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My 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am convertible second owner car Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   WarbirdTA 

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    Did I say Blondes?
  • Year: 1989
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  • Engine: 231
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Posted 31 December 2008 - 10:39 AM

Well,
Time to post up another car of mine.
She is a 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am convertible Noturne Blue 403 Olds powered bundle of joy.
Made new, by NCE.
With a sticker price of $14,000.00, over the price of the car!
One big reason Pontiac/GM didn't make them, it would cost too much.
I have always like ragtops, since my Dad taught me to drive, in his Caddy Series 62 convertible.
This is my third Trans Am I owned.
I first saw this car at a local Trans Am Club event, going to Big Bear, California, in early 1985.
I even got to park next to it when we all stopped.
At the time, it had wire wheels, a light blue top, and an airbrushed bird on the hood.
I just stared at it a long time, and the owner of it stared at my car (I was driving my 1981 Turbo Trans Am Special Edition), and he even joked with me, about trading cars.
I was for it, but I had car payments, so I couldn't (plus, I was married at the time).
I only saw that car just that one time, and then the car and the owner disappeared from the club.
I went thru a divorce, and now had some money, so I was looking for another Trans Am in 1987, and my new roommate said that he knew I loved convertibles, did I call on the one in the paper.
So, I go get the paper, and no ad.
At the time, my roommate was working in Orange County, and when I called him up at work, he said he was sorry, the paper was in Orange County.
He just happened to have the paper, and gave me the phone number for the car.
I call, and we are talking for about 30 minutes about the car.
He wanted $6,500.00 for it, and all I had, was $2,000.00.
So, in the end, I knew I couldn't afford it.
After 30 minutes on the phone with him, I told him I had seen a car like his, a few years earlier.
This car he was selling, had new paint, and a dark blue top.
He then told me the car had a light blue top before.
He asked me about my car, and he said he always loved the 1981 Turbo Trans Am Special Edition that he saw a few years earlier.
A light bulb went off in my head, and I asked him if his name was Rocky, and he said yes, is my name George.
Too funny.
We meet one day, and two years later, remember each other.
I told him that I only had 2 grand, and just went thru a divorce, so I couldn't get a loan for the car.
But, that I wanted to see the car, and take alot of pictures this time.
He laughed, and said grab my camera, and my 2 grand, and show up.
He gave me an address to see the car.
Well, of course I grab my money, camera, and a buddy, and off I went!
I get there, and look at the car (again, I forgot to take any pictures I was so excited), and even get to test drive it.
Now, the paint was new, no decals, and it had baby blue interior, which was really trashed big time.
Steering wheel broken in two of the three spokes, but held together with duck tape.
The driver's seat was broken on the top section (see, the owner was a big guy, and would sit on the very top of the seat, looking and leaning over the top of the windshield/car (with the top down)).
The carpet was worn out pretty much thru to the floor.
I didn't care, I just had to get the car.
Well, good news for me, as he was going thru a divorce too.
So, he made me a deal.
I give him 2 grand, and he let's me have the car,
He will charge me $200.00 per month, till the balance is paid off.
Then, I get the pink slip.
Oh, and he would write me a bill of sale for the 2 grand (to satisfy his ex).
And sell me the car for $4,500.00, since he knew me (even though we had onlyn really known each other for less than a day).
Now, I'm sure that now, everyone would walk away.
But this was back then, when people didn't screw anyone, and their word was good.
I accepted.
And I drove my new to me car home.
Now, what is even better, is that after I had paid off 2 grand of the 2500 I owed him, he sent me the pink, and said I didn't owe him anymore, that I kept my word.
What a super guy!
Once home, I bagan my work.
I tore out the interior, and ended up buying a junked 1979 Trans Am (which, all that is left, is my soon to be couch part of the car), to grab the whole black cloth deluxe interior, and swapped it over.
I even detail by painting the whole engine bay, and the top of the engine, for show.
I bought brand new decal kit from PG, and after putting on all the decals, found that they use the wrong colors in the decals (silver, instead of gold, like Pontiac used).
How did I find out?
Because I didn't use the T/A 6.6 decals they ship, I used the NOS 6.6 Liter decals that I bought new.
On top of that, I bought new carpet from Ames, and installed that, only to have the carpet fade to a lime green.
Ames said that they got a bad batch.
Fine, replace the one I got.
They told me it wasn't fair to them, that they would be out of money.
So, in the end, I got screwed.
Screw the company that made the bad batch, not me.
So, I don't use PG, or Ames anymore.
And don't intend to either, as I only use original GM decals, and I have never had any go bad on me.
Everyone else says to use aftermarket, as they are the best.
I got news for you all, they are made in batches, big batches.
And they sit around almost just as long.
Anyway, getting back to my car.
It is pretty much finished.
I have had a total blast with this car, even autocrossing it alot, and have had no problems.
The car has a dropped cat converter, and dual exhaust with Flowmasters.
The rear end was changed to a 3:08 pegleg rear, but the car hauls.
I put on all the WS6 parts, except for the shocks, which, pretty soon, I will install Konis, as I like them the best.
I even opened up the hood scoop, as it sounds just like a Police Car accelerating down the street.
I mean, it is so loud.
Why?
Well, now you hear it over the top of the car, with the top down.
Not just the side thru the windows.
I have run all styles of wheels on the car.
7 inch gold snowflakes.
8 inch grey snowflakes.
Even 8 inch gold Turbos.
And finally now, the 8 inch gold snowflakes.
Anyway, you are all probably bored now, so on to some pictures!

