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Howdy,

Tim here, new member from Vancouver WA. I own and run a small classic car and truck restoration and hot rod shop, and have been a classic Pontiac enthusiast for many years. Over the years, I have owned a 1970 RAIII GTO Judge convertible (bought in 1987 for $1,800.00!), several first-gen 'Birds (including a '69 T/A tribute I built with a 428), a few early second-gen Formulas, and quite a few '77-'79 Trans Ams (including a '77 Y82 with only 29k original miles on it, and a '79 Y88 with 50k). Wish I could have kept them all, but they come and go. That said, when this '73 Brewster Green T/A popped up on our local CL, I went after it, to keep.

I made the drive over to see the car, only to find that the passenger side B-pillar/door jamb/ rear wheel well area was literally cut out and removed; obviously by an amateur. It must have been hit somewhere in this area, but I measured out the chassis and it was dead-on square, no unibody damage at all. So, I ended up buying the car. I have been watching for a '70-'73 Trans Am for years; they almost never come up for sale locally, and I figured that I may never find another Brewster Green '73 again. It's by far my favorite early T/A... could only be better if it was an SD.

I am now two weeks into working on the car, and have completed all the metal work. I split a rocker section, welded in the inside, then the outer. Replaced the inner B-pillar support, followed by the B-pillar/ door jamb/latch assembly itself... door closes and latches with one finger; it's dead-on. Cut and welded in the missing section of inner wheel well, and then trimmed back the outer quarter to provide welding access all around. Finally, cut and fit the outer rear quarter section. It turned out just great;u the repairs are invisible, with edge welds ground smooth. The car sold new in Beverly Hills, CA and there isn't a speck of rust anywhere on it.

After finishing the major metal work, I fit all the panels on the car, straightened the hood and re-glued the bracing to the skin, installed new subframe bushings, and aligned all the sheet metal: doors, fenders, nose, lower valence, rear deck lid, etc. Beautiful gaps all around, very lucky to find the car was still so straight.

u

I just began the body work today and am hoping to have her painted in a month or so.

I bought a second subframe, and restored it with the big 1 1/4" sway bar, new bearings, calipers, rotors, etc., and serviced the quick-ratio steering box. Also pulled the 3.08 posi rear end, and rebuilt/restored it. Plan to put some 3.73's in eventually. Sent the TH400 out for a rebuild, and got that back along with a 2,700 rpm stall converter. I have used this converter before, and it pretty much feels stock unless and until you load it with the brake, or a line-lock.

It came with a white Deluxe interior, console automatic, and air conditioning.

I am going to try and post some images of the progress for whoever might be interested. ~Tim
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Should have mentioned that the metal replacement parts were all cut out of another 1973 Firebird... makes the work much easier when the shapes are exact, and the gauge thickness the same.

Here are a few pics of the subframe and rear end. Would really like to swap to WS6 rear discs, and change the stock 3.08 ring and pinion to a 3.73... my favorite compromise between all-out performance, and streetability.
 

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1973 Formula Firebird: 461 stroker with an overdrive. 373 gear with a shot.
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Very cool project. I think you will find several members interested in your ground up restoration. Especially all the metal work you are doing. There are so many directions you can take this car. Will watch your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you all for the encouragement... it's so easy to "stall" on projects without a little push from others who share enthusiasm to see it through.

I wire-wheeled and D/A'd the hood to remove any scale, surface rust, etc. Also, removed all the factory "glue" that secured the under-hood reinforcement to the skin. Next, a liberal coat of Rust-Mort to chemically treat the metal and kill any surface rust I couldn't get to mechanically. This was followed by neutralizing the chemical treatment, and allowing plenty of time for the metal to dry completely. Next, we reattached the hood skin to the substructure with a quality SEM seam sealer/panel adhesive. Once dry, we once again have a rigid hood, free of "oil can" issues, and ready for finish bodywork.

This morning, we applied a nice 2k sealer to underside of the hood. Once fully dry, it will go back on the car to be body-worked into all the adjacent panels.

Here are a couple pictures: stripped down, re-fastened to the reinforcing substructure, and then sealed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Okay, hood back on (alignment is outstanding!), valence placed but not adjusted or attached at the ends, scoops and rear spoiler placed just for a couple fun pictures. Beginning to re-establish the body lines, reveals, etc. She is looking like a car again. Gaps are very good, just about perfect prior to prime and paint stages.
 

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BillyMagg
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Okay, hood back on (alignment is outstanding!), valence placed but not adjusted or attached at the ends, scoops and rear spoiler placed just for a couple fun pictures. Beginning to re-establish the body lines, reveals, etc. She is looking like a car again. Gaps are very good, just about perfect prior to prime and paint stages.
Beautiful, maybe I could adopt you so we could have a Gpa, Gson type project???
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Howdy all, I wanted to wait until I had something significant to share. The past two weeks have been spend on bodywork, bodywork, and more bodywork. This morning, the decision was made that we are close enough to a finished body that we could put it into high-build primer, in anticipation of final blocking. We still have the jambs to do, and I am going to remove the nose, and have it media blasted back to the original sealer for bodywork with a different urethane-specific product.

The car is coming out beautifully. Hoping to have her into paint in three weeks or so. I love this car!
 

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Nice work Tim keep us posted this is going to be a beauty
 

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Really nice work.

I have a question about the endura nose with the paint.

I grind the nose till the rubber that all scratches away.

Before we do painting, we want to use a sealer that the primer have a better

contact. The the primer with soft agend (50%), then base color with soft agend

(50%) and then clear coat with hardener and soft agend.

Will you do it on the same way to get the nose paint smooth and soft if you press it with the finger.

Regards sascha
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks guys, I appreciate the encouragement. We are now blocking out the body after guide coat... it looks fantastic. It really pays to get the bodywork as close as possible before applying primer. The body lines are coming out beautifully... the car should be outstanding. I still need to strip the nose and work it back into the hood and fenders, but it's so close it should be quick and painless. That, and prep in the jambs, which is also minimal. She'll be in paint in a month or less. I'm hoping just a couple more weeks, but I tend to be a consummate optimist! ~Tim
 
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