Anybody in the mood for a little road trip to Texarkana? Well, you could have done that in record time if you were lucky enough to be the proud new owner of a customized 1979 Pontiac Trans Am that was owned by Burt Reynolds. Reynolds died last September, at the age of 82, and last month there was a two-day auction from his estate consisting of over 850 items including the ’79 Trans Am.
One of Reynolds’ most iconic movies was, of course, Smokey and the Bandit – released in 1977; unfortunately, all 12 of the original cars used in the movie were destroyed during filming – those stunt drivers really should have been more careful! So what did Reynolds do? He built a series of replicas so he could still have fun as the Bandit! Reynolds, along with his friend and business partner, Gene Kennedy of Bandit Movie Cars, purchased a 1979 Trans Am restored it and added a 6.6-liter V-8 engine with a 350 automatic Turbo transmission – almost twice the hp of the original car …vvvvmmmm! Reynolds used this car in 2017 for the “Bandit Run” which commemorated the 40th anniversary of the original movie. Estimated to make $300-500K, it barely got up to speed as it hit a roadblock and sold just above the low end of the estimate at $317.5K (with premium).
In 2016, another Trans Am (which was only connected to Reynolds because he drove it onto the stage at the auction) sold for a sweet price of $550K, but that car was used in the promotional tour for the Smokey and the Bandit movie in 1977. Another replica, created from a 1978 Trans Am and owned by Reynolds, sold last October, shortly after his death, for $192K. In case you are wondering, a typical 1979 (in excellent condition) is worth between $40-60K; so the Reynolds connection really accelerates the price!