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Year: 1976 50th Anniversary Trans Am with t-tops (1 of 533 made)
Owner: Michael Tyler
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
AllGenTransAms Member: Hammer

Mike states:
Based on the 1974 Chicago Auto Show Black and Gold show car, Pontiac offered a Limited Edition package for the Trans Am to celebrate Pontiac's 50th year in business from 1926 to 1976. The Trans Am featured a T-top roof, installed by Hurst Performance, and included gold accents and pin striping all on a black painted car. The cars they produced either the 400 or 455 V8 engines. However, due to leakage problems and other design flaws the Hurst Hatch roof they were discontinued and as a result only 643 were made with the Hurst Hatch roof. There were 533 made with the 400 V8 engine and another 110 with the 455 V8.

I’ve been looking for a 1976 Trans Am for many years and found a very nice one at the Trans Am Nationals in 2003. It was a plain Jane 1976 Black Trans Am with 24,000 miles on it. I kept the owners phone number and made an appointment three weeks later to look over the Trans Am. While there, I noticed another car in the two car garage that was covered sitting right beside the car I saw at the Nationals. I asked about the car that was covered the owner told him that it was another 1976 Trans Am. However this Trans Am had only 20,900 miles on it and the owner said he would never sell the 50th because it was a Limited Edition T/A and very rare (1 of only 533). The owner took off the cover of the Limited Edition and let Mike take a look at the car that he would never sell.

I told the owner that purchasing the car was a big investment and I needed to talk to my wife about the purchase before I made a decision. I left without purchasing the original plain Jane black T/A with 24,000 miles on it. After leaving the owners home, my family went out until later in the evening to return home at about 11:30pm. There were 5 calls on our answering machine from the car owner left before we got home. Another buyer had come only an hour after my appointment and put money down to buy the car. The seller tried to call me many times that day and left many messages but accepted the sale when I didn’t reply. I knew I lost this Trans Am but understood the seller had to talk the money.

A few months later, while in London, I was searching on Ebay and there was the T/A that the owner swore he would never sell. I recognized the owner’s garage in the background of the pictures. I remembered the owner’s phone number and immediately called the guy up and asked him if he was really selling it. The owner told me that he had to sell it because his wife had just lost her job. I told the owner I was in England and wouldn’t be back for three weeks. I asked if I sent him a $500 retainer could he hold the car until I returned home. The owner stated he would take it off Ebay if he received a retainer. I called and sent my neighbor over with $500 to hold the car until I returned home from London. When I returned home from London the owner and I struck a deal on the car and the 1976 50th Anniversary Edition Trans Am was finally purchased. My car just over 30,000 original miles now and it still retains its original paint and still retains the stock look.

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