Y82 Special Edition TRANS AM Info

1976 - 1977 - 1978

The story started in 1976 when Pontiac decided to celebrate 50 years of vehicle production, there was no better way to celebrate this occasion than building a special car, one of a kind, the Division’s marque performance model, the Trans Am.

The paint was Starlight Black and beautifully accented in gold pinstriping, many consider the 2nd generation Special Edition Trans Am to be among the most elegant appearing Pontiacs ever produced.

The concept for the Special Edition package originated from the black-and-gold Trans Am former Pontiac Design Chief John Schinella created for Vice President of GM Design Bill Mitchell. “Bill Porter pitched the idea of a large hood bird to Mitchell during development of the ’70 model, and he immediately rejected it,” Schinella says. “A few years had passed, and I made a second attempt at it and got it approved for production.”

“Knowing of Mitchell’s love for black-and-gold cars, we took a standard-production ’73 Trans Am and painted it black metalflake with large gold flecks. We added a large gold-foil hood bird and accented it with gold-foil striping and German Gothic lettering. Many other areas, including the wheels, grilles, and headlight bezels were also accented gold. The appearance was very appealing, and Mitchell really liked it.”

He used the one-off black-and-gold T/A as his personal transportation, but it was campaigned by the Division as a show car, too. “We updated the body to reflect the changes for the ’74 model year and again in 1976,” Schinella says. “Public response while on the show circuit was very positive, and we knew we had something with that paint scheme. We just had to get it into production.”


As we said earlier, the 76 model year signified Pontiac’s 50th year of vehicle production, and the Division commemorated it with two limited-production offerings. The Golden Anniversary Grand Prix featured an exterior finished in Code 55 Anniversary Gold with white accents.

“We saw this as the perfect opportunity to incorporate the black-and-gold appearance package into a limited-production Firebird,” Schinella says. And the Special Edition Trans Am was born! The most known special edition was the 1977, because of a big hit in the box office!

Who doesn't know "Smokey and the Bandit" movie? Below is a small brief from Wikipedia:
"Smokey and the Bandit" is a 1977 American action comedy film starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Pat McCormick, Paul Williams and Mike Henry. The film was the directorial debut of stuntman Hal Needham.
Smokey and the Bandit was the second-highest-grossing film of 1977, second only to Star Wars.

Wealthy Texan Big Enos Burdette (Pat McCormick) and his son Little Enos (Paul Williams) seek a truck driver willing to bootleg Coors beer to Georgia for their refreshment. At the time, Coors was regarded as one of the finest beers in the United States,[3] but it could not be legally sold east of the Mississippi River. Truck drivers who had taken the bet previously had been caught and arrested by "Smokey" (CB slang for highway patrol officers, referring to the Smokey Bear–type hats worn in some states).

The Burdettes find legendary trucker Bo "Bandit" Darville (Burt Reynolds) competing in a truck rodeo at Lakewood Fairgrounds in Atlanta; they offer him $80,000 to haul 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana, Texas back to Atlanta in 28 hours; Big Enos has sponsored a driver running in the Southern Classic stockcar race and wants to "celebrate in style when he wins."

Bandit accepts the bet and recruits his best friend and partner Cledus "Snowman" Snow (Jerry Reed) to drive the truck, while Bandit drives the "blocker", a black Trans Am bought on an advance from the Burdettes, to divert attention away from the truck and its illegal cargo.

The trip to Texas is mostly uneventful except for at least one pursuing Smokey whom Bandit evades with ease. They reach Texarkana an hour ahead of schedule, load their truck with the beer and head back toward Atlanta. Immediately upon starting the second leg of the run, Bandit picks up runaway bride Carrie (Sally Field), whom he eventually nicknames "Frog" because she is "kinda cute like a frog" and "always hoppin' around".

But in so doing, Bandit makes himself a target of Texas Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason), a career lawman whose handsome but slow-witted son Junior (Mike Henry) was to have been Carrie's bridegroom. Ignoring his own jurisdiction, Sheriff Justice, with Junior in tow, chases Bandit all the way to Georgia, even as various mishaps cause his cruiser to disintegrate around them.

This movie made the 1977 Pontiac TRANS AM an instant hit, especially the Special Edition. One of what was said after the release of this hit movie was that everybody in the world not only knew about the Trans Am, now they wanted one! Back to 1977, because of this movie, demand was so great in fact that production jumped twenty-thousand units , for a grand total of 68,744 TRANS AMs.

The Special Edition package consisted of gold appoinments all over the car, this means that all Special Edition TRANS AMs had gold Birds, gold decals, gold German style lettering, gold dash bezel, gold pin stripping all around and gold front grilles.

Non Special Edition TRANS AMs had black headlight grills, silver dash bezels, didn't have gold decals, the German style font was not used for "TRANS AM" letters.

The black and gold T/A surely created many a fantasy, and most owners completed the purchase with the obligitory "cowboy" hat. The movie "Smokey and the Bandit" furthered the starring role of the car showing off it's T-tops (or Hurst Hatches), the high speed potential, and the CB radio.

The CB radio was so popular at this time, it was available as a factory installed option for $195.00, the prerequisite being you ordered an optional radio or at the very least a radio accomodation package.

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