The Secret Behind the Car that Bandit Drove – Revealed!

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Step back in time to the late 1970s, and you’ll find one of the most iconic cars in movie history, driven by none other than the Bandit himself. But what car did Bandit drive? The answer might surprise you, and we’re here to reveal the secret behind the legendary car.

The car featured in the film was a black and gold 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, which became a cultural icon in the years following the movie’s release. The car was more than just a means of transportation for the Bandit, it was a character in itself, with its sleek design and powerful engine. The Bandit car captured the imagination of audiences worldwide and left a lasting impression on the world of pop culture.

In this article, we’ll take you behind the scenes of the making of the car and reveal the incredible stunts performed by the car in the movie. You’ll hear from the people who made the car a legend and discover where you can see the original “Bandit” car today. Get ready to buckle up and join us on this journey into the world of the Bandit car.

Are you ready to uncover the secrets behind the Bandit car? Let’s dive in and discover what makes this car so special and why it continues to capture the hearts of car enthusiasts and movie fans alike.

Discover the iconic car that stole the show in “Smokey and the Bandit”

Released in 1977, “Smokey and the Bandit” became an instant hit, grossing over $126 million at the box office. However, the real star of the movie wasn’t the actors or the plot, but the iconic car that was driven by the Bandit himself. The car was so popular that it became a symbol of the movie and a pop culture icon. In this article, we will take a closer look at the car and the history behind it.

The car that the Bandit drove was a black 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition. It was equipped with a powerful V8 engine and a sleek body kit that made it look like a true muscle car. The car was so popular that it spawned a whole generation of car enthusiasts who wanted to own a Trans Am just like the one in the movie. In fact, the popularity of the car was so great that Pontiac had to increase production to keep up with the demand.

The history of the Pontiac Trans Am

  • The first Pontiac Trans Am was released in 1969 and was based on the Pontiac Firebird.
  • The Trans Am was named after the Trans-Am Series, which was a racing series in the United States.
  • The second-generation Pontiac Trans Am was introduced in 1970 and was designed to compete with the Chevrolet Camaro.

The making of “Smokey and the Bandit”

The idea for “Smokey and the Bandit” was inspired by a real-life bet between the director, Hal Needham, and Burt Reynolds. Needham bet Reynolds that he could drive a car from Atlanta to Texarkana and back in under 28 hours. Reynolds accepted the bet, and they made the trip in a Trans Am. This experience became the inspiration for the movie.

  • The role of the Bandit was originally offered to Jerry Reed, but Burt Reynolds convinced the producers to give him the part.
  • The car used in the movie was not a stock Trans Am. It was modified with a T-top roof and a custom paint job.
  • The car was driven by stunt driver Bill Hickman, who also drove the car in movies like “Bullitt” and “The French Connection.”

The legacy of the Pontiac Trans Am

Even though Pontiac stopped producing the Trans Am in 2002, the car still has a dedicated fan base and remains a pop culture icon. The car has appeared in several movies and TV shows, and there are numerous fan clubs and online forums dedicated to it. Today, a well-maintained Trans Am Special Edition can fetch a high price at auction, and it remains one of the most sought-after muscle cars of all time.

If you’re a fan of “Smokey and the Bandit” or muscle cars in general, this article is a must-read. Discover the history behind the iconic car that stole the show and learn why it remains a pop culture icon to this day.

The real-life story of how the “Bandit” car came to life

It’s hard to imagine “Smokey and the Bandit” without its iconic car – a sleek, black 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. But how did this car come to be known as the “Bandit” car?

As the legend goes, the director of the film, Hal Needham, was a former stuntman who knew a thing or two about cars. Needham had a clear vision for the “Bandit” car – it had to be fast, flashy, and able to outrun the police. He turned to Pontiac to bring his vision to life.

The birth of the “Bandit” car

Pontiac was up for the challenge and worked closely with Needham to create the perfect car for the film. The team started with a standard Firebird Trans Am and added special touches to make it stand out.

  • Black paint with gold trim
  • A hood scoop to enhance the car’s sporty look
  • A special “screaming chicken” decal on the hood
  • A 6.6-liter V8 engine to give the car the speed it needed

Bringing the “Bandit” car to life

The car was not only the star of the film but also a major part of the marketing campaign. Pontiac was quick to capitalize on the popularity of the “Bandit” car and created a limited edition version of the Firebird Trans Am in its honor.

  • The limited edition “Bandit” car had the same black and gold paint job as the car in the film.
  • It also featured a custom “screaming chicken” decal on the hood.
  • Production was limited to just 6,000 cars, making it a highly sought-after collector’s item today.

The “Bandit” car will forever be remembered as one of the most iconic cars in film history. It captured the hearts of audiences and left a lasting impression that still resonates today. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or just a fan of the film, the story behind the “Bandit” car is one that will always be remembered.

The incredible stunts performed by the car in the movie

One of the most memorable things about “Smokey and the Bandit” is the incredible stunts that were performed by the iconic car. The 1977 Pontiac Trans Am became a true action star and performed some unbelievable feats that left audiences gasping in amazement. The car was driven by stuntman Hal Needham, who performed most of the driving stunts in the film.

