Burt Reynolds ripping across the American South with Sallie Field in the passenger seat of black ’77 Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am, the banter, the hapless sheriff… Who doesn’t love “Smokey and the Bandit?”
Some of you may have gone from Firebird posters on your wall to the real deal in your garage. You’ve got that beauty looking cherry. You went for the highest horsepower possible in the form of a 400 cubic inch (6.6l) Pontiac V8. On the weekends you crank up the stereo and cruise with your elbow jutted out the window.
But admit it, that’s not enough. You want to channel your inner-Smokey and rip your fully-restored muscle car across the heart of America. Here is your chance.
Bandit Run 2013
Every year 100+ Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am enthusiasts gather for a week of gawking at the competition’s restorations and road-tripping with fellow muscle car enthusiasts. The 2013 event begins in Lincoln, Nebraska on July 13th and ends in Golden Colorado on July 19th. Stops along the way include:
Car show and BBQ in Lincoln
A cruise through Bad Lands National Park en route to Rapid City
Mt. Rushmore and a day of sight-seeing
Colorado National Speedway to take laps around the three-eighths mile track
A tour of Coors brewery followed by the finale car show
You’ve imagined yourself and the sweet ride in your garage on a Bandit run. Here is your chance. Check out the Bandit Run website for full details.
Most of us are weekend warriors. We restore classic American muscle cars for fun. It is a passion that typically costs us a lot more than it makes us. That doesn’t mean we don’t dare to dream. What if money was no object? What if the rarest and baddest cars in the world were a check and a signature away?
For Craig Jackson that isn’t a dream. It’s just the way he lives. The CEO of Barrett-Jackson Auctions is more than a savvy business man, he is a true-blue muscle car enthusiast. A recent article on Forbes.com details the Barrett-Jackson empire and gives a glimpse into the CEO’s jaw-dropping, awesome, impossible, insane, I mean just “What!?” garage.
Muscle Cars/Roadsters on display include:
1966 Cobra 427 Roadster CSX 3138
1961 Chevy Impala
1968 Shelby Green Hornet
1932 Custom Roadster
“Is there a YouTube video for this Shangi-la you speak of?” Of course there is. It’s YouTube:
Oh, one more thing. Jackson employs someone to make sure his cars get regular “exercise.” Best job ever.
Mustang has been at the heart of American muscle since the mid-sixties. Parts are plentiful, and with the exception of specialized Shelby projects production numbers were high enough that finding a restoration project should be easy no matter which era you prefer.
Ford Mustang Generation
So which era do you prefer?
We’ve lined-up one car per decade. Tell us when you think ‘Stang was in its prime.
When it comes to the aesthetics of the 1971 Plymouth Superbird you either love it or hate it. Which ever side you land on one thing is undeniable, it is unique.
The Superbird is a rare and thus sought after muscle car restoration project. It was only produced in 70-71. Pristine and fully restored it can fetch north of $100,000 at auction.
In an oft repeated theme on this blog, NASCAR had a hand in this one. In that era NASCAR demanded that race vehicles be made available to the general public in limited numbers. In 1970 they hiked the requirement from 500 vehicles to one in every two U.S. manufacturer dealerships. For Plymouth this worked out to 1,920 Superbirds produced.
The Superbird was a highly-modified version of Plymouth’s Road Runner. The standout features included an extended nosecone and high-arching rear spoiler both aimed at refining the cars aerodynamics. The mathematic equation used to determine the hieght of the spoiler was the stuff of Urban Legend for 30+ years. But, then in the 1990’s a retired project engineer admitted the deflating truth; the height was chosen to give the trunk room to open without restriction.
Under the hood the Superbird boasted a Magnum 440 cubic inch V-8 that produced 375 horsepower during dyno runs. As if that wasn’t enough Plymouth offered two “upgrade” engine models.
Fun Fact: The Superbird was produced in large part to lure Richard Petty back to the Plymouth racing team.