Editor’s note: This is the 18th in a 30-day sponsored series featuring cars to be sold January 23-31 during Barrett-Jackson’s 45th Scottsdale auction.
When stuntman-turned-director Hal Needham was planning the film Smokey and the Bandit, he envisioned a low-budget B movie with a production cost of $1 million. But when Needham’s friend Burt Reynolds –- the top box office star in the world at the time -– read the script and said he would star, things got real. Co-stars included Sally Field as a hitchhiking runaway bride, Jackie Gleason as the sheriff, and Jerry Reed as the big-rig driver hired by Bandit to take a truckload of beer across county lines.
Smokey and the Bandit ended up being a smash hit at the box office, was the second-highest-grossing movie of 1977, and remains a cult classic.