While visiting family in rural northeast Kansas, I happened to park next to what I assumed was a ’77 or ’78 Trans-Am in white…but wait! Something was obviously missing, namely the shaker hood that the puking chicken should’ve been caressing with its wings. Somewhat less noticeably, the front spoiler was also absent. I tracked down the car’s teenage owner, who was working nearby. He told me the car was actually a ’78 Esprit, the upscale “lux” version that lacked most of the Trans-Am’s tacked-on gills and fins. (This one, however, had been spec’d with the optional rear spoiler.) He replaced the front fenders with a vented pair from an ’81 Trans-Am, which came complete with fender flairs. To complement the look, matching rear flairs were installed on the wheel wells in back and a big hood decal was added.
So, what do you think? Is a smooth Esprit hood worthy of wearing the Bandit Bird? Or does the lack of pokey-throughy engineness just make it look like a man wearing a tube top?