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31pontiac's 1959 Bonneville

2022 November
of the Month

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"The Bandit" Progression


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In 1998, I saw the "Hungry" commercial for the new Trans Am and I fell in love. Up to that time I had been saving for down payment on a new Corvette, but with the menacing presense of the new T/A...I decided to go where my heart has always been, with Pontiac. So on August 15th, 1999 I had a Brand New Black Trans Am delivered from Texas to a dealership in Baton Rouge. My only "must haves" for the car were it had to be Manual Transmission and had to have Chrome wheels. I figured, if you get a Trans Am..you gotta get a Black Trans Am! So that is what I got. This was my first Brand new Pontiac, but was far from being my Last.

At the time in 1999, WS6's were hard to come by, so I was okay with getting a "sleek beak" T/A and eventually adding the hood. After getting the car I became part of the online LS1 community and started to learn so much about what it meant to have these cars.

Please forgive the quality of the photos. These were taken with 35mm before I had a digicam and before I learned how to take a good shot, haha.

"The Bandit"

Stock

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Modifications

Exterior

After having the car for a year with no changes I got the idea in my head to do my own version of a "Bandit" or "SE" Trans Am. Since I had a 1999, which was the 30th Anniversary of the T/A, I decided to use the design of the Anniversery Edition as a starting point. Joining the SE and 30th together to make my own Special Edition. A Black and Gold 30th, which I was able to become an honorary member of the 30th club with. haha

Started out by painting the "Trans Am" on the doors and the "Bird" on the front plate a nice metallic gold. From there I purchased and had painted a Suncoast Creations WS6-style hood.

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Once the hood was installed I got a local sign shop to apply the "30th-style" stripes that I also purchased from Suncoast Creations. S.C. was the only company at the time offering the strip package and you could get it in Two colors just like the actual 30th stripes.

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Suncoast at the time also offered a "WS7" badge that you could purchase with the hood to take the place of where the WS6 badge would go.

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Then, working with the sign shop I had them duplicate the "30th" badges for the door and wheel centercaps.

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The last touch I wanted to do was cover the Red "Trans Am" lettering and "Phoenix" with Black vinyl so I could overlay it with the lettering and a correct style bird in Gold.

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Interior

I felt I needed to do something with the interior so I had some custom floormats made. Black with "Trans Am" in Gold embroidery from Lloyds. (no pic)

Also added a Real Carbon Fiber dash overlay kit.

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Firsts

The very first car show I entered was in 2001 at Autozone, called Muscle Car Madness. It was a spectator voted show and I ended up winning in the "Best of Show" class.

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Bonus Pics

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Sadly, I no longer have my first Trans Am. But I was able to trade it in on my Dream Trans Am. The very Last Special Edition Trans Am to come from Pontiac, the 2002 Collector Edition Trans Am WS6.

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Wow thats good looking Trans Am you had there! Outside is just amazing with what you did to it! The stock hood just wouldn't of seen to of done it justice glad you upgraded it!

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that T/A turned out GReeeeaT!!!

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i like those black TA's. look soo sexy with the gold accenting. My cousin has a friend with the 2002 Collector Edition Trans Am WS6. paid an arm and a leg for it bcuz he wanted it sooooo bad!

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I like it alot, reminds me of the 10th anniversary firehawks, gold wheels would have been a nice touch

I totally agree and that was my idea from the beginning.

Funny story there...

A year before the 01 10th Hawk came out I was in the market for Gold Wheels. I came upon the SLP site and kinda liked the Firehawk wheels that they were using for the 10th. ( I really wanted the 98 Hurst Trans Am wheels more, though) and I kindly asked the guys with SLP if I could buy a set of the Gold Wheels. Well...with SLP's all "high and mighty" attitude about their Firehawk parts, they told me that I could sell my piece of junk and buy the wheels for $35K+ and they'd throw in the Hawk for free. After which they continued to berate me for asking about it saying that they would never sell firehawk parts to anyone other than a Hawk owner for the main reason that they didn't want people making "fake" hawks. From that point on I was an SLP hater and continue to not promote anything that they ever did.

The 10th, come to find out, had many problems with its "exclusive" parts. The stripes were done in a printed fashion that after a time the edge would show and peel. The "gold" exhaust tips flaked and tarnished and couldn't be replaced. Their hoods had bubbles under the paint (common firehawk hood prob).

Then, once Firebirds stopped production the heads of SLP decided that all their parts weren't as special as they supported and they listed them for sale to anyone that wanted to buy them. Lame.

Afterwards, I looked for Gold wheels in general and nothing ever came up except some import 4 lug wheels. So I never went the Gold Wheel route.

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