Ryan Reynolds is cool, but we prefer somebody who can get 400 cases of Coors beer past a dirty sheriff, somebody like Burt Reynolds. Today, Smokey and the Bandit is one of the most popular car action films of all time and it helped cement the reputation of the 1977 Pontiac Trans Am as a collector’s car.
However, this story is about a 1976 Pontiac Trans Am. Only one model year completely changes the way a car is perceived. And this video made us fall completely in love with that particular version of the Firebird.
Hagerty has an interesting new YouTube show called The Appraiser where they try to put a price on different classic cars. Episode 2 features a restored Aston Martin DB4, but the star is actually the 1976 Pontiac. So, would you like to play Burt Reynolds or James Bond? Drink Coors or a shaken Martini?
The Smokey car was advertised as a 1977 model, but because these weren’t available they used several 1976 with bumper alterations. They’re technically the same car, part of the second-generation Pontiac Firebird family that was made from 1970 to 1981. However, the earlier model year has round headlights which were replaced by four quadruple squares the following year.
If you want the best “muscle car” experience from that era, you’re probably better off with the 1974 Super Duty, which is also extremely valuable. But this 1976 Trans Am was the last to come with the 455 engine.
We’re talking about the H.O. or high output 7.5-liter, but don’t expect that much from it. Due to emissions regulations, this was only 200 horsepower-strong. So why is this so valuable? Well, they made 110,775 Firebird that year, 46,701 of which were Trans Am.
A rare bird, but not a Bandit
But Hagerty is looking at a 50th-anniversary model, about 1947 of which were made. It’s also T-top too, with the Starlight Black paint and gold accents, matched with saddle leather interior.
We often hear about numbers-matching muscle cars and how they’re more valuable, but this 1976 Trans Am is a cut above that. Everything about it is completely original, down to the flaws. The car comes with GM’s air conditioning, GM’s exhaust system and even the engine is as it should be.
Speaking of flaws, the Hagerty appraiser notes the handprint in the paint on the roof and many other imperfections that actually add value. Of course, you can completely restore a Pontiac of this year with a great new motor and suspension to have it valued at the same price, but it would be a shame to do that here.
The owner isn’t selling it. He just wanted to make sure that the value is as high as he thinks it is. With the right couple of bidders, it could be worth a lot more than the $100,000 mentioned.