Three replicas of movie cars from late actor Burt Reynolds' private collection will be sold at auction later this month at Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas.
One of vehicles is a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am made into a full Smokey and the Bandit film car replica, the second is a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Formula that replicates the one driven by Reynolds in Hooper, and the third is a 1987 Chevrolet R30 pickup that appeared in Cannonball Run. Each was carefully built to the same specifications as the vehicles in each film and personally owned (and autographed) by Reynolds himself. The original film cars were destroyed by Universal Studios after filming, but that hardly takes away the allure these Hollywood icons posses.
"The original cars used in the movies were disposed of, due to liability reasons," explained Gene Kennedy, a friend of Reynolds' and owner of Bandit Movie Cars Florida, to auction consignor Barrett-Jackson. "Universal Studios wouldn't allow the sale of cars that may have had some frame damage from the stunts performed."
Reynolds' Trans Am was his favorite of his movie cars. This example, put together by Bandit Movie Cars Florida and Restore a Muscle Car of Nebraska, was built as an exact clone of that seen in Smokey, and the builders of the original were consulted for its construction.
"It is an exact duplicate of the one that was used in the film, all the way down to the CB antenna," Reynolds told Barrett-Jackson before his passing. "To see the detail of a car we used 40-plus years ago is very humbling. My friend Gene Kennedy has done an amazing job with it."
Hooper isn't as well-remembered as Smokey, but because it sang the virtues of then-underappreciated stuntmen and stuntwomen, those in the industry loved it, and those outside were in awe—it still grossed $78 million. Reynolds fondly recalled one experience with the movie car on set.
"Glenn Wilder and I were in the car in Alabama,, driving through what Hal Needham set up and called 'disaster city,'" explained Reynolds to Barrett-Jackson. "We just barely made it out past the smokestack when it came crashing down!"
Last up for sale is a vehicle from a movie that seemingly inspired The Drive's Alex Roy to set multiple trans-American driving records. Roy's most recent was an electric vehicle record, traveling from Los Angeles, CA to New York City, NY in 50 hours, 16 minutes, and 32 seconds in a Tesla Model 3. The original film starred both Reynolds and Dom Deluise, with the two campaigning a modified ambulance in the film's race.
"With Cannonball Run I always think of Dom Deluise," Reynolds told Barrett-Jackson. "How can you replace Dom?"
"There were two famous scenes featuring the truck in Cannonball Run," continued Reynolds. "In one, the truck actually went into the hotel and made a pretty big entrance, and in the other, it actually jumped over a moving freight train! It took five days to film that little two-second shot."
All three vehicles will arrive on the auction block at Barrett-Jackson's Las Vegas auction, held September 27 through 29. They may not be the originals, but they're as close as you're going to get.