Author Topic: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?  (Read 4640 times)

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Offline Goldenrod T/A

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Hi!

  I am brand new to your website and heard about it while I was at the T/A nationals this weekend. I have an unusual question that I am hoping you may be able to help me with. I have a 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A. While taking her apart to get her ready for restoration I kept finding Solar Gold paint in numerous places such as around the windshield and rear glass under the molding, on all four fender flares under the beading, along the bottom of both rockers, on the package tray (which still has the red spray adhesive from the factory that overlaps the gold paint), and pretty much every where else that I sanded off the yellow including the bumper covers. I removed the panel between the trunk and rear window and found the most beautiful Solar Gold paint there as well.
  Well at first I thought I may have a stolen 1978 T/A that the VIN's had been switched so I took the front dog hose off to check under the A/C box and she did have the correct VIN. The data plate codes state that she should be Goldenrod Yellow, so to be sure that the data plate had not been switched I sent off for her PHS paperwork. It came back Goldenrod Yellow. So now I am really confused. I know she had to have been painted gold and assembled as a complete car at the factory because of the adhesive over spray on the package tray and the fact that as I sand thru the gold paint I only find that factory red primer under it. However before she left the factory she was painted yellow. Ok, I know that the Solar gold was not available until 78'. She is a late production car as her VIN shows she was one of the last few thousand built, and she shipped on 7/25/1977. She was built at the Norwood plant and I have been told that some crazy stuff sometimes happened in there. I spoke with numerous people at the Nationals and heard some interesting ideas such as she may of been a test car or even an auto show car, but it seems to me that GM would of kept or destroyed those. Any ideas or suggestions?
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 01:13:41 AM by Goldenrod T/A »

Offline JupiterBandit

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Re: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2013, 11:32:13 AM »
Sounds like you found the golden rod of your yellow paint job. gold base under your yellow

Offline Goldenrod T/A

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Re: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2013, 01:07:43 PM »
Already thought of that and found that there was no base coat of gold used under the yellow in normal production cars (from what I've been told, they were lucky to even get one complete coat of paint, let alone two of different shades). Even if they had used a two coat system to achieve the Goldenrod Yellow shade, I would assume that they would of used both coats everywhere and not just on the outer finish. Do you know of anyone that has a Goldenrod Yellow T/A I could ask to verify this? There were none at the Nationals. Thanks for your response!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 01:09:53 PM by Goldenrod T/A »

Offline RENOVATIONS

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Re: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2013, 02:19:22 PM »
I'm confused as you are with what you have found...sorry I don't have a hunch (let alone an answer) for you.

I'd agree that the cars received a coat of primer and then straight to paint...single color coat with just enough for coverage.

You might try to reach member "Motleyfan" about his '77 T/A in Goldenrod Yellow. I believe he has owned it since new...and he's a Hoosier also (so probably a pretty smart fella ;) )
http://www.78ta.com/HTAF/index.php?action=profile;u=800

Let us know what you find out.

Do you have any pictures you can share of what you've found?
Jeff

Projects:
_____________
1978 Trans Am
1970 Camaro
1970 'Cuda

Offline Goldenrod T/A

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Re: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2013, 04:25:03 PM »
Well I am not having much luck loading pictures (not too computer savvy) but I will continue to try. What really throws me off is that there is only gold paint under the weather seal for the trunk, which means it was masked off prior to the yellow paint, which continues to lead me to believe that she was at one time a completed car in gold. Also, she does not have T-tops, which I thought all the gold T/A's had. Thank you for any help!

Offline pancho400cid

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Re: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2013, 04:39:06 PM »
There is no correlation RE:  T-Tops and color.  Some standard top coupes were painted Gold.

I would "guess" that they made a mistake and painted the car gold, then said Ooops and sent it back to the paint dept.  It would be interesting to know how they broke up the colors.... if consecutive VIN number cars got painted different colors they must have had parrallel paint operations for the different colors, or the ability to switch colors very quickly without cross-contamination.  Would be interesting to see the operation. 

