2008 Trans Am Nationals

by Frank Ochal

The 24th annual Trans Am Nationals were held the weekend of August 22-24 in Dayton, Ohio. The staff of the National Firebird & Trans Am Club participates in this event because of the large number of Firebirds and Trans Ams that always are present.

The turnout was great as there were rows and rows of Firebirds and Trans Ams with many fine examples of all generations.

It was great to meet so many of our members at the show and we thank you for all of the many complements about the club itself.

A great time was had by the attendees and the 25th Annual Trans Am Nationals is already scheduled for August 28-30, 2009. Take a look at all the great cars and we know we will see you there!

2008 Trans Am Nationals

2008 Trans Am Nationals

2008 Trans Am Nationals

2008 Trans Am Nationals

2008 Trans Am Nationals

2008 Trans Am Nationals

2008 Trans Am Nationals

From the Editors' Desk – August 2008

'68 Firebird of Dominick Laudia Thanks to all of the new members that joined recently.

Thanks
to Cathie Heighes, Christian Driscoll, Marcia Corvig, John Motroni and all of the other contributors to this issue! Also many thanks to Todd Stahr, Justin Kwarta, Bill Simcox and Brett Campbell on their continuing technical help to our members on our new message board at board.firebirdclub.net.

The latest NFTAC local chapter is the New England Firebird Auto Club serving all of New England. The president is Joseph A. Pendola, the vice-president is Paul Cullen and the organizing officer is Christian Driscoll. The address is 760 North Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876. Phone number 978-821-0528 and email address of Spcledtnta@yahoo.com .

Also there is a now a Local Groups/Activities section on the Club Message Board where each local club has its own section where local club items can be discussed.

You can now find us on the popular networking sites myspace.com, facebook.com, friendster.com and yuwie.com in the groups/clubs section.

I am happy to inform you that Technical Sections Volume II is now available which continues the great tradition of practical tech advice started with Volumes I. In keeping with the times this one is available only on CD for PC or Mac and is available in the Club Store section of each Eagle and on the website at www.firebirdtaclub.com.

Another new item in the store is a complete copy of the past ten years of the Eagle available on CD only for PC or Mac.

We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at www.firebirdtaclub.com or directly at http://board.firebirdclub.net . We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Eagle or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the Member Only Question & Answer and Upkeep and Performance Hints Area. It also allows you to post items in the For Sale and Wanted sections as well as post photos in the Member Photos area. Also there is a now a Local Groups/Activities section.

The club also now has a blog located at http://blog.firebirdclub.net . Members can publish items or comments to the Blog.

We have a National Firebird & T/A Club photo gallery located at photos.firebirdclub.net. The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly here.

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt or tech volume II CD. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. And in response to many members we now have a 3 year eMembership for $50 which also includes a free t-shirt or tech volume III CD. So save some money and get a free t-shirt or tech CD in the process!

Classified ads are FREE to members but now you can add photographs of your items for sale. For $15 we will include a B & W photograph of your car or item and for $35 we will include a color photo. Also the classified ads will now appear on our Internet web site.

Remember we will send out the eEagle, our email newsletter in addition to the regular Eagle for members that have given us their email address. Our website address is www.firebirdtaclub.com and our email address is info@firebirdtaclub.com . The website has a “Members Only” section on the web site. This section contains technical staff contact information, recommended repair shops, spare parts lists that members have sent in as well as complete current and past issues of the member magazine which can be viewed on-line or downloaded for printing.

You need an ID and password to access this area. You will find the current ID and password on page 3 of each issue of the EAGLE. These will change with each issue so use only the current ones listed.

Thanks for all of your support and to this issue’s contributors and I hope you are enjoying the driving season!!

Pontiac Southern Nationals

by Jay Lord

It’s Back!!! Yes, after a two year hiatus, the Pontiac Southern Nationals is Back!

In case you have never heard of or been to this event, it’s the brain child of the Dallas Area Pontiac Association. Here’s how it all got started. In 1993 the Pontiac Southern Nationals came to be as a result of the Dallas Area Pontiac Association’s desire to put on an event weekend that rivaled any national car event anywhere. Traditionally, PSN has been held in Dallas, Texas and quickly became one of the major Pontiac event weekends in this part of the United States. The PSN also quickly became known nationally as one of the top events each year and Pontiac hobbyists from across the nation attend. A very high quality hotel is always selected as the host hotel where Pontiac guys and gals bring their family and friends and meet other Pontiac owners and spend hours sharing information about their cars and the hobby. Traditionally, on the Friday night of the event weekend, there is a casual supper for entrants and their family, usually around the hotel pool, a court yard or at a hospitality suite. On Saturday, the all Pontiac car show is run and on Sunday, bracket racing is offered at one of the top ¼ mile tracks in the area.

