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Texas Trans Am Service & Restoration Newsletter
"Specializing in Service and Restoration of
Second Generation Pontiac Firebirds"
+ +
www.TexasTransAms.com + +
+ + www.TexasTAMuffler.com + +
"Why do we call it Texas Trans Ams? Because we can."
+ + Proud Sponsor of
www.PontiacChick.com + +
+ + Reluctant Sponsor of
www.TransAmTerritory.org  + +
Episode 18 - May 2004

 
In this Issue
1a. Memorial Day
1b. Cheap Engine
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?
 
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1a. Memorial Day
At Texas Trans Ams it's not a sale at the department store, it's a time to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.  We enjoy the freedom to rebuild a 30 year old rusty car, decorate the outside with an enormous fire chicken decal, 100 yards of pin-striping and an engine with enough torque to move a train.  But the most important freedoms we have are the freedom to elect our leaders, speak our mind, run our own business and worship as we want.  For these freedoms we owe our thanks.
 
1b. Cheap Engine.  David gets lots of calls that start with "Hey man, I got a free engine from a friend of mine, and I want to put it in my Firebird.  What do I need to do."
 
First it depends on what engine was in the car to begin with.  If it was a Pontiac or Oldsmobile engine (The California cars from 1977 and '78, and the majority of the big engine Firebirds in 1979 had Olds engines.) the engine mounts are the same.  In fact the motor mounts from a 265 or 301 Pontiac engine, combined with the motor mount brackets from a Olds 403, will work for engine blocks from an Olds 307, Olds 350, even up to the 455 big block.
All the Pontiac motor mounts, work across the Pontiac V8 line from 1970 through 1981. 
Chevrolet V8s 305 and 350 motor mounts are specific to the Chevy, and are mounted differently on the frame.
 
Second the transmission bell housing bolt configuration is different for the Chevy from the Pontiac and Oldsmobile.
 
Olds and Chevy fuel line come out of the passenger side of the engine compartment, while the Pontiac runs down the driver's side.
 
Of course the air cleaner base and shaker scoop fitting is different for each the 301, 305, 403 and 400/455.
 
What we're trying to say is that a free or cheap mismatched engine, or transmission could end up costing you hundreds by the time the conversion is complete.
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2. "The Privileges of Membership"
Welcome to new members rferris211 and mdgomez54, jzink and aparassinn from the UK, which brings us to 492 members as of the end of May and the 22 new members from May so far.
 
Gas prices are getting so high we suspect that soon we'll see signs like this:
"GAS 1.05 (per half Gallon)"
or
"Unleaded 55 Cents (per Liter) 
So, you can look up the cheapest gas prices in your 'hood here:
or
 
Newsletter subscribers get first notice on rare parts and new project cars.
 
- New Offering :: 1979 Mayan Red 403 automatic Trans Am project car with clean straight body.
 
- New Offering :: 1979 Red 403 Trans Am - Arrive and Drive.  This was Jerry J's old dream but now it's for sale.  Some minor service work was done at Texas Trans Ams, but not the paint or body.  It's the car we used for the Texas TA Muffler sounds and video. 
Please contact Jerry directly about this one at 972-386-9882.  Serious inquiries please.
 
- New Offering :: 1980 Silver 301 CID Formula.  Straight body panels, some surface rust.  Engine is partially disassembled.

- New Offering :: 1981 Autumn Maroon 265 CID Formula.  Really nice straight body, good primer job to start with, pretty nice black interior.  No structural or surface rust has been detected.
http://www.texastransams.com/projects/81maroon265fo.htm

1980 Formula originally White.  Straight body, no visible rust, amateur restoration started Needs engine and transmission.
 
1981 Trans Am originally Silver, in primer now. 301 T/A 4.9 (non turbo) Car is intact, including overflow bottle, brackets etc..
 
- Coming Soon 1977 Brown Trans Am, no engine, trans or hood. straight body - no rust.
 
- Coming Soon 1978 Black on Black Trans Am, 400, Automatic, runs.  Clean straight body.
 
If you are interested in one of these great project cars, call David at 817-563-2121
 
NEW PARTS CARS
'72 Firebird Esprit, good tail light panel, no rust - minor dents.  Good sub-frame.
'74 Buccaneer Red T/A lots of rust, sub-frame looks fine.
'79 black Trans Am, ripped quarter panel. Offering all or part.
'77 red T/A parts car 400, automatic transmission, all but carburetor and hood shaker.
'76 Yellow T/A, 400 block complete motor.
'80 White Turbo T/A, 301 Turbo with 4 wheel disk brakes, 308-positrac rear end with brake booster, master cylinder and proportioning valve.
'66 Ford Pickup, reasonably straight, big block, with A/C.
 
The previous newsletter can be found in the articles and news section, but only upon the sporadic mailing of the following edition.  As a subscriber, you get the cars, parts and "scoop" 4 weeks (approximately) before anyone else.
http://www.texastransams.com/articles/2004april_newsletter.htm
 
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3. New, re-production, and discontinued parts
 
Decals
We are an authorized distributor of Phoenix Graphics.  Due to recent licensing fee increase from GM, the prices will be going up soon. But for the next month we will offer the decal packages at the old price.  To get the lower price please mention this newsletter.
 