Here, at my local hangout, Redondo beach in the background.
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/NewImage.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/NewImage2.jpg

Here, autocrossing at a huge Trans Am event in Sparks, Nevada, at the GM Parts Plant parking lot.
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/79ConvertibleAutocrossing.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/79ConvertibleAutocrossing2.jpg

With a few friend's cars, at Luguna Seca Raceway.
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/70RAIVTA-79TAConvertible-74SDTA.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/74SDTA-79TAConvertible-70RAIVTA.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/79Convertible70TA.jpg

And here, playing with some wheel combos.
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/79TAConvertible.jpg

I have a ton more photos, just not scanned into my computer.
I will have to get a start on scanning, so I can post up more.

This is my baby, and I know how people are on this site.
If you don't like it, or have anything nice to say, then please don't post.
I don't intend to ever sell this car, and I will continue to enjoy it.

Thanks for looking,

George :)
Posted Image

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#2 User is offline   Jay 

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 10:48 AM

wow great story and a sweet bird aint russ from sparks nevada????
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#3 User is offline   FBN Firebird Nation 

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 06:37 PM

Great story George, and another Beautiful Firebird. I can't wait to see more photos dude.
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#4 User is offline   madamfootball 

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 03:36 AM

WOW....!!
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#5 User is offline   83TransAmCowboy 

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 05:27 AM

Very Nice George!! Don't forget a pic of that air brushed bird!


Matt
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" ... ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

John F. Kennedy
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A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."


The Game what we all play in the street/strip
The Game is what we spend all our hard earned money on.
The Game is muscle car vs muscle car, Money vs brain cell.
The Game is what we risk bleeding fingers, burned knuckles, stripped bolts, and sleepless nights for. It is the competition. It is the power, the adrenalin rush, the chance to become legend, the glory of prestige, the thrill of victory, and the fun we share with other Gamers.
The Game, we all play it, one way or another, we all play it. Embrace it or sell the car.

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#6 User is offline   SoulTerror 

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 06:38 AM

I don't think the bird is air brushed anymore Matt.

Looks great George, now is it just me or does it look like the rear sits a tad lower then the front?
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#7 User is offline   mr71transam 

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 07:12 AM

Great story and Beautiful Car George. What's not to like?
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#8 User is offline   hdebo 

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 07:27 AM

Great car and even better story George. Thanks for posting.
Posted Image

"A CAMARO LOOKS LIKE IT CAN KICK YOUR ASS, A TRANS AM LOOKS LIKE IT'S COMING OVER TO DO IT"
Harry
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#9 User is offline   bill79 

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 07:48 PM

wow nice car
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#10 User is offline   1Redbird 

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 10:49 PM

very nice car. I bet i dont handel worth crap but who cares it looks awesome!!
Leather Interior, K/B cold air induction, Performance chip and thermostat, New Laser Spark Plugs. 6 Speed Transmission, 350 Lt-1, Tinted Windows, Pioneer Stereo and CD player, New High Performance weather tires, New 4 wheel Drilled Slotted break rotors and high performance pads all around, 90 degree vertical doors w/ heavy duty hinges, Clean in and out, Cold A/C.High Performance replacement tires and brakes. Red Hot Red W/ black interior.
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#11 User is offline   ta collector 

