From the Editor's Desk – January 2008

Steve Thompson ‘77 Bandit at Garden of Gods Lookout Thanks to all of the new members that joined recently. Thanks to Steve Thompson for his story on the Bandit Run and Denise Belair and Beverly Ready for their photos and stories in this issue and all of the other contributors to this issue! Also many thanks to Todd Stahr, Justin K., Bill Simcox and Brett Campbell on their continuing technical help to our members on our new message board at board.firebirdclub.net.

I am happy to inform you that Technical Sections Volume II is now available which continues the great tradition of practical tech advice started with Volumes I. In keeping with the times this one is available only on CD for PC or Mac and is available in the Club Store section of each Eagle and on the website at www.firebirdtaclub.com.

Another new item in the store is a complete copy of the past ten years of the Eagle available on CD only for PC or Mac.

We have a new member of the tech staff, Bill Simcox. He is a first generation Firebird specialist. See the article about his experiences in this issue and see his contact information under the tech staff on the technical services section.

We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at www.firebirdtaclub.com or directly at http://board.firebirdclub.net . We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Eagle or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area. It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area.

The club also now has a blog located at http://blog.firebirdclub.net . Members can publish items or comments to the Blog.

We have a National Firebird & T/A Club photo gallery located at http://photos.firebirdclub.net . The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly here.

The Firebird Nation of North America is a new local chapter of the National Firebird & T/A Club. The club is for all Firebird owners in upstate, central & western NY, central & western MA and northern CT. The organizer’s name is Thomas Smith and he can be reached at 518-587-8215 or by email: tsmith24@earthlink.net or http://clubs.hemmings.com/firebirdnationofnorthamerica .

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt or tech volume II CD. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. And in response to many members we now have a 3 year eMembership for $50 which also includes a free t-shirt or tech volume III CD. So save some money and get a free t-shirt or tech CD in the process!

Classified ads are FREE to members but now you can add photographs of your items for sale. For $15 we will include a B & W photograph of your car or item and for $35 we will include a color photo. Also the classified ads will now appear on our Internet web site.

Remember we will send out the eEagle, our email newsletter in addition to the regular Eagle for members that have given us their email address. Our website address is www.firebirdtaclub.com and our email address is info@ firebirdtaclub.com. The website has a “Members Only” section on the web site. This section contains technical staff contact information, recommended repair shops, spare parts lists that members have sent in as well as complete current and past issues of the member magazine which can be viewed on-line or downloaded for printing.

You need an ID and password to access this area. You will find the current ID and password on page 3 of each issue of the EAGLE. These will change with each issue so use only the current ones listed.

Thanks for all of your support and to this issue’s contributors and I hope you are preparing for the upcoming season!!

'87 GTA of Gary Boggs

My friend Lou used to drive this car everyday. When he got married his wife hated the car, so back in the yard it went. After years of sitting and other projects Lou decided to get rid of the car. My husband and son had gotten into drag racing and one day Lou came to the track to see them run. I inquired about the car and Lou said “if you want to turn it into a race car you can have it.” I couldn’t believe my ears! He said he would give the car to my son Gary for his 16th birthday. We towed it back to our home and rolled it into the garage. My son has decided he wants to keep it stock for now and try to restore it. We can’t get it started because the fuel lines are clogged…Any inormation or tips on how to get all the fuel out of it would be greatly appreciated. My son took the seats out top have them re-covered so I am also looking for any suggestions as far as nice seat covers. I’d like to purchase some covers for him for Christmas. I guess we’ll need a lot of help from members to get this car in nice shape and back on the road. Maybe later he’ll turn it into a dragster! Any comments or information could be sent to my email address rboggs127@cox.net

Thanks, Robyn Boggs ( Gary’s Mom)
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2007 TA Nationals

The 23rd annual Trans Am Nationals were held the weekend of August 24-26, 2007 in Dayton, Ohio. The staff of the National Firebird & T/A Club are always at this event because of the large number of Firebirds and Trans Ams that always are present. Sue Emmel and Becky Bayes and the rest of the “crew” did their usual fine job.

The turnout was great and Trans Ams as there were approximately 500 Firebirds and Trans Ams with many fine examples of all generations.

It was great to meet so many of our members at the show and we thank you for all of the many complements about the club itself.

A great time was had by the attendees and the 24th Annual Trans Am Nationals is scheduled for August 22-24, 2008. Take a look at all the great cars and we know we will see you there!