Texas TA Mufflers
- Ground clearance? Check.
With TexasTAMufflers you can gain as much as 1 1/2 inches of ground clearance over other performance mufflers. 
- Performance? Check.
The internal design of the Texas T/A Muffler reduces backpressure to the exhaust valve.
- Muscle Car Sound? You be the judge.
 
We took Jerry J's car with us to the Pontiac Southern Nationals to show off the throaty rumble the Texas TA Mufflers produce even with a stock 403. 

 

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4. Show Room
Progress has slowed due to the car show season.
Directions and map to the Texas Trans Am shop / showroom available here:
 
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5. Secure on-line ordering: 
http://www.TexasTAMufflers.com
http://www.PontiacChick.com
More secure ordering coming soon on the Parts and Stuff page.
In addition to accepting Visa, MasterCard and American Express, we can now accept Discover Card. 
We are shipping parts nationally and to many other countries around the world. 
 
We stuck a pin in Rhode Island on our big map with a shipment scheduled for a '74-'75 splash pan.
 
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6.
"Top 100 Muscle Car Sites"
Still tied for #1.
 
David's e-mail:
We fired AOL, so please address emails to david@texastransams.com.
Question of the month: Are you guys in Texas?
Answer: Yes.
 
Runners up: Do you guys restore cars, and do you guys sell parts?
Answer: Yes, and yes.
Thanks to our readers who tipped us off to the Trans Ams in "Old School" and "Kill Bill 2".  They say the Bride did it all to kill Bill, but we think she did it just to drive Elle's '79 Special Edition T/A.
 
By the way there is no need to tell us about the Trans Am in "Short Circuit", we got it.  Also there is no Trans Am in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".  It is a silver Z28 that Spicoli wrecks.
 
Kevin "Coon Chaser" from St. Joe, MO writes:
"Hey you guys was right, Chicken Express's tenders does kick a$$!  Well we made it all back in one piece.  luckily no rain hit us, thank God.  Well I'm gonna sit here and watch my "Joe Dirt", take care and I'll talk to ya' later."
 
Site Search from "WhatUSeek.com". 
What are visitors searching for on TexasTransAms.com?  Site Search helps us to tune the site based on what you are looking for.  The following were the most popular searches for the last 30 days:
 
Count, Search Phrase, # Results
 12 'fisher body t-tops' 104 
 9 '2002 trans am ws6' 26
 7 'seats' 20
 6 'interior' 21
 5 'hoods' 113
 5 'wheels' 109
 4 'backing plates' 5
 4 '350' 12
 4 'mse t/a' 0
 3 'camaro' 17
 3 '1971 firebird' 8
 3 'decals' 15
 3 'rims' 6
 3 'carburetors' 12
 3 'cars for sale' 12
 3 't.tops' 105
 3 '79. 10th.ann. silver edision' 0
 3 'FENDER' 21
 3 'video' 10
 
This months searches not found include 'mud flaps', 'louvers', 'tension pulley' and reminds us that it's not Texas 'dodge super bee'.
 
We also use Site Search results to learn popular new spellings like '79. 10th.ann. silver edision' 'cadilac convertible' 'eniges'. No comment.
Remember if it's an absolute Firebird emergency, please e-mail us at david@texastransams.com or call us at 817-563-2121. 
 
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7. Shirts and Stuff
Jimmy and the crew from Tattoo Productions
came through again with the NEW black t-shirts.
New Pontiac Chick shirts will be here for Pontiac Southern Nationals, like the black one Sandra is wearing,
and the gray cap sleeve mid length Nikki is wearing
and baseball cap sleeve shirt in the PSN booth picture.  (Third shirt from the right.)
 
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8. At the Shop Recently ...
 
Texas Trans Ams brought a booth, project car and Jerry's TA for sale out to DAPA's Pontiac Southern Nationals at the Ennis Raceway.  The big surprise this year was that David took time out from his busy schedule to show up.  No those aren't socks, his feet are really that white.
 
We are planning to have a booth at the POCI convention in Joplin MO.  See you there.
 
Road Runner of the Month award goes to Peter from New York who just stopped in to see the place and meet David.  He'll be back soon to get more stuff for his 1979 Special Edition.
 
Shipped Recently:
 
 
Alex M's 1979 Formula 400/4 Speed -
The Formula body is back from the soda blaster; minus paint.  Lots of good metal here.
 
Dano's '79 T/A Special Edition TA - The WS6 wheels are refinished and looking great.  The front dash and rear under window molding is painted camel.
 
Larry A's '71 Firebird - The roll cage has been modified to fit the seats and driver. The door hinges are being rebuilt.
 
1979 Black Trans Am in for collision remediation.  The original urethane bumper skin is painted, installed and buffed. A full set of pre molded Special Edition pin stripes from Phoenix Graphics are installed.  The nose and crash bar are being adjusted.
 
P.S. The Garage First Aid Kit
Recently national news reported the popularity of non-traditional medicine, such as yoga, herbs or massage.  We believe that Duct Tape is traditional medicine.  But, leave it up to the liberal media to report prayer as non-traditional medicine.
 
Thanks for reading!