I found my 1980 Trans Am on the internet. It needed a lot of work. I have been fixing it up as I go so I can use it. It is not the best way but the car is nice but not mint. I drive and use it now. The car has the 400 engine in it (go it that way) but it originally has the 301 engine in it. It was originally silver but I like the current blue better.
A National Firebird and Trans Am Club featured car is the ‘68 Firebird of Jim Burrowes from Yellow Springs, Ohio. Here is his story:
My uncle bought the car when I was 15 years old. I relentlessly begged for it as it sat in a barn for 27 years. He finally let me purchase the car, and I have spent the past six years rebuilding it. I still have a lot of work left to do. So far I have replaced the suspension, brake system, floor pans, rear quarters and fenders. Additionally, I have rebuilt the transmission. The car had the wrong motor in it, so I found the right one and rebuilt it with lots of performance pieces. Most of the parts have been purchased and I am currently working on installing a new interior.
This issue’s featured car is the Here is her story:
I always wanted a Trans Am and decided I was not getting younger so it was time to get my dream car. I found this one on Craig’s List. It had been living in a well kept barn for 6 years. The owner had decided that a Corvette was better (How little does his know). Cosmetically it was a beauty. Mechanically? Well it had been sitting for six years, what can you expect? Almost exactly one year and $17,000 later, not including the $3000 purchase price, this car is a piece of art now mechanically as well as cosmetically.
The 350 engine the original owner had put in it after his daughter blew the 305 had to be rebuilt. By the time the block was saved it ended up being bored out to a 355. Then my mechanic went above and beyond the rebuilt by adding a roller cam, roller tip rocker arms and topping it off with an Edelbrock 600 cfm carburetor. We also added a custom made aluminum drive shaft and many other high performance parts. This car turns heads and is actually requested at some of our local events. All 6 of my vehicles have names. I named this one Phoenix because he rose again. My new project is a 1982 Trans Am that I am turning into “K.I.T.T.”
Here are some images of my 4 Year Restoration.
It is a 1995 Pontiac Trans Am Convertible, LT1 engine with 4 speed auto. All options, other than the power seats. 100,000 mile car.
The car was built in Quebec, Canada for export to the U.S.A. and was sold new in Los Angeles, California. Over the next 16 years it made its way to Arizona, Oklahoma and finally to Nova Scotia, on Canada’s East coast. It became a summer car for a Couple from Puerto Rico who had a vacation home in Nova Scotia.
I acquired the car and started restoring it. Aside from a new GM transmission (dealer installed by previous owner) I had to go from one end of the car to the other. It had not weathered the years well cosmetically and mechanically, some short cuts had been taken. I designed the seats myself, rewired the engine, new roof components and glass, Magna flow exhaust, paint, stereo returned to factory so I could use the steering wheel controls, and a host of other small issues we tackled.
I really enjoyed the process and I am very pleased with the success in the restoration.
David G. Publicover
Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia, Canada
A National Firebird and Trans Am Club featured car is the ‘68 Firebird of Ehron S. Stout from Easton, Illinois. Here is the story:
The following is the story as to how I came to own my 1968 Pontiac Firebird. While stationed in Japan with the U. S. Navy, I owned a 1967 Firebird convertible and sold it when my wife and I were expecting the birth of my son. After my son was born in May 2001, I decided to start looking for another first generation Firebird (in the U.S.) that he and I could eventually build as a father/son project.
I went to eBay and found a 1968 Firebird with no title, California Highway Patrol drug seized car, no rust, with an opening bid of $1600. The car was located in Sacramento, California and had been painted orange. The car was missing front seats, console, radiator, tail lights and other items. I placed a bid of $1600 and won the auction as the only bidder. I then had the car transported to Illinois where the car sat in storage. In the meantime, the seller in California contacted me and was able to obtain a clear California title.
After my retirement from the Navy in 2010, I began the frame off restoration. I placed the car on a homemade rotisserie and removed everything from the car. At that time, the following was conducted:
Capital City Powerdercoating, Springfiled, Illinois
Powdercoat (gloss black) subframe, new gas tank (maroon), inner fender wells, radiator supports, all bumper brackets, al A/C brackets, all pulleys, sway bard (maroon), all suspension components and rear brake drums.
Complete rebuild of numbers matching 350 Pontiac engine with #47 heads.
