Hagerty.com

The 10 Best Movie Trans Ams


#1

Everyone knows Burt Reynolds drives a black Pontiac Trans Am in Smokey and the Bandit. It’s common knowledge, like the Earth is round and pizza is good.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/10/25/best-movie-trans-ams

#2

You forgot one, ‘Detroit Rock City’, and my Trans Am’s image was supposed to be used in as the background photo in the opening credits, but the Studio backed out of the deal before the final production was released.


#3

The T/A in Smokey & The Bandit was not one of the 3,760 cars built in 1977 because it was not a 1977 model. It was a 1976 dressed as a '77 - Pontiac wanted to promote the upcoming styling changes but no cars were available, but the parts were - check the production dates of the film: it was filmed long before 77s would have been available. The interior shots show clues as to its 1976 origins, seatbelt holders and the like…

Oh and the Cannonball Trans Am is a '71 painted red, not a '73.


#4

Actually, the Trans Ams used in Cannonball were 1970 models, painted red similar to the Buccaneer Red used in '73 (and up). Real easy to spot a '70 with the one year only low back/separate headrest front seats.


#5

In your summary for The Hunter you state that a 4-speed in a '79 T/A means it came with a Poncho 400. Not true. While it is true that a Poncho 400 could only be had with a 4-speed, the opposite was not the case. You could order various engines with a 4-speed.


#6

Yes, correct. Fat fingered mistake on my part.


#7

The 403 came only with turbo 350 auto. Look it up to verify. There were only 3 engines in 79 trans am. 403, 400 and 301. VIN K, Z or W. Only 400 and 301 could get a manual trans. Trust me or look it up. I’ve owned over 100 of these cars since the 80’s. I’ve forgotten more about these cars than most will ever know. “6.6 Liter”, means 403 auto only in 1979.


#8

@chpndaletoo @desryan20 The story is updated. You have Scott Oldham’s respect. He says "“Some of these guys are amazing. I’ve watched that movie over 20 times and never noticed that.”


#9

The Bandit T/A 1977 has the rectangular headlights and 1st year of the angled nose. 1976 has round headlights.


#10

Good one billifer! ! maybe you know if this is true. I remember reading , the reason for the Olds 403 was because the 79’s were sellin like hotcakes so Pontiac saved the 400 for the 4 speed trans only.


#11

It may be Joan Collins’ character, but the stunt driver’s Halloween mask looks hideous in a still frame. Yikes! :flushed:


#12

No, but you are kind of close. Pontiac ceased producing the 400 in 1978. Pontiac decided to save 7500 engine and trans combos for the 7500 silver tenth anniversary cars In 1979. In fact, all the 400, 4spd cars have engine dates from 1978. Things did not go as planned and only 1817 of the combo ended up in the 10th anni. The rest got spread out through the line and about 325 actually ended up in Formulas. The 403 became an option in 1977
And only came with an automatic for all three years. By design, there were never supposed to be any 400 4spds in any T/A or formula in 79 unless it was an anniversary car. The only other motor in 79 was of course the 301. It could be had auto or a lighter duty t 10 4 speed with a 323 posi. The way to tell the difference in a 400 and a 301 visually is the 400 had chrome valve covers and the 301 was painted. Of course the VIN for 400 is z, 301 is w. VIN for 403 is k. If someone says they have a 400 auto in a 79 and it’s original, something’s wrong. I hope this helps.


#13

Desryan is absolutely correct. The cars in the movie were actually 76 50th anniversary of Pontiac Trans am. If you look carefully in one of the scenes you can see some gold polycast honeycomb wheels, which came on the 76 anni. only.


#14

Correct sir


#15

Another1976bandit


#16


#17

Outstanding, these were the exact scenes I was thinking of.


#18

? Then what year is the T/A in the scene when Mr Burt is heading to Texarcana in the rain ? and hiding behind the building when smokey crusies by lookin for him ? maybe they used 76 and the 77 or busted up the snowflakes hitting curbs and used honeycombs lol ?


#19

They used I believe 9 cars during filming. Close up cars had the right wheels, others didn’t. As someone stated earlier, the parts were available, the cars weren’t. They were all 76’s they modified to look like 77 SE’s.


#20

Corvette Summer in 1978 had a cool Firebird. Not sure if it’s a T/A but still cool. I think it’s a '71?