Texas Trans Am Service & Restoration Newsletter
"Specializing in Service and Restoration of
Second Generation Pontiac Firebirds"
+ + www.TexasTransAms.com + +
As they say in Malta: "No shipping, Air Freight!"
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In this Issue
1a. Sight Unseen (digital image) = Buyer Beware!!!
1b. Ron's article on Olds 403 performance.
2. New Project Cars
3. New parts, re-pops and a disturbing trend.
4. And the Road Runner award goes to...
5. Shipping, Credit Cards and Malta
6. Top 100 Muscle Car Site
7. Tee Shirts and Bumper Stickers
8. What's new at the shop?
+ + + + +
1a. A word of caution about buying a car "sight unseen."
A customer bought a BEAUTIFUL Black Trans Am
off e-Bay, and had it shipped to Colorado. At a local
shop, the car was put up on a lift where the service
technician deemed the car to be unsafe to drive.
The rear frame rails, floor pans, and spring mounts were
rusted out. To complicate matters further the 301 turbo
engine had been replaced with a 1977 "Cheby" 350.
Colorado emissions laws allow for an engine update, but
not a backdate. Now that the car has been declared unsafe
the new owner is not allowed to re-sell it.
The fortunate news is that after the rusty discovery was
made to the previous owner, 2/5 of the purchase price
was refunded. Texas Trans Am Service and Restoration
was able to provide a relatively rust free '79 TA as the
foundation to build our customer's dream.
The replacement project car will feature the Olds 403 which
is correct for Colorado, and will yield a lot more torque
than either the original 301 or corporate cousin 350.
And of course the signature Texas Trans Am sound
From a set of Texas Trans Am Mufflers
Oh, I forgot to mention the first car was a 1981 Black
and Gold "Bandit" TA, which will become a donor
car to make it's 1979 brother car a little more "Special."
Remember, always make the final sale contingent
upon inspection, preferably by a competent mechanic.
1b. (Continued from the August article)
Oldsmobile engine, Pontiac body
Being the Second Gen. Trans Am fanatic, you know that
many of the '77 through '79 Firebirds, Formulas and
Trans Ams came with Oldsmobile 403 engines rated at
a mere 185 horsepower.
Quite often one of the first changes in a restoration
is yanking out the Olds 403 and replacing it with a
Poncho 400 or 455. We would hate to see a numbers
matching Special Edition, Gold Y88 or Tenth
Anniversary edition separated from it's original
engine just because it didn't have the performance
the owner desired. For those of you with the Olds
engine, our friend Ron L. has a success story to
share with you that does not include headers.
Read Ron's article here:
2. "Membership has its privileges"
Newsletter subscribers will get first notice on new
- 1977 Firebird black with yellow flames and snorkel.
It has a sunroof and good seats. Good body, needs
engine. This car is desperately looking for a "B"
movie to star in. "Hooper 2003"? The snorkel and
paint job alone is worth an extra 100 HP, even with
out an engine.
- 1978 Bandit Black & Gold SE, needs engine and
transmission, rear floor pan needs to be patched,
straight rear quarters, true Special Edition Car
1979 Firebird 301 partially disassembled. White with blue
and white interior. Mostly complete, some surface rust
on driver side rear quarter panel.
If you are interested in one of these great project
cars, call David at 817-563-2121
------ ADOPTIONS PENDING -----
- ADOPTION PENDING -
1979 Firebird Formula 400 / 4 speed, 3:42 gears
project car with Fisher T-tops. This Red formula will not go
ignored. The body has been carefully disassembled
by Texas Trans Am Service and Restoration, and is
ready for paint and re-assembly. (David's note: 3:42 gears
were not an option in 1979, but some lucky cars had this
exciting rear end installed from left over '78 stock a the
We're not sure but from all the pictures of '79 red Firebirds
And 400 CID engine compartments that Alex M from
Ohio took at the 2002 Trans Am Nationals we think
he's pretty exited about his new/old "Dream."
