It’s well known that having a cool celebrity name in a car’s history file can often multiply its value several times over. We’ve seen it happen with cars owned and driven by Steve McQueen, and now we can add Burt Reynolds to that list.
A 1977 black and gold Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SE owned by the late movie star just changed hands for a hefty $495,000 at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale 2022 auction. That’s a hell of a markup on the $79,700 Hagerty says a condition-1 car without any famous names to drop would be worth.
The Y82-code SE models benefited from a package of visual upgrades that included gold lettering and pin striping, gold wheels and a gold engine-turned dash panel, plus Hurst T-top removable roof panels. But under the skin you still got the same basic 180 hp (183 PS) 6.6-liter V8 as lesser Trans Am models unless you forked out another $50 for the 200 hp W72 package. And despite his tyre-smoking, gravel-spraying image it seems Burt was happy to make do with the 180-horse motor hooked up to a lazy three-speed automatic.
In his defence, Reynolds didn’t actually buy the car, but was gifted it following the success of the original Smokey and the Bandit movie. The star, who died in 2018, hung onto the Firebird until four years before his death, but was briefly reunited with it before he passed and signed the glovebox door.
The Trans Am wasn’t the only 1970s car with a movie connection to cross the block at Barrett Jackson. A 1976 AMC Pacer used in Wayne’s World, and still showing evidence of the modifications made by the production team for the movie, including a dash-mounted cup dispenser, sold for $71,500.