Fun Stuff

Find of the Week: 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Special Edition

The Find of the Week is an icon that should need no introduction. Spawning hundreds, if not thousands of recreations, there were only so many originals. And this is one of them. It's a 1977 Pontiac Trans-Am Special Edition.

If you don't already recognize the Special Edition, we're not sure that anything we say will be able to fill you in. Because if you look at it today, it's a heck of an anachronism. Smokey and the Bandit, that is, not the car.

Burt Reynolds and Jerry Reed driving from Georgia to Texas and back in just 28 hours, with a truck loaded with stolen Coors beer. Because for some reason you couldn't get Coors on the East Coast back then. And today it's a route that Google Maps says should only take about 19 hours. Doing the speed limit. But hey, a good story never let facts get in the way. For instance, Texarkana, TX, where they picked up the beer, was in a dry county in 1977.

In any case, the star of the film was a black and gold Trans-Am with a screaming chicken on the hood. It should have been at least in the same line of the credits as Reed, Sally Field, and Jackie Gleason. Heck, Pontiac should probably get residuals from the studio.

The Pontiac version of GM's pony car stable that included the Chevrolet Camaro, this was a second-generation Pontiac Firebird.

In 1976, the car was six years old, and in need of a bit of a freshening up. So Pontiac took advantage of the company's 50th anniversary that year to offer the special edition of the Trans Am. They came with black paint, gold trim and snowflake rims. On the inside, there was more gold, including the steering wheel spokes, and a gold-coloured dash. Pontiac sold about 2,600 of the Limited Edition cars, just 643 were equipped with T-Tops.

While it wasn't the anniversary any more, Pontiac continued the Limited Edition for 1977. Along with the new facelift for all Firebirds. It was this car that director Hal Needham decided to use on screen.

After watching the tire smoking, creek jumping, Justice-escaping antics of the on-screen car, with peak Burt Reynolds behind the wheel, sales of the Firebird shot up like The Bandit going off a ramp. From 110,775 total cars in 1976 to 155,735 in 1977, 187,294 in 1978, and 211,453 in 1979. That's 15,567 Special Editions for 1977, and 12,319 for 1978.

But this was an affordable performance car in the late 1970s, made famous for car destroying stunts. So we're not sure how many are left, but it can't be a huge number. It's why there are so many "Bandit" customized cars out there, including some licensed by the late Reynolds himself.

What you really want, though, is the real thing. A Special Edition 1977. Black and gold with that iconic hood decal. And you need to have the T-Tops. Because not every SE had that feature.

There were multiple engine options available, but the good ones are the two 6.6L options. This one has the blue valve covers, which should mean the 180 hp version not the 200 hp 6.6TA, but the window sticker says the latter. For this price we'd bring an expert to confirm which engine you're looking at to ensure authenticity.

The car is for sale in Mercier, QC. Just south of Montreal. The seller says that this numbers matching car got a full rotisserie restoration, meaning it was stripped down to a bare chassis, fixed, repainted, and reassembled.

This is a very desirable car and one that's becoming increasingly rare as the years progress. So here's your chance to snag one, grab a giant cowboy hat, grow out (or fake) that moustache, and wait for the inevitable remake. In the meantime, there are some BFG Radial T/As that need shredding.