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     First, let me give you a little background on the Hurst and Fisher options. The Hurst T-tops came on cars in 1976 through the first half of 1978. In mid production year of 1978, they switched to the Fisher style T-tops. Hurst was 1976 to mid production year 1978, and Fisher was mid production year 1978 until 1981. These were the only two "Factory" installed T-tops that you could get on the Firebirds and Trans Ams.  Ok, now the difference between the two. First is the size of the two tops. Hurst T-tops were smaller, they were 30 1/4" long x 17 1/2" wide. If you look at a car from 1976-77 with T-tops and look at the center of the roof in between the tops, you will see about 12 inches or so of roof between them. The Fisher tops were larger, They were 33 1/2" long x 22 1/4" wide. If you look at a car from late 1978-81 with T-tops and look at the center of the roof in between the tops, you will see only about 4 inches or so of roof between them. See below:

Hurst T-tops
Fisher T-tops
The next difference is the latching mechanisms. Hurst T-tops had two latches that held it in place, one on either end of the top. Fisher T-tops had one latch in the center of the tops.

     Now the two listed above were again, the only two styles of T-top roofs installed on the second generation Pontiac Trans Ams from the Factory.  Of course Pontiac and GM did not install the Hurst T-tops themselves.  They produced the cars and then had them shipped to Hurst Performance to have the t-top roof installed.  Most of the times on your build sheet, you will see that the delivery was to Hurst Performance and not to a Dealership.

The Hurst T-tops also had two designs.  There was a First Design and a Second Design for the T-tops.  The First Design is the more common of the two and found on most Trans Ams.  You can easily tell the difference between the two by looking at the roof and headliner inside your car.  The First Design used the weatherstripping around the t-tops to hold the headliner up, and the Second Design used plastic trim (much like the Fisher T-tops) to hold the headliner in place.

First Design
Second Design


But the Fisher T-top roofs were a replacement for the Hurst T-tops because of the leak problems with the Hurst Design.  The Fisher T-tops were installed at the Fisher Body Plant which is where the name is derived from.

     Now there were a couple of other types of Aftermarket T-tops that you could have installed on your Trans Am in the late 70's and early 80's.  The two most common ones that you will see would be the American T-tops and the Cars and Concepts T-tops.  The American T-tops were basically a copy of the Hurst T-tops and pretty much looked the same installed on the car.  The only difference is the depth of the T-top itself is deeper than the Hurst.  As listed above, the Hurst T-top panel was 30 1/4" long and 17 1/2" deep.  The American T-top panel was 30 1/2" long and 19 3/4" deep.  So, they were about 2 1/2" deeper than the Hurst.  It is kinda hard by first glance to see the difference.

Hurst T-tops
American T-tops

You can clearly tell the Hurst by the "Hurst Hatch" logo in the glass of Hurst T-tops.

The other design popular among the Second Generation Pontiac Trans Am were the Cars and Concepts style T-tops.  Again, this was another aftermarket company that installed T-tops because of the poor design of the Hurst and Fisher T-tops.  These are quite easy to spot because the glass panels of the t-tops actually touch in the center of the roof.

(Photo courtesy of Justin Bavar)

Here is also some literature from back in the 80's from Cars and Concepts.

Click on the Image to download the PDF Document.



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