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T/A Decals On A GTA?

Old 01-10-2019, 07:07 AM
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T/A Decals On A GTA?

Has anyone here put on a Trans Am decal kit on GTA? Gotta have that bird on the hood!
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:25 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

I mean they are the same exact car minus fender vents and a few badges..
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:44 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

First, just to get it out of the way, it's your car...do whatever. -but of course, most of us understand there ARE some taboo choices. Iroc door decals on non Iroc, etc. etc.
Second, the hood bird is a FIRE bird, right? ...and they are all Firebirds, right?
Finally, isn't the GTA a TA?....in which case, rock on! -right?
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Old 01-10-2019, 11:04 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

I don't know why Pontiac dropped the hood bird for the GTAs. You are correct in that the Firebird and two-tone Trans Ams had the decals. The hood bird is what makes a classic T/A and T/A! By golly!
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Old 01-10-2019, 06:35 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Because the hood bird is undeniably tacky, and the GTA was a specific attempt to get away from tacky styling?
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:25 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Yeah, please don't do that to GTA. Its yours yes, but you are still representing the community.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:16 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by Drew View Post
Because the hood bird is undeniably tacky, and the GTA was a specific attempt to get away from tacky styling?
I'd deny it.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:17 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

I am surprised there would be any objection to putting on a bird on a GTA. The Bird practically made the 2nd gen T/As. Would would Smokey & The Bandit have been without that beautiful black 1977 T/A Special Edition?
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:45 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Oh man...don't get me started! I may do this to mine some day.

To me the only "crime" is the outline style that they went to on the 3rd gens. Don't hate 'em, but like the 2nd gen ones a lot more.

OP...what color is your GTA?











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Old 01-10-2019, 08:46 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?




I'd even consider a Fire Am decal, though Herb might not approve of it on the hood of an L03 car!



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Old 01-10-2019, 08:48 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

I sort of agree with the negative comments because: 1) decals aren't my thing, and 2) I think the 3rdgen version of the hood bird, with its simple design and small size, due to the location of the hood vents, isn't flashy enough to make an effective statement. That said, I think the colorfully-detailed, full-hood bird on the 80-81 Turbo Trans Am is awesome. But if I were going to do something like that, it would be for show, so I would spare no expense and opt for a quality, custom-painted bird(in red, yellow and orange, with a touch of blue, like real flames), not a decal.

Such a full-hood decal on a 3rdgen TA/GTA hood, applied over the vents, might take-on an interesting new dimension, if a patient artist were to cut the tail-portion for each individual louver. But on a Formula hood, such a full-hood decal would look right at home, just as it was on the 80-81 TTA.
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Old 01-10-2019, 08:55 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

I don't know about that FireAm decal, though. Kind of reminds me of Daffy Duck in one of his many costumes/disguises, such as Duck Dodgers.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:24 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Im on a strict budget till my son finishes school next year. My GTA sat in a field for 11 years and the badges took a beating. It is not a show car. It is a daily driver and I simply can't afford new badges at the moment. So I improvised and it has really grown on me. Some like it some don't. I have thought about a hood decal but in my opinion it would be too much on my car. But I did do 2nd gen style emblems in vinyl. And yes those are 4th gen Camaro seats.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:36 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

I applied this one on my Buddy's 85 TA.

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Old 01-11-2019, 12:02 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

It wouldn't bug me too much on a Firebird or a Trans Am, but no way on a GTA. GTAs didn't have any decals. Adding a hood bird would just take away from the style that GM was going for. It'd lessen the impact of the GTA style emblems.

Gotta be careful, it doesn't take too much to look cartoony. A huge full color hood bird on a thirdgen tips the scales into "trying too hard" territory.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:16 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

I think ANY hoodbird looks cartoony. Doesn't matter what gen the car is. -BUT.....that's part of the hertiage of it. Kinda why it's cool imho.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:39 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by Drew View Post
It wouldn't bug me too much on a Firebird or a Trans Am, but no way on a GTA. GTAs didn't have any decals. Adding a hood bird would just take away from the style that GM was going for. It'd lessen the impact of the GTA style emblems.

Gotta be careful, it doesn't take too much to look cartoony. A huge full color hood bird on a thirdgen tips the scales into "trying too hard" territory.
very well said Mr. Wizard....
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:48 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by Jbuchanan View Post
Im on a strict budget till my son finishes school next year. My GTA sat in a field for 11 years and the badges took a beating. It is not a show car. It is a daily driver and I simply can't afford new badges at the moment. So I improvised and it has really grown on me. Some like it some don't. I have thought about a hood decal but in my opinion it would be too much on my car. But I did do 2nd gen style emblems in vinyl. And yes those are 4th gen Camaro seats.