Josie\'s 1970 Trans Am The PSN was a hit from the beginning and continued its winning ways through 2005. Then the DAPA members took two years off in 2006 and 2007 and only hosted a charity show in its place by way of the Sewell Pontiac BOP show benefiting the American Cancer Society, which is still their charity today.

During those two years, many Pontiac folk sent emails, letters or had conversations with many of the DAPA members, expressing their feelings about the need to resume the PSN. In late 2007, DAPA President Don Fenton and DAPA members came together and decided to resurrect this tremendous weekend on June 6-8, 2008. The only difference was that it was held in San Antonio, Texas.

Pontac Southern Nationals car A block of rooms were set aside at an almost brand new La Quinta Inn and Suites which was only a few miles from downtown San Antonio, where attractions such as the Riverwalk, the Alamo, Tower of the Americas, HemisFair Park, fine restaurants, and shopping could be enjoyed by all. The La Quinta was also where, the traditional Friday night casual social event and supper for entrants and their families was held.

Saturday started early for many of the hobbyists. Many struck out before 8 a.m. for the car show which was held on the grounds of the Retama Horse Race Track. Although the forecast called for a 30% chance of rain, the show was blessed with only one small rain shower. A few of the entrants might have seeked shelter at the race track because the entry fee included a free admission to the track.

Pontac Southern Nationals car Pontiac hobbyist and their cars came from all over Texas to celebrate the resurrection of the PSN. Despite sky rocketing gas prices and the threat of rain for the weekend, 77 primo Pontiacs entered the show. Of the clubs that entered cars, the San Antonio Pontiac club, South Central Texas Chapter of POCI, entered over a dozen cars and many of them took home awards. Over three dozen top quality first, second, third and fourth generation Firebirds, Formulas, and Trans Ams entered, were teched and placed in one of the six classes for F-bodies.

Four second generation cars that caught everyone’s eye and scored very well by the judges were the 1976 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Trans Am owner by Robert Kern of Dallas, the 1979 Special Edition Trans Am owned by Paul Kenny of Houston, a 1979 10th Anniversary Trans Am owned by Greg San Marco of San Antonio and a 1970 Trans Am owned by Josie Lord of Bulverde, Texas.
Robert’s ’76 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is a Hurst t-top Y-82 code car, with automatic (TH350), 400 cid, 2.56 rear gears. This very original car’s total mileage (after the 2008 Bandit Run and the PSN) is only 83K!

Paul’s 1979 Special Edition Trans Am has the Pontiac 400 ci motor, 4spd. with only 31k original miles. He’s owned it for 10yrs. It is a high optioned un-restored survivor car that shows very well.
Greg’s 1979 10th Anniversary Trans Am is a 400/4spd car with only 3800 original miles on it. It too is an un-restored survivor car that shows very well.

Josie’s 1970 Trans Am has been in the family for almost 20 years, is a polar white, numbers matching, PHS documented, highly optioned, Ram Air III, California car.

Best of Show went to a 1969 Firebird 400 owned by Jay Lord of Bulverde, Texas. This gold with a parchment vinyl top Firebird is an unmolested, numbers matching, PHS, heavily documented car. It has only been driven 78K by its 4 owners. It has won awards in many shows in and around San Antonio but this is the car’s first Best of Show award.

Pontac Southern Nationals car The races on Sunday at the San Antonio Raceway’s ¼ mile track had some fantastic cars. Many of the DAPA members that had been involved with the PSN for years felt the track was the best venue they have used hands down. Several classes were established and provided racing fun and excitement. Cash awards were made to the winners and runner up in each class. To maximize entrants and spectators enjoyment, if a racer lost their first round elimination race, for an extra fee, they were allowed back in to the same class for a second chance.

The entire weekend was a huge success thanks to all the hard work of all the Dallas Area Pontiac Association members and family as well as the support received from several sponsors – Red McCombs Superior Pontiac GMC of San Antonio, Ames Performance Engineering, Butler Performance, Sewell Pontiac of Dallas, GTOAA Ram Air Restorations, DuSold Enterprises, and Street Dreams.

Rest assured, whenever and wherever the PSN is set for 2009, we’ll all be there. Hope many of you reading this story will bring your cars and join in the excitement, Pontiac Southern Nationals style.

