On the first day of the Bandit...
On the first day of the Bandit Run, participants were treated to a Smokey and the Bandit "movie-location tour" in and around Atlanta, Georgia. Here Tyler Hambrick's accurate recreation of Snowman's truck and trailer passes a row of black and gold and other Trans Ams.
If you're an avid fan of the '77 cult-classic movie Smokey and the Bandit, you already know the plot. A Southern Trans Am-driving cowboy, played by Burt Reynolds, takes a bet to bootleg a truckload of Coors beer from Texarkana, Texas, to Atlanta, Georgia, to quench the thirsty appetite of a big-talking, big-spending tycoon, played by Pat McCormick, and his pint-size son, played by Paul Williams. The Bandit, as Burt's character is named, solicits the help of a renegade semi-tractor trailer owner named Snowman (played by Jerry Reed), and together the Bandit and the Snowman attempt to make it back to Atlanta, Georgia, with the trailer load of Coors to win the bet, picking up a beautiful girl along the way (Frog, played by Sally Field) and being chased by Sheriff Buford T. Justice, played by veteran Hollywood comedian-actor Jackie Gleason.
In 2007, Dave Hall, owner of Restore A Muscle Car in Lincoln, Nebraska, which specializes in Bandit and other Trans Am restorations, decided to create the Bandit Run, a rolling car show of Trans Ams, Pontiacs, and other vehicles that gathered in Texarkana and followed the route of the characters in the Smokey in the Bandit back to Atlanta, Georgia.
With the success of the first event, Dave brought back the Bandit Run for 2008, but changed the event's route-Columbus, Ohio, to Atlanta and the following year as Branson, Missouri, to Atlanta-to add variety.
After participating in the...
After participating in the "Ban One" car show and the Braselton Bash, both in the Atlanta, Georgia area, the Bandit Run proceeded to Ocala, Florida, and then to Daytona Beach, where these Second-Generation T/As soaked up a bit of the famous sun and sand.
Confident that Restore A Muscle Car's Bandit Run could become an annual pilgrimage for Trans Am owners and their cars to go eastbound and down, or whatever direction was planned for the event, Dave planned the 2010 Bandit Run to include a Florida/Atlantic Ocean beach run. The route started in Atlanta, Georgia, proceeded south to Ocala, Florida, then east to Daytona Beach, south to Jupiter (home of the Burt Reynolds and Friends Museum), and finally north to Orlando and the Walt Disney World Speedway.
A variety of Birds participated and they weren't limited to black and gold Trans Ams. In fact Kevin King, President of YearOne, brought out his '69 Pro Touring Firebird convertible decked out in Trans Am colors. (See contents page for photo.) To fit in with the other cars, we drove an '02 Black Trans Am WS6 convertible, which we had previously retrofitted with a '76 Trans Am Special Edition gold hood bird decal. We joined the event in Daytona Beach and continued with it through Jupiter and the Burt Reynolds and Friends Museum.
Follow along and enjoy some highlights from this year's Restore A Muscle Car's Bandit Run.
The next Bandit Run is tentatively scheduled for late April or early May 2011. According to Restore A Muscle Car, final routes have not yet been decided. For 2012, the Bandit Run will return to the original anniversary run from Texarkana, Texas, to Atlanta.
For more information, visit www.thebandit run.com or www.restoreamusclecar.com, or join the Bandit Run group to receive email notifications, through its group sites at Flickr, Facebook, and/or Twitter.
The Trans Ams made a parade...
The Trans Ams made a parade run on South Daytona Beach. Thanks to the Daytona Beach Police Department and the Daytona Beach lifeguards for keeping the parade route safe for all the participants.
Later that evening, the Bandit...
Later that evening, the Bandit Run rejoined at the Daytona Beach Hooters restaurant, where even a Bandit-era Burt was all smiles. Too bad he was just a window decal.
On Thursday, the Bandit Run...
On Thursday, the Bandit Run continued to Jupiter, Florida, home of the Burt Reynolds and Friends Museum for the Bash Under the Bridge. Five Bandits were lucky enough to be chosen to be in the main display-two '77s and three '80s.