by Chuck LaMont
this is an excerpt from the articles appearing in the EAGLE
I first saw the car in a parking lot near my
house in August of 1997. The car is a '75 Formula 400, with a Muncie 7 bolt. It
has the original wood grain dash, gauges, nice rims and tires, and that
unmistakable Pontiac dual snorkel hood. It looked so good, I fell in love with
it, and decided to buy it at that very moment.
The day I test drove it, I noticed the oil
gauge would flit around between 40 and 60 lbs. This didn't concern me at the
moment, because when the gauge went on my S10, it did the same thing. I never
dreamed it could actually be the pump! I only had the car out of the garage for
the 5th time since I bought it, and needless to say, it was on it's longest trip
ever when the pump went. I had just left a BBQ on labor day weekend, about an
hour and a half from the house, when the noise started. It was nothing I had
ever heard before ... kind of like a metal on metal scraping sound, ...
regardless, it wasn't pleasant. Three hours, and $350.00 worth of towing later,
it was in it's resting place ... until now that is. I paid $3500 for the car,
and I can't even describe how disappointed I was on that day. Many hours, and
dollars later, I am starting to feel good about the car again. I had the engine
rebuilt, and my latest problem is with a rather torrential oil leak. I'm trying
to figure out where it is coming from, and I'm hoping it's not the pan gasket.
The sending unit was finger loose after several days of driving, and I'm hoping
that's the end of it.
Anyway, besides that, the car is unbelievably quick, and
produces a ton of torque! Although there was no serious damage to the engine, I
put an extra $1400.00 into it anyway. It was previously blue printed and
balanced, and I had the heads redone (new studs, valve job ... etc.), new timing
set, and of course a new heavy duty pump. Otherwise, there's nothing exotic, but
it does have a mild cam, Edelbrock Performer intake, and Edelbrock carb. The
previous owner put the intake on, and told me what a pain it was to find one
that would allow the proper clearance for the ram air setup. Everything else
under the hood, is brand new or rebuilt except the distributor. I also put a top
of the line Center Force Dual Friction clutch assembly into the car. ($400.00).
The car also has functioning ram air, a Trans Am rear, and the drive shaft, clutch,
and flywheel assembly are all balanced. My best guess is she\'92s putting out
close to 300 hp. The car was originally blue with a white interior (a classic
Pontiac combo), but I like the red on black better. The interior was stained
black w/new black carpet and new gray Pontiac buckets. The paint is 75' Ford
My lovely fiancé Edina was there to take pictures, and help
out through most of the wrench turning and 12 hour days in the garage. God bless
her... I know I'm a lucky guy! She has affectionately named the car Little
Beastie. I love to drive it, and as you can see it's a real head turner. I'm
always doing something to the car to make it better. My goal now is to convince
my future wife, she needs her own Little Beastie!
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