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More Renderings of Possible Future Trans Ams and Firebirds!

If you want to see a new Trans Am and Firebird let GM and Pontiac know at General Motors Corporation, Box 33170, Detroit, MI 48232 or 480-210-701 or http://www.gm.com/utilities/contact_us/contact.jsp?deep=contact.

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'74 Trans Am of Denise Belair

74tadenisebelair2.jpg74tadenisebelair.jpg74tadenisebelair.jpg My Dad was battling brain cancer and my Mom called to see if we knew of anyone who would want to buy her ‘74 Trans Am. I got excited and said that my Husband and I would like to look at it.

Now, I haven’t really looked at the car for quite a few years as it sat covered up in my parent’s garage. I had not seen them drive it in a long time either.

74tadenisebelair.jpg74tadenisebelair2.jpg74tadenisebelair2.jpgWe set out to my parent’s house to take a look. I was excited because I can remember feeling like a “cool kid” when my Mom would pick me up from somewhere in that ear. It was really cool to be picked up from the movie theater after watching “Smokey And The Bandit” in a shiny red Trans Am! My Mom bought the car new from Thompson – Pontiac in Cuyahoga Falls Ohio. I remember going with her to a Trans Am Club meeting at the car dealership. I even had a Trans Am Club tee shirt. I also passed my driving exam in that car.

74tadenisebelair3.jpgWe got to my parent’s and uncovered the car. I was sort of disappointed when I saw it. It had rust holes on the same place on each front lower quarter panel. It also had some rust at each rear lower quarter panel. The passenger side door had rust by the mirror. My Mom had always taken painstakingly good car of the car. The car never saw snow or salt and was always clean and waxed. Maybe my mom washed it too much or let it sit wet in the garage. None the less, it was still beautiful to me. “We can fix it”, I said to my husband. He was not as enthused as me. “Body work can cost a lot of money” he said,” And we are not sure of the engine”. We got the keys and started it up. It started but the engine shook like it was going to jump out of the hood! It started to run a little better after awhile. My husband looked at me and knew I wanted that car. We bought it and even drove it all the way home with no problems. Since then, we had the body fixed and painted and new decals put on and it looks super! The interior was already perfect and needed no work. The radio works, but the old 8 track player is not working. My Mom gave me her old 8 tracks too, and it would be nice to cruise down the road listing to the old tunes. The engine is the original 400 4bbl automatic and now still runs good. The car has 95,000 miles on it now.

I had always wished when I was a kid that I could have a cool car like my Mom and now I do.
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All GM Nationals at Carlisle, PA on June 22-24, 2007

beveryreedyflyer.jpgbeverlyreedyatgmnationals2.jpgbeverlyreedyatgmnationals.jpg Beverly Reedy was selected to be part of the invitational display at the 2007 GM Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Much to her surprise they used her car on the cover of the flyer and Program Book. The also used it on t-shirts although the color of my car was changed to yellow.

2007 Bandit Run

by Steve Thompson

bandit-run-sign.jpg I own a 1977 Special Edition Black Bandit Trans Am and a 1978 Black Bandit Tribute Trans Am. Both have the 400 Pontiac Engine, 350 Turbo automatic transmission, power windows, T-tops, polished snow flake wheels, new paint and graphics, AM- FM Stereo CD player with amplifier and additional CD changer in the trunk and built in CB radio.

bandit-run-on-track-1.jpg The 1978 was purchased six years ago and has been restored, frame on. Three years ago, I saw the 1977 at a carbandit-run-bandit3-1.jpg show. I told the owner to call me if he decided to sell it. I kept in touch with him and he finally agreed to sell it to me in the fall of 2006. I had it repainted in March 2007 and put new graphics on it in April. A fellow Trans Am owner, Gary Drew of Colorado Springs, told me about the possibility of a “Bandit Run” on May 15 -19, 2007. I immediately began research into the possibility of such a thing. Boy did that sound like fun. I signed up for the Run and decided I had to drive my 1977 Special Edition Bandit Car. I hoped to drive the car to a bunch of car shows in April, to test out the endurance of the 77 Bandit. But, it rained or snowed every weekend and the car sat in the garage. The “Run” was its initiation drive.

