Tag Archives: Trans Am

'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.


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.

'87 GTA of Gary Boggs

My friend Lou used to drive this car everyday. When he got married his wife hated the car, so back in the yard it went. After years of sitting and other projects Lou decided to get rid of the car. My husband and son had gotten into drag racing and one day Lou came to the track to see them run. I inquired about the car and Lou said “if you want to turn it into a race car you can have it.” I couldn’t believe my ears! He said he would give the car to my son Gary for his 16th birthday. We towed it back to our home and rolled it into the garage. My son has decided he wants to keep it stock for now and try to restore it. We can’t get it started because the fuel lines are clogged…Any inormation or tips on how to get all the fuel out of it would be greatly appreciated. My son took the seats out top have them re-covered so I am also looking for any suggestions as far as nice seat covers. I’d like to purchase some covers for him for Christmas. I guess we’ll need a lot of help from members to get this car in nice shape and back on the road. Maybe later he’ll turn it into a dragster! Any comments or information could be sent to my email address rboggs127@cox.net

Thanks, Robyn Boggs ( Gary’s Mom)

'74 Trans Am of Denise Belair

74tadenisebelair2.jpg74tadenisebelair.jpg74tadenisebelair.jpg My Dad was battling brain cancer and my Mom called to see if we knew of anyone who would want to buy her ‘74 Trans Am. I got excited and said that my Husband and I would like to look at it.

Now, I haven’t really looked at the car for quite a few years as it sat covered up in my parent’s garage. I had not seen them drive it in a long time either.

74tadenisebelair.jpg74tadenisebelair2.jpg74tadenisebelair2.jpgWe set out to my parent’s house to take a look. I was excited because I can remember feeling like a “cool kid” when my Mom would pick me up from somewhere in that ear. It was really cool to be picked up from the movie theater after watching “Smokey And The Bandit” in a shiny red Trans Am! My Mom bought the car new from Thompson – Pontiac in Cuyahoga Falls Ohio. I remember going with her to a Trans Am Club meeting at the car dealership. I even had a Trans Am Club tee shirt. I also passed my driving exam in that car.

74tadenisebelair3.jpgWe got to my parent’s and uncovered the car. I was sort of disappointed when I saw it. It had rust holes on the same place on each front lower quarter panel. It also had some rust at each rear lower quarter panel. The passenger side door had rust by the mirror. My Mom had always taken painstakingly good car of the car. The car never saw snow or salt and was always clean and waxed. Maybe my mom washed it too much or let it sit wet in the garage. None the less, it was still beautiful to me. “We can fix it”, I said to my husband. He was not as enthused as me. “Body work can cost a lot of money” he said,” And we are not sure of the engine”. We got the keys and started it up. It started but the engine shook like it was going to jump out of the hood! It started to run a little better after awhile. My husband looked at me and knew I wanted that car. We bought it and even drove it all the way home with no problems. Since then, we had the body fixed and painted and new decals put on and it looks super! The interior was already perfect and needed no work. The radio works, but the old 8 track player is not working. My Mom gave me her old 8 tracks too, and it would be nice to cruise down the road listing to the old tunes. The engine is the original 400 4bbl automatic and now still runs good. The car has 95,000 miles on it now.

I had always wished when I was a kid that I could have a cool car like my Mom and now I do.

‘95 Trans Am convertible of Shelby Lauener

‘95 Trans Am convertible of Shelby Lauener‘95 Trans Am convertible of Shelby Lauener‘95 Trans Am convertible of Shelby Lauener The August 2007 issue of the Eagle magazine’s (sent to club members) featured car is the ‘95 Trans Am convertible of Shelby Lauener. Here is the story:

Here are some pictures of my Trans Am. It is a 95 Trans Am convertible which I have converted to a WS6 with modifications. In the past four years the car has won 35 trophies at local car shows in Oklahoma. I drive the car a lot and have enjoyed meeting folks that like classic cars and trucks.

Jim Suva's "Rockford Files" Firebird

In 1974 a new TV series aired called “The Rockford Files” starring James Garner. Mr. Garner’s character Jim Rockford drove a Pontiac Firebird Esprit. I fell in love with this car immediately. So I purchased a used 1974 Firebird Esprit that was gold and had a black interior. (Rockford drove a gold and tan interior version.) I only kept the car one year before I sold it.

The Rockford Files went through Firebirds from 1974 through the 1978 model year. I have always wanted to buy one over the years.

Fast forward to November 2002. I was looking for a used car for myself and found a 1977 Firebird Esprit on the Internet. It was gold with a tan interior.

The Firebird only had 63,000 miles on it and it was in great survivor shape. I am the fifth owner of the car. The Firebird was purchased new in 1977 in Oregon to a lady who was about 50 years old, who gave the car to her minister’s wife in the late 1980’s. The minister’s wife kept it for a number of years and sold it to another gentleman around the year 2000. In March of 2002 that gentleman sold the Firebird to another gentleman named Mike in Rhode Island. Mike sold it to me. What is nice about this Firebird is that it has only been owned by people over 45 years old. So it has not been abused.

Once I bought the Firebird, I contacted Jim at Pontiac Historic Service for a copy of the original build sheet. The Firebird was built in Ohio and shipped to a dealer in Oregon. The car originally had a rear spoiler and a stripe, which I believe was removed at the dealership. It also had wire wheels, that Mike (owner #4) switched out with a set of Rally 2 wheels to make the car look like the Rockford Files car.

Since purchasing the Firebird, I have replaced the wheel-well chrome all around, added a correct AM/FM radio with two rear speakers. Of course I have done some regular maintenance like brakes, heater core, water pump and transmission service.

The Firebird has a 305 engine, power steering and brakes. It also has air conditioning and a tilt steering column with a gold Formula steering wheel. These are the only options on the car.

I used the Firebird as a daily driver for about 11 months. It is now retired as an antique vehicle with just over 69,000 miles on it. It sports the same license plate number that was Jim Rockford’s on the TV show (853 OKG).

I have shown the Firebird at a few local car shows and it is received well. A lot of people actually ask me if this is an original from the TV show. The nice thing about this Firebird is that it is a star car replica. Since everyone wants a General Lee Charger, KITT Trans Am, or a Batmobile, my car is special. Not too many Rockford Files Firebird’s running around. Plus, there are a lot of Trans Am and Formula Firebirds, so it is cool to see the Esprit as one of a few examples still out there.

Plans for the future are to have the Firebird repainted and have some minor dings and dents taken out. As luck would have it, I met a gentleman in California who gave me the original color-based codes from an actual surviving Rockford Firebird.

I have also had the opportunity to talk to someone who actually supplied the Firebirds to both the TV series and the Rockford Movies in the 90’s. He gave me a lot of background information on the Firebirds. But that is another story. (excerpt from the club magazine, the Eagle)

National Firebird & Trans Am Club

The National Firebird & T/A Club at www.firebirdtaclub.com was founded in 1984 in Chicago to serve the interests of Firebird, Trans-Am and Formula owners throughout North America. The NFTAC offers, magazines, emagazines, technical advice, member recommendations on service, body and parts sources, registration of your Firebird or Trans Am, a tradition of service and FREE member classified ads that appear in the EAGLE magazine AND on the Internet web site.