Texas Trans Am Service & Restoration Newsletter
     "Specializing in Service and Restoration of
         Second Generation Pontiac Firebirds"
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www.TexasTransAms.com + +
             + + www.TexasTAMuffler.com + +
    + + Proud Sponsor of www.PontiacChick.com + +
+ + Reluctant Sponsor of
www.TransAmTerritory.org  + +
               Episode 21 - September/October 2004
In this Issue
1a. Road Trip to the Trans Am Nationals article and pictures
1b. Updated Animated Intro
2. New Project Cars
3. New, re-pops, and discontinued parts
4. Show Room
5. Shipping, Credit Cards
6. Top 100 Muscle Car Site, site-search and e-mail about "TexasTAMuffler sound question"
7. Tee Shirts and Stuff
8. What's new at the shop?
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First off this newsletter is a month late and a little short due to the 9 day trip we took to Dayton, OH for the Trans Am Nationals.  Hopefully the following article will explain a lot.
1a.  2004 would be the first year for Texas Trans Am Service and Restoration to set up a booth at the Trans Am Nationals. Additionally we arranged to deliver a shipment of mufflers to Paul from Ram Air Restoration to save him on the cost of shipping.  This would require driving the suburban and a small trailer.  For David and Gary this would be the cross country road trip of the summer. At 8:45 am Sunday morning, as we left Fort Worth, Texas, our Classic Rock station was playing an “All 70s Weekend” and we didn’t loose the signal for quite some time. After a period of radio silence we started looking around the cabin of the suburban for the device making a chiming noise. Apparently it was some kind of carnival music coming from the radio. I quickly hooked up the CD to cassette tape converter and fired up Sammy Hagar’s The Essential Red Collection. Although conspicuously absent was his 1979 song “Trans Am”, you know “I-E-A-T…Z28”, the picture of the car is inside the CD jacket.     
After crossing into Arkansas, we had to stop...
Read the entire article here in the articles section of the website.
1b.  After years of neglect, Gary has updated the Annimated Intro on the website.  Check it out:
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2. "The Privileges of Membership"
Welcome to new newsletter subscriber "srfrantz", who became our 596th member of the 45 new subscribers from September. 
We did notice that several new subscribers registered several times from 9/18 through 9/21, we're not sure if the Yahoo Groups system did not respond.  So some of you may receive multiple newsletters.  I'll try to clean up the extra addresses, so if you didn't get a newsletter, just sign up again.
Newsletter subscribers get first notice on rare parts and new project cars.
- New Offering :: 1979 Mayan Red 403 automatic Trans Am project car with clean straight body.
- New Offering :: 1980 Silver 301 CID Formula.  Engine runs but knocks.  Really nice straight body, good primer job to start with, pretty nice black interior.  No structural or surface rust has been detected.

- New Offering :: 1981 Autumn Maroon 265 CID Formula. Engine is partially disassembled. Straight body panels, some surface rust.  http://www.texastransams.com/projects/81maroon265fo.htm

1980 Formula originally White.  Straight body, no visible rust, amateur restoration started.  Needs engine and transmission.
1981 Trans Am originally Silver, in primer now. 301 T/A 4.9 (non turbo) Car is intact, including overflow bottle, brackets etc..
- Coming Soon 1977 Brown Trans Am, no engine, trans or hood. straight body - no rust.
If you are interested in one of these great project cars, call David at 817-563-2121
'72 Firebird Esprit, good tail light panel, no rust - minor dents.  Good sub-frame.
'74 Buccaneer Red T/A lots of rust, sub-frame looks fine.
'79 black Trans Am, ripped quarter panel. Offering all or part.
'77 red T/A parts car 400, automatic transmission, all but carburetor and hood shaker.
'76 Yellow T/A, 400 block complete motor.
'80 White Turbo T/A, 301 Turbo with 4 wheel disk brakes, 308-positrac rear end with brake booster, master cylinder and proportioning valve.
'66 Ford Pickup, reasonably straight, big block, with A/C.
The previous newsletter can be found in the articles and news section, but only upon the sporadic mailing of the following edition.  As a subscriber, you get the cars, parts and "scoop" 4 weeks (approximately) before anyone else.
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3. New, re-production, and discontinued parts
Due to our trip to Ohio new & old parts acquisition have been a little slow.
We understand that the hood release cable has been discontinued by GM and new radiator overflow bottles are all but gone from the GM shelves.
Original parts available:
6X 4 heads, street ported
Freshly rebuilt turbo for a 301 (a $600 to $700 service)
Call David at 817-563-2121 for prices.
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4. Show Room
We're working on it.
Directions and map to the Texas Trans Am shop / showroom available here:
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5. Secure on-line ordering: 
Texas Trans Am Service retro shirts are available for ordering on the stuff section of the parts page.
More secure ordering coming soon on the Parts and Stuff page.
In addition to accepting Visa, MasterCard and American Express, we can now accept Discover Card. 
We are shipping parts nationally and to many other countries around the world. 
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"Top 100 Muscle Car Sites"
Blah Blah Blah...
David's e-mail:
We fired AOL, so please address e-mails to david@texastransams.com.
Question of the month:
David answers e-mail
I have a quick question,
If you had to compare the TA mufflers to Fl*wmasters in sound & sound level, which kind do they sound like? The 40 series? Thanks for your time!
Hi Frederick
If I had to compare them, I would say they sound a lot like the 40 Series. They have the same deep tone, but aren't as loud at idle, but when you step into them, they open up.  Our mufflers don't have the ringing noise associated with the Flows. Most people tell me they sound better than the Flows and they LOVE the ADDITIONAL ground clearance.  Let me know if I can help.
Question about Restoration Reservation --
I would like to know what you would need to know from me as far as getting my '79 TA on your restoration waiting list. 
I am looking at a complete frame of restification and while I would like for the car to look stock, I am pretty much interested in beefing up the suspension with poly-graphite front end parts and larger sway bars.
I have a 455 SD that I would like to drop down into it, but I will need to find out how usefull the motor is as it had the bearings spun, so may have to stay with the original 403 that is currently down in it, but that will be something I am looking at.
Any way, I wanted to at least get my car on your waiting list as I know that there is at least a years wait or longer.
Hi Randall
To place a car on the restoration list, requires a $1,000 deposit. This money will actually go towards the restoration once we get started.  If for some reason Texas Trans Ams decides not to restore your car, the deposit is refundable. If for some reason you decide to change your mind, you forfeit the deposit.  The next opening will probably be around the middle of 2007. Let me know if I can help.

