In the heyday of his career, the late 1970s and early ’80s, Burt Reynolds was known for three things, his charming wry sense of humor, his completely badass mustache, and the awesome cars his characters drove (and the awesome chases he drove them in.)
With a string of movies, starting in 1973 with the classic White Lightning, Reynolds characters drove everything from American made muscle cars to ambulances to stock racing cars.
Here’s a quick recap of the sweet rides in his most famous movies, starting with the most famous, Smokey & The Bandit.
The Bandit’s 1977 Trans Am is one of the most iconic cars in film history. You’d be hardpressed find a more famous one. Maybe James Bond’s DB5, but it’s a short list.
The car was such a big deal that 4 years ago when the late Burt Reynolds sold the version of the car he used to promote the film at auction, it sold for $450,000! And it wasn’t even the one in the movie!
Tearing across the deep south, The Bandit was the epitome of cool. Every kid in America dreamed about owning a black Trans Am with a gold eagle on the hood.
1973’s White Lightning wasn’t so much about the car as it was the driver. Reynolds played Robert “Gator” McKlusky, a bootlegger in prison that goes undercover with the Feds to find his brother’s killer. It led to some classic chases.
Playing off the enormous success of Smokey & The Bandit, Reynolds starred in Hooper. Hooper basically the same character as The Bandit, but instead of a bootlegger, he was a movie stuntman. Of course, he also drove a Trans Am (this time it was rocket-powered) and had a love interest played by Sally Field.
1981 saw Reynolds star another comedy classic, Cannonball Run. The movie features an amazing cast of people and cars. Sure, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. in a Lambo is pretty awesome, but Reynolds in an ambulance? It’s as ridiculous as it is awesome.
Stroker Ace was the second of three collaborations between Reynolds and Dom Delouise (the others being the two Cannonball Run movies). It also starred Reynolds’ wife at the time, the very bubbly Loni Anderson. That relationship was famously rocky, and let’s be honest, so is this movie, but there isn’t anything funnier than watching Burt Reynolds drive a NASCAR car dressed from the neck down in a chicken suit.
Let us know in the comments which car you think was Burt Reynolds’ best!