The year is 1988, the new Bandit (Larry Lampkins) is flying through the hills of Tennessee in a hot rodded 1987 Trans AM. The Bandit has just 3 hours to deliver a load of shine from Nashville to Knoxville to win a $50,000 bet! However, trouble starts as he is flying through Appalachia when passes Buford T. Justice. Justice who is taking a much need vacation, has developed a strong hatred for Trans Am’s due to the events of the last 3 films. Every time he sees one, he can’t resist the urge to run it off the road! Justice then darts after the Bandit in his rental car and Smoking and the Bandit 4 begins!
Lampkins purchased his 1987 Pontiac Trans Am in 2005 for $500. It was Wine red, with a ratty interior but it had a running motor. In 2007, Lampkins began the cars evolution into the bandit. He started by replacing the red paint with an awesome black paint job, and he threw the stock hood away in favor of a hood from a Firebird Formula. The car and hood were painted by Precision Auto Body and Restorations of Nashville Tennessee.
The car stayed plain black for awhile until an amazing golden Firebird emblem was painted onto the hood. This emblem is one of a kind… there are none like it the Trans Am world! The Wings are borrowed from the third gen’s hood graphic, while it’s body and it’s flame are taken from the 1980 Turbo Trans AM. This bird was designed by Lampkins himself, as he wanted a one of a kind emblem that is his and his alone. The Firebird isn’t the only graphic on Lampkins’ bird, a golden TRANS AM logo was painted on the rear spoiler and golden Bandit insignia’s sit below the windows. All of the graphics were painted by Roach Graphic Designs in Kingsport, Tennessee. The finishing touch of the exterior is the gold pinstriping which outlines the interior exterior of the car. Lampkins did the outlining himself by hand.
The stock 87′ wheels taken off in favor of 1978 gold snowflake wheels. These wheels had sat for a long time, so they were restored by Aluminum Wheels in Nashville. They did a great job restoring them, Lampkins even claims they are brighter and look nicer compared to any wheels that left the factory 1978!
The ratty interior of the car was stripped out and replaced with a new interior. This new interior includes seats with Trans Am insignia’s on the head rests, Firebird emblems embroidered on the speaker covers, a Grant steering wheel, and speakers in the doors. Inside of the trunk is a killer sound system that contains 3 Kicker amps, 12 Rockford Fosgates speakers and two 10 inch Kicker subs. Surrounding the system is more pinstriping and a golden Trans Am logo, like the one on the spoiler. On top of the trunk sits a CB Antenna, this is simply for looks, as no CB is hooked up in the car.
Currently the car is powered by it’s original Tuned Port Injection Chevy 305 that is tied to a 700R4. The transmission has been rebuilt with a Zpack Clutch and a Hurst shift kit. Lampkins rebuilt the trans to handle the power of the TPI 406 that he is planning on swamping into the car.
This Trans Am wasn’t built just for show! One of Lampkins’ favorite pastimes is to dress up as Burt Reynolds and drive around the backroads of Tennessee. He likes to smoke his tires while blasting East Bound and Down from his trunk! Every year since 2009 he has driven his car in the Kingsport 4th of July Parade! In the parade he dresses up as Burt Reynolds and he has even gotten 2 of his past girlfriends to dress up as Sally Field and ride with him.
Lampkins’ inspiration came because he felt like there was never a true Third Gen Bandit. Sure there was that black Trans Am in SB 3 but it lacked the uniqueness, power and raw aggression of the original Bandit. It’s the spirit of the original Bandit combined with his love for Third Gen’s that Lampkins wanted to capture in his build. He, grew up idolizing Burt Reynolds and he dreamed one day he could out run Justice, just like him. It came as no surprise to those closest to him that when he bought his 87′ Trans Am that he would make this dream come true!