The year is 1977. Pontiac is preparing to release its latest model of the Firebird Trans Am and Burt Reynolds is about to make history on screen as Bo Darville in “Smokey and the Bandit.” It’s the year that shot Reynolds and the car into outlaw, cool-guy stardom.
Now, 77 is the number of available Trans Am SE Bandit Edition cars, a recently released new line of vehicles inspired by its forefather. Each car is individually signed by the Bandit himself, who announced their release a few days ago along with Trans Am Depot, an automotive conversion company that redesigns and creates retro-styled muscle cars.
“It was hot,” Reynolds said in the Trans Am Depot’s video. “It was hot in every way. It’s a love story and most guys had a love story with their car.”
In the same fashion as the Bandit’s car, the upgraded model comes equipped with the Shaker hood, T-tops, white-letter tires and snowflake wheels. And of course, there’s the iconic firebird that stretches across the front of the car.
“If you only saw that bird you would say that’s the Trans Am,” said Tod Warmack, co-founder of the Trans Am Depot.
But unlike the original, the Bandit Edition’s seats are modeled after the ’78 Trans Am, has an 840 horsepower to the crank compared to the original’s 185, and a specially crafted Bandit logo that marks the inside.
“This is a class act here,” Reynolds said.
The special editions come in light of Reynold’s new documentary “The Bandit,” which takes a look at the cultural import of the ’77 action comedy. It premiered at this year’s South By Southwest at the Long Center where Reynolds and director Jesse Moss made an appearance. The film, which received a standing ovation, will air on CMT in August.