Category Archives: Members’ Cars and Photos

1983, 2000 and 2002 CETA Trans Ams of Ben Schwandt

My 1983 Trans Am is the car that got me started in my interest in Trans Ams. I grew up watching Knight Rider and ever since then I’ve wanted a Knight Rider style Trans Am. My dream came true in 2018 when I purchased mine sight unseen from a private seller in New York. It has 26,000 original miles and was the third gen Firebird forums November 2020 car of the month! I love the car and drive it as often as I can on the weekends and evenings when the weather is nice!

My 2000 Trans Am is the car I fell in love with in college but couldn’t buy new due to being in college. I found this car in 2003 in Rugby , North Dakota in a classifieds ad in the local newspaper and the rest is history! I have always loved the ram air look on these cars and think it is the most aggressive looking muscle car that GM has produced. The car currently has 18,000 miles on it and is seldom driven except to car shows where it has won many awards over the years.

My 2002 Trans Am CETA is a car I have wanted since 2002 when it came out. I have always wanted a special edition Firebird and I remember like yesterday when there was a 2002 CETA just like mine in the showroom of my local Pontiac dealer blocks away from where I lived. I’ve been hooked since. I bought my car in June of 2021 and received it in July. I bought it sight unseen from the second owner in Florida. The original owner owned the Pontiac dealership in Indiana and ordered it new. The car currently has 3,900 miles on it and is rarely driven. I love the convertible and is so much fun to drive with the top down!

I first learned about your club on the Internet just randomly searching about Trans Ams. Happy to be a part of this awesome group! I’ll send a picture of each one of my cars described above in a second email. Thanks again !

Ben Schwandt
Moorhead, Minnesota

2002 CETA Trans Ams of Ben Schwandt
2000 Trans Ams of Ben Schwandt
2000 and 2002 CETA Trans Ams of Ben Schwandt
1983 Trans Am of Ben Schwandt
1983 and 2000 Trans Ams of Ben Schwandt

’88 Trans Am GTA of Dave and Jodi Przybysz

A National Firebird and Trans Am Club featured car is the ‘88 Trans Am GTA of Dave and Jodi Przybysz of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania. Here is their story:

My wife, Jodi, and I have wanted our own collector car for years. Financially, it just never seemed to be the right time so we lived vicariously through my father, going to shows and car cruises in one of his classic or antique cars that he had restored.

Then one day, in the middle of a substantial home remodeling project, our contractor told us about this 1988 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA.

He said it’s been in his buddy’s garage for years and he believed he would sell the car. We thought…”Wow! A true barn find!” Not really being in the position to purchase, we made arrangements to go see the car anyways.

It was gorgeous and with only 12k miles on the odometer, it was something we knew we just couldn’t pass up! The car was stored for 17 years, in a clean climate controlled garage (not really a barn find). It was sitting sideways in the back of the garage on wheel dollies. The owner just simply stopped driving it one day and began driving a different vehicle in their collection and so there it sat.

The stickers on the windshield indicated that the last time the car went through a Pennsylvania state inspection was 2003! A price was negotiated and arrangements were made to have a flat bed pick it up. We bought it without even knowing if it would run!

Thanks to our good friend, who is also a mechanic, all the proper maintenance and repairs were preformed to get her running again! We flushed the fuel and brake systems, replaced the fuel pump and injectors and all four tires were replaced. The air conditioning compressor was bad so we replaced it and upgraded the refrigerant. Finally we rebuilt the power antenna motor and then we fired her up. After 17 years she roared back to life!

The history of the car is kind of interesting. As I understand it, the car was purchased new in the Philadelphia area. At some point the car was stolen. It was eventually recovered although, I do not know in what time frame that this occurred. The GTA had sadly been partially disassembled. The radio and taillights were missing, there was a scratch down the passenger side, the windshield was missing and the VIN tag had been removed.

The second owner had purchased the car at an insurance auction.

Oddly enough, because the major components of the car were still intact, the car retains a clean title with a reissued VIN. The taillights and radio were replaced, as were the windshield and the paint was repaired.

Today she sits in our garage. It goes out on nice days to car cruises or for drives in the country, sometimes just to go get ice cream and occasionally to work. Since we’ve owned it, it’s never even seen the rain.

Now, she’s not perfect. There are small details and imperfections that we will enjoy detailing as time goes by but, she is better than anything we ever dreamed that we would own!

Recent events in our lives have proved to us that there is never a right time and that life is too short. The timing, financially, was definitely not right for us to purchase this car but, it is a dream come true and a continuation of a family tradition…in fact…our Trans Am bares the Pennsylvania Antique license plate that was originally registered to my father’s first antique car…a 1930 Chevy.

‘88 Trans Am GTA of Dave and Jodi Przybysz of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
‘88 Trans Am GTA of Dave and Jodi Przybysz of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
‘88 Trans Am GTA of Dave and Jodi Przybysz of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
‘88 Trans Am GTA of Dave and Jodi Przybysz of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

1974 Trans Am of Perry Pegoraro of West Bend, Wisconsin

I found this car in 1997 coming home from dropping my daughter off at college. I saw it at a Classic Car dealership. I stopped, it was raining, I gave it a quick look and went home. I thought about it for a week. I had purchased a 74 Trans Am brand new and kept it for ten years. This was the car I had when my wife and I met. Always regretted selling it. I went back the following Sunday and the car was gone. I called them the next day. Apparently the car had been there for two years and the owner just took it back. They said mostly kids wanted it and they did not have the money. They wanted $8500.00.

