Signed by Burt Reynolds during his last public appearance at the inaugural Bubba Fest in Tennessee (August 10th-12th 2018), this magnificent beast of a car lines up for the first ever ‘Fast Road’ Sale being held by H&H Classics at the Imperial War Museum on October 20th. It is estimated to sell for £30,000 to £40,000.
Mixing two of America’s great loves, the motorcar and the big screen, can have an explosive 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.
Signed by Burt Reynolds during his last public appearance at the inaugural Bubba Fest in Tennessee (August 10th-12th 2018) this former 'Bandit Run' participant and bought by the vendor from a friend of his who was a self-confessed 'Smokey and the Bandit' addict. Burt Reynolds signature to both the central armrest and a 'Bandit' rear number plate.
It boasts iconic black and gold livery with an anodised dashboard and alloy wheels plus 'pop out' Targa roof panels and CB radio. It has had recent 'top end' engine work to the 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.
Burt Reynolds and the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am are American icons linked since the ’70s. The late actor drove the muscle car in the film hit Smokey and the Bandit and after the film he added one to his own collection.
Smokey and the Bandit follows bootleggers, Bo “Bandit” Darville (Burt Reynolds) and Cledus “Snowman” Snow (Jerry Reed), who are trying to illegally transport 400 cases of beer from Texarkana to Atlanta. After a slow interest, the film went on to make $126.7 million to become the second-highest-grossing movie of ‘77.
This ‘tribute’ car comes equipped with a 6.6-liter V-8 mated to an M40 three-speed automatic transmission. Rated at 185bhp and 320ft lbs of torque, it delivers a serious punch.
H&H Classics, well known for its creative ideas to benefit clients, have just launched their ‘Fast Road Sale’ a brand-new auction of 50 or so performance cars that will take place on October 20th.
The auction house is issuing an invitation to consign driver-orientated cars. Think everything from a Shelby Cobra laying down thick rubber lines through to a Volkswagen Golf GTi cornering hard enough to cock its inside rear wheel! If it is the sort of ‘motor’ that a professional ‘wheelman’ would helm – imagine a camera zooming in on a pair of Raybans, driving gloves and needles dancing their way around rev counters and speedometers – then H&H want it for their October 20thsale.
Colette McKay, CEO of H&H, explains the thinking: “We have long realised that there is a very significant number of auction goers who are specifically interested in this category of car and nothing else. So, we felt it would be a good thing to offer them a bespoke tailor-made sale to service their particular collecting interest. ‘The Fast Road Sale’ has evolved from this idea.”
The sale will feature a cross-section of iconic fast road vehicles such as your iconic fast Ford, Audi Quattro, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Subaru Impreza, Porsche Turbo and Lotus Esprit JPS etc. For anyone who loves speed and the G-forces that take hold with a little right foot action, this will be a must attend event.
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