Now you can live out your Smokey and the Bandit fantasies.
Some cars will always be associated with their roles in movies. Think of the DeLorean, and you immediately imagine the famous time travelling car from Back to the Future. In the case of the Pontiac Firebird Tran Am, it had two famous starring roles in TV and film. It’s arguably most famous for being David Hasslehoff’s talking car companion KITT in Knight Rider during the 1980s. Before that, anyone who watched the Smokey and the Bandit trilogy fantasized about owning the iconic black and gold Pontiac Trans Am driven by Burt Reynolds.
This is probably the closest you’re going to get to living out that fantasy. Listed for sale via RK Motors is a rare 1979 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition with only 65 miles on the clock and a unique history. How can a car that’s nearly 40 years old have such a low mileage, you may ask? It was originally bought by 18-year-old enthusiast William Leland III because he was a massive fan of Smokey and the Bandit. It even has the signature firechicken livery just like the movie car. Unlike most 18-year old gearheads, Bill Jr, as he was otherwise known, saw it as an investment opportunity so he barely drove it. He also happens to be the great-great nephew of Cadillac founder Henry Leland.
At the time, the 1979 Trans Am cost him $10,009.45, including $3,454 worth of options making it the most well-equipped model you could buy at the time. It’s finished in a signature Starlight black and gold combo, and is powered by a 6.6-liter engine. It features a three-speed automatic, WS6 suspension, and 15-inch snowflake wheels that are all still original. Billy Jr. went to extreme lengths to preserve his Pontiac Trans Am. When he picked it up from the dealer, he requested staff not to complete the usual delivery preparation jobs. This included no detail washes to prevent water marks, and they weren’t allowed to install a front license plate bracket because that involved drilling holes in the bumper.
He borrowed a dealer plate to drive it home for 20 miles, where it stayed for several years. Eventually he moved, so it was driven for another 20 miles. It was then barely used for 17 years apart from being idled and occasionally driven. Bill Jr. died of terminal cancer at the age of 42 and his father took ownership of the car racking up the last of the car’s 65 miles on the way back to his home where it was stored with his collection of Cadillacs. It’s now going on sale to the public for the first time in nearly 40 years with an asking price of $159,900, and still looks like it just rolled out of the factory. That may sound like a lot, but this is without a doubt one of the most pristine 1970s Pontiac Trans Ams you’re ever likely to find.