Pontiac Trans Am – Smokey and The Bandit | CAR Magazine
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Pontiac Trans Am – Smokey and The Bandit

Published: 20 October 2008 Updated: 26 January 2015

Ranking: 19      

Year of release: 1977.

The car: Pontiac Trans Am.

Why it’s special: It’s one long car chase that doesn’t trouble itself too much with plot – and its bootlegging theme complemented by muscle cars surely gave rise to the Dukes Of Hazzard.

Best bit: The bridge jump. Naturally there’s a sizeable chunk of bridge missing that the Bandit manages to jump. The first hapless police car falls short, while the second almost stops only to be pushed in by the third.

Pub fact: Five modified Pontiacs were used in filming, and the bridge-jump car was destroyed. Strong language was censored in the film. ‘Sumbitch’ – a contraction of ‘son of a bitch’ – became ‘scum bum’ – a phrase that eventually ended up on the back of a Hot Wheels Firebird.

Plot overview: Texans Big Enos and Little Enos ask the Bandit to truck 400 cases of beer from Texarkana, Texas to Georgia in 28 hours for $80,000. The Bandit employs fellow trucker the Snowman, while buying himself the Pontiac to act as a decoy. The catch? If the police catch them they’ll be locked up for bootlegging.

For: One long car chase.

Against: One little plot.

CAR verdict: Great entertainment for when your brain hurts.

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By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator