By on March 29, 2016

Trans Am SE Bandit Edition (Image: Trans Am Depot)

Ungodly horsepower and unbridled car lust? Check. Gaudy awesome lettering and badges? Check. (Optional) Disco era moustaches? Check.

If you’re triggered by anything that isn’t subdued, then the Trans Am SE Bandit Edition is definitely not a safe space.

Trans Am Depot, the Tallahassee-based creator of custom-built Trans Ams (using 5th-generation Chevrolet Camaros as a canvas), is out to satisfy 77 lucky buyers who yearn for the heady days of the late 1970s.

And really, who among us doesn’t secretly yearn for the taste excesses of the Carter era?

A limited run of black-and-gold Trans Ams inspired by the film “Smoky and the Bandit” will come with everything that made the original 1977 model memorable: screaming eagle on the hood, T-top, gold “snowflake” wheels with white letter tires, miles of pinstriping. It’ll also add something beyond the divine: a signature by Burt Reynolds himself.

Pontiac might be dead in the cold, cold ground, but the redesigned front and rear fascias of Trans Am Depot’s offerings do their best to keep the storied brand alive.

Doing its part for America, the Bandit Edition Trans Am honors a movie that turbocharged the CD radio craze, provided Sally Field with her movie debut, made Coors beer an even hotter commodity, and gave Jackie Gleason another chance to shine.

It’ll also haul ass, because the sizable investment needed to purchase one gets you a mega-tuned and supercharged 7.4-liter V8 of undetermined horsepower. The Bandit wished he could have ditched his Malaise-era motor for this one.

A video accompanying the launch of the Bandit Edition features the third-least lucky member of the “Deliverance” canoe trip (or second, depending on your viewpoint), as well as Trans Am Depot co-founders Scott and Tod Warmack.

“It’s a love story — most guys have a love story with their cars,” says Reynolds, who, at 80, might want to avoid alluding to frisky front seats shenanigans.

Monstrous or magnificent — or maybe a little of both — the Trans Am SE Bandit Edition is your chance to be one of 77 latter-day Burt Reynoldses (Reynoldi?). Price can’t be factor, though, because these babies aren’t coming to your driveway without the handover of $115,000.

That would buy a lot of Coors.

[Image: Trans Am Depot]

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71 Comments on “Burt Reynolds Approves of This Teenage Fantasy Turned Real...”


  • avatar
    ajla

    Trans Am tribute cars are stupid.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    So how do they legally get to use the arrowhead?

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Certainly not Sally Fields’ movie debut.
    Other than that outrageously awesome!

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That was Cybil, yeah?

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Looked her up and there was a lot of stuff before that. But Cybil was definitely her “breakout” role.

        • 0 avatar
          Johnster

          “Cybil” proved that she could act and moved her out of the “ingenue” category. However, after “Cybil” the critics all had an attitude of “yeah, she can act, but she’s so ugly!”

          “Smoky and that Bandit” gave her a role where she was sexy. (This was back in the ’70s, remember, and she was almost 40 years younger then.)

          • 0 avatar
            its me Dave

            “Gidget”
            Now get off my lawn, damn kids.

          • 0 avatar

            Sally Fields had been a busy TV actress for well over a decade when she did that movie. But she’d also done two feature films, mainly as Jeff Bridges’ girlfriend in “Stay Hungry” – also with Arnold Schwarzenegger. She also had a part in the Kirk Douglas/Robert Mitchum film “The Way West.” So Steph Willems is technically wrong. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000398/?ref_=nv_sr_1

            And she was damn cute before Smokey. Still is to me. Burt? Not so much.

          • 0 avatar

            Sybil, not Cybill. Cybill is that annoying blonde non-actress from “Moonlighting” who loves bragging that she’s slept with everyone.

          • 0 avatar

            What critic ever said Sally Field was ugly?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Sally Field is ugly? Only if you’re blind.

        • 0 avatar
          bullnuke

          Sally Field’s “breakout role” in my mind was when, as Valdine Wingfield in “Say It Isn’t So”, she added the requested salt to her husband’s sandwich my wiping the bread in her armpit.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Stay Hungry is a vastly underrated, very quirky film with a great cast. Sally plays Jeff Bridges’ love interest.

            The story that circulates about her career is that in 1988 in Punchline she played a character that Tom Hanks’ had a romantic interest in. 6 years later in Forrest Gump she played Hanks’ mother.

