“In a deserted industrial area in Elizabeth, New Jersey, 12 identical automobiles were ‘totaled’ to create a spectacular auto truck crash. Not until stunt driver Joey (sic) Chitwood had side swiped a tractor-trailer rig at high speed, turned his car over in mid-air and skidded upside down into a fire hydrant was Friedkin satisfied with the crunching authenticity of the scene.”
Chitwood was a race and stunt driver. For more than 40 years, his Joie Chitwood Thrill Show, which featured his sons Joie Jr. and Tim, had four units touring the country doing auto stunts. (I saw the show in the mid-70s at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.) It was so successful, he gave up racing — but found time to do film work from time to time.