Author Topic: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover  (Read 8216 times)

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Offline NOT A TA

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"The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« on: October 28, 2013, 10:38:15 PM »
I got a bit carried away recently with some upgrades I wanted to do to my car. It's been over 20 years since I bought the car and painted it the first time. Thought you guys might like to see a few pics.

70 Esprit as purchased for $190.00 back around 1990. It had been sitting in a backyard since 77.



I got it running with a new battery and a condenser for the old style points distributor. Then I painted the car incorporating TA body panels I got from a bud.



I started going to drag strips, road race tracks, land speed races and other events. Over the years it got a new engine, rear, suspension etc. and showed up in Hot Rod and popular Hot Rodding.







Eventually I got a roll cage, installed fire systems and other track items and it looked like this.





Then I started the current upgrade project and now it looks like this.

John Paige


Dear Not A TA,
This is Tin Indian's wife. Would you please stop posting pictures of your car? Especially ones with er, ummm, sidepipes. I'm dizzy already and have to get up early in the morning.  :-X

Offline pancho400cid

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 12:40:01 AM »
Really nice car.  Thanks for the back story on it.  Keep up the posts....

PS - Love the new "Raptor" theme!  ;)
1978 Trans Am - Brown - Current Project
1978 Trans Am - Silver - Future Uncertain

Offline gilbertsta

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 05:00:55 AM »
nice story! and nice car!

Offline CT Bird Fan

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2013, 09:03:38 AM »
Very cool! A lot of great history with you bird. Can't wait to see it reborn!
Gone but not forgotten - 1979 Formula, 1980 Esprit.

Being birdless sucks!

Offline jonathonar89

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2013, 12:44:40 PM »
It's always nice to see someone who kept their car and turned it into something over time.  It's great that you did all those mods to a firebird rather than a t/a of that year.

Offline NOT A TA

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2013, 12:27:11 AM »
It's getting a whole bunch of mods this time. Baer 14" 6 piston brakes all around, rushforth wheels with some new 18 " Yokohama DOT R tires. aerodynamic upgrades, and a lot of other things. All the body parts are getting stripped to bare metal.  Since I'm in south Fl where it's humid the metal has to get primer immediately to prevent rust so the body is getting stripped & primed a couple pieces or sections at a time. Progress pics













John Paige


Dear Not A TA,
This is Tin Indian's wife. Would you please stop posting pictures of your car? Especially ones with er, ummm, sidepipes. I'm dizzy already and have to get up early in the morning.  :-X

Offline gilbertsta

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2013, 04:16:06 AM »
nice work!

Offline T/A Kid

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2013, 06:30:01 AM »
Nice car, what kind of wheels were you running as a racer? They look sharp!
In memory of my big brother Jimmy
miss ya everyday bud.
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Tommy

Offline NOT A TA

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2013, 08:32:07 AM »
Nice car, what kind of wheels were you running as a racer? They look sharp!

I have a set of Centerlines with MY ET Streets for the strip and the old road track, LSR, Street wheels were 17 X 9.5 and 17 X 11 polished Torque Thrust II's with Rad Capz center caps.



John Paige


Dear Not A TA,
This is Tin Indian's wife. Would you please stop posting pictures of your car? Especially ones with er, ummm, sidepipes. I'm dizzy already and have to get up early in the morning.  :-X

Offline T/A Kid

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2013, 04:42:33 PM »
Did you have to do anything extra to get clearance run that wide of a wheel ?
In memory of my big brother Jimmy
miss ya everyday bud.
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Tommy

Offline NOT A TA

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2013, 09:43:32 PM »
The simple answer is no, stock wheelwells and stock length rear end with custom backspace wheels. That said, they worked for me because of the ride height, suspension, tire design, weight of the car and use.  70's don't have retractable rear seat belts so there's no bulge for them. The front tires just touched my Hotchkis swaybar at full lock.
John Paige


Dear Not A TA,
This is Tin Indian's wife. Would you please stop posting pictures of your car? Especially ones with er, ummm, sidepipes. I'm dizzy already and have to get up early in the morning.  :-X

Offline T/A Kid

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2013, 10:17:07 PM »
They look great , I was considering some Cragars for a 70 blue T/A but I really like the look of your wheels plus the caps really set them off. I will probably drop down to a 8" rim just to make sure they will clear. Thanks for all the info and keep us updated on your progress, great photos!
In memory of my big brother Jimmy
miss ya everyday bud.
_______________________
Tommy

