Yankee Bandit: 1977 Pontiac Trans Am

In Hal Needham’s autobiography “Stuntman!, ” he mentioned how amazed the studio was when ticket sales totals from the northeast came in for “Smokey and the Bandit.”  They were convinced that this movie had no chance outside of the South.  Shows what Hollywood knows about the public.  One piece of evidence for that love of Smokey and the Bandit is this 1977 Pontiac Trans Am being sold on eBay out of Baldwinsville, New York.  Thankfully, this Trans Am is the coveted Y82 Special edition model in the right color, and it has T-tops as well.  There are some rust issues, but nothing insurmountable.  Is this awesome Trans Am worth the $15,000 Buy It Now price?  Or is its value closer to the $10,500 in bids garnered so far?

What you see here is a restorable Trans Am SE with the W72 package and 6.6 liter V-8.  The story that the seller tells is pretty interesting.  The original owner bought the car in 1977, and treated it well.  It was garaged during the brutal New York winters from new until 2004.  Then, a divorce happened and the car was unceremoniously shoved out into the cruel, cruel world.  The good news is that it was parked on a cement driveway that was on a hill and in direct sunlight.  There it sat until 2014 when it was rescued by the seller.  The claim made in the ad is that the rust is worse on the top side than the bottom.  The underside is actually in very good shape.

Wanting to restore the car with his son, the current seller went through it and got the car fired up.  The car was then treated to a wheel restoration, new tires, shocks, rear springs, a dual exhaust and a plethora of other items.  It is said to run well and have a strong engine.  The transmission works with no noticeable shifting problems, and the car will bark the tires shifting into second when pushed hard.  No dubbing over the movie soundtrack with this Trans Am.

On the negative side, there is rust damage in the rear quarter panels behind the tire and the roof has some pinholes in it.  The seller has a number of new and used parts that go with the car.  There is even a spare roof.  On the bad news side, the spare roof needs to have the T-top openings cut into it.   The operation is said by the seller to be rather straightforward.  Just remember to do your cutting after the roof transplant.

Add a new interior kit to the mix.  These can be found from numerous aftermarket parts vendors.  Trans Ams of this vintage have always been sought after because of connections to the movie, and there are a great many parts available out there that can turn your Trans Am from mild to wild.  While you would have to keep the CB, a change to something other than vinyl would make the driving experience more comfortable.  The tape deck would have to go as well.

The only danger signs you see inside are the spots where the carpet is torn or rotted away.  If there were pinholes in the roof, then that water had to go somewhere if the car wasn’t covered or garaged.  Other pictures in the ad show the back seat looking repairable.  Perhaps with a new seat cover for the driver’s seat, some carpet, and probably a headliner, whoever buys the car could apply enough elbow grease to make the interior livable until the body work is done.

Although it goes against all logic and reason to purchase a collectible car from a snow ravaged place like New York.  Especially a late seventies GM product.  Rust seemed to be standard equipment.  However, there are a number of pictures in the ad of normally rusty areas that look passable.  If you want a Trans Am that looks close to what the Bandit drove, you may have to head north.

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Comments

  1. Rosco

    Over priced. Possibly someone that bought it cheap and looking to sell for a huge profit. Seller did a little more than a tune up and states”the mechanicals are pretty much done”. The claim that he believes that “these cars will be six figure cars in a decade just like many rare late 60’s cars” sounds like wishful thinking and a good car salesman.

    Like 10
  2. Treebeardzz

    T-tops are aftermarket. Factory installed go all the way to the back of the side window opening and the roof had a reinforcement panel that the aftermarket conversion often did not have. I used to own a ’77 with the factory tops.

    Like 6
    • Adam

      Is it possible that your car had the Fisher T-tops instead of the Hurst T-tops like this one? (And every other Y82 code)

      Like 3
      • Treebeardzz

        Um, YEAH – “Fisher” as in “Body by Fisher”, as in “O.E.M”, the ONLY factory installed t-tops(Hurst was “factory authorized” but installed BY Hurst, AT Hurst, AFTER the factory shipped them), but in ’76 & ’77, the Hurst tops were the only factory “authorized” tops. My memory was off on the year, though – mine was an early ’78 which was when Fisher was first available(a wreck I parted out, keeping the t-top roof section to replace the Swiss-cheese on my vinyl roof ’70 1/2 Camaro…. and because they were not offered in ’70) GM contracted to Hurst because they did not have their own t-tops yet. I preferred the cleaner look of the Fisher(Unfortunately they ALL leak with age, but at least replacement seals are available for Hurst & Fisher(good luck on the others though, I’ve heard). Unfortunately, even with the Fisher reinforcement, there is still a tendency to crack the lower right area of the windshield(learned the hard way), from body twist unless reinforced with frame connectors & roll cage.

        Like 2
    • James Martin

      NOt a fan. But not for 10000. For sure. The car market is going crazy. This was a 2500 dollar car a few years ago and probably what flipper payed for it.

      Like 4
  3. Rosco

    These look like Hurst t-tops. Only way to tell is to look at them for the HH in / on the glass or measure.

    Like 1
    • Robbie R.

      Correct, Rosco.

    • Adam

      Hurst T-tops also have a wider spacing between them compared to the Fisher T-tops

      Like 1
  4. 408 interceptor

    Upstate NY doesn’t have enough sunny days to burn the paint off a car in 10 years. Sorry but I don’t believe the sellers story.

    Like 3
  5. George mattar

    Tbis is a Hurst t top car. They were much smaller than later Fisher Body. There are thousands of these cars for sale. Too much rust for me. And no 4 speed. Asking way too much money.

    Like 4
  6. Little_Cars

    Interior faded the same as my 76 Firebird…shades of brown, orange, green and rust. Exterior fade and rust the same as my 78 white Esprit. From a distance my white car looked like a snow leopard after 30 years sitting outdoors. GM wasn’t exactly known for their durable paint finishes in this period.

  7. TimM

    408 interceptor is right!! I’ve seen cars from the 50’s in New York and the paint doesn’t look that bad!! I would still give this one a good under side inspection!! I bought a mustang last year it was a 65 from a barn in upstate New York. The last inspection sticker on the car was 1973 thought the car was going to be solid underneath we pulled it out from the concrete floor with four flat tires and the underneath was gone!!

    • v

      paint in the 50’s had lead in it. this is why the 50’s paint jobs were so much more durable than the 70’s.

  8. Johnny R

    No thank you. Agreed there is no way 10 years outside did this much damage and much better examples are available. More likely it was worn out already when it came out of the garage after the divorce. The ensuing 10 years completely did it in as evidenced by the interior which was probably in same condition then as it is now. With the amount of money you would need to sink into this pile its definitely not a realistic asking price.

    Like 3
    • james boyd

      My older brother has one thats been restored, not a 100 point car, but really nice. He was asking 15 grand and couldn’t sell it. Barrett-Jackson strikes again.

  9. Tim Wyrick

    I’m in high speed puhsoot of a black Trans Am!!! Where are you, you sumbi$#%!

    Like 1

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