Back in 1971, BF Goodrich introduced their then new BFG
Radial Trans Am Tires. To promote their new tires BFG bought and modified six '71
Firebird Trans Ams, calling them BFG Tirebirds.
One was raced by Jerry Titus in the SCCA Trans Am series and
five were used to promote the tires around the nation at tire stores, car shows,
In 1972 BFG sold or demolished all the promotional cars. The
real race car which is owned by Mark and Linda Mountanos of Utah is still
campaigned on the vintage racing circuit today.
In 1972, famed engine builder, Dry Lake Hall of Fame member,
and magazine columnist (Car Life, Popular HotRodding, etc.), Tom Senter bought
the ravaged Trans Am Tirebird promotional car that I own today. The original 455
HO was trash as were the suspension, brakes, etc. Too many tire store yahoos
driving too hard and too fast.
For the next two years, Tom rebuilt and restored the
Tirebird's interior, suspension, etc,. and asked Pontiac for a 455SD to replace
the HO. Pontiac said none were available, so Tom called his friends at
Michigan's Berger Chevrolet, famous for their COPO Camaros, Chevelles, and
Novas, and asked if they had a grand rodent for sale, the historic LS6 454,
rated stock at 450hp/500lbs. of torque.
They did, and they sold it to Tom for $750.Tom wrote several car magazine
articles about the car and about it's transformation from a blue BFG Tirebird
into a Ferrari Fly Yellow Trans Am that regularly turned 11's in the quarter
After Tom died, the Tirebird was briefly owned for a couple
of years by Tom's close friend before it was sold to a Fresno real estate agent
who took out the M21 and installed a Turbo 400 so his daughter could drive it to
high school. After a year or so, he sold the car to Fresno area almond farmer
Tom Gejeian in 1983. Tom Gejeian put the Tirebird in his barn, only taking it
out once or twice a year around his large farm to keep it running.
In 2004, I bought the Tirebird from Tom Gejeian after seeing
his ad in the GoodGuys Gazette.
Since that time, I've rebuilt the suspension, brakes, cooling system,
electrical system, and replaced every rubber seal, hose, and clamp, as well as
rebuilt the engine, transmission, and differential. Re-painting the Tirebird in
Tom's Ferrari Fly Yellow is my next project.