Auction Block: Burt Reynolds’ 1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula

Jun 6, 2022

Category: Rides

In 1977, Burt Reynolds had the biggest hit of his career with Smokey and the Bandit, a film that came in second at the box office behind Star Wars during one of the best cinematic years in history. Reynolds was the most bankable star in the world and the success of his latest movie helped Pontiac nearly double the sales of its recently-facelifted Firebird after audiences watched the titular bootlegger use a ‘77 Trans Am model as a diversion for his partner carrying a truck-load of Coors beer to a dry county for a rich Texan played by Jackie Gleason.

Because the movie was able to push the Firebird’s sales ahead of the Chevy Camaro for the first time ever, Pontiac made a deal to give the actor a Trans Am every year from then on. Despite auctioning off most of his collection back in 2015, Reynolds acquired a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula a year later, which he then modified to look like the ‘77 Trans Am that Bandit drove in the film. That car is up for auction today via Bring a Trailer.

The ‘78 was not terribly different from the ‘77 Firebirds, and, in fact, Pontiac produced significantly fewer Formulas than Trans Ams, this particular example being one of around 24,000. After the acquisition, the bodywork of the vehicle was finished in black with the “Screaming Chicken” emblem emblazoned on the hood and the interior was given black and gold leather seats. The actor’s monogram can be seen on the rear windshield, with his actual autograph on the glovebox inside. The car runs on an impressive Butler Performance 8.2L V8 engine that’s been paired with a five-speed manual transmission.

This car that’s up for sale is a great addition to any movie lover’s collection, especially if you’re one of the millions of fans who looked up to Bandit as a paradigm of cool and collected. Bidding currently sits at $101,777 with the auction set to end on June 8.

Purchase: $101,777+

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