~ SUPERVAN! ~
~ The Movie ~
~ Donald Lee Smith's Very Short Career as a Movie Actor ~


I got in a couple scenes in the Supervan Movie in 1976
And took the three Photos at Hillcrest Theaters at the Premier in March, 1977
Then on May 13rd, 2014 I caught this Visit with George Barris on American Pickers on the History Channel
It was interesting for me, I thought it might be of interest to others so I made this Video
He is still going strong at 89, 7 years older than I am... Wow!




From the director of Disco Fever, Lamar Card, comes another movie made to capitalize off of a marginal craze of the drug hazed 1970’s, Supervan. Imagine an entire movie centered on custom van culture with a drunken Charles Bukowski cameo thrown in for good measure and you’re getting a good idea of the look and feel of Supervan. The story is about a guy named Clint who enters his custom van, Vandora, into a van contest known only as “Freakout”. Eventually Clint has to outrun some goofy country cops and use his van to battle a group of bad guy bikers, good thing he installed those solar powered laser beams in his van!

Sometime in the 60s George Barris constructed a custom vehicle for the movie "Super Van." Starting with a stock Dodge Sportsman Van, design concepts and work began. The 318 cubic inch engine and automatic transmission were left intact, but from that point on the van underwent drastic changes and is, without a doubt, the ultimate example of futuristic motoring.

It started out as the Love Machine in the late 60’s

The "World Premier" showing was at the Hillcrest 4 Theaters in Saint Joseph, Missouri, home of the Pony Express Van Club
Of course all the Van Club members who furnished most of the vans used in the film were invited, along with their friends

And an Impromptu Van Show was held and judged by George Barris, designer of the Super Van and who was the Host of the event.
And the WINNER of the Van Show was none other than the Club President... Donald Smith!

Then after the movie, a parade through town and a Hot Dog Roast and Party to celebrate!

Now... some stills from the film now showing ~MY~ BIG parts in the movie...

Excuse the quality, the film wasn't all that great either...

Clarence and me on the far side of the lake... (yeah where the red arrow is)

Same scene, different take, we are on the opposite side of the lake now...

They gave us a six-pack and a baseball, we were supposed to be playing catch...

And in the movie you could see us move, but in my DVD we aren't hardly even there...

They kept switching the takes, and we were on both sides of the lake at the same time in the movie...

And they wanted me to back my 76 Chevy Van up that hill for a backdrop... And ya can't hardly see it!

Now my big walk on scene, was in this shot almost twelve seconds.. WOW!

Yeah, the sweethearts are in there somewhere...

And Clarence followed me in... We were the only two Club members that could show up that day... Me and Clarence and my 75 and 76 Chevy vans...

Hah, top billing I walked in FIRST...

The STARS of the movie.. and we are walking behind the trees there... (really)

Yeah there we are.. see the legs back there?


Now the actual clip from the film showing all the action in my exciting walk-on...

Then I watched them set up the 'van show'scene... And figured where I would be able to get in it...

They had the camera up on a boom following the inspection party into the scene...

I stood behind the dark van until I saw them heading in, then stepped out to see what was gong on...

And ended up right in the middle of the scene...

The preacher (left) and Amy his wife, she had a hard time staying out of the guys vans...

I was trying to stay in front of the camera but still not be obvious about it...

My final scene at the Van Show and had just walked past Amy. the preacher's wife...(red dress)


Here on the first take I watched where they were tracking the camera so on the second take I might be in the scene... It worked...

Here is all the credit we got for all the vans and people we provided for the movie...

But it was all in fun and I hope no one thinks we were serious when we made this page and about the quality of this farce!


A real SUPERVAN... Owned by Ted Wienstroer whose brother had a part in the movie... He had a copy of 'SuperVan-The Movie' and Googled 'Supervan' and found my Van Club page had mentioned it...

Then he emailed me asking if I had been in the movie... Sure, lots of our Pony Express Van Club members were... I told him I would be glad to get a copy of it and make up a web page as a spoof...

So he had a copy made for me and Special thanks to Ted for the movie and the incentive to do this page...


~ So... It Was My First and Last Film... But it was FUN! ~


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