The cowl tag tells us: ST76 = '76 model year; 2 = Pontiac division; FS = Firebird series; 78 = two-door hardtop body; N = Norwood, Ohio, assembly plant; 281832 = production sequence; 19M = black interior trim; A51 = bucket seats; 13L / 13U = Sterling Silver lower and upper body color; 07C = assembled during the third week of July; WS4 = Trans Am; BLK = black secondary interior trim. Though the cowl tag doesn't give engine data, the Z-code VIN fifth digit shatters our 455 dreams on this 400-cube base model. Of the 46,704 Trans Ams built in 1976, only 7,099 had the W-code 455 H.O. The cowl tag tells us: ST76 = '76 model year; 2 = Pontiac division; FS = Firebird series; It wasn't long ago that Gen II Firebirds got the boo-hiss treatment from car freaks. But they're starting to get the respect they deserve from collectors and hot rodders alike. Despite their 3,600-pound heft, these things can be made to handle, stop, and charge with the best of them. And even though federally mandated smash-em-up bumpers forced some bulky front-end styling, we really get excited when we see these things in the boneyard now. They're growing on us; how 'bout you? Groovy Factoids * 1979 was the peak year for Trans Am production with more than 100,000 built. The lowest Trans Am volume occurred 10 years prior. Only 697 TAs were built in 1969. * To cross-promote the Smokey and the Bandit movie sequel, Burt Reynolds appeared in Pontiac ads for the 1981 Bandit edition Trans Am. The turbocharged 301 used in the movie cars was so lame, director Hal Needham had them fitted with Marvin Miller nitrous oxide systems. * Useless Info You Oughta Know: Fire Birds is an action movie starring Nicolas Cage, Tommy Lee Jones, and Sean Young release in 1990 by Touchstone Pictures While the torque monster W-code L75 455 vanished after the '76 model year, this '78 has the base Z-code 180-horse Pontiac 400. An optional W72 400 delivered 220 hp. The bummer is that both 400s carried engine code Z in the fifth digit of the VIN. Look for the stamped block code WC or X7 to verify hot-dog W72 status. Of the 187,285 Firebirds built in 1978, 93,641-just under half-were Trans Ams. While the torque monster W-code L75 455 vanished after the '76 model year, this '78 has th We get 455 fever when we stumble onto a round-headlight Trans Am. That's be-cause the 455 was discontinued in 1977, the same year the Banshee-inspired rectangle headlamp grille made its debut. This engineless round eye '76 TA got us wondering if we missed out on the 7.5L big dog. 1976 was the last year for the rounded Shaker hoodscoop. A flatter scoop appeared in 1977. All were sealed shut after 1973. We get 455 fever when we stumble onto a round-headlight Trans Am. That's be-cause the 455 Still wearing its original 15x7 Rally II wheels, this '78 Trans Am shows traces of the original Sundance Yellow paint visible under the tacky two-tone respray. Pontiac sourced T-tops from Hurst and Fisher Body in 1978. The Fisher T-tops were installed on the regular assembly line and had slightly larger glass surface area. Hurst installations were done off-site and are identifiable by stainless trim bands surrounding the roof cutouts. This TA has the Hurst T-tops. Still wearing its original 15x7 Rally II wheels, this '78 Trans Am shows traces of the ori Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!