- ADOPTION PENDING - 1979 Black Trans Am, no motor,
new transmission. Straight body other than small crease on
passenger rear quarter panel. Some surface rust around back
window. No other rust (This is the '79 from the first article)
- ADOPTED - 1978 Yellow Formula. New bodywork and
Paint. New Weld wheels, new tires including slicks. Front
end rebuilt with urethane bushings. Needs motor, transmission
and interior redone.
With apologies to our faithful newsletter
subscribers, this car became available and was adopted before
pictures hit the Website and the newsletter was published.
A couple drove up from Corpus Christi, Texas planning
to get the 1977 Firebird (black with yellow flames) but fell
in love with this one. If you are not from Texas this may
sound like a casual Sunday drive, but Fort Worth is 403 miles
from Corpus Christi, just under half the distance our friend from
Cartersville, GA drove (850 miles) to adopt the '79 Blue
"some assembly required" Trans Am.
If that sounds like a long way to drive for an old Firebird
project, wait till you read article 4.
- ADOPTED - 1978 Firebird Formula, black with gold stripes
and Formula call-outs on the doors. CORRECTION this car
came from the factory with the Pontiac 400 cid 220
horse engine (same as T/A 6.6) but currently has
the Olds 403. Slight damage on tail end of passenger
side quarter panel, drop-offs need to be patched.
- ADOPTED - 1980 Trans Am, hardtop, 301 needs to be
replaced, rust free body
- ADOPTED - 1972 Firebird Formula, automatic car, needs
engine and transmission, straight rear quarters. We never
got around to bolting on the correct front clip, but it went
with the car and other parts. A man and his son came
out to the shop looking for an old C'maro to restore
together, but after a brief explanation of the rarity of this
car, and pictures from the Trans Am Nationals of what
the finished product would look like, it was quickly adopted.
Check for pictures of new cars on the projects page
of the website.
Last month's newsletter can be found in the articles
and news section, but only one month later. As a
subscriber, you get the cars, parts and "scoop" 4
weeks before anyone else.
3. We can ship Auto Custom Carpet and Texas Trans Am
Mufflers to you, or if you can get your car to our
shop just south of Fort Worth, Texas, we can install
the carpet and mufflers with full dual exhaust and
an "H" equalizer pipe. Remember the Texas Trans Am
Mufflers are produced with heavier gauge steel than
popular dual chamber hi-performance mufflers. This
gives the Texas Trans Am muffler a deeper, more solid
sound, rather than the high pitched "cow bell" sound.
Fiberglass hoods are becoming popular items at the
Texas Trans Am Shop. We have a relationship with a
manufacturer that can produce hoods and panels in
many custom styles for most any American made car
or truck. Ram Air hoods are becoming very popular
and we can get them for most common domestic cars
and trucks. Contact us with your wants and
needs for fiberglass parts. We have included the
Firebird Fiberglass Parts page in the Parts section
of the TexasTransAms.com website.
We now have in stock Late Second Generation split
tail-pipes with 2" and 2 1/4" inch diameter pipe
available. Also new GM center caps with gold or red
Firebird emblems. These caps feature metal
retaining clips for attachment to the wheels.
See the shiny new parts here:
Many parts available recently from General Motors
have been discontinued. Such as radiator overflow
bottles, the 400 fan shroud, and center spoiler for '77-'78.
In an effort to have replacement parts available we are
working with two sources to create a front lower splash
pan for '75-'74, '70-'78 wheel flares and '77-'78 front
center spoiler. We understand GM's reluctance to serve the
lucrative restoration market with over 800,000 second
generation cars built to focus on their newest acquisition,
bankrupt Daewoo Motor.
We still have the driver's side quarter available for your
'75 through '81 ready to ship.
4. Our new friend Alex M. from Ohio wins the Road Runner
Award for August. Alex traveled over 1,074 miles one
way to visit and finalize adoption of the
Red 400/4speed Formula. He flew from Ohio to Kansas
City, Mo. to retrieve a motorcycle, and rode it 548
miles to the TXTA Shop in south Fort Worth.
He was kind enough to bring 9 disks of pictures he
had taken at the 2002 Trans Am Nationals.
David spoke to Alex following his 1,074 mile
motorcycle return trip, And other than his tailbone
being really sore, his trip went fine.
