Texas Trans Am Service & Restoration Newsletter
"Specializing in Service and Restoration of
Second Generation Pontiac Firebirds"
+ + www.TexasTransAms.com + +
"I was half expecting to see some Elves frantically
working on a Trans Am around the corner."
+ + Sponsor of www.TransAmTerritory.org
December 2002 / January 2003
The newsletter editor/ webmaster thought he was just too busy to put the
December Newsletter out on time so we have a combined December 2002/
January 2003 edition. He has received a stern admonishment. If this
behavior continues, he may be forced to drive a Camaro up and down the
In this Issue
1. Diary of a visitor to Texas Trans Ams
2. New Project Cars
3. New, re-pops, and discontinued parts
4. Show Room
5. Shipping, Credit Cards
6. Top 100 Muscle Car Site, e-mail and site-search
7. Tee Shirts and Bumper Stickers
8. What's new at the shop?
9. A Virtual Holiday Card from Us to You!
+ + + + +
1. You may recall our new friend Alex M. from
Ohio, the recipient of the Road Runner
Award for August. He's the guy that traveled
over 1,074 miles, one way, to visit and finalize
adoption of the Red 400/4 speed Formula. He was
also kind enough to bring 9 floppies of pictures
he took at the 2002 Trans Am Nationals. Well,
he had a few things to share with everyone.
"I suppose I should start this article with
how I found out about Texas Trans Ams, and
what led me on my quest to have David Mars
build the ultimate Second Generation Formula
for me. A few months ago I was accumulating
parts to restore a '67 RS Camaro when a
revelation hit me; sell the boring Camaro
and buy an exciting Second Gen Formula or
Trans Am. ...."
See the FULL article with pictures here:
His adoption of the '79 Formula has been completed
and it's place in line for restoration has been
2. "Membership has its privileges"
Welcome back everyone, and a special greeting to
"cgzeee" who just became our 162nd member.
Newsletter subscribers will get first notice on
rare parts and new Project Cars.
- 1977 Firebird black with yellow flames and snorkel.
It has a sunroof and good seats. Good body, needs
engine. This car is desperately looking for a "B"
movie to star in. "Hooper 2003"? The snorkel and
paint job alone is worth an extra 100 HP, even
without an engine.
- 1978 Bandit Black & Gold
NEW PICTURES - ADOPTION PENDING
Needs engine and transmission, rear floor pan
needs to be patched, straight rear quarters, true
Special Edition Car.
1979 Firebird 301 partially disassembled. White with blue
and white interior. Mostly complete, some surface rust
on driver side rear quarter panel.
1981 Firebird V6 parts car. Perfect doors.
If you are interested in one of these great project
cars, call David at 817-563-2121
Last month's newsletter can be found in the articles
and news section, but only upon the sporadic mailing
of the following month. As a subscriber, you get the cars,
parts and "scoop" 4 weeks (approximately) before anyone
3. PARTS ++++++++
Texas Trans Ams is proud to announce that the fiberglass
reproduction front lower spoilers for the '74-'75 are in!
We got a nice e-mail back from a customer about the
front splash pan for the ' 74-'75 Firebirds. This
batch fits great for the Firebird or Formula, but
requires some minor work to match the spoiler
for the TA. We are adjusting the mold to improve
the fitting to the spoiler for the TA.
The fiberglass splash pan for '74-'75 is
available for an introductory price of $225.
These work great with the turn signal for the '74 or
the block-off on the '75.
Attention '77-'78 fans, the front center spoiler is
now available in fiberglass. They are available for
an introductory price of $145. We test fitted the
piece on Todd's car and it fits and looks great!
Also fiberglass "ram-air" hoods are available for
most any American made car or truck. Contact us
with your wants and needs for fiberglass parts,
if you don't see it on the following page.
Chrome plated center caps for the alloy wheels
and one case of chrome 2 1/4 splitter tips
('76 - '81 style) are on the way to the new showroom.
If my "Pet Rock" could talk (or type) it would remind
you that we can ship or install Auto Custom
Carpet and Texas Trans Am Mufflers for your old dream.
The Texas Trans Am Mufflers are produced with
heavier gauge steel than other popular dual
chamber mufflers. This gives the Texas Trans Am
muffler a deeper, more solid sound, rather than
the high pitched "cow bell" sound.
Muffler quote from Ken H.
"I just wanted to let you know we received the
(Texas Trans Am) mufflers and installed them
and they sound GREAT, even better than your
website advertises. I will probably be in touch
to order some chrome tips whenever my son gathers
up the money. Thanks again and I look forward to
doing business with you again."
Hypnotically Shiny parts
We were told that the shaker seals for '77-'81
have been discontinued from GM. We understand
that Soft Seal is working on a replacement, but
no finished product yet.
We also understand that the red Pontiac crest for
the '77-'81 nose had been discontinued. But we
received 3 of them last Saturday. However the
'79-'81 noses are almost all gone from the GM
warehouses and that the company reproducing them,
like the originals in Urethane, went out of business.
4. Show Room +++++++
The Texas Trans Am Service and Restoration Show Room
is progressing. We have shelves, lights and a real
bathroom door. When you drop by, you will see the
Honeycomb, Turbo and Snowflake wheels on display
across from the new fiberglass reproduction splash
pans, spoilers and Texas Trans Ams Mufflers along
with other shiny new parts. It's kind of like
opening the model car box and looking at all the
optional wheels and hot rod parts.
