When I was 11 I saw a rusted-out straight-piped gold 1978 Trans Am idle past me in a parking lot of the local diner. I realized then I needed a 2nd gen. I needed one so much I looked on craigslist, ebay, forums, newspapers, etc. for several years until I was 15 when my parents said I could finally buy my first car. I used the best method possible to find the right car for me, print out all 2nd gen ads within 500 miles and judge them based on price and quality.

The History of the Bandit: I defy all the stereotypes

Eventually I got to an ad that featured no punctuation, poor spelling, and lists of things that aren't really things. Seriously, en-biggen the photo you will feel smarter. It sounded like the stereotypical Trans Am owner

The History of the Bandit: I defy all the stereotypes

I called the lady (Missy) and asked for some pictures and she directed me to her Facebook (she had a friend on her page named Bubba-Ray - see I told you she was a stereotypical T/A owner). Some glances at poor resolution pics and many conversations about the lack of rust later and I decided to negotiate. I thought I hit her low with a price $1000 less than the already low asking price. She accepted my $2500 bid immediately, I knew should have gone lower. I sent my dad to go test drive and potentially buy the car because it was 3 hours away and I had school. He came home with it on a trailer and I had my first car.

The History of the Bandit: I defy all the stereotypes

I now owned one hell of an abused Trans Am. The interior was a mix of 3rd gen parts, camaro bits, cigarette smoke, cracked plastic, and some JC whitney chrome; the exterior was a hideous shade of purple, complete with mosquitoes in the paint; the original engine was long gone and a smog era SBC was in its place, it was running on only 6-cyl; and I didn't get to drive the car for 3 months because as soon as my dad drove the car off the trailer, the steering column broke (I'd never even driven a 2nd gen before I got that column replaced). As soon as I looked at the cowl tag I was suprised. The lady who sold it had no clue the car was a real Special Edition like the one used in Smokey and the Bandit. Score! I bought my dream car without even realizing it. The car was used as a parts car sometime during its life and thus had very little gold trim left.

The History of the Bandit: I defy all the stereotypes

I worked and worked and worked on getting the car up to a drivable standard, removing the tons of crap from the trunk along the way.

The History of the Bandit: I defy all the stereotypes

The History of the Bandit: I defy all the stereotypes

I did get it driving and my god was it beautiful. They say don't drive your dream cars because of the fear they might let you down. Even with all of its faults this car brought a smile to my face every time I started it up. I haven't driven her since July 1st when my engine swap and paint prep started and I miss her dearly.

The History of the Bandit: I defy all the stereotypes

I am a teen. I DD a muscle car. I (not my parents) pay for my stuff. I defy all the stereotypes.

The History of the Bandit: I defy all the stereotypes

Current Build Thread: http://oppositelock.jalopnik.com/tag/emma