Keith Peck is about to reach a milestone birthday. Like the decals read on the fenders of his beloved '76 50th Anniver-sary Trans Am, he too will soon be 50 years old. "The Big 5-0!" Keith, a sheriff's department sergeant in the Sunshine State, has heard all the variations on this theme--his patrolmen referencing his upcoming birthday, the neighborhood kids' code-speak for police, or the one that brings the largest smile, the reference to his 50th Anniversary Trans Am.
He originally set out to find a '77 Bandit Trans Am after "falling in love" with it that year like so many of us did, courtesy of Smokey and the Bandit. He tried several times back in the day to purchase a Black and Gold S/E Trans Am new, but from 1977 to 1979 was told that people were paying over invoice for the Black and Gold when they could find one.
Years passed, and then in March 1997 Keith answered an ad for an original Y82 '76 Starlight Black 50th Anniversary Trans Am equipped with the factory 185-horse 400/Turbo 350/2.41 Safe-T-Track rear drivetrain combo. The best part? It had only 7,000 miles on it. After a 20-year search for the right B&G T/A, Keith found it, even if it predated the Bandit's Bandit by a single year.
Once it was tucked safely in his garage, he quickly joined several organizations including the National Trans Am club and the Bandit Trans Am club. Keith's 50th has been to the track at Daytona several times for shows and swap meets, but he says, "Sometimes the swap meets are boring because the T/A needs nothing, and I won't ever take it from it's original state."
Keith's Trans Am is original down to the shocks, and it has garnered every local accolade in the area. Recently it took First Place in Tipp City, Ohio, in the Anniversary and Special Edition category.
A true survivor in every sense of the word, the Trans Am's documentation is as impeccable as its appearance. The impressive package includes complete PHS paperwork, and the original order form, invoice, and bill of sale. Even the original dealer key ring is part of this package-bliss for any Pontiaddict.
Initially purchased by a couple at Gene Carlyle Buick-Pontiac in Leavenworth, Kansas, the Trans Am had a sale price of $7,201.62 and was chock full of comfort options.
Keith has kept every piece of documentation on the Trans Am since he paid $12,500 that fateful day in March. To this day, the 50th boasts only a little over 10,000 original miles on the odometer. In nearly nine years, Keith has added just 3,000 miles to the total count. It's the tenth Second-Gen Trans Am he has owned, and currently his cadre includes a black '96 Trans Am WS6, a '91 Firebird, and a '93 Pontiac Grand Prix.
Keith recently turned down an offer of $25,000 for the 50th because as he says, "Where am I going to get another one like this one?" Where indeed? As he reaches his 50th, Keith seems to be a man content to protect and serve and enjoy his weekends with his family and his other 50th.
The Firebird emblems had the...
The Firebird emblems had the red inner sections replaced with gold for this package.
These decals denote the 50th...
These decals denote the 50th Anniversary of Pontiac. Only the T/A and the Grand Prix offered a 50th Anniversary Edition in 1976.
According to the owner, the...
According to the owner, the tires are the only parts that are not original.
Remember 8-Tracks? This one...
Remember 8-Tracks? This one cost $134 in 1976 money.
This T/A isn't even broken...
This T/A isn't even broken in yet.
The gold pinstriping and gothic...
The gold pinstriping and gothic font callouts were Limited Edition only items as were the gold headlight buckets and grilles.
'76 T/A Limited Edition Production
The production numbers tell us that 2,590 50th Anniversary units out of 46,704 T/As were ever produced, or about 3 percent of the total production.
|Limited Edition 400 ||1,628 |
|Limited Edition 455 ||319 |
|Limited Edition 400 T-Tops ||533 |
|Limited Edition 455 T-Tops ||110 |
|Total ||2,590 |
|Factory Installed Option Prices |
|Special Edition Package ||$435.00 |
|GR70x15 WL Steel-Belted Radials ||$38.40 |
|Am-Fm Stereo Radio ||$233.00 |
|Stereo 8-Track Tape Player ||$134.00 |
| Power Windows ||$99.00 |
| Soft Ray Glass, All Windows ||$46.00 |
|Tilt Steering Wheel ||$52.00 |
|Electric Rear Window Defroster ||$77.00 |
|Custom Air Conditioning ||$452.00 |
|Cruise Control ||$73.00 |
|Front Seat Console ||$71.00 |
|Front Floor Mats ||$8.00 |
|Rear Floor Mats ||$7.00 |
|Lamp Group ||$14.00 |
| Custom Trim Group ||$81.00 |
The 400 four-barrel engine...
The 400 four-barrel engine was the standard T/A powerplant. It features a Rochester carb, a cast-iron intake, 6X heads with 2.11/1.66 valves, and an "066" cam with 273/282 duration and 0.410/0.415 lift. Spark is via HEI, and the exhaust consists of log manifolds, a Y-pipe to a single pellet-type cat converter, and a single pipe to a cross flow muffler in the rear with twin dual outlet tips.
Pontiac made sure you knew...
Pontiac made sure you knew what you were driving from inside as well when you bought the Limited Edition in 1976. The dash and steering wheel spokes were gold. Even the horn emblem Bird, the shifter emblem Bird, and the door emblem Birds (when ordered with power windows) were gold.