After almost a year of using hoods
for walls and a refrigerator box flap for a door,
David had to stick some cardboard to the outside
of the door just so he could find the bathroom.
Larry A. ran the AC lines and Roy plans to spend
a couple of days on the show room walls later
5. We are accepting Visa, MasterCard and
American Express and shipping parts nationally and
internationally in many areas.
6. Top 100 Muscle Car Sites +++++
Be careful what you wish for, it might just come true.
Top 100 Muscle Car Sites seems to have stalled out, again.
We have been ranked at #10 for about the last months with
92 votes. We understand that the site is for sale and
wish the creator the best of luck. It was fun while it lasted.
Why couldn't the list have frozen when we were #8!
David gets HUNDREDS of e-mails each month and tries
his best to respond in a timely manner, but sometimes
it takes a few days to research the answer (Do I
have a rust free tail light panel for a '79 Firebird?)
and then find time to respond. Remember if all else
fails and it's an emergency give us a call at 817-563-2121.
Recently someone sent several digital camera images
of a car that effectively bottlenecked our e-mail
system and left us without email for several days.
We appreciate the sincere enthusiasm, but please
don't e-mail pictures. If you feel you
must, please call us first so we can make room on the
server. The best way to share images with us would
be to FTP them to your personal web space and include
the URL in the e-mail message. Like this:
You may have noticed the "Search TexasTransAms.com for" box on
It helps us to tune the site based on what you are looking for.
Sorry, no swimsuit pictures. We are still a little modest.
The following were the most popular searches for the last 30 days:
# of requests / words searched / # of results
11 85 trans am 72
7 fenders 6
5 gto 4
5 snowflake wheels 4
5 301 51
4 engines 52
4 parts 64
3 GLASS 2
3 30 th Ann. T.A. 0
3 firebirds 57
3 smokey bandit 3
3 75 trans am 72
3 1975 trans am 7
3 1979 trans am 25
3 hoods 2
3 78 transam 0
3 77 golden rod yellow trans am 0
2 1979-80 trans am for sale 0
2 for sale 2
We also use it to learn popular new spellings.
Sorry there were no results for "concole" or "shacker
7. Tee Shirts still coming soon.... and always will
be. TexasTransAms.com bumper sticker version 1.2 is
available for $2.00 each, plus shipping and handling
or FREE with orders over $100.00. What's different
from the 1.1 version you ask. The new batch will
include the full white background but with the text
"TexasTransAm" pulled together. Some of the stickers
will have a clear background for windows.
8. At the shop recently...
The quarter panel is welded in place on Todd's blue TA.
The welds are ground down, a light skin of body filler
has been applied to be sanded down level with the body.
The joints have been primed and sanded. The driver's side
floor has been coated with POR-15. Next a new
passenger side floor pan and new window molding pins
will be stud-welded in place along the rear window edge.
We know the driver's side floor pan is good because we
replaced it 6 years ago under a different owner.
Larry A.'s TA. The sub frame connectors are being
installed now. Once the new bushings are completed
the roll cage will be installed.
Rodney brought a '79 Bandit clone, which came
originally with a Poncho 301. He had taken the
car to two other mechanic shops to try to get a 400
from a '68 LeMans installed. At first glance it
sounds easy enough, but experienced Poncho fanatics
will recall that the motor mount bolt holes changed
after the 1969 model year. David ordered motor mount
conversion brackets from a supplier, but we are working
on a more accurate fitting reproduction.
Dano's TA. After changing paint suppliers we have
applied the finish coat of primer and guide coat.
Since our previous paint supplier jerked us out of 7
weeks of gorgeous painting weather, we now have a
deal worked for PPG products.
The Blue '70 1/2 Ram Air III TA- We are still
waiting on the Tachometer and clock cluster from the original
manufacturer. It seems to take a couple of months for
this type of repair.
The new black paint on Larry S.'s '81 TA has cured
for over a month so David color sanded the passenger
side of the hood. This will show the visiting couple
from Colorado an example of the paintjob they are
planning to have done on their '79 TA restoration.
The '65 Mustang underside has been wire brushed down
to the metal or factory paint. After seam sealer has
been applied weld-marks will be fixed on the underside
and then the inside and underside coated with POR-15
and then covered with Chassis Black. NOTE 3M
discontinued the black seam-sealer so we are using
the black seam-sealer from the Eastwood catalogue.
David's new toy- Through an elaborate trade for a
'71 Camaro, David wound up with a Buccaneer Red '74 TA.
The car features a recently rebuilt 455 with a
"nasty" cam, performer intake and 6x heads, but
missing the interior. This old Firebird will become
a platform to demonstrate many of the unique Texas
Trans Am Service and Restoration parts and procedures,
such as the Texas Trans Ams Mufflers and '74-'75
front splash pan.
Several months ago David repaired an electrical fire
damage to a gold '74 Formula, here is a picture of
what he started with. The owner wanted just enough
repaired to be able to sell the car, but after the
restoration quality repairs performed at the shop,
he is thinking of keeping the car for a while longer.
Please visit the link below for a special holiday greeting from
your friends at TexasTransAms.com
Your friends at Texas Trans Ams
"Restoring Old Dreams"