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Behold! This is the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SE. Yes. The one. Although this Trans AM wasn’t one of the picture cars, it was gifted to the Lord of the Launch, Burt Reynolds, AKA The Bandit from Smokey and the Bandit. This is one of the most iconic movie cars of all time, and now it can be yours.

1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SE from Smokey and the Bandit and Owned by Burt Reynolds
1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SE “Bandit-1” | Image courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

What is the Smokey and the Bandit car?

I don’t know if there’s another car model that is so indelibly linked to a film (maybe the DeLorean), quite like the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SE in a black and gold finish. It is so iconic that it’s hard to believe it was ever made in an American car factory.  

As we mentioned before, this cop-thwarting screaming chicken wasn’t a picture car, but it was used extensively as a promotional prop for the film’s release and marketing. Shortly after the film’s launch, the ‘77 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am was given to Reynolds as a thank you gift. 

Although we can’t see Burt Reynolds without seeing the Bandit-1, this was the only Trans Am that Reynolds ever owned. And now it’s for sale. I’ll say that one more time: This is the only Firebird Burt Reynolds ever owned. It simply doesn’t get better than that. 

Where will the Bandit-1 be sold? 

Burt Reynold’s 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SE is heading to the 2022 Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson car auction. CarScoops says the seller is also offering “an engraved dedication plate affixed to the driver’s door and an autographed copy of Burt Reynolds’ autobiography, ‘But Enough About Me.’ The buyer will also receive a late-’70s style “Trans Am” jacket and a “Bandit” cowboy hat, as well as a DVD copy of Smokey and the Bandit.

Burt Reynolds owned this Pontiac Firebird for a long time 

Burt Reynolds owned this 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am for nearly 40 years. According to CarScoops, he sold it in 2014, only four years before the Bandit made a break for the big truck stop in the sky (RIP Bandit). 

Although Reynolds owned the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am for many years, he only put a small handful of miles on it. Between this and the fact that the Trans Am had an extensive restoration in 2015, this is one of the cleanest Firebirds on Earth. The current owner restored everything and even restored the “Bandit” lettering on each door. The only “imperfections” seen on the car are the Bandit’s boot scuffs on the driver’s door frame. Keeping the scuffs was a moment of pure brilliance and the objectively correct thing to do. 

How fast is a 1997 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am? 

Not very. The Firebird is probably one of the best examples of the downfall of American muscle in the 1970s. The Pontiac Firebird Trans Am used in Smokey and the Bandit has a 400ci Pontiac V8 that only made 180 hp. It almost seems like a joke, but I assure you, no one is laughing. 

The emissions restrictions choked the life out of all of these would-be muscle cars from this period. It is really a shame, especially when you consider these 1970s measures to curtail car emissions didn’t work. The other major factor for why the Trans Am was hamstrung is the infamous gas shortage in the mid-1970s. 

Don’t fret; when you step up to the plate and buy Burt Reynold’s personal 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SE from Smokey and the Bandit, there is plenty of power to be squeezed out of the chocked engine. With a little tune and the right motivation, the Bandit-1 can be made into the tire burner from the film. 


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