Maybe the gold car was standard production and your yellow was special order and they re-painted the gold car to meet the ship date of the yellow special order?  Purely guessing.  When you are building that many cars, there is no way you could avoid mistakes/situations like that so my guess is they had procedures to handle it.

Very interesting.....
1978 Trans Am - Brown - Current Project
1978 Trans Am - Silver - Future Uncertain

Offline Goldenrod T/A

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Re: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2013, 09:09:39 PM »
I initially thought of that too but I have been told that they did not produce any gold firebirds in 77', at all. They did offer gold in 78'. I have done a lot of research into the process they used to paint the cars and the more I find out the more confused that I get. If in fact they did use gold paint on any of the cars they built at the Norwood plant then I could see it has just being someone's screw up, but so far I have not found any models painted gold in 77' (that Norwood produced). If someone has different info that would be great to know! Again I appreciate any insight or help!
« Last Edit: August 25, 2013, 09:12:03 PM by Goldenrod T/A »

Offline ponchonutty

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Re: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2013, 09:38:16 PM »
Well, from all the years of me looking around from GM and Pontiac, who knows what they were doing back there lol!  I just wonder though if they didn't just go ahead and paint a '77 with the "new" colors for '78 to see how well it looked?  Pontiac was very picky on how their vehicles were to look when finished.  Since at the time your car was made, they could barely keep up with production so I wouldn't be surprised they repainted it and sent it down the line.

I was told many years ago from an ex-Pontiac executive the '80 Pace TA's were first made all white.  They were about to send them out that way when one of the higher ups didn't like it and at the last minute had them sent back in for paint where they did the charcoal scheme borrowed from the previous '79 Annv. cars.  Gotta say it was a great call!
Rich enough to own a TA, too poor to keep'm all ;)
1980 TA (1st car)
1989 Formula
1976 400 4sp
1976 400 auto
1978 WS6/W72 4sp
1970 455 4sp Formula clone
1980 Indy Pace TA

Offline Goldenrod T/A

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Re: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2013, 11:27:42 PM »
That is the direction that I am leaning towards. Just curious though, does your data tag list the color code for white or the charcoal it left the factory with? Mine shows the yellow. Also have you removed any of the panels that show any white paint under the charcoal? The reason I ask is that it does not appear that on my car that they even bothered with removing any of the panels or weather stripping before repainting it yellow. They just masked them off as any aftermarket body shop would have done. Thanks for the information! Oh and you are absolutely right that the charcoal looks way better than the white!

Offline ponchonutty

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Re: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2013, 10:42:01 AM »
No.  My tag shows 11u 11L on the color tags but on the build sheet there was something on there for the grey accent.  Below you can clearly tell the gray was sprayed over the white and there was charcoal overspray in a lot of areas.  That is mentioned almost the very last entry on the sheet


Rich enough to own a TA, too poor to keep'm all ;)
1980 TA (1st car)
1989 Formula
1976 400 4sp
1976 400 auto
1978 WS6/W72 4sp
1970 455 4sp Formula clone
1980 Indy Pace TA

Offline pancho400cid

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Re: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 01:41:50 PM »
I "think" gold may have been offered in 77.

This site lists one for 77 (code 55 Golden Metallic and also code 63 buckskin metallic) :

http://www.78ta.com/paintcode.php 

Also this site lists one - At first glance the color chart for 77 does not show a gold option, but  if you look carefully it says

"Note:  The Firebird Redbook and Firebird 1967-1978 Databook and Price Guide list Gold Metallic (55) and Bright Blue (58) as available colors."

http://tran-zam.com/1977OptColors.htm

Good info on many models from their homepage:

http://tran-zam.com/

Or.... maybe they were trying out next years colors when yours came down the line....
1978 Trans Am - Brown - Current Project
1978 Trans Am - Silver - Future Uncertain

Offline Aus78Formula

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Re: Why does my 1977 Goldenrod Yellow T/A have gold paint under the yellow?
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2013, 04:26:51 AM »
Gold 55 was an accent colour only, snowflakes, grilles, brake light cages and W50 White or Black Formulas.
Does the Body plate call out for yellow paint, original screws holding it on? Front fenders still on?