The car’s most impressive stunt was undoubtedly the famous jump over a dismantled bridge. The stunt was so dangerous that director Hal Needham himself had to perform it. He modified the car to make it lighter and more aerodynamic, and then he took off at 100 miles per hour and jumped the car over a 150-foot gap in the bridge. The stunt was a success and became one of the most iconic moments in the history of cinema.

The bridge jump stunt

The bridge jump stunt was undoubtedly the most memorable scene in the movie, and it remains one of the most incredible stunts in film history. The car’s jump over the dismantled bridge was a true work of art and required incredible skill and precision from the driver. The scene has been recreated in countless movies and TV shows over the years, but nothing can compare to the original.

The car chase scenes

  • The car chase scenes in “Smokey and the Bandit” were some of the most exciting and action-packed moments in the movie. The Trans Am was pursued by dozens of police cars, and the chase scenes were filmed on location on real highways and streets.
  • The stunt drivers had to maneuver the car through tight spaces and around other vehicles at high speeds, which required incredible skill and precision. The chase scenes were some of the most memorable moments in the movie and helped to cement the Trans Am’s status as an action icon.

The high-speed stunts

  • In addition to the bridge jump and the car chases, there were several other high-speed stunts performed by the Trans Am in “Smokey and the Bandit.” The car was driven at incredible speeds, sometimes reaching over 100 miles per hour, and was put through its paces in a variety of challenging situations.
  • From jumping over a road sign to sliding under an 18-wheeler, the Trans Am performed some truly incredible stunts that left audiences on the edge of their seats. These stunts required a combination of skill, courage, and technical expertise, and they helped to make the car an icon of action cinema.

Behind the scenes of the making of the iconic car

The iconic car, the “Bandit,” from the 1977 action-comedy film “Smokey and the Bandit” was more than just a prop; it was a character in itself. The car was a black 1977 Pontiac Trans Am with a gold eagle on the hood and a screaming chicken decal on the hood scoop. It was modified to perform incredible stunts in the film and was driven by the legendary Burt Reynolds, who played the lead role of Bandit.

The creation of the car involved a team of experts who made sure that it was not only visually stunning but also capable of performing incredible stunts. The car was customized by two legendary car designers, Bill Hamel and Ray Claridge, who spent several weeks transforming the Trans Am into the “Bandit” car.

The design of the car

The “Bandit” car was designed to have a sleek and aggressive look that would complement its role in the film. The car was black with gold accents, including the eagle on the hood and gold pin-striping. The screaming chicken decal on the hood scoop was added to enhance the car’s appearance. The car was lowered and equipped with custom wheels to give it a meaner stance.

The stunts performed by the car

  • The car was designed to be able to perform high-speed chases and maneuvers. It was capable of reaching speeds of up to 110 mph.
  • One of the most iconic stunts performed by the car was the famous bridge jump scene, where the Bandit jumps a dismantled bridge with a Sheriff’s car in pursuit.
  • Another memorable stunt was when the Bandit drives the car on two wheels to avoid an oncoming truck.

The legacy of the “Bandit” car

The “Bandit” car became an instant icon after the release of the film, and it still remains a symbol of American pop culture. The car has been featured in various films, television shows, and even video games. Today, the car is considered one of the most iconic movie cars of all time.

In conclusion, the “Bandit” car was not only a visual masterpiece but also a crucial element in the film’s success. The car’s stunning design and incredible stunts helped make it a true Hollywood legend.

Exclusive interviews with the people who made the car a legend

It’s not just the car that made the movie iconic, but also the people who brought it to life. We spoke with some of the key players behind the scenes to get an inside look at how the car became a legend.

The first person we talked to was the car designer himself, Gene Winfield. He shared with us the challenges he faced when creating the car, including limited time and budget. He also talked about the inspiration behind the car’s design and the modifications that were made to make it more aerodynamic and suitable for the movie’s stunts.

The stunt coordinator’s perspective

  • Carey Loftin, the stunt coordinator for the movie, gave us his take on the car’s role in the film. He shared the intense planning that went into each stunt and the importance of having a reliable and sturdy car for the dangerous maneuvers.
  • We also spoke with Bill Hickman, the stunt driver who played the villain in the movie. He discussed the challenges of driving the car during the high-speed chases and the training that went into preparing for the stunts.

The car restoration experts

Decades after the movie’s release, the car remains an icon in popular culture. We spoke with some of the experts who have worked on restoring and preserving the car over the years.

  • Mark Towle, owner of a custom car shop, shared his experience restoring the car for a collector and the attention to detail that went into ensuring it was an exact replica of the original.
  • We also talked to Mike Joy, a car restoration expert who worked on the car for a museum exhibit. He discussed the challenges of restoring such a famous car and the pressure to ensure it was accurate and true to the original.

These exclusive interviews give us a deeper understanding of the car’s significance and the people who helped make it a legend. From the designer to the stunt coordinators and restoration experts, everyone involved in the making of the car contributed to its lasting impact on popular culture.