Conversion from TH400 to Muncie M-21
New: wiring, tubular upper and lower control arms, Magnaflow exhaust, stainless brake lines, fuel lines, disc brake conversion, radiator, A/C box interior and engine compartment, brake booster and master cylinder, 18 x 8 and 18 x 9 Riddler chrome wheels with Sumitomo tires, NVU gauges, hood tachometer, bumpers, emblems, polyurethane bushings, stainless steel body parts, carpet, deluxe door panels
Stan’s Auto Restoration and Collision
Stripped body to bare metal, new rear tail light panel, passenger door skin, front fenders, interior (seats rebuilt, headliner, dashpad repair), new front and rear window glass.
Car painted with 2013 Chevrolet Silverado maroon.
I ordered this Firebird in January 1995 from Knopf Pontiac in Allentown, Pennsylvania. It’s a lightweight without power windows, locks or seats.
It has 61,000 miles and is all original except for the wheels. The engine is 5.7L with a 6 speed. The only option is A/C.
The only parts replaced have been the rear brake pads, battery, intake manifold gasket and one head light door motor in 20 years.
Here are some pictures of my 1981 Turbo Trans Am Pace Car. This is 1 of 2000 examples to commemorate the 1981 Daytona 500.
These cars were loaded up with all options from the factory including the Recaro interior. This car is an unrestored survivor with just under 50,000 miles. I purchased the car from the second owner in 2008. He had a small car collection and this car had been in his building since the late 80’s. During this time the car only saw about 300 miles. The car was originally delivered to Earl Dunn Pontiac in Madison, Tennessee with a sticker price of over $14,000.
Since taking possession of the car I have only done what is necessary to make the car safe and roadworthy. This includes a rebuild of the original turbocharger, carburetor, and radiator. Under the hood I replaced any questionable belts and hoses with new stock appearing rubber. The car was not wearing it’s original set of tires so a fresh set of correct size BFG Radial T/A’s were fitted.
The car retains its original exhaust with dual resonators and twin exhaust tips.
The car has been to Trans Am Nationals the past 4 years and The Ames Tri Power Nationals in 2014. This past summer was my first time to the Indian Uprising in St Charles, Illinois.
The Turbo cars are a unique part of the firebird history and I feel they are the best handling of the second generation cars along with the great styling of the late 70’s and early 80’s f-body’s.
A NFTAC featured car is the ‘91 Trans Am of Arthur J. Huneke Jr. Here is a short story with photos (also on front cover):
I have only had my ‘91 Trans Am since July 24 and I love her. She only has 129 thousand miles, with a 305 and runs mint. I have put on shorty headers, K&N air filter, and new tires.
A National Firebird and Trans Am Club EAGLE featured car is the 2001 Firehawk #400 10th Anniversary of Tim Hackenberg. Here is his story:
My father, Steve Hackenberg, ordered the 2001 Firehawk #400 10th Anniversary #84, to replace his 1996 WS6. He used to call me every week and give me updates on where the car was in the build process. When it was finally parked in his garage, it was all he could talk about. He was so excited. My dad drove the Firehawk as his daily driver for the first year before making the decision to make it exclusively a show car. He brought it to several car shows near his home in Allen, TX where he won nine awards over the years. I was fortunate enough to be in town visiting during a car show. My dad and I prepped the car together and spent the day bonding and talking about everything from driving skills to car shows. My dad was always a car enthusiast. I have always had some interest in cars but really didn’t know much about them. I couldn’t even drive a stick. My dad always said someday the car would be mine but that seemed unlikely.
At the time of his passing in 2012, my father had a 2006 Corvette and the Firehawk in his garage. The idea of selling these cars broke my heart because of how much they meant to my dad and the connection we had with the Firehawk. Keeping either of them seemed impractical. My wife, Kathleen, was completely supportive and told me I should take one of the cars and we would figure out how to make it work. We had no place to store it where we live in Brooklyn, New York. Kathleen is not a car person but understood how much it meant to me and to my dad. My sister, Stefanie, and my mother were also big supporters and helped me make it happen.
It didn’t take long to decide on keeping the Firehawk. It had a sentimental significance and I realized I can always find another Corvette if I ever decide I want one. I would never have the opportunity to own this Firehawk again. Besides, my dad told me he wanted me to have it. I had it shipped from Allen, Texas to its new home and my wife taught me how to drive a stick in the Corvette before we sold it. My dad would have loved the idea that Kathleen taught me how to drive a stick.
Part of my dad lives on in that car. Every time I sit behind the wheel, the way it sounds, the way it smells, I feel like he is with me. My Firehawk is a special car in its own right but it means much more to me than I can really describe. The first time I took Kathleen and our two sons for a ride, all I could think about is how proud and happy my dad would be.
Brooklyn, New York