The actual Trans Am that started the "Smokey and the Bandit phenomena"
MIAMI — The Original Bandit will be live in Boca Raton, Florida. It was the first Bandit SE Pontiac ever produced and only one with a big block, 455 cubic inch engine and four-speed transmission. The most iconic pop culture automobile will make its rare special appearance on Feb. 23 at the Boca Raton Concours d’Elegance and will be rubbing elbows with Jay Leno.
The Original Bandit, discovered by Hal Needham and endorsed by the late Burt Reynolds, was invited to attend one of the most prestigious car events in the world. In honor of Burt Reynolds, we accepted.
The Bandit, along with Jay Leno, will participate a special car rally from Boca Raton to Mar-A-Lago, and will be in the second slot, leaving at 11 AM just behind Leno’s car, providing a tribute to the late Burt Reynolds, who starred in “Smokey and the Bandit.”
The Original Bandit is the only one of its kind and has a multi-level pedigree. The car was Pontiac’s official 1977 Trans Am promotional / brochure poster car. Every brochure Pontiac printed featured this very car, making it the catalyst for the record-breaking Trans Am sales that followed the popular “Smokey and the Bandit” film. Had it not been for this particular car, Needham might have used a Dodge Challenger or other popular muscle car of the time.
Watch as Burt Reynolds describes the car during the 40th-anniversary celebration of “Smokey and the Bandit” in Jonesboro, Georgia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=6ZgUD--r5-E
Reynolds said that if this car had been used in the movie it would have been destroyed, as were the four cars used in filming. Saved by the bell, the car’s status as both the original and only remaining Bandit adds to its collectability and value. The car, autographed by Reynolds, is insured for $1.5 million.
The Original Bandit will be sold in late spring through an auction house that specializes in high-end memorabilia. Partial proceeds will go to the Burt Reynolds institute film & Theatre. Neither the specific auction house nor date has been finalized. The two deciding auction houses quoted:
“We are honored and excited and ready to break an all-time sales record,” Rena Martino car said, “It has been a thrill to own this car, but it’s time for it to go to someone who can make the most of its history and status.”
Rick Dieters, the owner of Trans Am Specialties in Miami, Florida, said this Trans Am will go down in history as the most fascinating, collectible Pontiac Trans Am ever.
“It is the most recognizable automobile of the 70s, hands down,” Dieters said. “With its multi-level pedigree, I consider this automobile to be a piece of artwork, a masterpiece that never will be duplicated. In my 20 years of selling classic Trans Ams I have never seen a car quite like this. It’s highly documented and is the actual car that stared the “Smokey and the Bandit” phenomena. How amazing is that? It is the only one in the world. This is the car to have in your collection or in a museum; it’s the mother of all 1977 SE Trans Ams. This car is more valuable than if it had been used in the movie, as all the filming cars were destroyed in the process. This car will carry Burt Reynold's legacy forever.”
See what Burt has to say:https://vimeo.com/222183022
Special media opportunity to ride in the first-born Bandit
The Original Bandit will be in the second position immediately behind Jay Leno’s car in the car rally preceding Boca Elegance. Working media interested in riding in the Original Bandit during the car rally may make the request using the contact information below. For more information or pictures go to www.iconicpremier.world
Dave Martino · (954) 560-2466