Before Dominick Torretto and Bryan O’Conner were gleams in their daddy’s eyes the Bandit was blazing a trail of chaos and mayhem across the southeast. We want to thank CarSpring for reminding us of this classic film.
I remember sitting in that darkened theater in 1977 popcorn in my lap waiting for what would begin my fascination with fast cars, and renegade women. You could say it was the genesis of High Speed Magazine.
In case you’re as of yet unaware. The story line of Smokey and the Bandit goes like this.
Big Enos (Pat McCormick) wants to drink Coors at a truck show, but in 1977 it was illegal to sell Coors east of the Mississippi River without a permit.
Truck driver Bo “Bandit” Darville (Burt Reynolds) agrees to pick up the beer in Texas and drive it to Georgia with his trucker friend Snowman (Jerry Reed) within 28 hours.
When Bo picks up hitchhiker Carrie (Sally Field), he attracts the attention of Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason). Angry that Carrie will not marry his son, Justice embarks on a high-speed chase after Bandit.
This very weekend will be the 40th anniversary (May 27) of the release of what still; to this very day the greatest car movie ever made.
In celebration of that we’ve got this idea of what the vehicles from that iconic movie might look like today.
Bandit’s Trans Am – Chevrolet Camaro
I couldn’t begin this revere any other way. Pontiac is long gone, but more than a few modern Trans Ams were built from its long-time Camaro stablemate since Chevy revived the muscle car in 2010. And if we’re honest, the new-and-improved version is just as awesome as the original.
Buford T. Justice’s patrol car – Dodge Charger
The Pontiac Le Mans used in the original film was the epitome of everything wrong with cars in the 1970s. We didn’t mind seeing that car get torn to shreds, but with a Charger makeover we’d hate to see a single scratch on that sumbich.
Snowman’s rig – Tesla Semi
In the trucking world, Kenworth’s W900 is still a legendary machine even without the Hollywood boost the film gave it. There are all kinds of current trucks that could fill the role, but we think Snowman would absolutely love the torque and power that electric trucks can provide. Plus, Tesla’s truck looks damn good in brown and gold.
Bandit Alternate – Ferrari 812 Superfast
Admit it, you secretly love seeing a black Ferrari with gold trim and a screaming chicken on the hood. It’s missing the all-important t-tops, but Burt Reynolds could’ve easily made the Texarkana – Atlanta run in under 28 hours with the 812’s 789-horsepower V12. For the record, that four times the power you get from a stock 1977 Trans Am.
Bandit Alternate – Ford F-150 Raptor
During the course of Bandit’s return run he crashes through mailboxes, dives through highway medians, crosses a river, and jumps a broken bridge. All that would’ve been so much easier in a Raptor, which was actually designed to do some of those things. And it doesn’t look bad dressed in Bandit trim.
Bandit Alternate – Honda Civic Type R
The Bandit driving a … Honda? I don’t really see it. But; it seems the already flamboyant Type R looks right at home in the Bandit’s equally flamboyant color scheme. It’s old-versus-new, and don’t forget – this Civic holds the front-wheel drive record at the Nurburgring. It’s more than capable of being a blocker for a semi hauling bootlegged Coors beer to Georgia. I just can’t see it surviving crossing any rivers.
Bandit Alternate – Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
We aren’t really sure about this render. Though beside incredible comfort and a lot of room for Carrie to change out of her wedding dress. The Hellcat-powered Trackhawk with 707 horsepower, sporting the hood decal and the gold trim, it’s just too much. We bet this Jeep would shoot bald eagles out the exhaust and leave red, white, and blue tire marks on the road. Of all the alternates here, this is the one we’d want to get eastbound and down with.
Smokey and the Bandit will see a limited re-release in select theaters. Check in your local area for showtimes and locations. We certainly plan on being Eastbound and down. Loaded up and trucking!
A bit of Trivia about Coors. Since it was illegal to sell east of the Mississippi in 1977 President Lydon B. Johnson was the original Bandit. He required there be a case of Coors beer on Air force one at all times. Look it up.