Just watch ol’ Bandit run as "Smokey and the Bandit" fans retrace movie route in 2012 edition of Trans Am road show. This week nearly 250 participants and over 100 cars have signed up to participate in the sixth edition of The Bandit Run. This year the annual event celebrates the 35th anniversary of the original "Bandit" movie and the car that became an international star, a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am. All makes and models, not just Trans Ams, were invited to join the tour, sponsored by Restore a Muscle Car and YearOne. The event kicked off on May 12 in Texarkana, Arkansas and ends in Braselton, Georgia on May 18 at YearOne. The Trans Am convoy has been known to enjoy triple digit highway speeds along the way to pit stops for food, sightseeing, music and track time in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
|The 2012 Bandit Run travels through Birmingham, Alabama on Thursday.|
Cars and charactersThe "Smokey and the Bandit" movie was a hit because it was fast, fun and filled with snappy one-liners by a cast of memorable characters. Who can forget Burt Reynolds, as Bo Darville, a.k.a. the "Bandit," at his gear jamming best in his red shirt, cowboy hat and devil-may-care attitude? Or Sally Field, as Carrie, a.k.a. "Frog," at her lovable best shedding her wedding dress in the black and gold Pontiac T/A Special Edition? Jerry Reed hauled the Coors beer as "Snowman" and Jackie Gleason gave his most memorable, over-the-top performance as sheriff Buford T. Justice. The movie and the car became phenomenal success stories. A record number of Pontiac Trans Ams were sold and the movie grossed over $126 million.
Black and gold birds
The original "Bandit" film ignited a Firebird buying frenzy when the film was released on Friday May 27, 1977. Pontiac dealerships were full Saturday morning as "Bandit" wannabes lined up to order their T/As. Many of the cars on the tour are meticulously restored or low-mile originals painted black with gold striping. These are Special Edition Trans Ams (or replicas), similar to the 1977-1981 Pontiacs used in the first two "Smokey and the Bandit" movies. Legions of fans still love the car and the movie. The pedal is to the metal on how far the "Bandit" phenomenon can run.
|A 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition at the 2007 Bandit Run.|
|Just like "Smokey and the Bandit," this 1977 Pontiac Trans Am wears a Georgia flag tag on the Bandit Run.|
|A 1979 Pontiac Trans Am WS6 sports the Y84 Special Edition decals on The Bandit Run.|
|Black and gold Pontiac Trans Ams get the most attention on The Bandit Run.|
|A row of black Pontiac Trans Ams and a 1969 Dodge Charger were on hand at the 2007 Birmingham stop of The Bandit Run.|
|Third Generation (1983-1992) Pontiac Trans Ams join the fun at The Bandit Run.|
|A Fourth Generation Ram Air Pontiac Trans Am, left, at The Bandit Run.|
|Look for the differences between Year One's Burt Reynold's Edition (BRE) Pontiac Trans Am, left, and the stock T/A.|
|Check out the projector beam headlights on Year One's Burt Reynold's Edition (BRE) Pontiac Trans Am.|
|Year One's custom Ban II Pontiac Trans Am has a 550 hp engine.|
|W84 Special Edition 1977 Pontiac Trans Ams included gold decals, striping and unique gold highlights inside and out.|
|Pontiac Trans Am pit stop for repairs during downtime on the 2007 Bandit Run from Texarkana.|
|Year One's Burt Reynold's Edition (BRE) Pontiac Trans Am listed for more than $120,000 when it was released in 2007.|