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 08:49 AM

beutiful car and a great story,nice find there George.
our birds:
1967 Firebird
1979 10th Anniversary Trans Am
1979 W72 400 4 speed Trans Am
1984 Trans Am 15th Anniversary
1991 Trans Am GTA
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#12 User is offline   WarbirdTA 

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    Did I say Blondes?
  • Year: 1989
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Posted 02 January 2009 - 08:54 AM

Why do you think it wouldn't handle worth a crap?
It has WS6 suspension added, with polyurthane bushings, and since the car has the top cut off, it has NCE added subframe connectors added, both bolted and welded.
The car does pretty damn good in the autocross.
As well as being pretty fast, compared to the stock cars of the '73-'81 cars.
It beat my one '74 455 Trans Am in a race.
It has been in a Firebird History video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLKthXA4CMU
That is not me driving the car, I had my friend drive it, as I was driving another car of mine for the show (which is also in the Firebird History Video).
As well as being seen on Eyewitness News up in Reno, Nevada, during a Trans Am Club sponsered autocross, where I had the cameraman in the car filming the race from a driver's view.
During these big events (where close to over 100 Trans Ams gathered every year), about 10 cars were chosen to represent the best, for display during the evening dinner/awards ceremony.
Now this was help in major hotels, and the dinning room was in the third floor.
It was fantastic to walk around, and sit down and eat at a great meal, with the cars surrounding you.
Here are some photos of the event:
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/WarbirdTA2/79insidecasino3.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/WarbirdTA2/79insidecasino4.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/WarbirdTA2/79insidecasino5.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/WarbirdTA2/79insidecasino6.jpg
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/WarbirdTA2/79insidecasino.jpg

Thanks for the kind words guys,

George :B):
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#13 User is offline   hdebo 

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 08:57 AM

Thats cool George.
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"A CAMARO LOOKS LIKE IT CAN KICK YOUR ASS, A TRANS AM LOOKS LIKE IT'S COMING OVER TO DO IT"
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#14 User is offline   1Redbird 

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 04:42 PM

View PostWarbirdTA, on Jan 2 2009, 11:54 AM, said:

Why do you think it wouldn't handle worth a crap?

Ok our right it wouldnt handle like crap ;) . bad choise of words. What I ment is when the top of a car is removed allot of the structural integrity that keep the car from twisting in corners is gone. sorry It came off wrong
Leather Interior, K/B cold air induction, Performance chip and thermostat, New Laser Spark Plugs. 6 Speed Transmission, 350 Lt-1, Tinted Windows, Pioneer Stereo and CD player, New High Performance weather tires, New 4 wheel Drilled Slotted break rotors and high performance pads all around, 90 degree vertical doors w/ heavy duty hinges, Clean in and out, Cold A/C.High Performance replacement tires and brakes. Red Hot Red W/ black interior.
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#15 User is offline   lotsatas 

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:11 AM

Very Very Nice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have a mate to the one you have only mine is White and it's a 1980.

A quick question or 2 if I may ask ...

Where was the convertible conversion done for your car and by whom?
How does the top on yours fold up? Does it fold over itself and then back into the resting place or does to fold back like a normal convertible?
The reason I ask is that I saw a 1980 Black convertible a few years back and the top on his car was made completely different and operated much different than mine.
My car was made in Van Nuys, then shipped to GM in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. GM had the conversion completed at a place called Coach House Industries in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. My car was owned by GM corporate office for the first 2 years of it's life, then sold to the person I bought it from.
Sorry, I'm not trying to hi-jack or rain on your post here, but I am very interested in these cars, so I thought we might share some info here. My web page has a couple of pictures of my car, if you are interested.

This post has been edited by lotsatas: 06 January 2009 - 05:14 AM

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#16 User is offline   rkellerjr 

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:22 AM

Looks good my friend. Very nice. With the top gone the car sure does look "long".
Rich
1975 TA - http://www.78ta.com/...hp/v/rkellerjr/
Video: http://www.zenonline...s/75showcar.wmv
Posted ImagePosted Image

"...I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side." - Abraham Lincoln
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#17 User is offline   MacDuff 

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 08:22 AM

Convertibles aren't really my cup of tea, but DANG! That's really cool! It flows really well with the lines of the car. That truly is unique piece of machinery ya got your hands on! And its got a cool story to boot! :shakinghead: Thanks for sharing that George!