Firebirds of Christian and Tracey Driscoll

‘68 Firebird of Christian Driscoll The 1968 Firebird has a fresh engine swap. in November of 2006.the preparations for the swap began. All new subframe, heater components, Hurst shifter, front end rubber, springs, 400 hood and more. I got her back in August 2007 and it a work in progress still but she‘ll do for now. The ‘79 formula is built for Canada. The gauges are in kilometers. She belongs to my wife Tracey. It does not have the 301 engine but has the 403 monster engine. ‘68 Firebird of Christian Driscoll 79 Formula of Christian Driscoll’s wife Tracey

'71 "Tirebird" Trans Am of John Motroni

this is an excerpt from the articles appearing in the EAGLE

This issue’s featured car is the ‘71 “Tirebird” Trans Am of John Motroni. Here is his story:
Back in 1971, BF Goodrich introduced their then new BFG Radial T/A 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, etc.

‘71 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.
‘71 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 mile.
‘71 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.

‘71

From the Editor's Desk – May 2008

‘71 Formula 455 HO Ram Air and ‘74 Trans Am of Sean Karsian
Thanks to all of the new members that joined recently.

Thanks
to Keith Fuerst, Bob Phillips, Jay Lord and Lee Adanti and all of the other contributors to this issue! Also many thanks to Todd Stahr, Justin Kwarta, Bill Simcox and Brett Campbell on their continuing technical help to our members on our new message board at board.firebirdclub.net.

The Memphis Chapter is a new local chapter of the National Firebird & T/A Club. The club is for all Firebird and Trans Am owners in western Tennessee, eastern Arkansas and northern Mississippi. The organizers’ names are Chris Schafer and Julie Brown. The club can be reached at 901-412-2627 or Chris by email at transamman25@hotmail.com or Julie by email at transamgirl13@yahoo.com .

Also there is a now a Local Groups/Activities section on the Club Message Board where each local club has its own section where local club items can be discussed.

Also you can now find us on the popular networking sites www.myspace.com , www.facebook.com, www.friendster.com. www.yuwie.com in the groups/clubs sections.

I am happy to inform you that Technical Sections Volume II is now available which continues the great tradition of practical tech advice started with Volumes I. In keeping with the times this one is available only on CD for PC or Mac and is available in the Club Store section of each Eagle and on the website at www.firebirdtaclub.com.

Another new item in the store is a complete copy of the past ten years of the Eagle available on CD only for PC or Mac.

We have a new and improved club message board. You can access through the club website at www.firebirdtaclub.com or directly at http://board.firebirdclub.net . We have a members only section of the message board. You can use the user id and password on page 3 of each Eagle or you can get a personal id and password. To do so, register and then logon to the message board and send a message to us with a reply in this section or via email. This allows you to access the Member Only Question & Answer and Upkeep and Performance Hints Area. It also allows you to post items in the For Sale and Wanted sections as well as post photos in the Member Photos area. Also there is a now a Local Groups/Activities section.

The club also now has a blog located at http://blog.firebirdclub.net . Members can publish items or comments to the Blog.

We have a National Firebird & T/A Club photo gallery located at http://photos.firebirdclub.net . The same login is used for the gallery as the Message Board. Members can download photos directly here.

We now offer a 3 year membership or renewal rate which includes a free t-shirt or tech volume II CD. The rate is $95 or $125 for members outside the USA. And in response to many members we now have a 3 year eMembership for $50 which also includes a free t-shirt or tech volume III CD. So save some money and get a free t-shirt or tech CD in the process!

Classified ads are FREE to members but now you can add photographs of your items for sale. For $15 we will include a B & W photograph of your car or item and for $35 we will include a color photo. Also the classified ads will now appear on our Internet web site.

Remember we will send out the eEagle, our email newsletter in addition to the regular Eagle for members that have given us their email address. Our website address is www.firebirdtaclub.com and our email address is info@firebirdtaclub.com . The website has a “Members Only” section on the web site. This section contains technical staff contact information, recommended repair shops, spare parts lists that members have sent in as well as complete current and past issues of the member magazine which can be viewed on-line or downloaded for printing.

You need an ID and password to access this area. You will find the current ID and password on page 3 of each issue of the EAGLE. These will change with each issue so use only the current ones listed.

Thanks for all of your support and to this issue’s contributors and I hope you are preparing for the upcoming season!!


