Skip to main content

You Can Drive Like Bandit in a Revamped Trans Am with 840 Horsepower

In June 1977, the coolest car in the country was a black ’77 Trans Am. That’s because a month earlier, Smokey and the Bandit burnt rubber across the silver screen with 96 minutes of Burt Reynolds jumping bridges, outrunning smokeys, and looking damn cool doing it — “for the money, for the glory, and for the fun,” of course.

“You always remember where you saw the movie,” says Todd Warmack, co-founder of Trans Am Depot. Brother and fellow co-founder Scott Warmack adds, “Everybody wanted to be the Bandit.” Once you see how many miles and drift turns the car handles in the film (while Buford T. Justice’s patrol car gets crumpled like a sheet of paper), you immediately want one.

Together the Warmack brothers credit Reynolds and his iconic role with the success of the Trans Am brand, which was all the more reason to bring back the model in 2017 to honor the cult classic’s 50th anniversary.

Enter the 2017 Trans Am SE Bandit Edition. Only 77 models were made (all sold for about $115,000, unfortunately), each one signed in gold by the Bandit himself. Technically, the 2017 remake is only reminiscent of the Bandit’s original ’77 Firebird Trans Am because Pontiac made the cars until ceasing production in 2009. Today, Trans Am Depot licenses the name from General Motors and builds iconic Trans Am out of Chevy Camaros.

Burt Reynolds Introduces the NEW Bandit Trans Am

But if anything, that’s a good change.

The 2017 Trans Am Bandit has a genuine T-top roof and a GM V-8 under the hood. In true Trans Am fashion, an epic Firebird emblazes the hood. Expect more oomph, as Trans Am Depot boosted the horsepower from the original 185 to 840. Reynolds called it “an airplane on the ground.”

Trans Am Depot even got Reynolds behind the wheel to endorse the new whip. While he didn’t take off his hat, he did say, “I fell in love.” That being said, there’s plenty of extra room to share the ride with your Frog, as the seats are extra big and plush. That is if you can find one of the 77 lucky owners and convince them to trade for 400 cases of Coors.

Otherwise, if you’re looking to bootleg some beer under 28 hours, the Trans Am Super Duty 455 ($170,000)  might get you there faster, boasting 1,000 horsepower. Yes, you’ll still get the badass bird on the hood. That’s a big ten-four.

Editors' Recommendations

Jahla Seppanen
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Born and raised off-the-grid in New Mexico, Jahla Seppanen is currently a sports, fitness, spirits, and culture writer in…
Range Rover shows its dark side with the Range Rover Sport Stealth Pack
Would you speed by this car if it was parked on the side of the highway?
Right side profile shot of a 2025 Range Rover Sport Dynamic SE with Stealth Pack parked on desert sand between two black monoliths.

Range Rover dropped a new appearance package for the 2025 Range Rover Sport. The Stealth Pack option, available solely for the Sport Dynamic SE model, doesn't boost the SUV's performance but focuses on looks. According to a Jaguar Land Rover news release, buyers will choose the Stealth Pack for its visceral effect on the Range Rover Sport's appearance. Whether you think it looks sporty, powerful, or scary may depend on what movies you watch or where you drive.

Why the Range Rover Sport Stealth Pack matters

Read more
50 years ago, the Audi 50 launch set the mold for decades of small cars
The Volkswagen Golf continues a legacy from another car company
A yellow Audi 50 pared on the side of a roadway with a large red concrete building in the background.

Timing might not be everything, but it worked for the Volkswagen Group in the 1970s. When the first oil crisis hit in 1973, Audi, a member of the VW Group, was about to begin production of the Audi 50, a small car that emphasized fuel economy. Introduced fifty years ago, the 1974 Audi 50's small hatchback design lives on today in the 2024 Volkswagen Golf GTI and Golf R.
Why the Audi 50 mattered

As the image of youthful exuberance in the Audi 50 approaching the Brandenburg Gate shows in the advertisement above, Audi targeted the image of free-spirited independence and good times for the Audi 50's compact body style. Its relatively low fuel consumption and purchase price appealed to first-time buyers and anyone looking for a car that didn't suck down liters or gallons of gasoline. Audi never sold the Audi 50 in the U.S., but another car from the Volkswagen Group found a ready market in America.

Read more
Dodge Hornet R/T with PowerShot: It’s all about that torque
Dodge built a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for your inner child
Red 2024 Dodge Hornet RT parked on a city street left front three-quarter view.

The transformation from cars with internal combustion engines (ICEs) to full battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) has different looks, depending on your perspective. The Stellantis Dodge division recently shared its perspective on electrification with a video that showcases its favorite feature from the 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T with Powershot, the brand's first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). The Inner Child Intervention video clarifies that, from Dodge's perspective, it's all about that torque.

Inner Child Intervention | Dodge Hornet R/T
Why the Dodge Hornet  R/T with PowerShot matters

Read more