Fast & Furious Cars: 1978 Year One "Bandit" Trans Am

A Familiar Hot Rod in a Familiar Place


  • Pontiac Picture

    Pontiac Picture

    1978 Year One 'Bandit' Trans Am | September 15, 2009

20 Photos

If you think you've seen this car, you have. It's Year One's "Bandit" version of the 1978 Pontiac Trans Am and it's been in virtually every hot-rodding magazine and featured on every Web site. It plays on familiar iconography, grabbing its looks from Smokey and the Bandit.

Officially it's the Burt Reynolds Edition Trans Am built by Year One, the restoration parts company based in Georgia. And officially it's one of a limited production run that could be up to 50 cars — if, that is, there are 50 people willing to pay for a ripped version of the '78 Trans Am. Year One has supplied parts for The Fast and The Furious series since the second installment, so it's no surprise to see that relationship continue into the fourth film.

Starting with a standard 1977 or '78 Trans Am, Year One strips the car down to bare metal and builds it back up with subtle touches like flush-mounted glass and more obvious tweaks like single-element projector headlights and oversize billet reproductions of Pontiac's classic "snowflake" wheels. Of course it's painted black with gold pinstriping.

But it's what's underneath the exaggerated and iconic appearance that gives the car substance. The chassis is thoroughly updated with tubular A-arms on the front suspension, oversize Baer Racing brakes all around and a 550-horsepower, 7.0-liter GM LS-7 crate motor under the hood. That's right, it's Corvette Z06 powered.

The Bandit Trans Am came straight from Year One, no duplicates were built and its appearance in Fast & Furious is brief. It was returned to Year One intact.

As Portrayed Specifications*

Engine
Type: GM LS-7 7.0-liter V8
Intake:Stock
Injection: Stock LS-7
Fuel: Sunoco Racing fuel
Lubricant: Castrol

Drivetrain
Transmission: TKO five-speed manual
Converter: Ram dual disc
Shifter: Pro Motion
Driveshaft: Y&S
Rear axle: Moser 12-bolt
Headers: Year One
Mufflers: MagnaFlow
Tubes: Y&S
Fuel pump: Aeromotive
Hoses: Aeroquip

Suspension
Springs: Jim Myer/DSE
Shocks: Jim Myer/DSE

Wheels
Type: Year One
Front size: 18-by-10 inches
Rear size: 18-by-12 inches

Tires
Type: BFGoodrich Comp T/A
Front size: 285/35R18
Rear size: 285/35R18

Braking
Front: Baer Racing disc
Rear: Baer Racing disc

Interior
Seats: Cerullo
Belts: G Force
Cage: Year One
Door panels: Year One
Wheel: Year One
Gauges: Autometer

Exterior
Body kit: Year One
Hood: Year One

Paint/Graphics
Paint: Year One

* "As Portrayed" specifications indicate the state of the car as portrayed in the film. No single car was necessarily built to these specifications by the picture car department. But all the cars built to portray a vehicle in the film were constructed to appear as if so equipped.

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