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Cars > Challenges > “bandit” Vs “Blackbird”


classicfirebird1979’s Profile Photo


Morrilton, Arkansas
United States

Crazyfast79TA’s Profile Photo


Bovey, Minnesota
United States


1979 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition Y84 SE


1979 Pontiac Trans Am


Photo of: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

No longer owned

Photo of: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

Head to Head


About “bandit”

My brother told me about this "black Trans Am" he saw on Hwy 64 in AR. on his way to work. I told him the last thing I need right now is another car as I had too many projects going already. He said this one looks pretty good and the sign said runs good ! It turned out to be a true Y84 SE well long story short I "had to" buy it. I have owned this car since May 2007. REBUILT the transmisson in 2009 and the engine in Sept 2010.

About “Blackbird”

When I bought this car in January of '99, it was in terrible shape but it ran. I really wanted a "Blackbird" like the model kit I got after seeing "Smokey And The Bandit" for the first time in a theater with my Dad. I didn't get a black '77 Trans Am. It was a '79 instead. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but I could live with it after I gave it a new paint-job. It was a plain-Jane '79, silver with white an 2 tone grey interior. No power windows, most of the A/C components removed and about 6 bad paint jobs one on top of the other. The body was fairly solid, but I went looking for better parts. I ran into a '77 Firebird in a junkyard with almost perfect front and rear bumpers. The dash in that Firebird was in pewrfect condition. The door panels weren't bad either. The yard gave me a fair price and I started making a Bandit clone from my '79. The bad part of the Firebird's interior was that it was maroon. It took me a year and a half to change all the interior over to black and repair the body. There was no way I was going to try to make it "authentic". I wasn't changing the '79 spoilers, and the Fisher T-Tops weren't available in '77. It already had headers installed but they were all rusted out and the whole exhaust system was rigged up. I put new headers on it and a new dual exhaust with Thrush California Boss Turbo mufflers. While working on the exhaust, I found out somebody had replaced the original Olds 403 with an Olds 350. It ran good, REAL good, but I wanted better. I found a deal on a Pontiac 400 and automatic originally out of a '75 TA, but installed in a Chevy truck. That combo is installed now. It ends up the 400 is kinda weak. I'm guessing a worn cam shaft. But it runs good enough. When I originally got the car done in the fall of '01 I drove it a while then parked it in the barn where I painted it. For Father's Day 2002, I took it to Cruise Night In Findlay. There was over 500 cars entered and I came home with a Top 10. The car was so incorrect (I built it as a 20/20 car) but it looked good. I put that 400 in it and detailed everything under the hood and working on the interior. I've got an upholstery kit for the factory seats, so when I'm done with them, I can replace the Monza buckets in there now. I've got repro '78 SE door panels and new arm-rests and a new package tray. I still need to redo the headliner and T-Top trim. I've also got a new decal kit. I'm not removing the painted on bird, I'm replacing the whole hood! I've got a couple extras and 2 shaker scoops. One is the taller '79 unit that I opened up the back, and the other is an un-modified lower height '77 unit. The decal kit contains both "6.6 Liter" and "T/A 6.6" decals. I've also got 2 different sets of exhaust tips, both the T/A dual outlet style. One set is GM Reproduction the other is "off-the-parts-store-shelf" variety. I still have to clean up and detail the trunk, too. I already made racks to hold the T-Tops so they don't move around in the trunk. They need some re-work. It may not be authentic, but I built my own "Blackbird".


Specs for “bandit”

403 6.6 Liter V8 , Automatic Trans , Posi trac rear

Specs for “Blackbird”

Engine: Pontiac 400
Transmission: TH 350 w/stall converter
Interior: Monza buckets (to be replaced with freshly upholstered SE seats ;dash and carpet replaced in 2001)
Exhaust: Headers and true duals including California Boss Turbo mufflers


Factory Options for “bandit”

Cold Air conditioning, T Tops, Black hobnail cloth deluxe Int. Cruise Control, electric windows and door locks, tilt wheel, Y84 SE Package.

Factory Options for “Blackbird”

Snowflake Aluminum wheels,
Air Conditioning


Mods for “bandit”

This car was bone stock when I purchaced the car. I recently rebuilt the engine, the 403 now has #5 olds high compession heads, cloyes high performace timing chain, melling high output oil pump, all new clevite 77 rod bearings and main bearings. Stock pistons but with a set of chrome rings.The heads have been ported and polished. New fuel pump,water pump,oil pump.Completely painted under the hood and detailed. I have the original #s matching heads and they can go with the car.

Mods for “Blackbird”

'77 Front and Rear Bumpers.
Finished removing what was left AC components and installed kick-panel and dash vents from non-AC car.
Stripes, Bird and names all painted on (to be replaced next time with reproduction factory style decals).
Trunk lid replaced from same '77 donor for the bumpers and dash.
Tail-lights from '77 fit in and wiring modified for extra bulb sockets.
New '77 gas tank
Have a defroster rear window to install.
New rear interior panels.
Still need correct center caps for the wheels.


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Points for bandit Total Votes Points for Blackbird
46 19 49


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