This issue’s featured car is the ‘77 Trans Am of Chuck Landry. Here is the story:
My wife Nicole and I purchased this car after an extensive search for a weekend cruiser now that our children are grown and off doing their own thing now. I located the car in Arkansas and immediately began negotiations. After just a few conversations I headed to up there to pick it up, pretty much sight unseen aside from a couple pictures by e-mail. Well needless to say, I was in love when I laid eyes on her! After a short test drive and a quick stop at the car wash to blow the pollen off I did the deal, checked the fluids and rolled 8 1/2 hours home. It ran and drove like a champ. I had never in my life felt like I did driving that car down the highway because nearly every vehicle I passed I got a “thumbs up”. Oh, and I also received several offers to race but I wasn’t interested in anything more than a nice cruise home. I thought I couldn’t be any happier than I already was but after a good detail and buffer wax job, I loved it even more because it just came back to life. Aside from a refresh paint job on the fender flares, a fresh set of rear springs, new headliner and replacement of a couple faded decals and emblems I think the car is nothing short of perfect. Of course I have no way of knowing if the 33K displayed on the odometer is original or if it is 133K but I would lean to the 33K given the interior shape and the ride. Everything under this car appears to be the untouched original but I wondered about the undercoating that was obviously applied in its earlier years. During my negotiations with the previous owner I asked if it was a true SE. His response was “I have no clue”. He was an older gentleman that had the car as sort of a toy that he rarely used. Well I pulled the rear seat and low and behold there it was, the factory build sheet. The build sheet showed that it was in fact an SE and it originally shipped to Wisconsin which would explain the A/C delete and probably the undercoating. I did find a Georgia plate in the trunk behind the spare so I can only assume that it went from Wisconsin to Georgia to Arkansas. I would love to know the whole story behind the car because I have been able to determine that the engine is a 73′ Pontiac 400 in a 77′ year model. I figure the original engine blew and an older engine was cheaper I guess. But I really don’t mind that it’s not the “numbers matching” thing that some people obsess over because it starts and runs like a champ, doesn’t smoke nor burn a drop of oil.
We are having a blast with this old car. We try to make every show in our area and it has not only allowed Nic and I to have more time together but it also allows us to meet so many new folks we now call friends. Heck, I think even Nicole is getting into this because the last few shows I noticed her answering questions about the car and even going in to detail about not only our car but the ’77 Trans Am background as well.
This is the best investment we have made in quite a while and we are proud to be members of the NFTAC!