For a Southern boy like myself, who grew up thinking every man aspired to be Burt Reynolds in Smokey and the Bandit, getting an assignment to head down to Tallahassee to photograph TransAms being made ranks pretty high. It was for The Drive, a new online publication from Time Inc. that covers anything with a motor (but mostly fast cars!).
General Motors quit making TransAms (which have always been made from a Camaro chassis and body) in 2002, but other companies have been making versions of the car ever since. However, at TransAm Worldwide, they don’t just make a version of it, they make some of the baddest ones ever made :-)
They start with a new Camaro SS and by the time it’s been fully converted to a Transam, the cars will have custom installed (to manufacturer’s specs) T-tops, a new engine and transmission, and completely new interior. Not to mention the changes to the body that gives it that classic look. My assignment was to document a bit of behind-the-scenes of how the cars are made, as well as some photos of the cars themselves.
But perhaps the coolest TransAm they have made is the Bandit version (black with golden eagle on the hood). TransAm Worldwide only made 77 of them, paying homage to the film Smokey and the Bandit. The movie was made in 1977 and the TransAm the Bandit drives is a 1977 model. Reynolds signed each one of the cars, which cost well over $100k and top out more than 800 horsepower!
You can read the full story and check out a video by clicking here. Here’s one tired assistant, Adam Hagy, after a long day of photographing TransAms in the Tallahassee heat.