'98 WS-6 of Lee Adanti

Lee & Sue Adanti’s 1998 WS-6 Convertible Lee & Sue Adanti’s 1998 WS-6 Convertible Lee & Sue Adanti’s 1998 WS-6 Convertible
The May 2008 issue of the National Firebird & T/A Club Eagle (the club member magazine) is the ‘98 WS-6 of Lee Adanti. Here is the story:

My ’98 WS-6 Convertible was noticed on the truck in May of 1998 as it was being delivered to Dearborn Pontiac in Dearborn Michigan. I happened to be out of town and my wife was getting our ’96 Grand Am serviced. She inquired about the car because it looked very unique to her. To make a long story short, she put a down payment and I completed the transaction once I came home and saw and drove it!

I have managed to do some research into it because I know the SLP/ASC did not do convertibles until later in the year. So here are some of the facts on its exclusivity:

Of the 3083 WS-6s built in 1998 360 were convertibles of which 86 were Red (confirmed through ASC). Only 18 of the red convertibles were made with the Taupe top and interior (most were Black).

Also, as you will recall, the SLP dual-dual exhaust system was available on the Camaro SS but to get it on a Firebird you had to order a Firehawk. That was the way SLP decided to make it exclusive. So as far as I know and can tell, I have the only Red ’98 WS-6 Taupe Convertible with the dealer installed dual-dual Firehawk exhaust.

1970 ½ Trans Am of Jay Lord

1970 ½ Trans Am of Jay Lord 1970 ½ Trans Am of Jay Lord 1970 ½ Trans Am of Jay Lord
I was in Riverside California and working at March AFB in November 1988, when an ad appeared in a Penny Saver “1970 Trans Am, ram air, runs $1300, phone — ——. Naturally, I called and asked if it was a Ram Air III or IV. The owner had no clue, so that made me want to get there even faster.

A friend who was making a clone 1970 Chevelle SS went with me to look at it. As it turned out, it was a white Ram Air III TA that was in pretty bad shape. The paint was yellowing in areas; windshield, nose, and passenger window gone; driver’s door had a huge dent in it, five small rust spots around the rear window, trunk lid and rear center spoiler caved in due to a garbage truck’s bucket coming down on it, carpet and seat covers gone, dash pad cracked in the middle, console shot, steering wheel pretty torn up, front center spoiler gone, AC compressor gone, a worn out battery and starter, and a tired Ram Air III motor.

1970 ½ Trans Am of Jay Lord 1970 ½ Trans Am of Jay Lord As I found out later, the car we were looking at, was a true PHS documented, high optioned, Ram Air III, California TA that still had the original paint, engine, heads, trany, rear end, door panels, fenders, floor pans and quarters. It had very little rust, as described above. The shaker even had the solenoids, wiring, and all the goodies that make the flapper open when you accelerate. As we thoroughly looked over the car, we quickly determined the car’s good points far surpassed the bad ones.

The seller said the car would run but got hot in the summer time and would not start. He said it had been sitting out in front of his home for about eight months, parked parallel to the curb, and that’s where the garbage truck’s bucket struck the rear trunk lid and spoiler. My friend Randy and a huddled up and came up with an offer of $950 and he took it! I became the third owner and the seller was friends with the first owner, so he had a lot of history on the car.

We had the car towed home as the motor had not been turned over in 8 months. The next weekend we started the restoration. In the next 18 months, almost everything was either replaced or rebuilt to include transmission, suspension, air conditioning, interior, carpet and dash pad, glass etc. The original set of Rally II rims (JW codes) were still on the car, so all that was needed was to strip and repaint each one. A numbers carburetor was found with the help of a good friend, Scott Nesheim, who, to this day, still owns his Lucerne Blue ’70 TA. The body work and prep took the longest to get accomplished because it was done by a great body shop guy that did private work on weekends at the shop. Finally, I had it painted to its original white. I disassembled all the spoilers, mirrors, grills, lights, chrome, rear bumper and nose to ensure all surfaces got an equal amount of Code 10 paint. About a month later the stripes went on.

The last thing, but the most important one of all, was the engine rebuild. In 1990, the compression had finally gone almost to zero. I decided to find someone who could rebuild the motor. I didn’t have to look far as I had met Carl Lower at one of the local Pontiac club meetings. At that time, Carl was staying with Bruce Fulper-Rock & Roll Engineering and came highly recommended.

Carl, along with his two sons, and I did the rebuild in my garage and took several weekends before it was complete. All the machine work was done by a Pontiac performance shop in Riverside. The engine had never been into so it only had to be bored 30 over. A three angle valve job was done and new bronze guides were installed. The block was bored and honed and new cam bearings were installed. Forged TRW pistons and Melling cam (068) and bearings were installed. A Ram Air III oil pump, Carter fuel pump and Edelbrock double roller timing chain were also installed. The whole assembly was balanced and finally we carried the Ram Air III home, put it back in the TA, and the car came alive!