We are excited that someone with such enthusiasm
for the Second Generation Firebird is adopting it
and we look forward to seeing it's resurrection.
OK, maybe it's because it will be the first NON-BLACK
car painted at TXTA in about 3 years.
5. We are able to accept Visa, MasterCard and
American Express. We are now mostly shipping FedEx
ground, except for oversized items and international freight.
The sheet metal for Eugene's son's car was sent to
Nova Scotia in a truck returning from delivering fresh fish
to the states (his connection, not ours). We are currently
working on arranging Air Freight for GTA parts going
Yea, we looked it up for you: The honey-colored
stone island of Malta, with a population of 375,000 and
measuring about 17 by 10 miles, rises out of the
Mediterranean sea about 60 miles south of Sicily,
Italy. We suspect it's a low mileage car.
6. TexasTransAms.com has been ranked around #11 to #13
on the Top 100 Muscle Car Sites for the last several weeks.
Now it's nice to found on the first page, but we were getting
accustomed to being found "above the fold" in the top 10.
Maybe I just got lazy, and haven't posted as many new
pictures or articles as in the past, I'd like to blame it
on a resurgence of interest in restoring Chevy Monzas or
the 100th Birthday of the Cadillac brand, maybe it's been
too hot to vote. Don't just vote for us to make us feel good.
Goodness knows David's ego doesn't need any more inflation
and our Webmaster is suffering from delusions of grandeur
as it is. When you do vote, do it for THE CHILDREN.
Remember that 154th visitor directed from the
Top Ten Muscle Car Site may be a small child that needs
a lower valence panel for her 1975 Trans Am so that she
won't have to walk to school. And who else can get that
for her, but Texas Trans Ams. Sure it's usually just the
"Inner Child" of a 40 something guy trying to relive his
glory days, but still think of the CHILDREN and VOTE.
Thanks to our loyal viewers, visitors, subscribers and
customers For helping get the word out!
To lazy to vote? Love Google.com search? Me too!
Just set your Internet Start Page to
Want a different start page? E-mail your request to
7. Tee Shirts still coming soon.... and always will
be. TexasTransAms.com bumper sticker version 1.1 is
available for $2.00 each, plus shipping and handling
or FREE with orders over $100.00
Todd is testing a TexasTransAms.com bumper sticker
on his pickup truck. Already it seems to handle
better, and possibly picked up a little horsepower.
8. At the shop recently...
4 WS6 wheels with gold inserts have been refinished
and are getting the final clear coat to ship.
We sold Gary H's 301 headers and Chris A's Olds
403 engine. It will breath new life in the Black '79
TA going to Colorado (see first article in this newsletter)
Dano's Special Edition TA after 1 year, finally has doors
on the body again. David just finished block sanding the
body and doors, rebuilt the door hinges, hung and adjusted
both doors. The two doors have been block sanded 3 times
and are ready for 2 more coats of primer and then wet sanding.
The rear axle has been sand blasted and painted with
POR15 Metal Mask. New bushings and rubber mounts are ready
to be installed.
Larry S's '81 TA is going through final stages of sanding
and primer. Wet sand with 500 grit paper on a 9
inch block is next. After 4 passes of primer and sanding
the hood is straight. The car will be painted next week.
Todd L's Blue '78 TA quarter panel surgery is progressing.
After Todd drilled out all of the factory spot welds,
he removed the crumpled quarter panel, outer wheel
housing and trunk drop off panel. David has fitted and
welded the replacement outer wheel housing and trunk
drop off pieces from the donor car. After some
straightening work the quarter panel will be ready to be
welded in place.
Apologies to Larry A for forgetting to mention the
progress on his Trans Am in the last newsletter
(These cars start to all look the same in primer).
Larry A's right rear quarter panel is on the car. Body
shell work is being completed, including driver's side
fender and hood. The doors and right front fender will be
scheduled soon. With in a week or so it will be moved to
another bay for installation of the roll cage.
Well, "Lightning" just dropped by to tell us about the
rare White Tenth Anniversary Trans Am that a
friend of his owned, again.
It's just too hot to argue with him.
Your friends at Texas Trans Ams
"Restoring Old Dreams"