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Old 02-10-2022, 10:41 AM
1_Car_Guy 1_Car_Guy is offline
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Default My 76' and I

Entry 1: 2/10/2022

My name is Andrew, and this is the story of my 76í Trans Am. Iím a long-time lurker on lateral-g and other pro-touring type websites. Iíve probably started this thread 5 times over the years. Iíve found it difficult to keep a thread alive since my life has changed so drastically and my carís progress has been painstakingly slow and sporadic. I have a young growing family and with that, a limited budget for my 76í with big dreams; Ďa champagne-taste with a beer money type-budgetí. Iím finally situated in a decent career for the long haul and will hopefully have more cash to throw at it in the future.

There are so many great builds on this forum composed by professionals with great photos, accompanying technical write-ups that are backed by top tier results. There are also plenty of threads out there written by guys with far more experience building cars, more time, and a seemingly endless budget.

With that, I canít imagine anyone getting much information or technical advice out of this thread other than pure entertainment. I just hope to stay on top of this thread once and for all. I plan on giving a great back story behind the car, what it means to me, why it means what it does and where weíre going. Iím not to be confused as a writer and that will become more and more evident as I continue to add content.

This thread will hopefully serve a multitude of purposes. First and foremost, documenting the journey from beginning to end of the project. Iíd like to look back someday and have a record of exactly what the whole trip was like, the steps I took and in what order. Iíll include the setbacks, both mechanical and personal. Iíll incorporate the timing of everything, personal milestones with my defeats. Mixed in there somewhere will be car content. It will also serve as motivation to continue making progress, hopefully an avenue to prevent my childhood dream from evading me.

Any dream must have goals. Without goals the destination is unknown. Letís keep this simple. As of writing this my dad is 67 years old, my son is 21 months old and Iím 34. Iíd like to give my dad a ride in this thing before heís too old to crawl over the roll cage. Iíd like to finish this thing before my son starts referring to the car as a project instead of what it is, a car. In short, lets shoot for 12 years Ė so 2034. Jesus that seems like a long time from now. A lifetime away.

Thatís enough of a general introduction for now. My next post will be a back story of the car, its history, and place in my family. No post is complete without some photos so here are a few to set the mood.

Mom, Dad, and the 76' in 1978:
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My 16 month old son and the 76' in 2021:
Name:  Son.jpg
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Current state of 76' in 2022:
Name:  Current.jpg
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Old 02-10-2022, 11:56 AM
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camcojb camcojb is online now
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Great project, and beautiful family!! Thanks for posting.


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Jacob Ehlers and Amsoil for the lubricants and degreasers for my 70 Chevelle project
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TMI Products for their seats, door panels, and dash pad
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Old 02-10-2022, 03:18 PM
ScotI ScotI is online now
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Nice intro. I'm in for updates.
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Old 02-10-2022, 04:21 PM
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Beechy Beechy is online now
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"There are so many great builds on this forum composed by professionals with great photos......."

...........seems you've matched them already Andrew, great start, prefect grammar and composition. Am looking forward to more.
Jim Grant
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(Dual citizen)
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Old 02-10-2022, 10:06 PM
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87SS 87SS is offline
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Cool...I have a 76 TA also....I will be watching! Good Luck!
1976 Trans-AM
1987 Monte Carlo SS
1989 MR2
1995 Trans-AM
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Old 02-11-2022, 06:20 AM
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sleepertime sleepertime is online now
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Thumbs up Good start...

After reading thru your post, I see you have put some serious thought into this project.
The one bit of advise from someone that has had a similar experience is write out a plan of the build Put together a excel spreadsheet with the products you are looking for and where they can be purchased and the cost. I found that it helped to keep you in a realistic check of how much it is really going to cost and how much you have spent. Little by little you can get there, but try and keep it realistic so that the scope creep doesn't overwhelm you and you get burned out on the project and give up. Set a goal to do something on the car everyday no matter how small it is.
The journey is a major part of the destination.
Keep the faith and it will get done.

My build BRNAGN 1969 camaro SS
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Old 02-11-2022, 12:34 PM
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jarhead jarhead is offline
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Cool project

I agree with sleeper, I have an excel on my build and it helps keep things on track
Semper Fi

My 68 Torino
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Old 02-11-2022, 12:42 PM
Roscoe03 Roscoe03 is online now
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Awesome first post. Looking forward to your build!
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Old 02-12-2022, 09:47 PM
1_Car_Guy 1_Car_Guy is offline
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Entry 2: 2/10/2022

Some backstory. Lots of ground to cover so I'll rush through this part. Just jotting this down as I remember it so I don't forget anything.

