TALLADEGA, AL – The International Motorsports Hall of Fame has been the home to some of the most historical artifacts in all of motorsports since 1983. Now on display in the prestigious venue, guests can see the Hollywood big screen legend 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am “Bandit” Sport Coupe, from the 1977 film Smokey & the Bandit. Fans can also see another car that many chased by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers – the No. 48 Chevrolet driven by Jimmie Johnson in winning the 2006 Daytona 500.
Immortalized in the movie, Smokey & the Bandit, the Trans Am became a screen legend in its own right. Burt Reynolds acquired this special example for his own use, properly restored with slight modification for the Bandit himself. It wears the full paint scheme, snowflake rims and body ground effect with flairs and spoilers. The interior is decked out in full gear, complete with embroidered Bandit portrait headrests and Cobra CB radio, all ready to check out the 10-20 of the Smokey’s.
This is no recycled movie stunt car, but was the Hollywood star’s own personal car, just waiting to make its next coast to coast beer run with a new owner. Smokey & the Bandit was the second highest grossing movie of 1977, beaten to the number one spot only by Star Wars. The movie established Burt Reynolds as one of the biggest stars in Hollywood in the late ‘70s and early ‘80’s.
Ironically, Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet won the 48th Daytona 500. It was the first win for Johnson’s No. 48 car on a restrictor plate track, his 19th career victory and the first win on his streak of five straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships from 2006 until 2010. Johnson is a two-time winner at Talladega Superspeedway, including the closest finish in the history of NASCAR (2009) when he beat Clint Bowyer to the line by .002 second.
Adjacent to NASCAR’s Biggest and Most Competitive Track – Talladega Superspeedway – The International Motorsports Hall of Fame provides an incredible platform to take a step back in time and see some of the most prestigious automobiles in history. The Hall encompasses all styles of racing, including NASCAR, Indy Car, NHRA, Formula 1, and many unique one-of-a-kind vehicles. Since its creation, there has been an impeccable fascination with the automobile, and in the fine state of Alabama, lovers of motorsports have a destination they can go to see one of the largest collections of racing vehicles imaginable – The International Motorsports Hall of Fame.