      • 0 avatar

        Sybil was a TV movie, not a feature film. She was phenomenal in it though. Joanne Woodward too.

        • 0 avatar
          Johnster

          I don’t seem to be able to list URLs, but if you google “Sally Field ugly” you’ll find stories on “Huffington Post” and “People Magazine” where Sally Field reported being told by her former manager, whom she fired, that she wasn’t pretty enough to move from TV to movies, and then about being considered physically ugly after appearing in the movie, “Sybil.”

          There’s also a story from someplace called the “Academy of Achievement” where she talks about being offered the role in “Smokey and the Bandit” and how it changed the perception of her to someone who was attractive and sexy.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Movie is a movie, whether it comes out on the big screen or on your local ABC 12 station.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Sally Field’s first movie debut was with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Stay Hungry. “bandit” would of been her first hit movie.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    GM, you could have made a lot of money on this idea alone. Who in upper management is asleep at the wheel?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      They could offer “dead-brand” trim packages for their current cars. I wonder if they’d have to crash test the dead-brand front end? Still, maybe an Olds Cutlass Camaro, a Delta 88 Impala, or a Bonneville Impala. Maybe a La Salle version of the ATS for some of Cadillacs older buyers. :^)

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Be still my heart, for snowflake alloys in gold tone can be seen. A white one, please.

    Now make a Camaro GTA version, in white! With concealed headlamps.

  • avatar
    RHD

    “Doing its part for America, the Bandit Edition Trans Am honors a movie that turbocharged the CD radio craze,”

    No CDs in the Carter era, it was the Citizens Band radio. Analog AM with lots of static and a legal limit of 4 watts output. A local country station would send you a list of trucker CB slang if you sent them a letter requesting one.

  • avatar
    PRNDLOL

    Needs more Field, Sally

  • avatar

    A Camaro by any other name…

  • avatar
    love2drive

    Read an article not long ago about Burt and his money problems – he was being forced to sell his house in FL or something like that because he couldn’t afford it. Back to the well here, I suppose.
    The proportions of the car are wrong – the tail end looks like a fiero and the front looks like a mid 80s Sunbird. T tops are cool though.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    You know what’d be cool? A resto-mod ’77 T/A with modern tires, brakes and suspension, and the LT4.

    Buford T. Justice wouldn’t stand a chance in hell.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Or a resto-mod Hellcat Classic Charger.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Well, that’d have changed the outcome of the “Bullitt” chase, for sure.

        But we ARE talking “Smokey and the Bandit.”

        I’d say a Hellcat Challenger would be an excellent ride for the Bandit if they ever did a remake. But I have a bad feeling that the moviemakers would opt for some kind of truck instead.

  • avatar
    Sloomis

    Still better looking and less tacky than the Camaro it’s based on.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    The website for the company is:

    In addition to the “Trans Am” version, they also have one with styling cues from the ’69 GTO, the “6T9 Judge”.

    Back when the 2010 Camaro came back in 2009 or so, I recall seeing pictures of a Camaro done up with styling cues from the ’68 or ’69 GTO, but it had fixed headlights (instead of the hideaways on the Judge.

    After the Dodge Challenger came back in 2008 there was a “Chrysler ‘Cuda” version that was rumored to be considered for production.

    OTOH, when the Mustang was finally updated in 2005, there were no Mercury Cougar versions.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      In 2005 most people would have remembered the Cougar as a Thunderbird copy, not a Mustang…

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I always felt Mercury should have brought out a Cougar version of the 2005 Mustang. $7000 of suspension and interior upgrades in addition to external body panels would have done wonders. Not that it would have ultimately changed Mercury’s trajectory, but it certainly wouldn’t have hurt.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        Or they could have built this concept coupe which would have been Mercury’s halo car.

        http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/20/forgotten-concept-2003-mercury-messenger/

      • 0 avatar
        Opus

        THIS. (What Dave said)
        An extended wheelbase (like the 67 original) and a formal roofline (instead of the Mustang’s fastback) and they could’ve saved the ‘Sign of the Cat’.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I should imagine by that time that Mercury’s demise was already on the table. Plus the Cougar name had recently been ruined by that silly Euro Ford model which was so awful.