My father's first car worth mentioning was a 67' 390 Cougar that he bought second hand in 1973. It was piss green and had a tow hitch. The guy he bought it from pulled a boat with it.

He blew up the original 390 a few months after buying it and immediately purchased a 390 crate motor from Ford. Bought a better set of aftermarket heads, a new cam, intake, carb, headers, distributor and ignition. Also added a set of higher ratio rear end gears. If that wasn't enough he broke in to his old high school shop and manually shaved his aftermarket heads on a table sander by hand.

Car was fast as all hell but he ran it in to a tree and that was the end of it. Parted out what was left of the car and started chasing girls instead. Fast forward to 1975. It was around September and he was itching to get in to a new car. He was 21 and had some cash so he ordered a 1976 400 4 Speed T/A with no A/C. Really the only game in town that year.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve 1975. He was driving home from work in a Buffalo NY snow storm when he saw a car hauler with a silver 76' Trans Am up on top towards the end. Ended up following the car hauler to the dealership and it was his. Drove it home to family dinner that same night. The next weekend it got a set of headers, a cam, cragars, carb, air shocks, ignition, and distributor.

Later in the summer of 76' my Dad was out and met my mom in the car and the rest is history. They got married in 1981 and have been together ever since. Went on their honeymoon in the thing.

Some side notes/stories to recall someday:
1) Dad and the MG
2) Dad and Mom's first date
3) You go before the car goes
4) Stealing your own car back (clutch repair shop)
5) Corvette on a bridge
6) Getting it repainted in a field
7) Uncle Paul's 76' Formula
8) It almost got stolen 3 times
9) CB sleeper antenna
10) Weekend projects
11) Storing it in an abandoned building during the winter for free
12) Dad falls asleep in a crane, get fired by his boss (who was actually his Dad, Grandpa), and goes down to Pontiac to order his T/A while unemployed on the same day
13) Dad starts college at 34 years old to become an electrical engineer. Ketchup sandwiches, 1 bedroom apartment, newborn - refuses to sell T/A

Dad got it repainted in 1985. Blue decals from a 1979 Trans Am. I came around in 1987 and fell in love the first time I ever realized what it was. I can still remember drawing pictures of it. Dreaming about it. Bragging to my friends about it. This all started by the time I was 5. I've been in love with the thing ever since. It's the only car I ever wanted. Nothing has changed.

I graduated high school in 2005 and joined the Army. I was young and stupid and didn't save much money. I only had about $31,000 in the bank when I got out. After 5 years of the Army I had had enough of uncle same and to decided not to re-enlist. Dad sold me the car for $176.00 a week after I left the Army as a gift. I enrolled in college in 2011 and graduated with a Bachelors in Finance and a minor in economics. 3.65 GPA. Graduated in 2013. University of Buffalo.

That's a whole lifetime in and of itself but it gets me to where I finally got possession of the car and started the project.

When I bought the car from Dad it had 36,047 miles. Rust free, perfectly running and beautiful car. Nothing to be ashamed of but it wasn't enough. I let my Dad know ahead of time that I planned on restoring it/would complete a substantial build.

The only criteria was that I'd never sell it to anyone outside of the family, hopefully pass it along to my child (should I have had one), keep the shaker hood scoop and not 'turn it in to a Camaro'.

Next post will be some actual car content.

Last edited by 1_Car_Guy; 02-12-2022 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 02-15-2022, 12:25 PM
1_Car_Guy 1_Car_Guy is offline
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Entry 3: 2/15/2022

I knew for years that someday I'd be switching out the entire driveline of the car but had no where near the funds to purchase what I wanted. So instead of buying a motor and transmission I decided to turn my attention to the chassis and rear end.

So in late 2010 (as soon as I got out of the Army and purchased the car from my father) I moved it to my uncles shop. I was going to start school in January 2011 so I had about 3 months to work with. I had planned on doing a simple mini tub but decided to expand out the project. Went on do to an 8 point cage, Strange rear end, Ladder Bars, Sub Frame Connectors, 3 inch exhaust, new clutch, rear brakes, 11 inch cragars, BF Goodrich Drag Radials.

Image upload limit is 10 images, so here are photos of the Mini Tub and Ladder Bars. This was in the Fall/Winter of 2010.
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