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An old Pontiac Trans Am just sold for $440,000. Here's why

A 1977 Pontiac Trans Am with 14 miles on its odometer has been auctioned for $440,000, which is a near record for the "Smokey and the Bandit" model.

The buyer definitely didn't make out like a bandit on this one.

A 1977 Pontiac Trans Am was sold at the Mecum Auctions event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on Saturday for $440,000.

The price was the highest ever paid for the model, outside of examples that had direct connections to the film "Smokey and the Bandit" or its star, Burt Reynolds.

It wasn't just any old Trans Am, however.

The coupe is a Trans Am SE (Special Edition) that looked just like the ones used to make the action comedy blockbuster, which were actually 1976 models that were updated to look like 1977s.


The black and gold car is mechanically all-original and equipped with a T-top roof, three-speed automatic transmission and the relatively gutless 180 hp 6.6-liter V8 that powered the Trans Am that year.

It was originally owned by Pontiac and used as a touring promotional car, until it suffered some damage while in North Carolina and was donated to a local vocational high school, where the students fixed it up.


It was soon sold to a collector, who stored it for years, and cosmetically freshened up after sold again in 1997.

What it wasn't is driven very much. The car has just 14 miles on the odometer, making it possibly the lowest-mileage 1977 Trans Am in existence.

Its most recent owner, Charlie Herman, told Fox News Autos before the sale that it has been kept in perfect running condition.

It went for roughly triple what the valuation experts at collector car insurer Hagerty say a 1977 Trans Am SE in show car condition is currently worth. The high bid was technically $400,000, but the final price paid, including auction fees, was $440,000.

That's not too far off the $495,000 that was paid in January for a nearly identical car that was used as a promotional vehicle for the film and later gifted to Burt Reynolds, who owned and drove it until 2014.

And Burt's car is as close as it gets to the real deal, as none used during filming are known to have survived.

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