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Author Topic: This 1977 Trans Am Will Leave Smokey in the Dust  (Read 3736 times)

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This 1977 Trans Am Will Leave Smokey in the Dust
« on: March 13, 2015, 11:20:48 AM »
by Jeff Edelstein, The Trentonian

One of my lifelong dreams was fulfilled last week when I got to pretend to be Sally Field. Maybe I better explain Ö
I was riding shotgun in a beautifully restored black 1977 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Special Edition. The "Smokey and the Bandit" car, hardtop edition. And let me tell you something: Whoa. Itís been my dream car since I was a little kid, which is weird, because Iím not a car guy in the least bit. But this car does it for me. Itís just so Ö badass. Thereís really no other word in the English language that describes the car better. Itís a badass car.
And I was riding in it courtesy of Nicky Sindora, a 20-year-old Trenton resident who spent the better part of the last four years putting this particular one back together.

It was his 16th birthday, back in 2009, and Sindora knew what he wanted: His momís Trans-Am, which had been parked in the driveway for about 15 years."  It had been sitting there since about 1993, 1994," he said. "Completely undriveable. The floors were rotted, the engine was done, the transmission Ö everything."
Now understand: This was not just any car. Sindoraís dad, Larry, had bought it as a wedding present for his wife. And even though it was on the junk pile (and survived not one but two catalytic converter-related fires) no one really wanted to get rid of it. In fact, Sindoraís two older sisters had failed in their lobbying efforts for the car.

"It would have been totaled by now if I got it," said Jessica Sindora, one of his sisters. "Nicky is the right person to the get the car. Heís more responsible than we ever
were at his age and heís not your normal 20 year old. He deserves that car." His sisterís observation is on the nose. Nicky Sindora is not your average 20 year old. He doesnít drink, do drugs, smoke or swear. He works with his dad for Sindora and Son Hauling ó "weíre like ĎSanford and Son,í" Sindora said ó and his interests are less Justin Bieber, more "Leave it to Beaver."

For instance: While the Trans-Am is his pride and joy, a close second is a 1959 Schwinn bicycle he restored. He loves vintage stuff, and working with his dad gives him ample opportunity to feed that need. But back to the Trans Am.

His parents decided to give it to him. They didnít know what to expect. Four years later, theyíre blown away.

"Iím proud and very, very impressed," said his dad. "Itís a headturner. Itís never looked this nice."

So the details: Um Ö itís badass? Listen, as I said earlier, Iím not a car guy. But I love this car, as I mentioned in a column from two years ago about my burgeoning midlife crisis. (I wanted one. And a fling with a woman named "Caandeeiye. Anyway Ö) Anyway, Sindora saw the column and reached out to me, telling me he was restoring a Trans-Am, and if Iíd like to see it when it was done. I responded calmly, something like, "OMG YES PLEASE WHEN NOW SOON?" Alas, I had to wait." Over four years," Sindora said. "A lot of time. I spent close to $25,000. A lot of people helped out, chipped in. But now, if I wanted to, I could sell it, at auction, for $45,000."
I asked if he had any plans to sell.

"Iím never getting rid of this," he said. "If I get married and my wife says to get rid of it, just give me the divorce papers." That said, the whole process of restoring wasnít exactly smooth.

"They only made 549 hardtops," Sindora said. "And every piece of this car comes from one of them. I wanted every detail to be correct. Thank god for eBay. And while Iím glad I did it, Iíll never do this again. It did get aggravating, trying to fix it, find the parts. I ended up buying a whole other one for parts at one point. Once, I took a drive to Maryland to pick up an engine piece I needed. And once I got the engine in, I couldnít get it to start. Found a stink bug nest in the carburetor."

But now thatís it more or less done, save for some minor details ó and itís only been on the road for a little over a week ó Sindora is thrilled.

"I love the lookers," Sindora said. "Most reactions so far are jaw dropping. People are stopping me, making me offers on the car. And it boogies."

I can attest to the boogie nature of this perfect car. We found an empty parking lot. He hit it. And it boogied. (I tried to repress a Sally Field-like giggle.) According to Sindora, the car can hit 170 MPH, as he found out during diagnostic testing.

"I donít want to ever get a ticket in this," Sindora said. "But if I do, Iím asking the officer if we could take a picture together with the lights flashing and everything."
Eastbound and down Ö

Jeff Edelstein can be reached at , and @jeffedelstein on Twitter.
National Firebird and Trans Am Club
phone/text: 773-769-7166

North America's oldest and largest club for all Firebirds and Trans Ams including GTAs and Firehawks.  Established in 1984 and offers color magazines (EAGLE), emagazines, technical advice, free member classifieds, member repair shop recommendations and much more!


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Re: This 1977 Trans Am Will Leave Smokey in the Dust
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 05:47:09 PM »
We need a "Like" button around here somewhere. LOL
Sussie of Teckelhut
Proud owner of a 1984 Trans Am Survivor
and a 1982 Trans Am "K.I.T.T." conversion

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Re: This 1977 Trans Am Will Leave Smokey in the Dust
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2015, 05:47:09 PM »


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