Episode 93. Pontiac Trans Am. GOX 144V. (Part 7).

It's been a while since we spoke about the Trans Am, so I thought it was about time for an update.


When I bought my first Firebird, which I think was way back around about 2011, it was a red Firebird Formula, and it was in very good shape, but everyone delighted in telling me that I had bought the wrong colour. The correct colour of course being black. So fast forward several years to 2015, and I buy my third Firebird (the second Firebird was a fourth generation). This time I got the colour right apparently. However, by all accounts it needed to have the screamin' chicken on the bonnet. Personally I'm not a huge fan of the screamin' chicken on the bonnet, I sort of like it as it is. However, I can see that from a re-sale point of view, the buying masses, probably all need the chicken! So, back in 2016, I forked out over £200 for a screamin' chicken sticker! The as expensive as the sticker was, it was almost eclipsed by the shipping, the import tax, and of course the VAT. Anyway, it arrived...


Rolled up tightly in a cardboard tube! For scale my skateboard is just under four foot long! They look pretty good though, and Mrs Clint was very impressed with our new door! Anyway, this is the bonnet decal I bought, and I thought that if I could get it anywhere near as good as it looks in the example photo on the website...


I'd be amazed, it is massive, the advert says it measures something like 42" by 42", but I would say that it's more like 44" by 48"!! I thought that it should look quite nice on the bonnet, as long as I didn't try to put it on myself! However, to make it easier to apply (apparently) it is made in two halves! I'm not sure this is going to make it any easier to put on, not only will I have it trying to crinkle up to deal with, but I'll be trying to match up the lines as well! Yep, I could see this huge sticker will be lining my bin if I tried to put it on, I needed help! I asked around, but most people were not too interested in sticking on a sticker that someone else had made. Of the few that said they could do it, it was going to cost more than it cost to buy the sticker in the first place to have it professionally put onto the bonnet of my Trans Am. It sat in my pantry for the next couple of years or so, rolled up in it's tube.

Anyway, I was looking at the thing earlier sitting in my pantry and spurred on with my recent success sticking the flame decals to the Daewoo I suddenly had a thought. One of the things that has been putting me off putting it on is that it cost me so much to buy in the first place, £200 is a lot for a sticker in my opinion! If I screwed it up (which was very likely) putting it on, then that would be £200 down the drain. But, by leaving it in my pantry it was worthless already, so that would also be £200 down the drain!! So actually, what did I have to lose? I went out to the Trans Am, the weather was warm, and OK, it wasn't as warm as it has been, but I figured it was warm enough. The pavement was warm to the touch, and I thought this would help me. As well as it being warm, there was no wind, and the air was very still. I figured that these were the best conditions I was going to get to put this sticker on. It was now or never! I cut the two halves of the bonnet sticker out from the rest of the stickers and backing paper. I then flattened them out, and layed them on the pavement with bricks around the edge to hold it flat, I left them there for about half an hour for the suns warmth to hopefully make it a bit more flexible, and less likely to bubble, or crinkle up! While my stickers were warming up I washed the Trans Am with washing up liquid, I know it's bad for paintwork, but this was more for putting on the stickers, than cleaning the car. After it was clean I soaked the bonnet with a sponge, and put some of the detergent mix into a clean old spray detergent bottle. I then put the decal on the wet bonnet, and removed the backing paper, spraying it liberally with my weak detergent mix as I went so that should the wind decide to blow, hopefully my big screamin' chicken wouldn't stick to its self!

So far so good, it was finally adhesive side down on the bonnet! I carefully moved it around until the edge of the sticker, which would eventually be in the middle was lined up with the crease that runs down the middle of the bonnet. Having the bonnet soaking wet had made it very easy to slide the decal around until it was in the correct place! I took my windscreen squeegee out of the Mustang, and used it to go all over the backing paper of the decal, until I had worked all the water out from under it. I then very carefully started to peel away the backing paper, pressing the decal down with the squeegee as I exposed it, until I was looking at this...


YES!! Half of it was on, but better than that, it had no creases, and no trapped air bibbules! I've got to admit, I was pretty impressed with myself! OK I thought, no time for patting myself on the back for a job well done, let's get the other half on before the wind picks up!


I repeated the process, but the whole time I had this niggling thought in my head, and that was that the first half went well. But I was sure to mess up the second half! I couldn't help but feel that I would be far more annoyed with myself if I messed it up now, as I would then have to remove my perfectly fitted first half! The second half was maneuvered into position until it matched up perfectly with the first half. I then took the squeegee, and once more used it to go all over the backing paper of the decal, until I had worked all the water out from under it. Then like before very carefully started to peel away the backing paper, pressing the decal down with the squeegee as I exposed it. The second half took far longer to do than the first, and I guess that was because the pressure really was on not to mess it up! But, like before, pretty soon I had this...


Success!! I had it on... All of it! Not only were both halves on with no creases, or air bubbles, but they even lined up, everything was in the right place!! I really couldn't believe it, but much like the picture in the advert, mine looked superb too!


Now, all I have to do is not wash it for a couple of days to let the adhesive do its thing, and then it should pretty much be on there for good! I was so impressed by how well that went, that now I think I might even attempt another job I've been putting off doing since I bought the thing, putting on the rear spoiler! Let's just hope that that goes as well as this. As putting on the rear spoiler means drilling holes in the bodywork, and to be honest I'm just not sure I'm brave enough for that yet!

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