Welcome back everyone to another weekly iconic movie car. This week I will be going over the great that everyone remembers from 1977 Smoke and the Bandit! The film was the second highest-grossing film of 1977 and featured a modified 1976 Pontiac Trans-Am that was driven by Burt Reynolds as Bo Darville a.k.a. “Bandit”
The movie was about a rich Texas wheeler-dealer Big Enos Burdette and his son are trying to find a truck driver willing to haul Coors beer to Georgia for a festival. This was a problem because at the time Coors was unavailable east of Texas due to lack of state alcohol distribution permits. Previous drivers who had taken the job were caught and arrested by “Smokey” truck driver and CB slang for highway patrolmen. At a local truck rodeo, the Texans locate legendary truck driver “Bandit” and offer him money to cart the beer. “Bandit” recruits his good friend “Cledus” to drive truck while “Bandit” will drive a chase car that he purchases. This happens to be a 1976 Pontiac Trans-Am.
The film made use of 4 1976 Pontiac Trans-Am “Special Editions” that we built according to the required stunt work. Since the nose on the Trans-Am was different for 1976 they had to be modified to look like the new release for the 1977 model year. Hal Needham (Director) saw the new Black and Gold Trans-Am and loved it but knew since the film would be released in 1977 it needed to appear like a new car since the scene called for a just bought “speedier that that” car. The 1976 Black Special Edition cars would have also carried the “50th Anniversary” fender logos on them since 1976 was the 50th anniversary of Pontiac Motor Division. The ’77 cars didn’t have this logo. His team acquired the snowflake rims also new for the 1977 as well as the new “Batman” nose, which made the required facelift.
The 1976 Trans-Am is the second generation models of car that span 1970-1981. Born with some engineering problems the car debuted on February 26th, 1970. The car came with 8 different trims and 8 special editions with one of them being the Black edition often called the ‘Bandit’ edition. In 1976 the 50th Anniversary editions came with a 6.6 liter 400 (RPO L78) Power plant that was rated at 180HP. It was also equipped with Chrome valve covers, while the base 400 motors had painted valve cover. The power plant in a plain Trans-Am of that year was a 250 cu in (4.1 L) I6, 350 cu in (5.7 L) Pontiac V8, 400 cu in (6.6 L) Pontiac V8, and 455 cu in (7.5 L) Pontiac V8.
The Trans-Am in my eyes being a beautiful car I wouldn’t mind owning. I would love to have a 7.5 L Trans-Am cruising down the highway with the T Tops off enjoying the drive. These cars weren’t sluggish and were a fun mess around car, something you can screw around with if you are careful! Every time I go to a car show and see a ‘Bandit’ version of the car it always stops me in my tracks and I have to stop and go look, I am always expecting to a tall slender guy with black curly hair a fancy mustache sitting in the driver seat. But then again whenever I think of the person that owns the car I think they should look like that anyways! I hope you enjoyed another post of Iconic movie cars and we will see you next week for yet another entry into this series!