You may be noticing a subtle little detail... there's a gold stripe on the fender air extractor. :-)
That's right, the first hints of what was to come. By this time there was no question that I would be applying gold stripes to this car. A purist would cringe at the thought of applying stripes to a black Trans Am that didn't come from the factory as a true Special Edition. The problem is, a purist with unlimited funds wasn't paying for this car! Life's too short, I've always wanted a "bandit" car, this was my chance to do it right. At this point, the idea was to do a hybrid, using some cues from the '79 Special Edition (like the larger block lettering that was identical to this car's original lettering, as opposed to the Gothic style lettering of the Special Edition that I never really liked much).
The first time on its "feet" in nearly 3 months. A lightning fast operation, I have to admit.
The brightwork was coming together as well. While not perfect, it was deemed nice enough (and original!) to use on this car after such a nice paint job!
A truly excellent job getting that rear bumper mess sorted out!
My those are ugly tires. At this point, I figured I would use my redone '79 wheels (identical in shape and structure to these late 1978 wheels) and go for some wider tires while I was at it. And while it would have made more sense to get the springs sorted out BEFORE the paint, it did take me until now to find a suitable and reliable provider of springs that would give me the perfect ride height I wanted (which was as close to stock as possible, or possibly even a bit lower since I am not fond of neither "high riding" nor "slammed to the ground" Trans Ams).
After some discussion with the graphics provider, we purchased the 1977/1978 Special Edition package with an additional package of the 1979 lettering kit. Seen here are the gothic letters I was not fond of.
Some careful measuring and the famous bird decal was in place. I can empathize with Dan feeling initial regret over covering up his wonderful paint job with so much tape and vinyl, but once it was all together I think he came around and understood why it was such an important part of the Trans Am mystique.