bandit-run-steve-thompson-2-tas.jpg On Sunday May 13, I left Colorado Springs, Colorado and headed to Texarkana, Texas. I pulled into the designated hotel Monday night and saw a roped off area for the Bandit Run cars. Boy was I excited to join the other drivers on the first “Bandit Run”. That evening, most of the drivers were cleaning their cars for the next day “Run”. A bunch of us decided to drive to the Texarkana Classic Car Museum (Day 1 meeting place).

bandit-run-road-atlanta.jpgDay 1 we parked in the lot of the Texarkana Car Museum and got a free tour of the museum. While waiting for the official start of the “Run” a couple actors appeared, one dressed like “Sheriff Buford T. Justice” and another dressed like “Junior”. We met the actors and also had a visit from the mayor of Texarkana. He wished us a safe drive to Atlanta and the drive began with Police escort out of town. We started the Run with maybe 50 or so Trans AM’s, GTO’s, a Camaro, a Dukes of Hazard Car, and other Pontiacs. About an hour or so later, we picked up more police escorts as they took us through Magnolia, Arkansas. We were escorted around the town square where hundreds (if not thousands) of people were lining the streets waving to the Bandit Run Convoy. What a sight to see, all the people standing on the sidewalks waving and yelling at us as we drove by. That evening we pulled into Tupelo, Mississippi for the night.

Day 2 saw us meet at the Tupelo Auto Museum to show off our cars, view the cars in the museum and see the new “Year One Bandit Car”. It looks fantastic, but a little pricey for some. We were told that Bandit One starts at around $130,000 with Bandit Two at $160,000 and Bandit Three around $190,000. That morning, we probably picked up another ten or so cars joining the Bandit Run. We then began the drive from Tupelo to Birmingham, Alabama, after having a BBQ lunch at the museum.

Day 3 saw us pick up another 10 or so cars and leave Birmingham, driving in a convoy toward Atlanta. I had the pleasure to take on a passenger in my Bandit car, that day. Steve Clark flew to the USA from England to go on the Bandit Run. Day One and Two, he rode with other drivers and asked me if he could ride with me on Day 3, to experience riding in my Colorado “Bandit7” car. On the way to Atlanta, we stopped on the side of the road to gather all the Trans Am’s and other cars on the Run. Our next exit was to be the Talladega Race Track. Once at the track, we got to tour the museum and were treated to lunch. Photographers were lifted high in the air on a boom truck and took a photo of all the cars parked in the parking lot. That photo is in the August Automotive Magazine, in their article about the Bandit Run. We then drove to Atlanta, running into a huge traffic jam on our way to the Year One facility. Most of the Trans Am’s did not overheat in the hot weather and bumper to bumper traffic. Once at the Year One facility, we were treated to tours and snacks. We got to see the area where the new Bandit Cars are being built. We also heard the official news that Burt Reynolds was not going to make the trip to Atlanta due to an illness. Most of us Bandit drivers were disappointed that we were not going to meet him in person.

Day 4 saw us meet at the Year One facility to drive in a convoy to the Road Atlanta Track, for the annual Year One Experience. We showed off all the Bandit Run cars, which now totaled close to 90 or so, in a special Bandit Run Car Show. The organizers also gathered up all the black “Bandit” cars and took us down to the track facilities. We lined up our cars and drove two times around the track completing 5 laps, so a camera car could shoot the entire drive. We then came in to change camera cars and headed out for a second time to drive 5 more laps. What a sight to see, all the Bandit cars. I estimated that there were about 28 Bandit cars from 1977 through 1980. Once done, we then drove back to park them for the remainder of the day at the Bandit Run Car Show.

Day 5: Since Burt Reynolds wasn’t going to be at the Bandit Run Car Show, I decided to head back to Colorado. I knew that I had a 3-day drive back and left that Saturday morning. What I missed was the unveiling of the new Year One Bandit Car, but I had already seen it while on the Bandit Run.

Some of the participants of the Run were going to drive to a couple movie locations on Day 6 or Sunday. That part would have been nice to attend, but I kept thinking about my long drive back. There was no way that I was going to trailer my car to and from Atlanta, while on the Run. I had to experience the whole drive, even if it did cost me over $600 in fuel for the whole trip, ouch! But a small price to pay for a fantastic experience that I will never forget. I did the Bandit Run, wow!

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Editor's Desk – August 2007

Cover August 2007 Eagle Thanks to all of the new members that joined recently.
Thanks to Barry Norman for his New Zealand Dream, Shelby Lauener and all of the other contributors to this issue! Also many thanks to Todd Stahr, Justin K. and Brett Campbell on their continuing technical help to our members on our new message board at http://board.firebirdclub.net.