The impact of the “Bandit” car on pop culture and car enthusiasts

The “Bandit” car, also known as the 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from the movie “Smokey and the Bandit,” has left a lasting impact on pop culture and car enthusiasts around the world. The car, driven by Burt Reynolds’ character, became an instant icon, and its popularity has only grown with time.

But what is it about the “Bandit” car that makes it so special? Why has it endured as a beloved symbol of American pop culture for over four decades? Let’s take a closer look at the impact of this legendary car.

The Car’s Design and Features

  • The “Bandit” car’s sleek design and powerful engine were major draws for car enthusiasts. The car featured a black and gold color scheme with a screaming chicken decal on the hood, which became iconic.
  • The Trans Am also had a distinctive front end with a bird-like appearance that made it instantly recognizable on the road. Additionally, the car boasted a V8 engine that provided impressive speed and performance.

The Movie and Its Influence

The “Bandit” car owes much of its fame to its starring role in the 1977 film “Smokey and the Bandit.” The movie was a smash hit, grossing over $300 million worldwide and becoming the second-highest-grossing film of the year in the United States.

  • One of the reasons the car became so popular was its association with Burt Reynolds’ charming and charismatic character, the Bandit. Reynolds’ performance, along with the car’s sleek appearance and powerful engine, helped make it a standout feature of the movie.
  • The car’s popularity continued to grow in the years after the movie’s release, as it became a fixture in pop culture and a symbol of American car culture.

The Legacy of the “Bandit” Car

The “Bandit” car has had a lasting impact on popular culture and car enthusiasts, even decades after its debut. The car has been featured in countless movies, TV shows, and commercials, cementing its place as a beloved symbol of American pop culture.

  • The car has also inspired countless replicas and tribute cars, as well as a thriving aftermarket industry dedicated to restoring and customizing Trans Ams. This ongoing love for the “Bandit” car shows no signs of slowing down, making it a true icon of American car culture.
  • Ultimately, the “Bandit” car’s enduring popularity is a testament to its sleek design, powerful performance, and association with a beloved movie and character. It will undoubtedly continue to captivate car enthusiasts and fans of pop culture for years to come.

Where you can see the original “Bandit” car today

If you’re a fan of the “Smokey and the Bandit” movie, you may be wondering where you can see the original car that became a legend in pop culture. While the original 1977 Pontiac Trans Am used in the movie is no longer in the hands of the movie studio or the original owner, there are still some opportunities to catch a glimpse of this iconic car.

One option is to visit the Volo Auto Museum in Volo, Illinois. The museum houses a collection of famous movie cars, including the “Bandit” car, which is on display for visitors to see up close. Another option is to attend a car show or event where the car is being showcased. The current owner of the car, Burt Reynolds’ former business partner, occasionally brings the car to events for fans to enjoy.

Visiting the Volo Auto Museum

  • The Volo Auto Museum is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm.
  • Admission prices vary based on age and group size, but typically range from $15-$20 per person.
  • In addition to the “Bandit” car, the museum also features other famous movie and TV cars, classic cars, and more.

Attending car shows and events

If you’re interested in seeing the “Bandit” car in person, keep an eye out for car shows and events in your area that feature the car. Check social media, car enthusiast forums, and local event listings to stay up to date on upcoming appearances.

Attending a car show or event is a great way to see the car up close and meet other fans of the movie and the car. You may even have the opportunity to take a photo with the car or chat with the current owner about its history and significance in pop culture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What car did Bandit drive?

The car that Bandit drove in the movie “Smokey and the Bandit” was a black 1977 Pontiac Trans Am. The car was modified to give it a more aggressive look and was powered by a 6.6-liter V8 engine, which gave it a top speed of around 130 mph. The car was equipped with a T-top roof, which allowed for easy access and provided a sense of openness while driving.

Was the “Bandit” car a special edition model?

No, the “Bandit” car was not a special edition model. It was a regular Pontiac Trans Am that was modified to look like the car that Burt Reynolds drove in the movie. The modifications included a black and gold paint job, a “screaming chicken” decal on the hood, and a T-top roof.

Did Burt Reynolds do his own driving in the movie?

Yes, Burt Reynolds did some of his own driving in the movie “Smokey and the Bandit.” However, he was not allowed to do all of his own stunts, as the studio wanted to avoid any accidents or injuries. For the more dangerous stunts, a professional stunt driver was used.

How many cars were used in the making of the movie?

Several cars were used in the making of the movie “Smokey and the Bandit.” Exact numbers are not available, but it is estimated that around 10 cars were used for filming. Some of the cars were modified for specific scenes, such as the famous jump over a bridge, while others were used for regular driving scenes.

What happened to the original “Bandit” car?

The original “Bandit” car used in the movie was sold at an auction in 2016 for $550,000. The car had been restored to its original condition and was still in excellent running condition. It had been in the possession of a private collector for many years before being sold at the auction.

Are there any replicas of the “Bandit” car?

Yes, there are many replicas of the “Bandit” car available for purchase. Some are exact replicas, while others are modified versions that are similar in appearance. These replicas are popular with car enthusiasts and fans of the movie, and are often used in parades and car shows.

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