          • 0 avatar
            Johnster

            That last Mercury Cougar built on the Euro Ford Mondeo/Ford Contour/Mercury Mystique platform was, indeed, a terrible car on which to use the “Cougar” name. It was sold in Europe as the “Ford Cougar” and was marketed there as something of a replacement for the original Ford Capri and Ford Capri II, as well as the Ford Probe.

            They should have used either “Probe” or “Capri” for a name instead of “Cougar.”

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yeah, Capri would have made more sense on a small “fun” Mercury.

            Or just like, sell it as a Focus Coupe. It looked similar enough.

  • avatar
    dusterdude

    If you liked the original, then looks like you’d love this one.. I’m sure the 77 cars were sold right away. ( even at hefty price)

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      They sure did. The Trans Am was a stroke of product placement genius as sales of the TA exploded after the movie. As a product of the late seventies, I loved the Trans Am with the beak nose. Yeah they exhibited classic Malaise Era build quality and rattled over every bump but they were cool.

      • 0 avatar

        I am going to NYIAS in a few days and want to see this.

        Camaro/Firebird sales exploded around 1976-79″ after gas prices stabilized and the economy had a short rebound. It helped a lot that. they were the only pony car left.

        Yes, “Smokey” did wonders for the TA image, but the Firebirds that James Garner wailed around on “The Rockford Files” helped push more than a few sales of these impractical and badly-built cars too.

        That 77-78 beak nose is my favorite Firebird iteration. Pontiac could have stuck with it until 1981 as Camaro did. Instead they came up with something for 79-81 that I will always consider ugly.

        • 0 avatar
          kmars2009

          I agree on the 77-78 looking better. When that 79 first came out, it was bizarre looking, and ugly.
          This car pictured looks pretty good…maybe it’s the T-tops attracting me. Because in reality, I loath GM products.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Yep, that was my teenage dream car.

        Having Sammy Hagar (who seemed to play St. Louis about five times a year) sing a tribute to it helped.

        The good news, though, that I never had a Trans Am, but I did have a car with a big-ass V-8 (a 455, to be exact). Unfortunately, it wasn’t a Trans Am H.O. – it was a ’75 Olds wagon.

  • avatar

    Saw this at the NY Car show. They claimed 800 hp.

    I’m old enough to remember the original. My brother had a ’73 bird with a 455. Flapping and clattering with God’s own torque. The motor was well massaged, roller cam, etc. Body was floppy and it didn’t really turn or stop. The later ones were the same, but without significant HP. Pontiac was “proud” they’d saved a few 400 T/A motors, or you’d get some lame 403 Olds engine.

    I’m old enough that I would buy this if I could afford a car collection. Even with the puking chicken-especially with the chicken. The CB would be an Icom 7000 with a freeband mod.

    • 0 avatar
      redmondjp

      I’ve been in several 1970s T/As – they handled very well for an American car of that era. Even with the low-compression motors, the big block/4-speed manual combo proved to be a lot of fun. I liked how the front end would dip down during shifts under hard acceleration.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    Silly car, silly Burt

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I had a ’68 2dr hardtop Galaxie 500 with a factory 10.5:1 compression, 4 barrel, dual exhaust 390 Fe that feasted on FireChickens.

    This is a cool car. Looks much better than the Camaro it is based upon.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Trans Ams are my weakness. They’re my ‘buy it stupid!’ kryponite. It’s a car I would lovingly drive knowing it’s a total POS and yet I would feel 10 foot tall with my giant phoenix on the hood and 130 HP….My folks actually almost bought me an 1984 Firebird as a college car but ended up with the family P-71 police interceptor instead. Mind you, the firebird would have been 18 years old then….But it would have been trailer trash chic to me…

    Anyways, I love the new car. My hill people roots show through once in a while. >.>

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    My youngest brothers high school car was a ’78 Trans Am with a T-Roof and the 400. I believe the ‘Special Edition’. Eventually traded it for a new 3 cylinder Chevy Sprint.

    One of our neighbours still has a TA455 custom license plate. It was originally ordered for their Trans Am.

  • avatar
    Bunter1

    Thank you for mocking “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces”.
    Sanity is not yet eradicated.

    I’m sure the folks that buy these will adore them. Smokey and the Bandit was juvenile fun, this car captures that perfectly.

    Bunter

  • avatar
    nrd515

    Better looking, barely, than the Camaro it’s based on. But as a former Trans Am owner, these cars sadden me for some reason.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    Can I get one with Malory Archer’s hand prints on the hood?

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