‘Bandit’-Era Trans Am Owned By Burt Reynolds Plus A Few Of His Watches On Julien’s Auction Block In June 2019: 10-4, Good Buddy!
Burt Reynolds passed away a little less than a year ago at the age of 82– which left more than one generation nostalgic for Smokey and the Bandit (I rewatched the classic 1970s road film myself upon the popular actor’s passing as it seemed an appropriate tribute).
Julien’s Auctions will auction more than 800 items owned by the actor on June 15, 2019. The lots are as diverse as Reynolds’ passports and driver’s license, gaudy belt buckles, cowboy boots that were part of his image for decades, other clothing and accessories, and of course jewelry and watches.
Bandit’s Pontiac Trans Am
But the belle of the ball will undoubtedly be the last Pontiac Trans Am that Reynolds personally owned (Lot 716). The significance of this car, which featured in the world’s greatest silver screen beer run that was Smokey and the Bandit, needs no explaining for those that grew up in the era: the Trans Am filled the third starring role in the film alongside Reynolds (Bandit) and Sally Field (Carrie). The action comedy was the second-highest grossing film of 1977 (second only to Star Wars that year), and it made the Pontiac Trans Am wildly popular with sales doubling within two years of the film’s release.
Julien’s Auctions’ description of Reynolds’ car reports that the original Trans Ams used in the movie were destroyed; a Wikipedia entry on the film explains that Reynolds was gifted the vehicle used in the film’s promotion (with Pontiac president Alex Mair promising to supply the actor with a new Trans Am every year thereafter; Pontiac was discontinued by GM in 2009).
In 2014 – just four years preceding his death – Reynolds auctioned his vast collection of art and memorabilia at Julien’s Auctions due to financial difficulties. The high estimate for his original 1977 Trans Am was $80,000, but the sale price ended up becoming a whopping $450,000.
Smokey and the Bandit was Reynolds’ favorite film, and after auctioning his prized possession the actor decided he still needed to have one of these Trans Ams, so friend and business partner Gene Kennedy from Bandit Movie Cars acquired and built the car for Reynolds now offered in lot 716: a 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SE Y84 with 70,000 miles. Reynolds signed it on the glove box in gold paint pen.
Burt Reynolds’ watches, including a Panerai Luminor Marina
I’m not aware of what else Reynolds auctioned off in 2014 already, but I really hope that there were more watches in that sale because I find it hard to believe that that the Bandit only had a Panerai Luminor Marina, a vintage Timex, a vintage Seiko, and a few dogs in his watch box. But that’s what we have here.
The most interesting watch in the sale is Lot 446, a time-only Panerai A-series Luminor Marina with date and manually wound movement. Housed in a 44 mm stainless steel case, it features a white sandwich dial that doesn’t appear to be in the best shape.
Lot 447 is an Invicta Bolt chronograph in a black 48 mm stainless steel case, while Lot 448 is a Chinese tourbillon – disappointing watches to me to say the least.
The only other interesting item I found is lot 450 comprising a set of two watches: a 1960s-era Timex Electric and a 1980s-era Seiko Quartz with English/French days. Both are well-worn.
In case any of this strikes your fancy, a big 10-4 to you!
For more information, please visit www.juliensauctions.com.
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You realize the Panerai is fake….
I’m no Panerai expert, but that thought did cross my mind as I was writing this story. I assumed Julien’s had authenticated it.
I am no expert either; how can you tell it’s fake?
That was my first impression as well. As far as I’m aware they never made anything with a date like that, or with the date lens, and the winder looks way too thin and I could go on. I could be wrong as they’ve done some odd limited editions, but it really doesn’t look right to me at all.
Ok so a bit of research proved me wrong. They do have white date versions with date and the date lense. However the date models always have square windows that I can see but still a lot of details just don’t look right.
I know where there 2 Pontiac Trans-Ams, one 1974 (only 550 sold) that has less than 10,000 miles. The other is a Smokey and the Bandit II era less that 10.,000. Garage kept, all sales I voices and titles intact.
Any idea what they could be worth?