By Bo Durban and Nikolas Worden - 10/26/2022
This very special Trans Am was one of several used in the filming it Smokey and the Bandit
There were minor details about each Trans Am that made them unique. We used these details to identify each Trans Am as it was used in the movie.
For Car #1 its unique characteristics include:
- Windshield has a "G" logo in the lower center of the glass. This embedded logo is called a "bug" and denotes "Guardian" brand glass.
- Small dent in the driver's door just below the door lock.
- After 9/4/76 this car had its shoulder harness seat belts removed.
- Automatic transmission.
- Pace CB144 model radio install to lower dash panel, just right of the steering column. You never actually see the CB radio but you do see the CB microphone and the direction of the curly microphone wire help identify the location and model of the CB radio. Especially when you compare it to the other Trans Ams where you can see the CB model and location.
- RH High Beam headlamp is out.
This car absorbed a lot of damage while filming the highway scenes on GA400. This damaged adds to its list of characteristics:
- RH front wheel flare was ripped off of car when it cut across the median.
- LH font corner of car hit the ground hard enough to bend the frame when it drove down hill prior to driving under the overpass
- At the same time it bent the corner of the bumper down, bent the LH fender out and lost the LH front wheel flare.
Additional damage occurred when they filmed the Trans Am exiting the football field.
- The CB antenna was ripped from roof and when it was reinstalled it appears slightly crooked.
- The left hand driver's door appears to scrape a fence post which leaves a large indent in the door for later scenes.
Here is a list of scenes we have identified where Car #1 was used in the movie using its unique characteristics.
This is the first time we see the Trans Am on screen. It is identified as Car #1 by the "G" logo in the windshield, seat belts are installed and the small dent in the driver's door you can see as Bandit drives away. This scene was filmed on 9/2/1976. The earliest filming date for this car.
Car #1 is identified by the seat belts and the small dent in the driver door you can see when Bandit stops in front of Wayne's department store. This scene was filmed on 9/4/1976.
Arkansas Night - Hide Behind Building
Car #1 is identified by the seat belts and the small dent in the driver door you can see when the light reflects on the door as Bandit slowly pulls forward. This scene was filmed on the evening of 9/4/1976. The scene was filmed at the town square in McDounough, GA. Apparently this car was the second choice. The first car they used slammed into the curb so hard when rounding the corner that it blew out the tires and destroyed the suspension along with both RH wheels. The car had to be towed away and Car #1 was pulled off the car hauler to finish filming the scene. For now we are assuming this damaged car was Car #2 as we don't see Car #2 again for several more days.
This scene where Sheriff Justice rips his roof off was scheduled to be filmed on 9/7/1976. The Trans Am that swirves to miss the beam has its seats belts removed. I wasn't sure where to place this Trans Am until we had confidence the seat belts were removed from Car # 1 and Car # 2 was damaged before the Labor Day weekend.
Car #1 was used at the pond scene, identified by the "G" logo on the windshield. This scene was scheduled to be filmed on 9/10/1976. The seat belts are missing.
Car #1 was used for the close up scene when Bandit and Frog stop for the Mississippi road block. The car was identified by the "G" logo on the windshield. Based on a behind the scene picture we were able to determine this scene was filmed in front of the same pond Fred went for a swim.
76 Truck Stop
Car #1 is identified by the small dent in the driver's door. This scene was scheduled to be filmed on 9/11/1976. The date has not been confirmed yet. Note that the seat belts have been removed, so this modification was done some time between 9/4/1976 and 9/11/1976.
Car #1 was used when Bandit and Frog stop for the kissing bridge scene. It is identified by the dent in the door and the "G" logo on the windshield. This scene was filmed in Helen, GA between 9/13/1976 and 9/15/1976.
Car #1 was used for the exterior shots during the diner scene. You can just make out the dent in the door when Frog stops to pick up Bandit. This scene was filmed on 9/23/1976.
Car #1 is identified by the small dent in the driver's door. It is visible as the camera car drives parallel with the Trans Am as it passes under the bridge. This scene was filmed on GA400 just south of Cumming, GA. This scene was scheduled to be filmed on 9/17/1976 however we know the football field jump was filmed on that date.
Car #1 is identified by the small dent in the driver's door.
"Bye, Bye, Baby" Bridge
There are no identifiable marks on this car, however since this scene was filmed in Cumming, GA we are assuming it is Car #1 because Car #2 was used as an insert car while filming in Cumming.
There are no identifiable marks on this car either, however since this scene was filmed in Cumming, GA we are assuming it is Car #1 also.
Highway - Motorcyle Cop
Car #1 is identified by the small dent in the door and the "G" logo on the windshield. This scene was not in the original script or the schedule. However, because of the dent in the RH fuel tank of the truck we can approximate the filming date. The truck acquired this large dent when it crashed through the police cars at the entrance to the fairgrounds. That scene was filmed on 9/29/1976. So we know this scene had to be filmed after 9/29/1976. This scene was filmed on GA400 just south of Cumming, GA.
Highway - Lose Spoiler Damage
There are no identifiable marks on this car, however since CAR #1 was used as a hero car in the previous scene, which was filmed on the same day and location and because we can track the damage done to this car starting with this scene we can use this damage and other cues to identify this car later and back identify it as Car #1.