Site Search from "WhatUSeek.com". 
What are visitors searching for on TexasTransAms.com?  Site Search helps us to tune the site based on what you are looking for.  The following were the most popular searches for the last 30 days:
Count, Search Phrase, # Results
 6 '79' 47
 6 'FORMULA 1975' 24
 4 '1975 455 ho' 16
 4 '1979' 76
 4 '1978 Trans Am' 51
 4 '1974' 27
 3 'vin' 19
 3 '1969' 10
 3 '1975' 24
 3 '79 trans am' 47
 3 'production' 20
 3 '403 olds' 20
 3 '1979 trans am parts' 71
 3 '403 headers' 132
 3 'hood' 131 
 2 '1978' 51
 2 '1974 PONTIAC HOOD' 22
 2 'trans am hoods' 131
This months searches not found include 'hoghead' 'Bandit Edition Tubo Trans Ams'
and reminds us that it's not Texas 'toyota 87'.  
If you're looking for Brian and Joe from Hoghead's  in East Tennessee, they are at www.firebirdtransamparts.com, and if you are looking for a picture of the Special Edition Turbo TA it's here http://www.texastransams.com/articles/vintage_ads.htm
We also use Site Search results to learn popular new spellings like 'angines' and 'engin'.  (My Aunt had angine, but she's much better now, thanks.)
Remember if it's an absolute Firebird emergency, please e-mail us at david@texastransams.com or call us at 817-563-2121. 
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Black Retro T-shirt:
White Retro T-shirt:
We sold out of the PontiacChick.com shirts in Dayton at the show.  All we have left is the pictures.  Time to re-order.
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8. At the Shop Recently ...
Shipped Recently:
In addition to several mufflers ordered throught the Internet, and other usual stuff, we sent out a 4 barrel intake manifold, and a set of Formula decals.  We shipped several hexagonal center caps, Texas Trans Am Service T-shirts, and the nose brackets for a 1975 firebird and one hood shaker scoop for a 305.
Alex M's 1979 Formula 400/4 Speed -
David finished the bodywork on the body shell of the Formula and welded shut the spare holes on the firewall.  A studwelder was used to attach studs to the dented areas and pulled out with a slide hammer. Then the studs were then cut off and ground down. This prevents drilling holes in the skin.

A replacement drop off panel from a donor car was welded into place.  Experience has taught us that original metal fits much better than aftermarket.

The exterior of the body was sanded with an air D.A. sander, the steel quarters floated with polyester filler and sanded down to within 1/16th inch.  The skin was cleaned with
solvent and dusted with a tack rag.  The interior was roughed with a coarse polyester wool and vacuumed of dust.  
At this stage of restoration David would usually use a self etching primer, but it only comes in green.  In this case we are trying to duplicate what the factory did, because the primer originally used on this car was black.  We don't understand why the factory did not use a red oxide primer on a red car, but they didn't.  The only black primer we use on bare metal is epoxy primer, in this case PPG DP90.  We sure hope Alex likes his black car.
1977 Black Trans Am -
The automatic shifter is installed and the electrical problem solved.  The door gaskets have been replaced with the softer rubbers that David has found to work the best.
Michael B'.s Blue '79 400/4-speed Trans Am -
Just picked up the re-upholstered blue hobnail seats.  They look great.  The new door panels are in also.
Thanks for reading!