Hagerty.com

Weekend Bandits, screaming chickens, and the 96 minutes of film that unite them.


#1

“You need to check out picnic shelter five. Make sure it’s No. 5, you understand?” The man in the skintight Trans Am shirt and knee-length jean shorts smacks the table in the Atlanta Motor Speedway media room to add emphasis, to make sure that No. 5 message comes across loud and clear. “That’s where Burt kissed Sally in the movie. I know that for sure. Park Ranger told me. This was back in the ’90s. When he told me.”


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/09/07/weekend-bandits-and-screaming-chickens

#2

Next time get a true T/A fan to write the article. The emblem is a Phoenix not a Screaming Chicken. Mandrin Orange was also a paint choice but not popular; I know because I ordered a red 77 in Aug. 1976.


#3

With thousands of these cars still around, if I owned one I’d see no reason not to drive it whenever I liked. It’s not like they are all that rare or super valuable. Let somebody else start a museum at their house. Go out and use your car - before you’re too old to be able to drive it.


#4

A friend of mine had a 76 T/A. Great car, but I’ve never been a big fan of the overweight F-body “sports cars”. Like the other Pontiacs like the GTOs and other GM mid size cars, even some of the larger Pontiacs like the Gran Prix better. But they are cruisers, much like the big F-body. Even with muscle power the Fs still seem too big and overweight for their implied purpose. The later smaller and lighter ones are too cramped. I love the first gen F-body and I’m appreciative of the latest (though not a Pontiac…) though.

Maybe GM should release a Pontiac T/A as a special edition sold through Chevy dealers. Just a Bandit painted Camaro with maybe a different grille and Poncho emblems, no need to really disguise it as anything more than a special edition Camaro at this point, but wouldn’t be “right” not to have Pontiac emblems and name on it… and a different grille insert to set it off. Would probably sell good and be relatively cheap to produce.


#5

First of all …the Trans Am was NOT the hottest Pontiac on the road for 1977. It was the Grand Prix that sold 288,000 of the 1977 model. AND please when you talk about the Grand Prix please notice that it has a “D” in the spelling of Grand Prix.

y email address is 77gpguru@gmail.com for a reason.


#6

this makes me happy, and sad at the same time.


#7

Yes, a reasonably written account, certainly stirs up the nostalgia. It was only a short year before that I had bought my '76 T.A. (round headlights) and remember feeling disappointed that I hadn’t waited a year for the new style of quad lights - especially when the movie came out! But as the years went by I realized it didn’t matter - all T.A.'s of that era are great - and should be driven!. I still have mine, slightly modified now to make that growl more legitimate… and drive it as often as possible, why not?


#8

Nice article, and like camarocoupe stated makes me happy and sad at the same time. I understand the dilemma of drive it or park it. I have owned a 1979 WS6 400/4sp Atlantis Blue T-Topped since September 1982 and drove it every day. Spun a bearing rebuilt the born with 400. Wore out the T10 4sp and replaced it. If I broke it I fixed it. Then on March 23 2000 a GMC Yukon rear-ended it so hard the windshield broke and you can race a Hot Wheels down the slop between the T-Tops. But it starts and drives and I still have it stored, back then it was a parts car. Now they can fix these uni-body cars. My Trans Am will ride again! And I will drive it, just not to work! But by then I should be retired.


#9

Great photos and a cool story, but I don’t like the way it is written. Seems like there is a heavy dose of “backhanded compliments” throughout. Like when you tell your girlfriend: “I don’t care if everyone says you’re putting on weight, I think you look great”.

Also, this really makes me question the writer’s cred: “The only sensible way to drive it is to use a soft throttle foot”. If you aren’t opening up the massive secondaries of the quadrajet carb, you aren’t experiencing the car.

Yes, I own one and I drive it.


#10

Is the writer jealous of the attention these cars get? Because, he’s making fun of them left and right… screaming chicken? 110 mph top speed? no reason to go full throttle on these [slow] cars? What a jerk. He’s got no clue what these cars are about or what they can do.


#11

You would have had to have owned one to understand the real value of the T/A.


#12

is it hard to find a bandit trans am, in good shape these days?


#13

That is a good question… not sure how to go about finding out - maybe through classic car clubs?


#14

@77gpguru - Tell me more about how you define the Grands Prix hotter than the T/A for 1977. From what I can find, the T/A had the power advantage, but maybe I’m missing something.


#15

I consider “Hottest” as more popular and selling huge amounts of cars.


#16

The one caption about the engine turned dash was a mistake. That dash was there from the start of the 2nd Gen. It was meant to say that the SE model, not the dash, was introduced as a concept for 74, which was correctly stated within the article. That picture caption got overlooked somehow though. Great piece!