Offline hada76

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2013, 01:22:35 AM »
most would say that car was badazz before, what are you shooting for this time?
'76 T/A 455 4sp   sold
'78 T/A Y88 auto  sold
'79 T/A WS6 4sp
'70 Z/28 4sp

jeff

Offline NOT A TA

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2013, 10:39:41 PM »
I'm shooting at getting almost everything done so the car can run 200 MPH at land speed races, look nice enough for people to think it's a show car, and be very safe and capable on road tracks. I can't afford the engine, trans, and fuel cell setup I want now but everything else is game. This car sort of evolved over 20 years rather than starting as a restoration. So this time round I'm doing more restoration type stuff and show things than the first time. I've been saying I was going to do several other things to the car and so I'm going to take the opportunity to do everything at once. On top of the Baer brakes, Rushforth wheels and Yokohama tires I won which prompted the project .....

1. Replace core support. Mine was rusted out when I bought the car 20 years ago. None were available repro or used, so I fabricated a new bottom section so the radiator wouldn't fall on the ground (literally). I got a good used one from Arizona Rust Free about 6-7 years ago but never put it in. So the plan is to strip, paint, and install it.

2. Replace hood. My hoods not a real TA hood, just a stock hood with a hole cut in it. A guy in an Alfa Romeo lost an engine at Palm Beach International just as I was about to pull out to pass him. Some chemical from his engine damaged the paint on my hood and shaker scoop. So now's the time to paint and install the new hood. I bought a nice TA hood maybe 10-12 years ago but never installed it because I'd need to paint it. I'll have the paint out for.......

3. Repaint front spoiler & rest of car that isn't being replaced so there's no unmatching paint. I hit a chunk of 2 X 4 that flipped up on a highway south of New Orleans while on vacation that took a chunk of paint out of the spoiler. Then I started going fast enough on track so the air pressure was folding the center of the spoiler straight down which the paint didn't like so it started peeling. If you've seen pics of my car with stickers on the front spoiler it was to hide the peeling paint ! LOL There were a few chips on the rear wheel flares etc. also so might as well paint the whole damn thing top & bottom!

4. Spoiler extension and splitter. Aerodynamic benefit and the supports will keep the stock spoiler from flexing so much at speed. Another thing I've been saying I'll get to. Since I'll have everything apart and be painting, now's the time. I've been working on a design, will try to make it a reality.

5. Custom front valance. Already have a spare valance to work with that's better than the one on my car. Gotta design in mind, will try to make it a reality.

6. Rear diffuser & custom rear spoiler. Again I have designs in mind and will see how it works out. With a splitter etc. up front I need to try to get more downforce in the rear to balance the car.

7. Install NOS Hooker side pipes. I bought a set of side pipes a couple years ago to replace the ones on my car. The ones on my car are limiting performance because they are not headers to side pipes, but regular exhaust manifolds with custom bent exhaust tubing to the side pipes which have a fake "header" section on the front of them. They look cool (to me) but limit the engines performance to reach my speed goals. Drawback is the new pipes are black and so the "look" of the car will need to change. I'm considering a couple options.

8. Install foilers. Foilers are wheel well flares like the ones TAs come with but they fit behind each wheel. I bought a set about 10 years ago but never painted them or installed. Since I'll already have the paint out..... However there may be a glitch in the installation because the new side exit headers that came with the sidepipes may interfere with the front ones, we'll see.

9. Install trunk filler panel and trunk lid. Again, parts I bought long ago and never installed. I found a better deck lid and better filler panel on a 76 TA I parted out many years ago so I'll use them now.

10. Put the car on a diet! I added 200 lbs. of roll cage and adding a spoiler extension, splitter, and diffuser will add more. I would like to figure out some ways of getting that back out of the car. It weighed about 3500 lbs before the safety equipment install and I'd like to get back near that weight if possible. So while I've got the car torn apart I'm going to look for some places to do some automotive liposuction.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2013, 10:45:05 PM by NOT A TA »
John Paige


Dear Not A TA,
This is Tin Indian's wife. Would you please stop posting pictures of your car? Especially ones with er, ummm, sidepipes. I'm dizzy already and have to get up early in the morning.  :-X

Offline hada76

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Re: "The 14 Car" gets a makeover
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2013, 01:48:40 AM »
aha, silver state classic here we come
'76 T/A 455 4sp   sold
'78 T/A Y88 auto  sold
'79 T/A WS6 4sp
'70 Z/28 4sp

jeff