I think that looks awesome. They're subtle, but still true to the car and on a GTA they match the colours well. I'll take that over terribly misplaced GTA emblems any day
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:04 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

T/A an a GTA are not the same there a lot more then just fender vents a decal differences.but its ur car do what u want to urs...
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:43 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

T/A an a GTA are not the same there a lot more then just fender vents a decal differences.but its ur car do what u want to urs...
I am admittedly NOT a Pontiac guy, knowing the nuances of various models, but is the GTA not a Trans Am?

To me there are 3 things to consider:
1) do you own the car. We're assuming you do, and then you can do whatever.
2) Are you misrepresenting what the car is? This is sometimes a grey area. As I mentioned earlier, I don't like Iroc badges on a non iroc. But TAs DID get the hood bird. Assuming a GTA is actually a TA, I don't see a problem. Not like you're going to be fooling the GTA crowd, right? Like Rally stripes on an Iroc. It's not accurate, but it's not wrong. Same thing.
3) What's the general artistic opinion of how your idea will affect appearance? EVERYONE will have a different opinion so make yourself happy!
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:02 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by kaos420 View Post
T/A an a GTA are not the same there a lot more then just fender vents
Keep in mind that nearly every option on the GTA was also available on the Trans Am.
Digital dash? Yes.
Ultima seats? Yes.
350? Yes.
Mono colors? Yes.
Gold wheels? Yes, depending on the year.
Steering Wheel controls? Yes.
Solid vents? Later years were solid.
Metal emblems? No. But later GTAs didn't have all metal badges either.

A Trans Am and GTA are more similar than not. While the GTA came standard with nearly all upscale equipment, the Trans Am could be ordered with many of the same equipment as well.
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Old 01-11-2019, 01:55 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by Abubaca
I am admittedly NOT a Pontiac guy, knowing the nuances of various models, but is the GTA not a Trans Am?
Was always under the impression that a GTA was an upscale Firebird, a separate entity from the Trans Am, despite sharing similar parts. Kinda like the differences between a Regal, a T-Type and a Grand National (excluding the GNX). They're all Regals of course, but tell a Grand National owner that they own a T-Type and all hell breaks loose lol...

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Old 01-11-2019, 02:01 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

....well you might be right. I don't know, that's just what I though. Kinda how the Iroc was marketed as it's own model, but of course it WAS a z28.
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:04 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by Abubaca
....well you might be right. I don't know, that's just what I though. Kinda how the Iroc was marketed as it's own model, but of course it WAS a z28.
In the end it is all marketing. Pontiac had such success borrowing the GTO badge from Ferrari, I guess they were shooting for the possibility of lighting striking twice in the same spot for the same brand, but replacing Omologato for Americano...

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Old 01-11-2019, 02:30 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by Abubaca View Post
I am admittedly NOT a Pontiac guy, knowing the nuances of various models, but is the GTA not a Trans Am?
This is from the GTA source page - http://www.gtasourcepage.com/

"1987 was a watershed year for Pontiac's Third Generation F-Body platform..... several new additions were made to the Firebird lineup from top to bottom, and the Trans Am model benefited from virtually all the additions.
Introduced as an higher-end performance/luxury option package for the 1987 Trans Am.... and to highlight the Pontiac F-Body introduction of the GM 5.7L (350 c.i.) Tuned-Port-Injection V8 engine.... the TRANS AM GTA debuted amid a flurry of activity in the Pontiac F-car lineup, and eventually moved into place as the flagship 1987-1992 Pontiac Firebird model.... for the auto enthusiast who wanted a bit more "panache" from his car, in both style and performance.
During its five years of production, the "Gran Turismo Americano" edition of the Trans Am evolved into the "ultimate" luxury performance Third-Generation Firebird".
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Old 01-11-2019, 02:40 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by BizJetTech View Post
This is from the GTA source page - http://www.gtasourcepage.com/

"1987 was a watershed year for Pontiac's Third Generation F-Body platform..... several new additions were made to the Firebird lineup from top to bottom, and the Trans Am model benefited from virtually all the additions.
Introduced as an higher-end performance/luxury option package for the 1987 Trans Am.... and to highlight the Pontiac F-Body introduction of the GM 5.7L (350 c.i.) Tuned-Port-Injection V8 engine.... the TRANS AM GTA debuted amid a flurry of activity in the Pontiac F-car lineup, and eventually moved into place as the flagship 1987-1992 Pontiac Firebird model.... for the auto enthusiast who wanted a bit more "panache" from his car, in both style and performance.
During its five years of production, the "Gran Turismo Americano" edition of the Trans Am evolved into the "ultimate" luxury performance Third-Generation Firebird".
The words Trans Am are more oriented towards all out racing, not necessarily luxury performance, and, in my opinion of course, the above words were just words slapped together as some sort of a synopsis of its' history. The words Trans Am are highlighted here;

the TRANS AM GTA debuted amid a flurry of activity in the Pontiac F-car lineup
... with the word Firebird not being highlighted here, despite pointing to the latter;

... evolved into the "ultimate" luxury performance Third-Generation Firebird
... yet on that same GTA Source Page it also stresses that the words "Trans Am" on the dash pocket immediately indicated that it's not a real GTA, even if the GTA is supposed to be a Trans Am, even if the words are written in Gold. Weird. In the end, does it even really matter.

