Friday, April 10, 2015

Brother, can you spare a half-million bucks for Bandit’s Trans Am?

If you missed out on a chance last December to purchase Burt Reynold’s 1977 Pontiac Trans Am, better known as “the Bandit car” from his iconic “Smokey and the Bandit” films, you may have a chance to get another one later this month. Provided you’ve got close to a half-million dollars lying around, that is.

This time around, Reynolds is auctioning off a “fully-restored” version of the iconic Trans Am, complete with a few extra flourishes, including the actor’s autograph on both the hood and the dashboard. The winner bidder will also get to take home an autographed hat and jacket, worn by Reynolds during the promotional photo shoot for auction.

The vehicle is one of approximately 350 vehicles that will be part of the Spring Carlisle Auction, which is taking place April 23-24 at the Carlisle Expo Center in Carlisle, Pa.

According to Michael Garland, a spokesman for Carlisle Auctions, which is hosting the bidding, bids can be placed in one of two ways: either by phone, or in-person at the auction. Bidders must be pre-registered. More information about that process is available on the company’s website.

The car is being offered with a reserve, meaning it has to fetch a minimum price at auction or else it won’t be sold. Garland said the reserve amount is confidential between the auction house and Reynolds. But a sale-price of $500,000 isn’t a stretch, considering another “Bandit” car owned by Reynolds sold for $450,000 at a Las Vegas auction in December 2014. That car, which was actually used in the original film, was one of more than 600 pieces of memorabilia the actor auctioned off to help him overcome financial difficulties.

While it doesn’t have a connection to the “Bandit” film franchise beyond its owner, the car itself has been fully restored to be an exact match of the one driven by Reynolds in the film. It is a black-on-black Special Edition Y82 model with T-tops, black interior and a 6.6 liter engine. The restoration work was handled by Murphy Auto Body and Restoration of West Palm Beach, Fla.

Hopefully whoever ends up buying it will hammer down at least once on the way out of the parking lot.