The Bandit is back and (rightfully so!) he’s in a Trans Am.
Trans Am Worldwide, a Florida company that specializes in taking Chevrolet Camaros and turning them into modern day Trans Am variations of the Pontiac pony car, has unveiled plans for a limited edition Bandit version of its 7T7 Trans Am creation, showing it at the 2016 New York International Auto Show.
There will only be 77 made and each is hand-signed by Burt Reynolds, who played Bo “Bandit” Darville in the movie franchise that started in 1977 with Smokey and The Bandit, in which Reynolds drove a black and gold 1977 model year Pontiac Trans Am
“This chapter in our business would not be same had we not been able to partner with Burt Reynolds,” says Tod Warmack, co-founder of then Trans Am Depot, which acquired exclusive rights to the Trans Am brand after Pontiac ceased production. “Burt Reynolds was fundamentally responsible for the success of the Trans Am brand. His signature on this edition is the icing on the cake.”
“Having him put his seal of approval on what we’re building, that’s the final stamp,” adds brother Scott Warmack, also a co-founder. “He’s the man. So if he says he likes it and it’s good. Then you’re done.”
The graphics were created by graphic designer Kevin Morgan, from Kevin Morgan Designs of Canton, Pennsylvania. The hood features the “screaming bird” recreation of the original Firebird for the 7T7 Trans Am, but is taken a step farther by creating half the bird on each of the interior door panels.
Morgan was commissioned to create the unique Bandit logo that adorns the seat headrests (on recreated 1978 seats that were deemed to be the best look and feel for the car) and center console, as well as a myriad interior and exterior points, such as the gauges, door sills and bumpers. The Bandit Trans Am also recreates the classic Snowflake wheels, which were first seen on the 1977 car in the movie, and encases them in white-lettered Goodyear tires to add a nostalgic look to the car.
The new Trans Am, again naturally, cuts away parts of the roof to create the classic Trans Am T-Top because, says Scott, if you don’t have the T-Tops and the shaker hood, you don’t have a Trans Am. The shaker hood is, therefore, also a natural inclusion.
Under the hood sits GM’s LSX 7.4-litre V8, which is fitted with a Roots TVS 2300 supercharger and various upgrades to injectors, intakes, pumps, etc., to deliver in excess of 700 hp (Tod says it makes 840 hp at the crank). That’s quite an upgrade from the 185-hp 6.6-litre V-8 of the 1977 car.