Big Al's Featured Car's
Michael Tyler
1976 Limited Edition 50th. Anniversary Trans Am
One of 533, 1976 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Trans Am.
Photo's By Trans Am Dan the Photo Man

In 1976 Pontiac offered a Limited Edition package for the Trans Am model celebrating Pontiac's 50th year in business (1926-1976). The Limited Edition cars would be labeled 50th Anniversary Editions and receive a medallion stating it on the car. The Trans Am also featured a T-Top roof called "Hurst Hatches" that were installed by Hurst Performance and the cars were garnished with gold accents and pin striping. Engine options included either a 400 or 455 V8 engine. Due to problems with leaky T-top's and other design flaws GM decided to discontinue T-Tops for the remainder of these cars. This resulted in only 643 being produced with Hurst T-top roofs. Of those only 533 were produced with the L78 400 V8 engines and another 110 received the healthy 455 V8.

The feature car is owned by Michael Tyler. Mike had been looking for a 1976 Trans Am for over 20 years. He saw a very nice Trans Am at the Trans Am Nationals in Dayton Ohio in 2003 that was for sale. It was a 1976 Black Trans Am with 24,000 miles on it. Mike jotted down the owners phone number and called the owner 3 weeks after the Trans Am Nationals. He made an appointment to look over the Trans Am as the owner only lived 20 minutes from Mike's home. After thoroughly going over the 1976 Trans Am Mike noticed another car in the owner's garage. The other car in the garage was covered. When Mike asked what the covered car was? The owner told Mike it was another 1976 Trans Am. Mike said, "You have two 1976 Trans Am's?" The owner stated, "Yes, but the other Trans Am was a Limited Edition model with only 20,600 miles on it". The owner stated that he would never sell that car because it was a Limited Edition with T-Tops, a rare 1 of 533 produced in 1976. The owner took off the cover of the Limited Edition car and let Mike take a look at it.

Mike stated he would have to think about buying the other car and he would get back to the owner when he made a decision. After Mike left without buying the Trans Am with 24,000 miles on it another buyer had come by to look at the same car only an hour after Mike's appointment. The new buyer put $500 down to buy the 24,000 mile car. The seller tried to call Mike many times that day and left many messages but accepted the sale when Mike didn't reply. The seller was apologetic and sincere when contacted the next day. Mike fully understood. Mike explained to the seller that he had gone out of town after their car appointment and didn't receive the message until a day later. It seemed at that point that Mike was out of luck.

A few months later, Mike was in London, England on business. He was searching Ebay when, there it was, the 1976 50th Anniversary Trans Am that the seller swore he would never sell. Mike recognized the car because he remembered what the garage looked like in the background of the picture. Mike immediately called the seller up from London, as he saved the sellers phone number. He asked the seller, who remembered Mike, if he was really selling the 1976 Limited Edition. The seller told Mike that he had to sell it because his wife had just lost her job. Mike told the seller that he would ask his neighbor, in the United Stated, to go over and give the seller $500 to hold the car until Mike's safe return from the United Kingdom. The seller agreed and accepted that they would negotiate the price of the car when Mike returned home. When Mike returned from London he went back to the owner's house where they agreed upon a price. Mike bought the car. And to this day the seller and Mike are still friends.

About the car:

The car had just over 20,900 original miles on it when Mike purchased the car. Mike only had to do minor work to get the car ready for the road. Mike regularly DRIVES his car from Cleveland to Dayton for the Annual Trans Am Nationals. He's had the car for 5 years and the clock just turned 29,000 miles. Mike stated, "What good is a carů.if you don't drive it." I think we can all agree.

A lot of people get confused about this one....... This is the 50th Anniversary Limited Edition 1976 Trans Am. This gets a little confusing because people say that 1979 was a 10th Anniversary, so how can a 1976 be a 50th Anniversary. Well, the 10th Anniversary was the 10th year of production of the "Trans Am". This 50th Anniversary is the 50th production year of Pontiac 1926-1976. There is the same confusion when you talk about the 30th and 35th Anniversary models as well. The 30th Anniversary was 1999, and the 35th Anniversary is 2002. So how can a 5 year Anniversary occur only 3 years laater. Well, the 30th was the anniversary of the Trans Am 1969-1999 and the 35th was the anniversary of the Firebird 1967-2002.

The Black and Gold Trans Am first made its debut at the 1974 Chicago car show. If you want to check out photos of the actual car, Click Here. There was such a good feedback from this show that they brought the infamous "Black and Gold" back for the 1976 Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Trans Am. Pontiac decided to produce 2400 Limited Edition for the 1976 model year. This Limited Edition would include the following:
Black paint with Gold striping and trim
Gold polycast Honeycomb wheels
Gold grille and headlamp liners
Gold anodized instrument panel
Gold steering wheel spokes
Gold bird emblems inside and out
Special Gold 50th Anniversary emblems on the quarter panels
Hurst Hatch T-tops
L78 Pontiac 400 (455 was optional)

All 2400 of the Limited Edition Trans Ams were supposed to be produced with the Hurst hatches, but Pontiac discovered that the Hurst Top tended to leak so only the first 643 Limited Editions had the Hurst roof, the remaining 1757 came without the Hurst Hatches. They were given the designation "Y82" and it did not matter if they had T-tops or not--they were still all designated "Y82". The Y81 code did not come out until 1977. The Limited Edition package with the Hurst Hatch roofs was $1100 more than the base Trans Am and the Limited Edition without the Hurst Hatches was only $450 more. The L78 Pontiac 400 was the standard engine and the L75 Pontiac 455 was optional. There were a few things that were dumped at the last minute. The first was Raised gold-lettered Goodyear tires which never made it and the second was black chrome tail splitters. The tail splitters proved to be too expensive to produce so they were dropped although a few did reach the production line. So, if you have black chrome tail splitters... SAVE THEM.