Smokey and the Bandit, that’s how a lot of us became aware of Burt Reynolds and the black Trans-Am. The song “East Bound and Down” became a hit song for the film provided by Jerry Reed (Cledus) for the film. He promised a song and didn’t have one at the end of filming. Jerry promised the producer he would have one the next morning. After being out all night he sang his new song to the producer and he loved it. It was the second highest-grossing movie of 1977, directly behind Star Wars.
The Pontiac Trans Am ended up in the movie because Hal Needham stunt man and producer saw a picture of a Pontiac Trans Am in a magazine and thought up a product placement idea. He asked for six Trans Am’s, but Pontiac would only agree to send four. For Smokey and the Bandit II , Hal Needham asked for and received 10 Trans Am’s and 55 Pontiac Bonneville’s. Pontiac seen the value of the Smokey and the Bandit franchise.
Reynolds attended Florida State University on a football scholarship, but a major injury led him to pursue acting. Burt Reynolds was Hollywood’s biggest movie star. Every year from 1973 to 1984. He was one of the top money makers. His father was a police chief and his mother was a head nurse.
For decades, Reynolds was the man’s man. Car enthusiast, cowboy, model, athlete, owned a football team and nightclub inside a hotel. He was cool with a mustache or no mustache. He turned down the roles of Han Solo and James Bond to name a few. He was on that level in his acting career. He had a fun life and unfortunately they don’t make them like Burt Reynolds anymore. RIP brother you inspired more people then you will ever know. February 11,1936 – September 6, 2018 🙁