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1977 Facts and Interesting Notes
The Second Major Styling of the Second Generation
For 1977 the Firebirds were again restyled with a dramatic new front end with quad headlights set into a new grille design.  The '77 to '78 is often referred to as the "Batmobile" style, referring the aggressive front end. The hood was updated with new sheet metal making it more flat (better for bird decals). 
The Trans Am Special Edition
The Black and Gold Limited Edition of 1976 returned for 1977 as the Special Edition. This is the car made famous as the Bandit from the 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit.   Again the car was painted all black with a gold matte hood bird and special German style lettering on the decals, and gold striping around every feature. The Special Edition was available with or without the Hurst hatch roof (T-Tops) and was very popular now that most of the leakage problems were fixed.
Skybird
A new Esprit, the Skybird, debuted for 1977 featuring light blue upper and dark blue lower with special sail panel and spoiler decals (if equipped with spoiler).  The snowflake wheels were also painted blue.  The interior featured and all blue custom interior with  a gold engine turned dash insert similar to that in the Trans Am Special edition.  The Formula Steering Wheel was also included and for the first time came in a color other than black, in this case blue.
Hurst Hatches
The Hurst Hatch Roof option introduced on the 1976 Black and Gold Limited Edition became a standard option in 1977 for all models.  Although the Black and Gold Special Edition received always received black trim on the hatch roof other models received either black trim or bright chrome trim.  Why these two trim levels were installed on 1977 Firebirds and which cars received which type is unknown. 
Trans Am Hood Scoop
The Trans Am received a new, more angular hood scoop.  Interestingly the first Trans Ams came with a lower hood scoop at first and was enlarged at some time after the models introduction.  The early hood scoops sat much lower and it was more difficult to read the engine call outs. 
Formula Hood Scoops
The Formula received a new steel hood as well with the newer, flatter hood design with new hood scoops.  These scoops mimicked the 1976 Formula scoops but were set slightly lower and had a more angular design.  The scoops were non-functional.
Formula Spoiler
The Rear Deck Spoiler was standard on Formula in 1977. 
The W72 400 Debuts
The now legendary W72 400 debuted in 1977.  This engine maintained the same 200hp as the prior 455 with 55 less cubic inches.  The W72 was a true performance engine and highly desirable today in the '77, '78, and '79 models. The W72 400 was the only engine available with a 4 speed in a Trans Am for 1977.  All other 400 options were available only with the automatic transmission.
Snowflake Wheels
The now famous snowflake wheel debuted in 1977.  Made of aluminum the snowflake was available in Gray or Gold the snowflake was standard on the Trans Am Special Edition and the Skybird.  This was arguably one of the nicest wheels ever to come from a car manufacturer.  The Snowflake replaced the polycast Honeycomb wheel of 1971 to 1976.
New V-6 Replaces The Chevy Inline 6
A new Buick-built V-6 replaced the previous inline 6 made by Chevrolet as the standard engine in the Base Firebird and Esprit. 
The Pontiac 301 V-8
For the first time the Pontiac 301 V-8 was available in Firebird and demand for the engine was so high that eventually the engine became scarce.  Although much maligned as a performance engine the 301 was a very economical engine and buyers were lining up to get it.  The 301 weighed 119lbs less than the 350.  The 301 was optional on the Firebird and Esprit and standard on Formula.  A Pontiac Product Manual Update dated June 2, 1977 announced that the 301 had been replaced with a Chevrolet built 305 for all Firebird applications.

The Chevrolet 305 V-8
On June 2, 1977 a Pontiac Order Guide update listed that the Pontiac 301 had been replaced with the Chevy 305cid V-8 in all Firebird applications.  A 1977 Firebird product strategy lists the 305cid engine as being standard in the Formula.  In the Tran-Zam Options page you will see both the 301 and 305 listed as standard in the Formula.
 
The Oldsmobile 403
The Oldsmobile-built 403 became the standard Trans Am engine for California and high altitude bound cars and could only be had with the Turbo 350 Automatic transmission. 
Metric Engine Callouts on the TA Hood Scoop
The lower end 400 and the Oldsmobile 403 when installed in the Trans Am added decals to the shaker hood scoop reading 6.6 Litre, using the European spelling.  Designers felt this gave the car a more European flair versus the previous 400 decals that were installed in previous years..  The W72 400 rated at 200hp received callouts that read TA-6.6. 
Trans Am Console
The front console was now standard on Trans Am.
Breaker Breaker
The Citizen's Band Radio (CB) was now available as option #UN8 on all Firebirds.
Cruise Control
Cruise Control (K30) was now available for the first time.
 
Electric Trunk Opener
The Remote Decklid Release (A90) was a new option for 1977.  The rear trunk could be opened with a switch inside the glove compartment.