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Old 01-11-2019, 03:28 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?


You could always buy this 1990 Firebird Bandit II.....
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:51 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

I'd say stay on your strict budget and don't add anything now. When you can do it, do it right. It's kinda like the new Trans Am or what they call the new TA. It's basically a 1st GEN body with 2ND GEN decals and styling….That's so aggravating. It's like restoring a 69 Trans Am and putting 77 decals on it…doesn't work
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Old 01-11-2019, 04:56 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

I wouldn't do that to a GTA or a Forumla, but my base Firebird would be a good candidate. Although, I have no plans to. I do miss the days when you could a buy a car with huge, in your face decals and graphics that really stood out on the road. I mean, my 90 has Formula in big letters on both doors. I know it looks cool going down the road! Most of today's cars are just boring to me.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:39 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by Abubaca View Post
I applied this one on my Buddy's 85 TA.

I like the way you were able to apply the tail through the front vents. Cropping the bird shorter so none of it interacts with those vents makes it appear a bit short IMO.

Any tips on how you did that in the vents?

Also, is that a "standard" year / size of decal? If so, which one?
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:23 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

I'm fairly sure it's a factory second gen decal. I didn't buy it. As for application over the vents......time and patience! ....ya just apply directly over them as if they're not there, and the decal will of course bridge over the gaps. Get a new, sharp exacto blade and slowly and carefully cut away whatever is "floating" and not making contact. It's a little more involved than that ,but that's the basic premise. You can't cut TOO much, as some of it has to lay down as the vents angle away from the hood. Hard to explain. If you ever want to give it a go, hit me up and we can discuss further. I've installed a LOT of vinyl over the years, and this one was pretty tricky.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:45 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

That's sort of what I imagined Abubaca. Thanks for confirming.

I read through this old HPP story (saved the images and text as screen shots actually, just in case this ever goes away). Might help someone else.

Pontiac Trans Am Hood Decal Install
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:49 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by Abubaca View Post
I applied this one on my Buddy's 85 TA.

love it..very well done
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:51 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

The thing is, if Pontiac had put the bird decal kit on the GTA lineup, no one would even think twice about it. It would have been status quo.
What do you guys think of this kit on a black 87 GTA?

https://www.phoenixgraphix.com/transam/1987ta.php
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:09 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by Abubaca View Post
I applied this one on my Buddy's 85 TA.

This is what I'm talking about. Nicely done. A larger bird would be even better, IMO. Go BIG or... But laid-out like this, cut over the vents, is how I think it should've been done by GM. It accents the vents, and it gives the tail feathers some "flight."
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:11 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Tan interior? I like it.

Grey interior, I'd think about silver (or charcoal). You could even go black if you want to be slightly more subtle (though theirs is black metallic versus the flat finish shown below)..

Just as a thought starter for the black on black...

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Old 01-13-2019, 01:26 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by pognoot View Post
The thing is, if Pontiac had put the bird decal kit on the GTA lineup, no one would even think twice about it. It would have been status quo.
What do you guys think of this kit on a black 87 GTA?

https://www.phoenixgraphix.com/transam/1987ta.php
pognoot, as others have said, it's your car, so if you like it, and that's what you want to do, then do it. You'd have the most unique GTA on TGO. And If you end up not liking it, it can always be removed, right? Which color did you have in mind?

But I love your comment above. And you're so right! It's funny... if someone likes what a manufacturer did, then the manufacturer "did it right." But when someone doesn't like what a manufacturer did, then the manufacturer "did it wrong!" Even I am guilty of that, as evidenced by my previous post, above this one LOL. So I guess I should've said, "this is how I would've preferred the manufacturer did it."

Regarding your choice of decals, on your car, it would look just like it does in the picture for the decal. So if you like that, then go for it. Me, personally, the only reason I don't care for the 3rdgen bird is because the decal is smaller than I'd have liked it to be. I prefer the larger, full-hood, 2ndgen bird. Other than that, I am pro-bird-on-the-hood. And that's coming from a person who is adamantly against decals!
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:33 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Now the question, who is making the best decals for a third gen?
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:54 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by BizJetTech View Post
very well said Mr. Wizard....
As well were not all GTA's L98's?
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:19 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by 881SA View Post
As well were not all GTA's L98's?
They were not. They were all tune-ports, but you could have a peanut cam LB9(305) auto GTA, the worst performing TPI cars of all.

