Who should manhandle this beast, Burt Reynolds or Vin Diesel? And, more importantly, why the heck is a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona impersonating the Pontiac Trans Am from 1977’s Smokey and the Bandit? This pixel-woven piece of fan fiction stops at nothing in its goal to fulfill one’s thirst for crossovers.
It might be easy to get caught up in the aspects that set the ’69 Daytona apart from the modded ’76 Trans Am that starred in the said blockbuster. After all, these differences aren’t few, whether it’s Team Mopar vs. Chevy Crew, or the fact that the first machine was a record-breaking NASCAR effort with a street sibling and the latter made for the automotive star of a movie about a pair of bootleggers trying to illegally transport 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana to Atlanta.
Then again, we’d rather turn the dream of digital artist Abimelec Arellano (aka abimelecdesign) into a collective experience, adding the alias in the title—just imagine that, years after racing legend Buddy Baker pushed the Charger Daytona past 200 mph (322 km/h) at Talladega, the road-going version would be used to escape the long arm of the law, all for the camera, of course.
For starters, by the time Smokey and the Bandit was produced, muscle cars had been affected the horsepower limitations of the Malaise Era, which means such a Daytona would be considerably more capable than the Trans Am.
Heck, the Pontiac used in the movie even came with a hood scoop sticker reading “T/A 6.6”, a stunt aimed at diverting viewers’ attention away from the fact that the 6.6L animating the era’s Trans Am only made around 200 hp, reminding them of the 1969 Trans Am’s 6.6L, which produced well over 300 ponies.
Despite the slow start, the motion picture was a huge success, only being surpassed by Star Wars for 1977—you’ll find a trailer at the bottom of the story. This had a massive impact on Pontiac sales (the effect spread past the Trans Am, which was a hotter version of the Firebird). Speaking of which, the Daytona could’ve used some help in the popularity department back in the day—while these aero cars are treasured collector cars nowadays, the initial customers weren’t all that thrilled about the massive nose cone and super-sized wing.
Could we see a real-life version of the Daytona Bandit?
This mélange is extra quirky, we’ll admit that. For one, the scoop reunion generated by the mix between the said Trans Am element and the wheel arch scoops of the Daytona is joined by fender flares reminding one of the contemporary Charger Widebody, while the wheels naturally come from the silver screen hero that is the Poncho.
And, given how much people enjoy crossover builds these days, the RPM (real project in the making) potential of this digital proposal seems higher than traditionalists might expect—we’d give it 4/10.