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A litle Bandit Fun

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A litle Bandit Fun

Post by mr71transam on Sat Apr 16, 2011 8:14 pm

Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am Short Version.





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Re: A litle Bandit Fun

Post by Steve on Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:29 pm

I saw someone post a picture somewhere of a 1976 Trans Am that was in Smokey and the Bandit. Did you ever notice this shot when Jerry Reed passes the Bandit when they entered Arkansas? Not, honeycomb wheels but the LE badges are missing.

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Re: A litle Bandit Fun

Post by 69_RAG_TOP on Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:18 pm

I never saw any evidence of any 1976 Trans Ams being used during the filming of the movie.

I would think that if they did use any 76 models that it would have to be in rear end or side shots only because the front ends are so very different.

According to wikipedia ...
The film made use of three modified black 1977 Pontiac Trans Am "Special Editions" that were each built according to the required stuntwork with suspension upgrades and increased performance. All were damaged during the rigors of filming the stunts. The particular car used to jump over the bridge towards the middle of the movie was reportedly totaled doing the stunt. The bridge itself, though no longer used for traffic, was still intact prior to filming. The middle section was demolished by the film-makers for the stunt.

The movie also used two Pontiac LeMans cars, again donated by Pontiac. All five cars were more or less destroyed by the end of shooting, with only one model of each car barely running by then, mostly due to cannibalizing the other three cars. The 1977 Trans Am "Special Edition" model used in the movie traces back to a GM Design show car created for Bill Mitchell (VP of Design) for the 1974 GM Division Show Circuit. Bill liked the Lotus F1 race car "John Player Special" livery and used that Black and Gold paint scheme to create the car.

The film also made use of three Kenworth W900A short-frame semi trucks which Jerry Reed's character "Snowman" can be seen driving, each equipped with 38" sleepers. Two units were 1974 models, as evidenced by standard silver Kenworth emblems on the truck grille, and one unit was a 1973 model, as evidenced by the gold-painted Kenworth emblem on the truck's grille signifying Kenworth's 50 years in business.

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Re: A litle Bandit Fun

Post by Steve on Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:47 pm

The picture I show there is from the movie, I captured it myself while watching.

Hal Needham explains what happened to the three Trans Ams used in the movie on the Smokey and The Bandit re-release DVD. The one used in the jump was destroyed but by the end the last car was barely running. They were swapping parts from all the cars just to keep it going. Apparently they must have sold them for scrap because they thought they were junk.

It would not surprise me if one surfaced again someday. Maybe some kid wanting a TA found it in a junk yard and got one running again.

If they did find one though, how much do you think it would be worth?
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Re: A litle Bandit Fun

Post by nap on Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:41 pm

There was an article in one of the Pontiac magazines that interviewed Hal Needham. He explained that the cars were 1976 models with 1977 sheetmetal on them. This makes perfect sense since the movie was shot in August of 1976. That is one month before production started for the 1977 year. It also puts to rest the debate if some of the cars in the movie had the Olds 403 in them. It was all Pontiac.

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Re: A litle Bandit Fun

Post by Steve on Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:01 pm

I remember that article but I will be danged if I can find it. As I recall it said that they had the California spec 400 but used a W72 for the burn out shots at the stop lights etc. I remember specifically that they said the had to change the "TA-6.6" shaker to the "6.6 Litre" shaker for those scenes. Does anyone know what year that article appeared? I should still have it.
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Re: A litle Bandit Fun

Post by nap on Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:49 pm

Steve,

I think I was mistaken about who was interviewed. I think it was the Vice-President of Marketing for Pontac at the time the movie was produced. I remember him saying they used 1976 cars. I also remember the cars that were given to the movie company came out of the marketing budget for the 1976 year.

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Re: A litle Bandit Fun

Post by Steve on Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:23 pm

Oddly I just got the new HPP tonight and there is an article about Hal Needham's new book. It says it describes what happened to all the Bandit cars. I wonder if Mr. Needham said more than he did on the DVD.

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Re: A litle Bandit Fun

Post by BanditRich on Sun Apr 24, 2011 4:16 pm

There were 3 articles that Hal Needham was interviewed for. May 1994 issue of Popular Hot Rodding. On the cover were 2 TAs. The cover heading was "25 Years of the Trans Am". It was a great issue that was predominantly Firebirds throughout with one article titled "Smokey & The Bandit - Arguably The Greatest Car Movie Ever Made". This is the one with Hal Needham. There was another one titled "Firebird Buyers Guide". There was also one listing the fastest Birds.
Next was the September/October 2002 issue of Pontiac Enthusiast with an article titled "25th Anniversary of Smokey & The Bandit". Another Hal Needham interview.
The last and most detailed was the December 2007 issue of High Performance Pontiac with an article titled " Bandit Backstory".
The May 1994 issue had an opening paragraph for "Birds Of Prey - The Five Fastest Trans Ams" that still puts a smile on my face every time I read it -
"When everybody else backed down, when every other car maker put away performance and concentrated on low emissions and high gas mileage, Pontiac built the only muscle car - the Trans Am. From 1973 to 1978, Pontiac's Trans Am was the only muscle car you could buy. The mustang was little more than a sporty Pinto, the Z28 didn't exist for a couple of years, and the Corvette's 350 was weaker than the Carter administration."
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