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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Dallas, TX
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    I am looking to buy a second generation trans am restomod! What should I look for!?!

    I am looking to buy a restomod or pro touring car. I love the second gen trans ams. What are some things to look for or things to avoid?!? Thanks a ton guys!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    H-Town, TX
    Posts
    307
    Country Flag: United States
    Decide what years you want to look at. 70-73 seem to be harder to find and are considerably more expensive than the later cars.

    Do you want a Pontiac motor (my preference) or an LS/LT motor; Both have their benefits.

    There are enough of these available I wouldn’t bother with anything with rust.

    Determine what your price range is and what is important to you. By that I mean you can have two people that are willing to spend 50k on a car; one wants shiny paint and big wheels/ one wants 800 hp and big brakes

    From there you can figure out what to look for in a car

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    2
    Thank you! That is some great tips!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    1,183
    Country Flag: United States
    Quote Originally Posted by 1965gp View Post
    Decide what years you want to look at. 70-73 seem to be harder to find and are considerably more expensive than the later cars.

    Do you want a Pontiac motor (my preference) or an LS/LT motor; Both have their benefits.

    There are enough of these available I wouldn’t bother with anything with rust.

    Determine what your price range is and what is important to you. By that I mean you can have two people that are willing to spend 50k on a car; one wants shiny paint and big wheels/ one wants 800 hp and big brakes

    From there you can figure out what to look for in a car
    What he said.

    However, I will say that I had one heck of a time finding a 77-81 car. I wasn't stuck on any of those years specifically, I just wanted one of those years to start with as it's what I had for a first car. I went and looked at 5 different cars before I found mine (and it still had issues, just way less than the others I checked out). I learned that the "this car has no rust" guys only thought that because the spots that weren't "rusted" were already completely gone. The big places I noticed issues in were in the tail pan and frame rails. Check those areas out thoroughly. I replaced the floor pans but I expected some repair with the money I was wanting to spend.

    It all boils down to what the budget is. Obviously, if the starting budget is on the higher end of the spectrum, you'll get a nicer car to start with! As far as what year you should go for, just pick what you like .
    Last edited by [email protected]; 4 Weeks Ago at 06:34 AM.


    Ridetech Suspsension
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    1979 Trans Am

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    34,441
    Country Flag: United States
    Budget will determine what you can get. My experience is to buy the high end of your budget, you will get a better car

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    N. Scottsdale
    Posts
    250
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    I agree with what the others have said. In addition to the budget (most important factor) and deciding on the years you prefer, consider whether you want a finished car or a project, and relatedly, do you care if the car started its life as a Trans Am.

    My project turned out to be a lot more expensive than it needed to be because I was dead set on a '70 (last year of high compression engines) Formula (clean lines and I love the hood) in a Carousel Red or Keylime Green. The only car I found meeting these criteria ended up needing a ton of work, which was unnecessary given that 70-73s are all very similar, a base Firebird can be made to look like a Formula with a hood change, and a color change just requires paint. My desire to have the car match the trim tag cost me a lot of time and money.

    I think if I were starting a TA project now, I would do more of a rolling project, and assuming a modest budget, I'd start with the absolute cleanest car I could find regardless of the year and model. Pro-touring 2nd generation TAs are just cool!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    124
    Country Flag: United States
    I agree with what others are advising. I'd add: Decide what the car has to do. Does the car need to be mainly a track car, street/strip or a show car / cruiser? Buy the best condition car you can find that matches what you want it to do. Don't be in a hurry to find the right car.

    I'd also like to highlight what Alponcho suggested as well as I fell into the same trap trying to find a real Formula. Find the best condition 2nd gen firebird you can regardless of the ID tags. You can easily make it look like a T/A or Formula with a hood and / or fender swap.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    H-Town, TX
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    307
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    I agree with all of this. Decide what the End goal is for the car.

    Great point on the trim tags. My 72 TA clone is being built on a Esprit body I paid $2300 for and drove home.