While one person can apply the majority of the decals, the hood bird requires at least two. The biggest trick to correctly applying automotive decals is soapy water on a clean and degreased surface. It serves as a barrier between the decal's adhesive and the car, temporarily deactivating the glue. This allows you to slide the decal in place without it sticking. Once the position is set, the water solution gets worked out (along with bubbles) of the decal. Spraying a little on top of the decal will also help lubricate the plastic spreader, making sure the decal doesn't tear or snag. No amount of soapy water will resurrect a crease, so be careful. If you do get a small wrinkle, snag, or bubble, don't freak out-there are fixes. But a really bad wrinkle can ruin a decal job, and replacement may be the only option. While one person can apply the majority of the decals, the hood bird requires at least two 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. Laying the stripes down first is the best way to familiarize yourself with decal application. It is pretty easy to start over if you mess up the double lines. Around the Shaker, we wrapped one side first and then matched it on the other side. It took a few tries to get it just right. Laying the stripes down first is the best way to familiarize yourself with decal applicati The two parallel stripes that run the length of the car should be spaced approximately 4 inches apart. This spacing needs to be kept from the hood to the roof and on to the trunk lid. The two parallel stripes that run the length of the car should be spaced approximately 4 i Fred Murfin, owner of Red Line Auto Sports, laid down the roof stripes. The 4-inch spacing on the later ('79-'81) cars is dictated by the T-tops. Earlier cars that had the Hurst Hatches, which were a little smaller, have more roof space, but the 4-inch spacing should be retained. Fred Murfin, owner of Red Line Auto Sports, laid down the roof stripes. The 4-inch spacing 1 | 2 | 3 | » | View Full Article By Jefferson Bryant Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!