Memory: Smokey and the Bandit’s Firebird Trans-Am c. 1977
Like any red blooded American male between the ages of 25 and 45, I sometimes mark the stages of childhood with memory’s of a car. I always found myself enamored with the cars on the big screen. Herbie the Love Bug, Magnum’s Ferrari, The Dukes’ Charger, Bullitt’s Stang, and of course Mad Max’s Interceptor all spent some time in the “that’s the car I want when I turn 16” category of my data-bank. Of course, like many childhood pipe-dreams I soon came to the realization that mounting a machine gun to the hood was wildly impractical (not to mention- otherwise frowned upon at the motor vehicles department) and quickly concluded that some vehicles were unattainable in our tax bracket. One dream car in particular that still gives me that funny feeling in my stomach whenever I come across a fine specimen in the wild is the: Smokey and the Bandit, go to hell, gaudy hooded, Firebird Trans-Am (above). It doesn’t get anymore 1970′s than this bad boy! I’m not sure how old I was when I first saw this movie, but given that it came out around the year I was born, it was presumably sometime long after it made it’s network television debut. Around that time, I somehow procured a huge box (at least it seemed huge at the time) and quickly transformed it into the T-Topped wonder, complete with a menagerie of sweet hand drawn Sharpie Firebirds on the “hood” and “trunk”. I was in high cotton for a few short days until a summer rain reduced my Firebird to mere cardboard mush. I think I’ve lost all desire to construct cardboard muscle cars these days, however, the want for a genuine piece of american hot rod is still alive and well inside this kid. True Hot Rods were only made before most of us were born. I’m not counting those pseudo hot rods you see out today reborn from the ashes of the car manufacturers imaginations. Hot Rods have carburetors as opposed to fuel injectors…and they never have GPS, power windows, or A/C. Do yourself a favor this summer, take a ride in a true American Hot Rod. Rediscover the thrill of the Road….window down, radio blasting, Bandit style.