In 1993, I moved to Texas and only have had to replace the normal parts a car goes through in 12,000 miles of driving plus new power steering pump and box, AC system (converted to R134 in 2003), exhaust system, brake booster and tires.

Although I show my TA in many San Antonio and surrounding area shows, the best times I’ve had with the car are when I’m driving it to and from these shows, to a cruise night or two, or just around the area where I live on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I don’t care that some engine parts don’t shine quite as much as new ones, because many are 16-18 years old or are original ones. This car was my first one to try to restore and will always be very special to me. Also, one of the best things about owning this car is I get to meet so many great people that love old cars almost as much as me. Through the years, I’ve also met folks that do excellent work on them and I’ve been able to pass along their names to others that need help with their car. Without my TA, all of that wouldn’t have happened. I feel very lucky to have found it.

Jay Lord

No Trans Am for Pontiac

New Firebird New Trans AmBuick, Pontiac and GMC dealers will get 12 new or special-edition vehicles over the next 20 months — but they won’t get a Pontiac Trans Am.

Pontiac had lobbied for a sibling vehicle to the Chevrolet Camaro, which is scheduled to arrive in February 2009.

General Motors’ plan to make Pontiac a rear-wheel-drive performance car division is likely to be scaled back because of fuel economy regulations, GM leaders told dealers at the make meeting.

One dealer said the business case for the Trans Am didn’t compute.

“It was an economic situation,” said Lynn Thompson, owner of Thompson Motor Sales in Springfield, Mo. “It would cost $200 million to bring out the vehicle.”

Pontiac will remain a car-only brand for the foreseeable future, dealers were told. But because of new legislation requiring vehicles to reach a fleet average of 35 mpg by 2020, Pontiac might not end up as GM’s performance division, dealers said they were told.

“The plan is being tweaked because of the gas situation,” Thompson said. “I hope they don’t give up on performance because they don’t have to. You can use four-cylinder engines to achieve incredible power.”

B-P-G will give dealers six new or special-edition vehicles — such as the special-edition GMC Sierra pickup, called Pro Grade — this year. They will get another six next year, dealers who attended the meeting told Automotive News.

Chicago Auto Show Concept Trans Am

by Bob Phillips

Trans Am Concept Trans Am of Bob Phillips This Trans Am is the original, un-restored, survivor, 1 of 1, promotional concept car that was built for the 1974 Chicago Auto Show (actually has 24 separate options that would make this a one of one [1 of 1] car or a first [1st]). The interior has a special silk material used on the seats and the carpet is by Cadillac. The famous 455 Super Duty (SD) engine that Nascar developed with only 1296 made in a two year period was dropped under the hood.  It features a one of a kind special gold metallic flake blended into the black base color with gold  pin striping (also known as a Johnny Player Special) and would become the promo car (for the second time) for the 1976 50th anniversary Limited Edition TA that would evolve into the later Special Edition models from 1977 – 1981. 

It was used as a promotional car (for the third time) for the Trans Am Territories, (which was a gathering and race for Trans Am buffs and GM personnel), and was driven by John Schinella (Head Chief of Design for GM) on the track.  It has untouched, original paint and clear coating, with spider webbing from many clear finishes from all the changes by the design staff.  It is documented 28,000 original miles and still wears its original tires (Goodyear made two sets special for this car with gold lettering).  The car (most thought lost) was purchased from the original owner’s estate sale in 2004 by Bob Reason, car dealer and collector of Michigan.  The original owner (Clarence Sproul) worked for GM as head accountant and was close to Bill Mitchell, the vice-president of GM who owned the car before it was turned into a concept car.  Bill instructed the car go to the accountant rather than being destroyed like most concept cars.  It was personally signed by John Schinella on the center console and core support in 2004.  John was appointed head of Trans Am design by Bill Mitchell in 1971 and used this car to sell the Big Bird idea to Bill Mitchell, who originally hated the bird decal.  The car is titled as a buccaneer red 1973 Trans Am with Turbo 400 automatic transmission. 

The public excitement over the car during the 1974 show circuit prompted the release of the 1976 Limited Edition (50th Anniversary) Trans Am and essentially was the first Bandit car.  It is historically documented in 21 articles online,  and in seven books  publications such as in the  “The Fabulous Firebird” by Michael Lamm, “Firebird Trans Am” by David Newhardt, “Pontiac Firebird” by Marc Cranswick. 

More photos at www.firebirdconcept.com or www.1973-76transamconcept.com .

National Firebird and Trans Am Club – For owners of all year Pontiac Firebirds, Trans Ams, GTAs and Firehawks

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