The children of the Seventies, now moneyed enthusiasts, cannot get enough vintage Pontiac muscle. Consider it a holdover pop culture sensation. More than a few Americans came of vehicular age watching Smokey and the Bandit, worshipping Burt Reynolds and his Screaming Chicken Special Edition Trans-Am. In 2014, one of the movie’s original promo cars sold for $450k; months later, a mere tribute car briefly owned by Reynolds brought $170k. Then, last year, a second highly controversial promo car fetched $550k. Now, another old Bandit-style Pontiac is headed to auction. How much will this one bring?
All signs point to mega bucks. The car, a 1978 Firebird Formula, packs serious resto-mod firepower. Under the hood is a fuel-injected 505cid V8 from Butler Performance. Trick aluminum heads, March pulleys, ceramic headers, and a full custom 3-inch exhaust, plus all the cooling (aluminum radiator, electric fans, functional Shaker hood) necessary for a claimed 600 horsepower.
The gearbox is a five-speed Tremec manual, with a Detroit Speed mini-tub rear and Hurst line-lock to ensure maximum tire smoke. It’s also got full coilover suspension and, of course, oversized snowflake-style wheels. The interior’s all custom, too, replete with Pioneer and JL audio equipment. Burt Reynolds signature is custom-embroidered on the headrest. Naturally.
That’s sure to warm the Bandit superfan cockles. But what’ll really get them is the paperwork: This 1978 Firebird is currently owned by one Burt Reynolds of Tequesta, Florida. He only titled the car last May, so it’s likely just pandering to boost the value at auction. It’ll probably work.
Look for the Bandit’s own pro touring Pontiac at Barrett-Jackson’s Arizona sale January 20.