-Harry
HANDER
Posted Image Posted Image
1979 Pontiac Trans Am

A shiny set of wheels and some stickers don't make your car custom.
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#18 User is offline   WarbirdTA 

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    Did I say Blondes?
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  • Engine: 231
  • Transmission: 200R4

Posted 06 January 2009 - 10:34 AM

Lotsatas,
I'm not sure where it was done, as I don't have the records, but the car is a Van Nuys car, and done by NCE, and I was told that NCE had a shop up in Sacramento, California, that would do ragtop conversions.
The top doesn't quite fold back completely over itself, before dropping into the well.
It starts to fold back, then the rear drops down into the well, will the whole top, which is pretty much "S" shape by now, folds down over the back, which is in the well, and pretty much just drops down.
It does stick up somewhat like yours, after folding intom the well.
I hope this answers your question.
Here is my NCE conversion number.
http://i94.photobucket.com/albums/l81/WarbirdTA/S6300931.jpg

Rich,
You would never think the car is so long, until the top is off, and you are backing the car up.
Kinda of strange for sure.
But crusin the beach, you get a top of looks big time.
When I was autocrossing the car up in Sparks, Nevada, in 1988,at the Trans-A-Rama, I had the only ragtop.
Eyewitness News was there, doing a story, and they filmed me for over a couple of hours.
They asked if their cameraman could film from inside the car.
I had no problem with that.
Man, that guy was thrown all around the inside of the car, while I was racing around the track.
After all that, I was interviewed by the newsman, and while I was sitting in the car (him standing over me), he said the the Trans Am was kinda like a Corvette.
What did I think of the two?
I looked in the back seat, and faced him, stating that I liked the ragtop Trans Am better.
He asked me why?
I said "Easy, you can fit more girls in my car".
He laughed at that.
In fact, they showed that comment, and the anchorman laughed, while the anchorwoman punched him in the arm, saying "You would like that".
We all saw the 6 O'clock news that night, while the car was in the dinningroom.
Everyone at the event thought it was great!
I had to wait about an hour after the dinner, to get the car back downstairs (did I say we were three stories up in the big hotel?), and outside.
Now, I was just finished with my divorce, and there were a couple of real cuties there, and I asked them if they would like a ride down the main strip in Reno, Nevada.
They said "Sure"!
So, now here I am driving, and my buddy was with me (funny how after he saw me ask the two girls if they wanted to cruise, he did too), and the two cuties are sitting upon the top of the back seat, like Prom Queens, and I could not take my eye off my center rear view mirror.
Uh, they were wearing nice short mini skirts.
What a beautiful night that was.
Uh, till my buddy figured out what I was doing.
All of a sudden, he needed to get something out of his eye, and moved the mirror to him.
We fought over the mirror for awhile.
To this day, I am surprised that we didn't break that mirror.
After a few hours of this, they wanted to go in.
No problem, as we went right back to crusing, as girls on the strip wanted rides.
We got in after 3 am.
Breakfast was at 7 am.
We were tired, but it was a big blast!
I must have driven about 20 cute girls back and forth that night.

George :31welcome1:
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#19 User is offline   lotsatas 

  • Firebird Tune up Technician
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  • First Name:Paul
  • City:Waterloo
  • State or Province:ON
  • Country:Canada
  • Year: 1978
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Trans Am
  • Engine: 400
  • Transmission: 350 Automatic

Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:23 PM

Quote

Lotsatas,
I'm not sure where it was done, as I don't have the records, but the car is a Van Nuys car, and done by NCE, and I was told that NCE had a shop up in Sacramento, California, that would do ragtop conversions.
The top doesn't quite fold back completely over itself, before dropping into the well.
It starts to fold back, then the rear drops down into the well, will the whole top, which is pretty much "S" shape by now, folds down over the back, which is in the well, and pretty much just drops down.
It does stick up somewhat like yours, after folding intom the well.
I hope this answers your question.
Here is my NCE conversion number.


Thanks George........My car is # 137
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#20 User is offline   WarbirdTA 

  • Firebird Master Tech.
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  • Interests:Blondes, surfing, Trans Ams, guns.
    Did I say Blondes?
  • Year: 1989
  • Make: Pontiac
  • Model: Trans Am
  • Engine: 231
  • Transmission: 200R4

Posted 10 January 2009 - 08:35 AM

Paul,
Do you have a photo of your car number?
Did they put some kind of plate with the number on the car somewhere?
I only know the NCE cars kinda well.
I'd love to see more on your car.
You should put up stuff here in the second gen showroom.

George :)
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