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1976 Pontiac Firebird Esprit 'Trans Am' For Sale by Auction

Thu, 20th Oct 2022 13:00
Imperial War Museum, Duxford


1976 Pontiac Firebird Esprit 'Trans Am'
Possibly the last Firebird ever signed by Burt Reynolds
Estimate
£30, 000 - £40, 000


Registration No: UK-Reg
Chassis No: 2T87M6N595918
MOT: Exempt

- Signed by Burt Reynolds during his last public appearance at the inaugural Bubba Fest in Tennessee (August 10th-12th 2018)
- A former 'Bandit Run' participant and bought by the vendor from a friend of his who was a self-confessed 'Smokey and the Bandit' addict
- Iconic Black and Gold livery with anodised dashboard and alloy wheels plus 'pop out' Targa roof panels and CB radio
- Burt Reynolds signature to both the central armrest and a 'Bandit' rear number plate
- Recent 'top end' engine work
- 350 cu in (5. 7 litre) V8 engine allied to automatic transmission

"For the good old American life. For the money, the glory, and the fun. Mostly for the money" (Bo ‘Bandit’ Darville)

Mixing two of America’s great loves, the motorcar and the big screen, can have a seismic effect on popular culture. Petrolheads around the globe struggle to disassociate a Highland Green Ford Mustang Fastback from Steve McQueen’s Frank Bullitt (‘Bullitt’), a speeding DeLorean from Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly (‘Back to the Future’) or a Black and Gold Pontiac Firebird from Burt Reynolds’ Bo ‘Bandit’ Darville (‘Smokey and the Bandit’). Of the three iconic machines, it is the Firebird which had by far the biggest starring role. Indeed, director Hal Needham often cites the Pontiac as one of his film’s biggest characters!

Although, ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ was the second highest grossing film of 1977 (behind Star Wars), much of it had been shot the previous year. All four of the Firebirds that Pontiac supplied were actually 1976-model year cars with 1977-model year front ends grafted on. Conscious of this ‘anorak fact’, the previous owner of chassis 2T87M6N595918 actively sought a 1976 model-year car in which to live out his Bandit dreams. A true fan, he recreated various scenes from the film including having a police car pictured in his driver’s door mirror and running in convoy with a big rig as well as participating in the 40th Anniversary ‘Bandit Run’. The Firebird he chose began life as one of the more luxurious Esprit models equipped with a 350 cu in (5. 7 litre) V8 engine allied to automatic transmission.

Repainted in the trademark Black and Gold colour scheme, the 2+2-seater’s exterior also sports a ‘flaming chicken’ bonnet decal, Gold-centred alloy wheels and lift-out targa roof panels. While, the interior’s Black upholstery is offset by an authentic-looking anodised Gold dashboard and a (non-functioning) CB radio. Starting readily and running well during our recent photography session, the Pontiac sounds decidedly menacing courtesy of its non-standard exhaust system. However, the ‘icing on the cake’ so to speak are the genuine Burt Reynolds signatures to the centre armrest and ‘Bandit’ rear number plate which were obtained when the legendary actor made his final public appearance at Bubba Fest in Tennessee, August 10th-12th 2018.

Among the very last, and possibly THE last, Firebirds to be signed by Reynolds, chassis 2T87M6N595918 prompted a friendship between its previous and current keepers. Tragically, the former lost his life in a light aircraft crash on Independence Day. Imported by the seller and UK registered, this Reynolds-signed ‘Trans Am’ draws a crowd wherever it goes. A ‘must have’ for Bandit fans everywhere, it is offered for sale with UK V5C Registration Document, owner’s manuals and sundry paperwork. It is worth noting that a 1977-model year Trans Am which had previously belonged to Burt Reynolds sold for $495, 000 nine months ago, while one of the Trans Ams used to promote the film in period fetched $550, 000 during 2016.

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