Category Archives: Members’ Cars and Photos

’77 Formula of Jim Elick

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 one-owner vehicle.

'77 Formula of Jim Elick from Sharpsburg, Georgia
'77 Formula of Jim Elick from Sharpsburg, Georgia
'77 Formula of Jim Elick from Sharpsburg, Georgia
'77 Formula of Jim Elick from Sharpsburg, Georgia

‘70 Trans Am of Bob Himes from Spring City, Pennsylvania

PONTIAC GUY

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 me.

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 our trailer.

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!

Bob Himes
Spring City, PA

‘70 Trans Am of Bob Himes from Spring City, Pennsylvania
‘70 Trans Am of Bob Himes from Spring City, Pennsylvania
‘70 Trans Am of Bob Himes from Spring City, Pennsylvania

’99 Trans Am 30th Anniversary Edition of Tom Joseph

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!

‘99 Trans Am 30th Anniversary Edition of Tom Joseph from Clarkston, Michigan.
‘99 Trans Am 30th Anniversary Edition of Tom Joseph from Clarkston, Michigan.
‘99 Trans Am 30th Anniversary Edition of Tom Joseph from Clarkston, Michigan.

Firebird and Trans Am Gallery

‘67 Firebird of Lawrence Sobczak from Gurnee, Illinois
67 Firebird of Lawrence Sobczak from Gurnee, Illinois – The 1967 was bought as a father/son project. Pops passed away. It’s still a work in progress. Now it’s a father/daughter project. Best way to teach your kid about cars is to get them invested.
‘76 Trans Am of Lawrence Sobczak from Gurnee, Illinois
‘76 Trans Am of Lawrence Sobczak from Gurnee, Illinois – Dream car purchase. Had been searching for a 455/4spd but that’s almost impossible to find. This one is a 400/Auto and I still love it. Was restored once by a previous owner. Still needs a little attention here and there.
‘85 Firebird of Randy Mushro
85 Firebird of Randy Mushro

’78 Trans Am of Stephen Granato

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 forever!

'78 Trans Am of Stephen Granato
'78 Trans Am of Stephen Granato
'78 Trans Am of Stephen Granato
'78 Trans Am of Stephen Granato