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Special Edition Info
There is a lot of people out there trying to figure out if their car, or a car they are willing to buy is a Special Edition or not, this page will try to show you what and where to look to find out if you have in your hands a real SE.
First of all Special Edition consist basically of a group of cosmetic appointments that really makes the SE's cars stand out compared to a standard Trans Am, this are the groups I have identified
BLACK AND GOLD SPECIAL EDITION :
Let me start saying that 1976 was the first year for Special Editions, in 1976 Pontiac would celebrate their 50th anniversary, and by the way they built very few of them, therefore considered rare. 1977 was the year the movie Smokey and the Bandit was released and they used a 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition in that film, making the 1977 TA an instant hit . We don't know for sure why, but Pontiac did not stamped the code Y82 on the cowl tags, at least I have not seen any in 76-77 models, so here is some tips to help you figure if your car is SE or not. All Y82 Trans Ams had black exterior (cowl tag must show 19L 19U), they all had Gold Birds decals, German style lettering , Gold pin stripping all around and Gold front grilles. The interior was not necessarily black, we have seen and restored SE's with red interior, white , Tan. As per interior, all the SE's came with Gold swirled dash bezel and gold spokes on the steering wheel. Most of them had Deluxe interior, but there are exceptions, we have seen many with standard interior. In 1977 the exterior emblems used were RED, not gold as many folks think (arrow head on the nose and wheel caps emblems), the door emblems and the shifter emblem all were gold , they were all gold in 1978 and up, not in 1977. 1977 Special Editions came with 15 x 7 snowflake rims with gold painted inserts, 1976 came with gold polycast honeycomb rims. All Y82's came with HURST t tops in 1976 and 1977 , in 1978 you would only find hurst t tops on car produced before March 1978, after that they came with bigger t tops from "Fisher" but if you wanted a SE with non tops this was also possible, and the code for that would have been Y81code. So now you know what are the basics to recognize a Special Edition, but honestly that's not enough proof. Now days you can buy all the necessary parts to make any black TA look a like a Y82, this said you need to look further. The only way to know that your car is a real SE is trough2 important papers:
1- THE BUILD SHEET or 2- the WINDOW STICKER
1- THE BUILD SHEET: can be found (if is still in the car) in different places, the most common is behind the rear back seat. I have found B. Sheets also attached on top of the gas tank. If you don't find it in any of those 2 places then you have another resource
2- the WINDOW STICKER: this you can order from Pontiac Historical Society AT http://www.phs-online.com/
THE CODE Y82 MUST BE PRINTED IN THIS PAPERS, THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW IF THE CAR IS SPECIAL EDITION OR NOT
Y84 : LATE1978, 1979-1981
Same as Y82 but the t tops used for mid 78 trough 1981 were manufactured by Fisher and they were much bigger , some also came with WS6 (special suspension package) with factory snowflake rims but slightly wider (15 x8) . Is Also known that some cars had Y84 stamped in the cowl tag, so if you see this then you know for sure the car is the real deal, however, try to get the build sheet or window sticker to be 100% sure, I found that some cars did not have the stamp and the build sheet indicated that was indeed SE.
Y88 : 1978
This was called "Gold Edition" and was only produced in 1978, it had Gold paint finish with brown stripes and Tan interior, they could have t tops or not and still labeled Y88
Y89 : 1979
Y89's were very special Trans Ams, they were built to commemorate the first decade of existence of Trans Ams, that's why the are called 10th anniversary. They were all 2 tone grey and silver with red and black stripes and they all had T tops and Turbo rims, As per interior they all were 2 tone grey and silver seats. This was a very limited production, specially the 4 speed cars, which is known to be only 1816 produced out of the 7500 total sold.