I called the owner and went over to see and to drive the car. It had surface rust on the roof going back. The dealership had broken all the flares driving it up onto one of those raised racks for display. The owner was a large guy. He was linebacker big. He said he didn’t want the car because it’s too small for him. I asked him how much and his reply was $7500.00. I countered with $7000.00 and the deal was done.

I immediately began to restore things. Everything was loose. They said the A/C worked. Well I pulled it off to do some engine work and there wasn’t an o-ring to be found on any of the lines. Later I also found out all the AC ductwork under the dash was missing. I had the car completely repainted as close to Buccaneer Red as we could find. I reinstalled all the decals. We joined a local car club and have been having a fantastic time with the car. Over the years it has accumulated over 200 awards, including five best in shows. Every year I think about modifying the car and I am about to retire so I will finally have the time. Keep the hobby alive for future generations.

1974 Trans Am of Perry Pegoraro of West Bend, Wisconsin

Featured Car – ’68 Firebird 400 of Wes Hardy

A National Firebird and Trans Am Club featured car is the ’68 Firebird 400 of Wes Hardy from Nahant, Massachusetts.  Here is his story:

Reading the latest issue of Eagle, reminded me that I’ve been meaning to send some pics of my restored 1968 Firebird 400 Convertible.

While not “numbers matching”, it is a “period correct” ‘68 400, with a 4 spd M22 transmission & Hurst Shifter and a 355 Posi Rear End.

The original “somewhat frame off” restoration was done approx 15 years ago by a mechanic in NJ, who I bought the car from in August of 2019 after it had been “backed into” while being stored. Upon receiving the Bird, we (my mechanic & I) noticed a number of other “issues”. It went into the shop and went through a “real” restoration at one of the area’s best local shops – Louis Restoration and Repair in Salem Massachusetts.  The engine was totally rebuilt and all of the fenders, quarter panels, doors, etc were taken off, taken back to bare metal, re-primed and realigned to better than new. Though the new restoration took over 6 months (and totally blew my budget!) the car is now approaching “show quality”. As the attached pictures show, the beautiful new paint job is immaculate and “Blue” turns heads wherever I go!

Wes Hardy

68 Firebird 400 of Wes Hardy from Nahant, Massachusetts
68 Firebird 400 of Wes Hardy from Nahant, Massachusetts
68 Firebird 400 of Wes Hardy from Nahant, Massachusetts
68 Firebird 400 of Wes Hardy from Nahant, Massachusetts

1992 Firebird of Dave Kime

A National Firebird and Trans Am Club featured car is the 1992 Firebird of Dave Kime from Matthews, North Carolina. Here is his story:

Here are photos of my 1992 Firebird. It is a 305 TBI with an automatic transmission and a 2.73/1 gear.

I purchased the car new in April 1992 in Charlotte, North Carolina. It currently has 237,000 miles on it. It has been repainted once and had the interior reupholstered. I have done my best to maintain it meticulously. Other than the current dress-up items. The engine has never been opened up. It uses no oil and returns about 28 mpg on the highway. I have added Wilwood brakes, a strut tower brace, sub-frame connectors, and GTA wheels.

I have won numerous trophies but this car is no trailer queen, I drive it! A perfect Saturday is cruising the Blue Ridge Parkway with the tops out or driving a twisty North Carolina mountain road. Doing both is even better!

1992 Firebird of Dave Kime from Matthews, North Carolina
1992 Firebird of Dave Kime from Matthews, North Carolina
1992 Firebird of Dave Kime from Matthews, North Carolina
1992 Firebird of Dave Kime from Matthews, North Carolina

                 

2000 Trans Am of Robert W Nelson

This issue’s featured car is the 2000 Trans Am WS-6 of Robert W Nelson from Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. Here is the story:

My first car in high school was a rusted out red ‘73 Firebird and I have always had a weak spot for them my whole life.  I owned this very model in 2000 but only for about 2 years before something else caught my eye.  So when I came across this beauty I had to have it and will keep it in my family for a nice heirloom to be passed down to my son and hopefully grandson.  I do intend on driving it though!!

As I was waiting for them to deliver it, I felt like a kid waiting on Santa!

2000 Trans Am WS-6 of Robert W Nelson from Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
2000 Trans Am WS-6 of Robert W Nelson from Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
2000 Trans Am WS-6 of Robert W Nelson from Ft. Walton Beach, Florida
2000 Trans Am WS-6 of Robert W Nelson from Ft. Walton Beach, Florida

Firebird and Trans Am Gallery

‘98 Trans Am WS-6 of Roger Johnson from Kensington, Maryland
‘98 Trans Am WS-6 of Roger Johnson from Kensington, Maryland
‘68 Firebird convertible of James Harper from Palatine, Illinois
‘68 Firebird convertible of James Harper from Palatine, Illinois
‘91 Trans Am of Richard Pierro from Bayville, New York
‘91 Trans Am of Richard Pierro from Bayville, New York
‘78 Trans Am WS-6 of Chuck Adams from Senatobia, Mississippi
‘78 Trans Am WS-6 of Chuck Adams from Senatobia, Mississippi