A classic car and a classy actress have a few things in common.

The Bandit and his 1977 "Flying Eagle" Trans-Am. Photo credit: Carlisle Auctions.
The Bandit and his 1977 “Flying Eagle” Trans-Am. Photo credit: Carlisle Auctions.

I had a friend remark to me once that one of the great surprises in life is that older women become more attractive the closer in age you get to them.  Which is true and should come as a great relief to all the lady nesters out there. It says something about the male ego that my friend and I never worried that the reverse would be true, but now that I am  in the slow side from the “dad bod” to the “granddad bod” I am hoping the women see it that way also.  The bottom line here is that not every mid-life crisis needs to end in disaster.

I feel much the same way about cars. The 1977 Pontiac Trans Am that shared the screen with Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jerry Reed and Jackie Gleason was the real star of Smokey and the Bandit. By the late 1970’s the oil embargo and insurance industry had sapped the life out of the American muscle car movement.  Low powered, boxy functionality was in; sexy fun was out.  The Bandit ripping up country roads to deliver a case of Coors beer (genius product placement there), all the while courting a grown-up Gidget,  was a middle-finger salute to the coming regime.  The centerpiece was low-slung and sexy with a throaty sound. Almost 40 years later, the car evokes the same reaction.  So does Sally Field.

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