Fun fact: the 1977 Trans Ams used in the first Smokey And The Bandit released that same year were actually '76 models with '77 front clips put on. Pontiac couldn’t get the new '77s to the studio in time for movie production start in late 1976. Something I’ve always wondered from a logistics perspective, because there were two F-body plants at the time: Van Nuys, CA and Norwood, OH (the Lordstown OH plant only produced the 1-gen F-body). And GM traditionally started production of a new year’s model in the Sept-Oct time frame. How do I know this fun fact? I grew up in one of the towns where the movie was mostly filmed (suburban Atlanta areas).
In any event, I’ve been eyeballing these mid-2nd generation Firebirds because they don’t seem to have near the attention of collectors who want the Bandit '77-'78. I see the same on pricing for the '79-81s because let’s face it: the nose of that model was just, well, only the nose a mother could love. When looking at these mid-late 2nd gens in general, pay close attention to the screaming chicken decals. They are wider and less ornate in the 74-78 models than the bird for the 79-81 models. The bird head is also looking in different directions between the two. I’ve seen '77-'78 T/As with '79-'81 decals by restorers who clearly have not done their homework. So my question to them is if they can’t get something as basic as the bird right, what else did they not get right?