Another cryptic image to explain what happened next. These are the original emblems off the side panels of this car, they are located between the side and rear windows.
I discovered that they originally came with a lacquer covering over the whole emblem, covering the red wings and black body. Sharp looking emblems (much nicer than the flat reproduction units GM was trying to foist on unsuspecting over-the-counter buyers for several decades). The ones on my old '78 had long lost their lacquer and most of the colour. It was neat to see what they were actually supposed to look like, although the lacquer was quite milky with age and exposure. So I popped one apart... note how it came off in one chunk with only slight cracking in the middle. In my "custom" hybrid idea, I wanted to repaint the wings gold and re-lacquer the whole mess. Looked like it was going to take a lot of effort and time.
At this point, I invested a LOT of time looking at as many gold-striped black 1977 or 1978 Trans Ams I could find on the Internet, trying to compare the cars that opted for the '79+ gold lettering versus the gothic style lettering that would be correct on the '77/'78 Special Editions. I found TONS of examples of either approach, it was certainly not a unique idea. After a solid week of agonizing over the decision as well as watching Smokey and the Bandit a few times, I made the decision to go all the way with the correct Special Edition details.
I figured, as much as I would love the fact I customized the car to my taste, I'd be condemned to forever explain the small detail differences to anyone who asked about them, like the custom emblems mentioned above, the '79+ style lettering, the chrome window trim, etc. As well, I knew I'd always be asking myself "what if?" .
Finding a set of decent quality front and rear window blacked-out trim, we carefully packed away the original trim (in case I ever wanted to return the car to original condition) and went ahead with the '77/'78 style decals, including the gothic lettering.
Bye bye block lettering (as much as I like them!), hello full-blown gothic stuff!
On a cold February day, I finally got to drive my W72 for the first time, just around the parking lot to move it around. The new springs and tires were on the car, it looked like it sat WAY high for my taste but it would quickly settled over the coming weeks. I noticed just how nice Pontiac torque is, as I was able to mistakenly get the car while in 3rd gear instead of 1st with little effort. LOL!
Just a few more little details left to iron out before it could come home... finally! In the meantime, back inside it went... waiting....