This 1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula was bought by Burt Reynolds in 2016, at his direction it was then modified in the style of the legendary Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am movie car.
Genuine Burt Reynolds-owned cars only tend to come up for sale relatively rarely, so this example will likely attract a lot of attention. It may also be one of the last cars Reynolds ever bought, as sadly he passed away just two years after purchasing it in 2018.
Fast Facts – Burt Reynolds’ 1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula
- Burt Reynolds was a Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award-winning actor who would be nominated for an Academy Award later in his career.
- Reynolds is perhaps best remembered today for his portrayal of Bo “Bandit” Darville in the 1977 film “Smokey and the Bandit,” a film that would go on to become a box office smash hit and the second highest grossing film of the year.
- In “Smokey and the Bandit” Reynolds would drive a black Pontiac Trans Am, the car would feature heavily in the storyline, making the model one of the most desirable cars in the country.
- The 1978 Trans Am you see here was bought by Reynolds in 2016, he had it converted to a modern “Smokey and the Bandit” specification by the team at Butler Performance.
Smokey And The Bandit
Smokey and the Bandit was released in 1977 as the directorial debut of former stuntman Hal Needham.
The film starred Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, and Jackie Gleason, it cost $4.3 million to make and it would eventually rake in over $300 million at the box office, making it the second highest grossing film of the year.
The fundamental premise of Smokey and the Bandit, without giving too much away, follows a Coors Beer smuggling operation as a truck hauls 400 cases of the beer from Texarkana to Atlanta.
Bo “Bandit” Darville runs a distraction operation in his Trans Am to keep the police attention off the truck, with Sheriff Buford T. Justice nicknamed “Smokey Bear” trying to catch Bandit as the film progresses.
The film is a fast-paced action comedy with plenty of irreverent humor, and interestingly it was the start point of a relationship between two of the major actors – Burt Reynolds and Sally Field.
The Burt Reynolds Pontiac Firebird Formula Shown Here
As mentioned in the introduction, this car was bought by Reynolds in 2016, then sent off to Butler Performance for a comprehensive rebuild to a modern take on the classic Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am specification.
Above Video: This is an original trailer for the classic 1977 film “Smokey and the Bandit.” As you can see, the black Trans Am is practically a key actor in the film.
The car is bow powered by a fully rebuilt 8.2 liter V8 with aluminum cylinder heads, FAST fuel injection, an aluminum radiator with electric fans, March pulleys, ceramic-coated headers, and a custom exhaust system with Spintec mufflers.
The dash now has a 10,000 rpm tachometer and a 160 mph speedometer with readouts for fuel level, oil pressure, and coolant temperature. The odometer now reads 3,500 miles since the rebuild was completed.
The car now rides on adjustable QA1 coilovers up front, it has Wilwood brakes, a Shaker hood, and 18″ RAMC alloy wheels inspired by the originals. Inside the car you’ll find air conditioning, a Cobra CB radio (of course), a Hurst shifter, and a Pioneer stereo with JL Audio speakers.
It’s now being offered for sale on Bring A Trailer, if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Bring A Trailer
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.