Cannonball Run

The Legendary Cannonball Run and The Portofino.

The Cannonball Run or Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash was created in 1971 by legendary race car driver Brock Yates and car magazine editor, Steve Smith.

The Run began at the infamous Red Ball Garage on Manhattan’s Eastside in New York City and finished at the then named Portofino Inn in Redondo Beach, California. The purpose behind the initial run was both a celebration of the Interstate Highway System and a protest of strict traffic laws.

The cross-country run became an underground sensation in the racing world, partially due to its illegal, somewhat secretive and unsanctioned nature.

The race was held five more times in the 70s and was made publicly famous by the popular film, “The Cannonball Run” released in 1981. The film boasted a star-studded cast including, Burt Reynolds, Farrah Fawcett, Dom DeLuise, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, Jackie Chan, Roger Moore, Terry Bradshaw, Peter Fonda and many more. It was one of the top grossing films of the year with box office totals coming in at over $100 million. The franchise went on to also create “The Cannonball Run II” (1984) and “The Cannonball Run III” (1989).

Since that time, the unregulated, unpublicized coast-to-coast race has continued to be held each year and The Portofino Hotel has remained the final finish line. The race is run without official rules or a governing body, however setting the Cannonball record is a coveted prize for the auto enthusiast participants. The record was recently broken in April 2020 with a total cross-country time of 27 hours and 25 minutes. The mystique of the Cannonball Run lives on.

Experience the Run

  • Snap your pic in front of the famous Portofino sign at the finish line.
  • Imbibe on our signature Cannonball Run, bourbon cocktail at BALEENkitchen.
  • Binge all three Cannonball Run movies in your guestroom while enjoying the South Bay’s refreshing Cannonball Run craft beer.