Its 1977, and you’re at Radio City Music Hall in NYC, at the premier of a road action-comedy film, ‘Smokey and the Bandit’. The spotlight is stolen by the film’s star car, a gold-and-black Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Featuring this distinctive T-top in a highly successful movie was a win-win situation. Its appearance in the movie propelled Trans Am sales beyond 93,000 units by 1978. Needless to say, the car and the film mutually benefitted from a viewership of millions. Our subject vehicle is a 1981 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Turbo SE, a model used in the sequel of ‘Smokey and the Bandit’. This Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Turbo SE has just 39,500 original miles on the clock and reportedly has always been garaged. 1981 was the last year of the ‘Bandit’ era Trans Am, before the next generation came out in 1982, and was featured as the hero car in ‘Knight Rider’ – but that’s a story for another day.
This 1981 Firebird Trans Am is bedecked in the instantly recognizable Starlight black and gold with the endearing ‘screaming chicken’ decal on the hood is an incredibly recognizable automobile on the roads, and that is what our subject vehicle offers – the chance to turn many heads as it burbles by. The look is completed with gold Firebird turbo wheels and brand-new BF Goodrich Radial T/A tires. A homage to the ‘Bandit’ is in the form of a Bandit-decaled license plate holder. The car is reported to be rust free and was kept in Florida for all its life. A modern JVC CD player with Bluetooth has been installed, and the interior can seat four adults. This true unrestored, and well-kept car is available with the factory T-tops, and is numbers matching for the discerning buyer looking for originality.
Pontiac’s 4.9L V8 sends power to the rear wheels via an automatic transmission. An upgrade over previous variants is the electronic carburetor that offers improved performance and gas mileage. The turbocharger is a Garrett TB305 unit. The motor is conservatively rated for 200bhp and 345 lb. ft of torque.