As I show my car at shows, I talk to hundreds of people who share their tales of the Burnt Reynolds, Sally Fields and Jerry Reed era.I hear the tales of speeding tickets, burning rubber and the desire to be like the Bandit.
Burnt Reynolds was an icon in time paired with his black Trans Am accompanied by his cowboy hat, good looks and CB, he changed a generation into believing that you could be a bad guy while being good at the same time.
He stole beer, but paid for it. He wrecked several police cars and a police motorcycle, ran through a baseball field at a high rate of speed, (that was actually Sally) flipped off the police (that was actually Sally too), ran from the police, busted road blocks, (no spike strips or helicopters back then) jumped bridges while being chase by an out of jurisdiction sheriff that ran under a tractor trailer and the only casualties were about six mail boxes.
Every teen wanted a Smokey & The Bandit Trans Am with a Sally Fields in the passenger’s seat dancing on the windshield; tires squealing, rubber burning in a car that the police could not catch.
The seventies were filled with Bandit/Trans Am memorabilia.
Burnt Reynolds was the image of what every teen boy wanted to be. He was part of our lives and in the back of our minds always. As adults, we realize it was just a fairy-tale for most of us. But, something we cherished and will never forget.
This is why I love showing my car. To experience and relive the excitement and high school memories with complete strangers that lived in another place at the same time with the same excitement is fulfilling. I see people remembering school mates that have not thought about in years. I hear about their Trans Am or everyone they knew in high school that had one. This combined with the hoots and hollers, the thumb’s ups and the smiles of appreciation for the Bandit car, make it all worth wild. It’s fun to see parents explaining the car and what it meant to them when they were young.
From the baby-boomers who grew up with you Mr. Reynolds, we will miss you and thank you for the opportunity to have had you as part of our lives and indfluence.
We’ll think of you when we see that gold bird on that black car, see a CB or hear the word “Bandit” . Thank you and rest in peace. Do you think there are cars in heaven?
East bound and down.
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