Ad Radar
Car Craft
Click here to find out more!

How to Install Your First Stripe Kit

Don't Drive Around With A Crusty Chicken On The Hood; Get Gold-Chain Glory When You...

By Jefferson Bryant, Photography by Jefferson Bryant

What makes a Trans Am a Bandit? While the general public believes any black late-'70s Trans Am to be a Special Edition Bandit car, in reality, Pontiac never made even one. The moniker came from the car's movie association with Smokey and the Bandit in which black Pontiac Trans Am SE (Special Edition) cars were used for flipping, pitching, and the wooing of cutesy girls in cutoff shorts.

The SE cars, coded Y82 for T-tops and Y81 for standard-roof models, were built from 1977 to 1978, while Y84 represents the '79-'81 SE models. There were two primary colors: black and gold. The gold SE models, which were coded Y88, used the same stripes and trim as the black cars. There was also a silver SE model in 1979 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Trans Am. The black cars, however, are the only ones associated with Smokey and the Bandit. An interesting side note is that while most of the cars in the movie were SE models, a few non-SE cars were slipped in.

With the increasing popularity of these cars, especially since the 30th anniversary came around, restoring an SE car has never been easier. Specialty restoration stores such as Original Parts Group and Year One have tons of parts to help with body panels and interior, but what about the distinct graphics? The SE cars were heavily garnished with gold stripes covering every panel, not to mention the giant screaming bird on the hood, so to be cool, you're going to need to get them right. We've found that Phoenix Graphix offers what most consider the most complete set of correct TA graphics on the market. We say correct because most other kits come with multipiece hood birds. Placing the hood graphic is difficult enough without having to match three pieces together. The original hood decal was one piece, so it should be replaced with a one-piece bird.

By Jefferson Bryant
Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!
Car Craft