Lots of kids in the late-1970s lusted after Burt Reynolds’ Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am, but few had the means to get one. In 1978, eighteen-year old William Leland III did get his hands on a ’79 Trans Am, but unlike most, he didn’t really drive. Thirty-eight years later, Leland’s Trans Am has just 65 miles on its odometer, and it’s listed for sale at RK Motors in Charlotte with a $160,000 asking price.
Leland, who went by Bill Jr., custom ordered this Trans Am from the factory in 1978 after his father, William Leland II, agreed to co-sign on a $10,000 loan. With that budget in mind, Bill Jr. ordered nearly $3500 in options for his Trans Am, including a three-speed automatic, air conditioning, velour interior, WS6 suspension, and others. Basically, the only thing this Trans Am didn’t come with is a CB Radio.
Bill Jr. even asked the dealer to forgo its usual delivery prep process as he didn’t want the car washed, and a front license-plate bracket was never fit. He borrowed a dealer plate, and drove it 20 miles to his house, where it stayed for years. Eventually, he moved, so he drove it an additional 20 miles to his new house where it stayed, being idled and driven occasionally, for 17 years.
Bill Jr. died at the age of 42 and his father took possession of the car, putting the final of the car’s 65 miles on the way back to his home. Since then, the car changed hands once, and is now being offered for public sale for the first time.
This Trans Am is showroom pristine and comes with all the documents you could hope for. It’s expensive, at $160,000, but it’s doubtful there’s a nicer 1979 Trans Am in existence. Surely, it’s perfect for some wealthy Smokey and the Bandit fan, and hey, it’s a lot cheaper than Burt Reynolds’ personal ’77 Trans Am, which sold for $450,000 in 1977.