LAS VEGAS (CBSLA) — Four cars from the late Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds’ personal collection are going up for auction in Las Vegas, including an exact replica of the iconic 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am he drove in ‘Smokey and the Bandit.’ Barrett-Jackson, the collectible-car auction house, is handling the sale of “Bandit” along with three others owned by Reynolds.
Barrett-Jackson says that just before his death earlier this month, Reynolds was working with a team of restoration experts to bring the three vehicles up to pristine condition. “They’re historic pieces of time from the ’70s,” Reynolds’ friend and business partner Gene Kennedy said, “and we want to keep them that way.”
In a statement given just before his death, Reynolds called the Trans Am an “exact duplicate of the one that was used in the film, all the way down to the CB antenna.” Even the white letters painted on the tires are identical to the movie version.
“The CB, the scanner – everything that’s inside the car has all been painstakingly researched, found and added back to the car the same way it was in the movies,” says Kennedy, although the Trans Am does include a new air-conditioning system.
The second car up for auction is a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula, once again an identical recreation of a car Reynolds drove in one of his films. It’s a copy of the “Retro-Rocket” used in the 1978 film ‘Hooper’, in which Reynolds played a stuntman.
The third vehicle headed to auction is a 1987 Chevrolet R30 pickup that’s a recreation of the “Indy Hauler” used in 1981’s ‘Cannonball Run.’ The truck has been on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and has been used at various events. While it’s nearly identical to the version used in the film, it does include modern comforts like power steering and brakes, and air conditioning.
All of the original vehicles that inspired these replicas were “disposed of due to liability reasons,” Kennedy said. “Universal Studios wouldn’t allow the sale of cars that may have had some frame damage from the stunts performed.”
The final car up for auction is a 1984 Trans Am used by Reynolds to promote his United States Football League (USFL) team, the Tampa Bay Bandits. The recently-restored car comes with team memorabilia and other promotional items from the ill-fated pro football league, which played three seasons from 1983 to 1985.
All four vehicles up for auction were autographed by Reynolds himself.
Reynolds died Sept. 6 of cardiac arrest at a Miami hospital.