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Pit Crew

The Bandit Bucket List moment

The Bucket list. Haven't we all thought about those things that you need to do before our time here on earth is done? You know the list of life's must dos. Some have even committed it to paper. I certainly have mine, in my head at least. Some may happen and I know some are just a dream. How many have you completed? Maybe your like me, putting off many for another day because "life" gets in the way. Occasionally, you get to check one off. It could be a milestone or maybe it only makes you smile. Here's how I got a box checked off:


It was the first really nice warm spring day we had all year. We had an unusually cool spring here in Michigan. I blame it on Covid-19! I still had a few hours of work to go, but wow it was nice out! I played a little hooky and decided to dig my Trans Am out the barn for the first time of the year. It didn't take long and I had path cleared to the door. I put a battery in the T/A and hit the key. It groaned a moment and after 2-3 turns it sprang to life! Just as I pulled it out to the yard my wife was coming home from work. I remember her asking if she could go for a ride: "Yes!".


Take in to consideration that this is mid-May 2020, right in the middle of a Pandemic. We had been locked down in Michigan for months because of Covid-19. We jumped in the car, rolled down the windows and headed towards the small-town that I grew up in. Waving to friends (and strangers too) that were out enjoying that day as well. We stopped and talked to a couple of friends along the way. That in its self would be a great day. We met up with our friend Dee. She hadn't seen the car yet and loved it as she had one "back in the day". When she asked "Are your going tonight?" I had no idea what she was talking about. As it turned out, the Capri Drive-In, a family owned drive-in movie theater in Coldwater, MI was opening for the first time of the year. They were showing "SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT"!!!



Show time was in about 1 1/2 hours and it would take at least an hour to get there. We went home, grabbed a few things and hit the road.


Keep in mind that I never really road tested the Trans Am since the restoration, other than a few small trips around town. I was a little nervous. The ride there was loud, windy and a little dicey at times. However, we made it without any issues. I was really surprised how well a car from the 70's handled and cruised down the road. Yes, it was running at 3500rpm @ 75mph, but it felt great just the same.

We made it to the drive-in and were surprised at how many cars were waiting in line to get in. Of course the State Police were there because we were breaking the law (really not laws, just Governor's orders) and movie theaters were not allowed to be open. Social distancing in your own car and keeping a parking spot between each vehicle kept the State Police happy.


Then the blue 76 and black 74 Trans Ams that were in line behind us, parked right next to us.202005151042_2.jpgIt was a small car show of sorts and drew a crowd. I was truly humbled when a lady ask me to take a picture of her next to MY CAR! I had forgotten how much fun drive-ins are. 


Growing up in the 70's, I did get the chance to see a few movies at the drive-in. Star Wars & Any Which Way but Loose ring a bell, but never saw Smokey and the Bandit. So tonight was special to say the least. On the way home, I had to fuel up that thirsty 455 getting only 10mpg. In the Chevy Tahoe next to me at the pump, a cute girl stuck her head out the window and said "cool car, did the drive-in pay you to come to the show?". That sure did put a smile on me ear to ear.




On the drive home, listening to that Pontiac Power humming down I-69, I had time to reflect about the day. I had skipped out on work, went cruising, went to a movie, broke the law (Governor's orders!) and saw Smokey and the Bandit IN THE DRIVE-IN! How can that not make it to the bucket list? The best thing was I didn't even know it was a Bucket List item or how much it would truly mean to me!

Intermediate Driver

Frederick - very nice beat-the-heck-out-of-Covid-misery car story.  Like a re-birth or resurrection.  I can see that that warm Spring day put a huge smile on your face, and warmed your innards. 

   Sometimes those unexpected joys can actually be better than crossing a item off the  Bucket List.  Thanks for reminding us all of that.

   p.s.  Beautiful Trans-Am !!!!!!!  And I know you'll be doing more cruising and finding more items and moments that didn't know they were supposed to be on the official Bucket List.  

Community Manager

That's an awesome story, I love it!  Great to see you crossed an item off your bucket list before even knowing it was supposed to be on the list! 

Pit Crew

In the year of Covid Everything, sure made this so much more satisfying!