Brandon Atkins

I fell in love with Trans Am's as a teenager because I wanted a car that would stand out (most of my classmates in school were into "boxy" Mustangs). After seeing the movie Smokey and the Bandit I knew I had to have a black and gold t/a. I wanted either a 79 bandit or 76 50th t/a, with t-tops. I first picked out a 79 trans am when I was 14. It was blue (originally black, but not a bandit) with t-tops and 455 olds someone had transplanted. It was nice looking, but ran rough, blew a smoke cloud everywhere. I wanted to fix it up, but because of it's problems and vet testing, insurance yada yada my parents made me get rid of it. I knew I had to have a cool t/a to drive when I turned 16 so I convinced my parents to help me get a 76 50th t/a that was for sale on traderonline (I was very aware of the rarity). I consider "Blackhawk" my first car since I never drove the 79. I took my drivers license test in "Blackhawk" and I drove it almost daily until I was 19 years old. I got a an 87 Buick grand national for a high school graduation gift (my parents went in about half with me on it) and I drove that daily for a few months. One day when I was 19, Blackhawk started leaking gas in the parking lot at work. When I took it to the mechanic they said it wasn't safe to drive. The car looks good, but underneath lurked a lot of rust which ate through the fuel line. The rust has almost ate away at the rear sub frames were the springs meet up. There is also a lot of holes in the floor pan. Currently the car is undergoing restoration with some performance upgrades planned as well!!!

Brandon J. Atkins (aka Brandon J.)

The frame off restoration is done.  The whole process took about 2 years, and here's what I have:
1976 400 c.i. Pontiac motor with 1972 7K3 heads
Functional hood scoop
K&N air filter + K&N top plate air filter
Billet Aluminum Pontiac logo valve covers
Edelbrock aluminum Performer intake
750 cfm Demon carb with mechanical secondaries and electric choke
Aluminum water pump
Electric fan
E3 plugs with Accel 8.8mm wires
Summit double  roller timing chain
A/C delete (originally had A/C)
Muncie M20 4 speed (originally TH350 automatic)
Hayes 15lbs billet aluminum SFI approved flywheel
Dual 2 Chamber Delta 40 Series Flowmasters mufflers
Edelbrock shocks
Hotchkis 2 inch drop springs front
Rear multi leaf spings
Aftermarket front racing seats with a carbon fiber appearance, fully reclinable
Stereo: Sony Xplod AM/Fm/CD player mounted in map pocket
Custom door speakers
Fire extinguisher mounted between rear seats
4 speed console recovered with stitching
Factory Options:
Power windows
Tilt wheel
Rear window defrost
Tinted Windshield
Custom painted on hood bird with color change paint on the eye and flame
Wheels: rear 15x7 polycast honeycomb wheels, front 14x7 honeycomb wheels
Tires: BF Goodrich T/A radials
Fisher T-top roof (originally Hurst T-top roof)
Bolt on sub frame connectors
Battery relocated to the trunk (battery: Optima drycell)
Rearend gear: 3.23:1
Rearend and front sub frame were powdercoated black
Custom stainless steel gas tank by Nationwide Auto Restorations
Custom stainless steel radiator top plate by Nationwide Auto Restorations
Steel driveshaft by Republic Diesel

Check out the new pictures in my gallery, and go to to see the rest.

Hot Rod Magazine does a story about my car and I!

UPS news letter about my car and I at Churchill Downs Car Show!

Below my car makes it into Popular Hot Rodding!

Brandon J

My Photo Gallery