-Am in the first movie had a 6.6 liter V-8 and the Trans-Am in this movie had a 4.9 litre Turbocharged V8.
On 'Watch What Happens Live!' in 2016, Sally Fields said that out of all her movies she considers this the worst.
The roller coaster destroyed in the movie is the old "Greyhound" coaster that was located at the Lakewood Fairgrounds in Atlanta, Georgia. It was due to be torn down and rebuilt after being deemed in unsafe condition so its destruction was written into this movie. It was also shown in the background during the first Smokey and the Bandit (1977) movie.
At least at the time the movie was made, this picture contained one of the biggest car chases in film history. Publicity stated that it involved sixty stunt-men and stunt-women, one hundred cars and eighteen wheeler trucks. When the sequence was concluded, US $250,000 worth of vehicles had been smashed.
After critics panned the film and his work as Director, Hal Needham took out a full page ad in 'Variety' depicting himself sitting on a wheelbarrow full of cash.
Jackie Gleason plays three characters in this movie: Sheriff Buford T. Justice, Gaylord Justice and Reginald Van Justice.
The Pontiac Trans Am car belonging to the Bandit - Bo Darville was jokingly special billed by the production as "Son of Trigger".
This movie is one of a handful of pictures that Burt Reynolds made with his 1970s girlfriend Sally Field. In every movie they made together, Field played Reynolds' girlfriend. The movies are: Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Hooper (1978), Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) and The End (1978).
Charlotte, the Asian elephant in Smokey and the Bandit II, was portrayed by an elephant named Cora. Cora was owned by Bill and Cindy Morris of Elephant Encounter. Bill was a second generation elephant trainer. He and Cora literally grew up together. Both of his sons have also worked add elephant trainers. Sadly, Bill passed away suddenly back in 2015. Their last two elephants, Cora and Shannon went to live out their years at Topeka Zoo in Kansas. Cora is nearly 60 years old now.
The world record for the longest stunt car jump by a car powered with its own engine, at 163 feet, was performed for the film. Stuntman Gary Davis jumped a 1974 Dodge Monaco car for the roundup sequence in this movie. Davis unfortunately was injured during the stunt, receiving a compressed vertebra from a hard landing.
Many brand new Pontiac Le Mans sedan cars decked out as police cars were seen during the roundup sequence. A Phoenix car agency declined to deliver the vehicles when it was made aware that they did not include air conditioning. Pontiac recalled the cars and later supplied the production with the cars.
1500 gallons each of both day-glo orange paint and cow manure was dropped by five vintage World War II planes during the aerial battle sequence.
At the beginning of the film, Sheriff Buford T. Justice stands in front of a church named "Texarkana Reformed United Evangelical Fundamental Church of God, the Twelve Apostles and Assorted Saints."
The Everglade Gas Station Attendant (Dudley Remus) played the guitar part of the Deuling Banjos' in the movie Deliverance (1972).
The truck in Smokey and the Bandit (1977) that Cledus 'Snowman' Snow drove was a black and gold 1974 Kenworth W900 Model. Here, he drives a silver and blue 1980 GMC General.
Reportedly, when this movie was first released, Burt Reynolds was planning to star in Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983). However, Reynolds only makes a small cameo in the second sequel.
The movie featured a number of American country and western music stars who acted in the movie as well as sung. These included Mel Tillis as a Fairground Owner, Brenda Lee as a Nice Lady, Don Williams as himself, and the Statler Brothers, Phil Balsley, Lew DeWitt, Harold Reid and Don Reid also as themselves.
A large part of the filming was done at Burt Reynolds' ranch in Jupiter, Florida as well as in the north of Palm Beach County, Florida.
The final scene, Sheriff Buford T. Justice is driving a bus in pursuit of the Bandit. Jackie Gleason played Ralph Kramden in the Honeymooners, Ralph worked as a bus driver. The final scene is a nod to his Honeymooners character.
Jackie Gleason's brief appearance as Reginald Van Justice was a reference to Reginald Van Gleason III, a character he played throughout his TV career.
This movie's budget was about US $ 17 million which was about four times the budget of the first Smokey and the Bandit (1977) movie.
The name / word "Smokey' is C.B. Radio slang for any member of Law Enforcement. It is derived from the wide use by many Highway Patrol Officers who wear wide brimmed hats that are identical to the one worn by "Only you can Prevent Forest Fires" mascot "Smokey Bear"...
Around the 23 minute mark Burt Reynolds breaks the fourth wall when he looks into the camera and says "She still loves me" referring to Sally Fields character Carrie (Frog).
After the "doc" is conned into helping with Charlotte, the ambulance he was in that left him behind suddenly stops when an alligator is in the middle of the road, the stretcher pops out the back and the license plate on the back of the stretcher is 999007, the same plate number as the Rescue Squad vehicle from Emergency, which was a Universal TV series that aired its last episode while this movie was in production.
Dom DeLuise and Burt Reynolds teamed together numerous times in movies but this was their only 'Smokey and the Bandit' movie that they made together.
Towards the end of the movie, Sheriff Justice makes a remark about retiring. This is one of the plot lines in Smokey and the Bandit Part 3.
" Smokey and the Bandit II " was the eighth most popular 1980 movie at the U.S.A. and Canada box office.