New show brings Burt "Bandit" Reynolds back to the Trans-Am.
If you grew up wanting a Pontiac Trans-Am, Smokey and the Bandit might have been the reason why. Released in 1977 with Burt Reynolds as Bandit, Jerry Reed as Snowman, Sally Field as Frog all racing to bring a truckload of smuggled Coors beer somewhere Coors wasn't allowed, the movie literally had it all. Sheriff Buford T. Justice, masterfully played by Jackie Gleason, chased them the whole way with his idiot son, Junior Justice (Mike Henry). There was even a country theme song I still can't get out of my head ("We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there...").
Jackie Gleason was hilarious, the chemistry between Reynolds and Field was genuine, and I'm certain Reynolds was slapping somebody.
Despite all that, the star of the show was really Bandit's black with gold accents Trans-Am.
Burt Reynolds is making a return to the car he made even more famous (sales jumped by 100% after Bandit came out) on the DIY Network show Celebrity Rides. Five episodes of the show will feature Reynolds restoring a fleet of limited edition Trans-Ams with his design team from YearOne.
Burt Reynolds was hot enough in the 70s that my friend Doug's grandmother openly fantasized about having a lurid affair with him. I wonder if she'd change her mind seeing his face smoothed out by a surgeon to the point where he looks like a blinking doll with only one moveable eyelid. (That's about where Reynolds would slap me.)
Celebrity Rides: Burt Builds a Bandit is set to air Friday nights at 10 p.m. ET, beginning October 19.
And if you're lucky, you might be able to win one of the cars. From October 8 onwards, Heavy.com users can upload video essays about why they should win the car. The most creative wins the car...
But you might have to install your own CB radio. Then you'll be singing along with Jerry Reed belting out "Eastbound and Down" over your 8-track.
"I'm east bound, just watch ol' "Bandit" run."