Talladega Nights-inspired restaurant sued by Sony Pictures

2 Comments

A restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas that’s inspired by the 2006 NASCAR-themed movie “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” is now being sued by the studio that made the film.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Sony Pictures – which distributed the Will Ferrell comedy through its subsidiary, Columbia Pictures – filed a trademark lawsuit last week in federal court against the restaurant’s parent company, Rick’s Cabaret International, which deals primarily in running gentleman’s clubs in the United States.

RCI’s eatery is known as the Ricky Bobby Sports Saloon and Restaurant, which features a full-size replica stock car by its front door and waitresses that are known as “Smokin’ Hotties.”

(No word if the restaurant has a jukebox that carries jazz, the Pet Shop Boys and Seal for profiling purposes.)

The car and waitress name aspects of the restaurant are pointed out in the lawsuit, which states that said car bears a resemblance to the “Me” car driven by the Ricky Bobby character in the film and that the “Smokin’ Hotties” bit is a reference to the character repeatedly calling his spouse his “smokin’ hot wife” in the film.

Sony maintains that it wasn’t asked permission by RCI to use any Talladega Nights license. The studio also made sure to note its past authorizations for Sprint Cup Series driver Kurt Busch to use the “Me” car image for a 2012 race at Talladega Superspeedway and a Wonder Bread-sponsored car last year.

RCI officials haven’t exactly hidden the sourcing for their restaurant’s theme, but have maintained that proper names can’t be trademarked so the Ricky Bobby name is fair game.

Nonetheless, that’s not stopping Sony. According to the Reporter, they’re demanding an injunction against the use of the name, profits from the restaurant, the forfeiture of web domain names, and unspecified punitive and exemplary damages.

Dodge to celebrate 50th anniversary of Hemi motor at NHRA U.S. Nationals

Photo courtesy Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Leave a comment

When this year’s NHRA U.S. Nationals plays out from August 29 through September 3 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, a lot of folks are going to be channeling one of the most famous lines in motorsports:

“Hey, that thing got a Hemi?”

Dodge and parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Thursday – on National Hemi Day, no less – announced that it will celebrate the Hemi’s 50th anniversary of Super Stock cars with the 18th annual Dodge Hemi Challenge during the U.S. Nationals.

Cars that will take part in the Challenge will be 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda cars – “The most iconic of the Mopar package cars,” touted a Dodge press release – in a head-to-head battle.

The Dart and Barracuda were purpose built for use solely on a drag strip. The 23 entrants in the Challenge will drive their personally owned versions of the ’68 ‘Cuda and Dart.

The winner of the Challenge – which will be held August 30-31 – will take home a $15,000 purse, while cash rewards will be available for all 16 drivers that qualify for final eliminations.

“The Dodge brand is proud to serve as title sponsor of the NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge, an event that spotlights the legacy and power of the 426 HEMI engine,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Passenger Cars, Dodge//SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA North America.

Beahm added, “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda Super Stock cars that debuted back in 1968 and are still competing today, which makes our support of this edition of the HEMI Challenge extra special.”

One special incentive for contestants is the 42.6-pound NHRA Dodge HEMI Challenge trophy, created in the spirit of the 426 (cubic inch) HEMI engine.

Jimmy Daniels has won the Challenge the last two years and goes for a three-peat in this year’s race within a race. His father, Jim Daniels, won the race in 2010.

The Challenge’s all-time winningest driver is Charlie Westcott Jr. of Parma, Michigan, who captured the Challenge in six different years: 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2014.

Follow @JerryBonkowski