Texas Trans Am Service & Restoration Newsletter
"Specializing in Service and Restoration of
Second Generation Pontiac Firebirds"
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As they say in Malta: "No shipping, Air Freight!"
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September 2002

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 
Project Cars.
New Pictures:

- 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


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 
assembly plant)
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 
to Malta. 
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 
me at 

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"

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