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Old 01-14-2019, 08:54 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by JT View Post
Keep in mind that nearly every option on the GTA was also available on the Trans Am.
Digital dash? Yes.
Ultima seats? Yes.
350? Yes.
Mono colors? Yes.
Gold wheels? Yes, depending on the year.
Steering Wheel controls? Yes.
Solid vents? Later years were solid.
Metal emblems? No. But later GTAs didn't have all metal badges either.

A Trans Am and GTA are more similar than not. While the GTA came standard with nearly all upscale equipment, the Trans Am could be ordered with many of the same equipment as well.
Well said. I was thinking the same thing.

When I ordered my Trans Am in 1988 and I reviewed all the options available and even considered just going with the GTA given it had almost everything. While cost was a consideration given I was less than a year out of college, the tipping point for me was I wanted manual transmission and T-tops. The GTA came standard with the 350 engine and automatic transmission w/ T-tops not available, so the decision ended up being pretty easy. In hind-sight I wish I had upgraded to the GTA style seats, but otherwise I'm happy.

While I personally wouldn't add the bird to my hood, as previously stated in the end they are really all Firebirds and given the history with earlier 3rd gens and 2nd gens, it's not an obscene gesture at all.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:15 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by NowhereFast View Post
They were not. They were all tune-ports, but you could have a peanut cam LB9(305) auto GTA, the worst performing TPI cars of all.
I don't remember the peanut-cammed LB9/auto being optional for the GTA. The L98-cammed LB9/manual, however, most-definitely was an option for the GTA. With only 5hp less in 1987 than the L98, which was only available with an automatic transmission, the LB9/5-speed was the "performance" option with a manual transmission, for people who did not want an automatic.

On a side note, I always found it funny that the cam has always been, and will forever be referred to as the "L98 cam." The cam's specs were essentially those of the L69 and the 1985 LB9, yet when its roller-version came out, it got tagged the "L98 cam." But I guess it would've been demoralizing for 350 owners to have to say their engine had a 305 cam. Whereas, it made the 305 sound more impressive because it had the 350's cam.
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:26 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

According to the new Firebird Colors, Codes and Quantities book, in the later years, there were LB9 and even a few L03 GTAs built.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:22 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by DynoDave43 View Post
According to the new Firebird Colors, Codes and Quantities book, in the later years, there were LB9 and even a few L03 GTAs built.
Exports. According to Compnine there indeed was some GTAs with the L03 but those that I've found in their database all carry an export RPO. Exported cars are known to be slightly different in ordering and appearance/options.
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Old 01-14-2019, 09:32 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Interesting. Thanks JT,
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:02 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by JT View Post
Exports. According to Compnine there indeed was some GTAs with the L03 but those that I've found in their database all carry an export RPO. Exported cars are known to be slightly different in ordering and appearance/options.
When you say exported do you mean they were special orders cars? I have yet to see a 5 speed GTA???
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:00 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by 881SA View Post
When you say exported do you mean they were special orders cars? I have yet to see a 5 speed GTA???
Slightly less common but there were a decent number of 5 speed GTA's made. Mine being an example, though it's a Canadian car
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:28 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by Drew View Post
Because the hood bird is undeniably tacky, and the GTA was a specific attempt to get away from tacky styling?
Exactly. That was a relic of the '70s. Yeah there were 3rd gens with the hood emblem, but they were mercifully rare.
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:36 PM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Originally Posted by Abubaca View Post
I applied this one on my Buddy's 85 TA.


You did a great job, especially with the vents. But IMO, the decal just didn't work with the 3rd gens. The '82 Firebird really was a relatively conservative design. Gone were the more upright spoiler, the giant bird (mostly, some people ordered it), the shaker scoop (unless my memory is shot, this car has a custom hood). Conservative designs age better. 2nd gen Firebirds often look good, but they look of their time, the '70s. 3rd gens have aged incredibly well and still look modern today. All just my opinion of course. To each his own.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:29 AM
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Re: T/A Decals On A GTA?

Yes, the shaker is custom. ....I think our cars sit rather awkwardly between old school muscle and modern muscle. You can have it look classic, modern, or you can be an ugly hodge podge of everything. -but I think that's kinda cool. I completely agree that on some 'birds, the hoodbird just doesn't look right. -but on others, I think it looks great. As you said, to each his own. As for my buddies car, what you don't see is that it's set up for road racing, not for showing. The bird is more less race car livery so to speak, and it works. ....if it was a weekend cruiser show car....eh.....mighta left the bird off.
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