We have a new member of the tech staff, Bill Simcox. He is a first generation Firebird specialist. See the article about his experiences in this issue and see his contact information under the tech staff on the technical services section.

We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at www.firebirdtaclub.com or directly at http://board.firebirdclub.net . We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Eagle or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the MEMBER ONLY QUESTION & ANSWER and UPKEEP & PERFORMANCE HINTS area. It also allows you to post items in the FOR SALE and WANTED sections as well as post photos in the MEMBER PHOTOS area.

The club also now has a blog located at http://blog.firebirdclub.net . Members can publish items or comments to the Blog.

We have a National Firebird & T/A Club photo gallery located at http://photos.firebirdclub.net . The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly here.

The Firebird Nation of North America is a new local chapter of the National Firebird & T/A Club. The club is for all Firebird owners in upstate, central & western NY, central & western MA and northern CT. The organizer’s name is Thomas Smith and he can be reached at 518-587-8215 or by email: tsmith24@earthlink.net or http://clubs.hemmings.com/firebirdnationofnorthamerica .

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt. The rate is $95 or $115 for members outside the USA. So save some money and get a free t-shirt in the process!

We now offer eMembership at a reduced rate of $20 per year. This membership offers the eEagle and on-line access to the “Members Only” section of the website which includes on-line versions of the Eagle, tech staff contacts, member shop recommendations, etc. No membership materials will be mailed to this type of member.

Classified ads are FREE to members but now you can add photographs of your items for sale. For $15 we will include a B & W photograph of your car or item and for $35 we will include a color photo. Also the classified ads will now appear on our Internet web site.

We are still looking for additional technical staff people. If you would like to join the technical staff, please contact us.

Remember we will send out the eEagle, our email newsletter in addition to the regular Eagle for members that have given us their email address. Our website address is www.firebirdtaclub.com and our email address is info@firebirdtaclub.com . The website has a “Members Only” section on the web site. This section contains technical staff contact information, recommended repair shops, spare parts lists that members have sent in as well as complete current and past issues of the member magazine which can be viewed on-line or downloaded for printing.

You need an ID and password to access this area. You will find the current ID and password on page 3 of each issue of the EAGLE. These will change with each issue so use only the current ones listed.

Thanks for all of your support and to this issue’s contributors and I hope you are getting ready for the driving season!!

‘95 Trans Am convertible of Shelby Lauener

‘95 Trans Am convertible of Shelby Lauener‘95 Trans Am convertible of Shelby Lauener‘95 Trans Am convertible of Shelby Lauener The August 2007 issue of the Eagle magazine’s (sent to club members) featured car is the ‘95 Trans Am convertible of Shelby Lauener. Here is the story:

Here are some pictures of my Trans Am. It is a 95 Trans Am convertible which I have converted to a WS6 with modifications. In the past four years the car has won 35 trophies at local car shows in Oklahoma. I drive the car a lot and have enjoyed meeting folks that like classic cars and trucks.
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Should Pontiac's RWD coupe to be called the Trans Am?

In its latest issue, Winding Road calls the fact that Pontiac will get its own rear-wheel

drive coupe based on the same Zeta architecture (sorry, “Global RWD platform” is the new official name) used by the upcoming Camaro is a “poorly kept secret”. We weren’t aware the decision to give Pontiac a piece of the pie was so solid, but are pleased to hear the news nonetheless.

When a new rear-wheel drive Pontiac debuts sometime around 2010 as a 2011 model, however, what should it be called? The obvious choice is to reuse the GTO moniker that was controversially slapped on the back of a Holden Monaro coupe and sold in the U.S. from 2003 to 2006. But what’s a Camaro without a Firebird Trans Am twin, we ask? GM still retains the rights to those names, and as the speculative rendering above done by Poblete proves, Burt Reynolds’ most famous ride looks damn good updated for the new millennium! I’ll be honest with everyone, I’ve never been the new Camaro’s #1 fan in terms of design, but I could get behind a Trans Am that looks good, screaming chicken and all.

by John Neff

If you agree let GM and Pontiac know at General Motors Corporation, Box 33170, Detroit, MI 48232 or 480-210-701 or http://www.gm.com/utilities/contact_us/contact.jsp?deep=contact .

New Firebird New Trans Am
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For owners of year Pontiac Firebirds, Trans Ams, GTAs and Firebhawks

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