This issue’s featured car is the ’77 Formula of Jim
Elick from Sharpsburg, Georgia. Here is the story:
The Formula is the rarest of Firebirds but try to
find a one-owner, matching numbers 400, in 29L Nautilus Blue with prototype “Sky
Bird” bucket seats.
It was purchased 21 days after Smokey and the
Bandit and spending $5000 for this car nearly 42 years ago. I have not seen
another 77’ like her and apparently neither have the judges as we’ve just
stormed through the southern US car show circuit. By these same attachments,
it’s clear who my only Firebird club is!
Having just returned from Mecum in
Indy and speaking with PHS, yet again, these simply don’t exist any longer, not
with this cowl plate.
She is 43 years old and was featured on Summit Racing’s turntable for two
weeks in September.. This car has a terrific story behind it as well being a
I’ve been a Pontiac guy nearly my whole life. I
grew up street racing a 1969 GTO, and along the way I’ve owned a 1976 Trans Am
and a 1983 Trans Am. I currently own a 1965 Tri power GTO.
Last August, I was sitting out back on a Friday
night with my wife enjoying a beverage when my friend Mike called. He asked if I
was interested in going in on a car with him to work on over the winter and flip
in the spring. He said he thought of me because the car he found was a Pontiac.
After asking him several questions about his find, I realized that he may have
found one of my dream cars – a 1970 Trans Am. I told Mike if it’s what I think
it is, I want the car for myself! He thought I was crazy, but he was excited for
The following Monday, I met up with Mike to check
out the car. As the garage door was opened, my eyes feast upon a Polar White
1970 TA RAIII 4-speed. The car had been sitting in that garage since 1998! The
car showed 56k miles on the matching numbers engine. It had some light surface
rust on the body, but otherwise it was solid. After extensively inspecting the
car and finding no issues, I did some quick negotiating and loaded the car on to
I decided to do a complete frame off restoration
since it is, after all, one of my dream cars. We dropped the frame, disassembled
the suspension and sent it out for media blasting. The engine was broken down,
and completely rebuilt to stock. Everything on the engine was rebuilt instead of
replaced to try and keep it as original as possible. While that was being worked
on, the car was sent to the body shop for a strip down, body work and paint.
This is a good time to mention I also sent out all the chrome to Speed Sport
Chrome who advertises in the back of the Eagle. Craig did an amazing job on it.
During the restoration, we had an amazing thing
happen. I purchased the car in August, but sadly my Mom passed away in
September. After her passing, I told my family that I was dedicating the car to
her and so I named the car “Carol”. Everyone loved the idea! Then, when the
interior was starting to be disassembled, the glove box door was removed and
there written in white marker from the factory was the name “Carol”. Talk about
being speechless! At that point, my wife declared it was meant to be.
Carol’s restoration is now complete. My wife and I
enjoy taking her out for weekend drives. She looks, runs, and handles
incredibly. Ride on Carol!
A National Firebird and Trans Am Club featured car is the ‘99 Trans Am 30th Anniversary Edition of Tom Joseph from Clarkston, Michigan.
Here is my 30th Anniversary Trans Am. It’s one of 292 coupes with a Hurst 6
speed. I drive it as much as possible in Michigan. Thanks to the National
Firebird and Trans Am Club for all the technical advice and putting on a great
shows every year!
A National Firebird and Trans Am Club featured car is the ‘78 Trans Am of Stephen Granato of Davenport, Iowa. Here is the story as submitted by Dwayne Johnson:
Stephen Granato, of Davenport, IA, acquired this
1978 Trans Am in August 2016 from an Illinois resident that had owned it since
1988. Originally a California car from Salta Pontiac in Long Beach, CA, it has
the Olds 403 and automatic. Originally brown in color, it was taken down to bare
metal and repainted in GM Lime Rock green by a local shop. The interior was
completely redone by Stephen, with original style panels, covers, and carpeting.
An upgraded stereo was cleverly hidden in the glove compartment to preserve the
stock dash. Stephen also replaced all brake, fuel and vapor lines, hoses, fuel
tank, a/c, brakes, window motors, weather stripping, all bushings in vehicle
were replaced with Energy Suspension parts, shorty, ceramic coated headers and
complete header back exhaust installed. Shaker hood scoop was made functional
with an electric flap kit. Underside of car was cleaned and coated by Stephen.
All of this was accomplished in time to drive the car to Detroit for the 2017
Woodward Dream Cruise in August 2017. Many nights, weekends, (and memories made)
were spent making a dream come true. Time well spent on something to keep