Author Topic: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration (finished product, NEW PICS!)  (Read 18826 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Matuna

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 116
  • Referrals: 0
The Idea

My name is Matt, Im 26 years old and I live in Tri-Cities, WA

I have had the urge to restore my parentsí old Trans Am, for many years, dating back to about 12 years old. I always liked the look of that car and remember riding in it when I was younger.  It must be in a boysí instinct to want to own or fix up something their parents owned. Possibly because of the memories that particular item has imprinted in the boysí mind.

My memories of the car seem pleasant for the most part. I do recall getting pulled over many times by police while my mother was driving. I remember one time in particular my mother had gotten pulled over and told my brother Nick and I to start crying, in some sort of hope to have to officer sympathize with a mother with two crying boys in the car. While my brother and I were still young and by no means child actors, she slapped us both in her attempt to get us to cry. I donít recall if that trick worked or not. If she got a speeding ticket that day or not escapes me.

Other memories of the car were standard as far as a child riding in a car goes. A two door American muscle car was hardly an appropriate vehicle for a mother with young children. It was a pain to have us load up in the back, car-seats and all.

Years pass, my parents had randomly stopped driving the car and it was parked. (I find out even more time later, that it was apparently because it had a slight exhaust leak and my mother was uncomfortable driving us around in it, in fear of the toxic fumes it could have subjected us to.) I watched the car grow old and fade over the years as I grew up. The car was later towed from in front of the house where cars were parked, out to the field behind our well house in which had nothing.

In about 2005, I was living at my motherís house alone and I had an urge like I was going to actually start and do something with that car. The tires on the car were as flat as pancakes and the car was basically sunk into the ground. I borrowed a floor jack and got a piece of plywood to make a flat and stable surface, and I acquired new tires and I removed the wheels and replaced the tires. I also bought a new battery and attempted to start the car. It fired up after a few attempts and it brought joy and hope into my heart, just to hear the car start. I felt like there was still something I could do to rescue this Finley field doomed car.

Fast forward to about 2011, I was working with Gary and we had been tossing around the idea of me maybe borrowing some space in his shop to work on this car. At the time it was just a thought and he said sure. I was serious about it, to a point. I knew it was going to be a lot of hard work and I didnít know much about cars outside of changing the oil. I also knew that I didnít want to get too involved with it, because my mother still retained the title to the car in her name, and I knew better than to invest time/money into something that she legally owned.

Well another year went by and my mother procrastinated about ever getting to the title business. Gary and I mentioned the car again one day and it was almost like a light switch. He suddenly had this fire, this passion to do it. That of course got me excited because he was fully onboard with the idea. I then got my mother on the fast track to getting the title done, which by no means was fast.  Then in May 2012 we had the title and we called up my uncle Mike and we got the car trailer and headed out to Finley. We got it loaded up and headed off to its next home for the next 1-2 years (hopefully).
The car seemed to be in relatively good shape. At the time I had no idea the extensive work we had in store.  The interior was completely shot. No chance of salvaging much of anything. We started to disassemble the car. As we got deeper and deeper into it, all I saw was time and dollar signs. Gary always stays optimistic and hopeful, which helps me stay the same way.

Once we got the carpet up and the truck opened, I thought we were dead meat. The floor pans on the passenger side had extensive water/rust damage that had eaten through the floor. And there were 2-3 cases of beer that had been abandoned in the trunk for who knows how many years that had exploded and leaked to rot out the trunk pan in various places.
Still, Gary was very optimistic and acknowledging that while it would be a lot of hard work, it was all repairable. So we thrive on.







http://s1261.photobucket.com/albums/ii592/matuna/
« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 12:40:10 PM by Matuna »
-1975 Trans Am in Restoration Process-

Offline Matuna

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 116
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2012, 03:33:47 PM »
So, since I have browsed these boards for sometime without registering, i have noticed that people tend to help each other out with tips and advice.

My current dilemma is this:

I only have so much of a budget as time goes on. (Always the problem with any resto I know)

I am needing the car body/shell blasted to remove all the old paint and rust. I have done my homework and talked to several paint experts, including my own paint guy when we get to that point.

I have settled on having it sandblasted with 70grit sand, to remove said paint/rust. I have gotten various quotes around town and they all seem within the same range: Expensive - Bankrupt.

I know sandblasting is a skill, and Im sure it takes time to learn what you can and cant do with it. But an opportunity has presented itself, my uncle knows a guy who can do it on the side for a fraction of the cost as my quotes. However, he is just a general sandblaster, whereas my quotes come from shops who only restore cars and thats all they do. This other guy, just knows how to sandblast things.

Is it worth the risk of saving nearly $800-1000 by having this guy do it on the side? Or should I fork over the dough to have it done correctly/professionally? Im really having a hard time with this decision. I could use that money and make it go so much further into the projuct, but on the other hand, I dont want to ruin my car.

Thoughts?












« Last Edit: August 12, 2012, 03:11:19 AM by Matuna »
-1975 Trans Am in Restoration Process-

Offline NWW-79 T/A

  • Adv. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1882
  • 16 Year Old T/A Owner
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2012, 06:10:04 PM »
Nice T/A and good luck with it. 74-75 has the best front end imo. Hope it goes back to it's original blue. Cool that its from your family too
Romney/Ryan 2012

-1979 Solar Gold Trans Am in Restoration-

Offline joe d

  • Adv. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2113
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2012, 06:20:40 PM »
sweet so far
1979 ws6 trans am (current project)
2005 mercedes s55
2001 dodge durango
1980 SE trans am (new current project)
1971 Monte Carlo
the 5 p's "perfect planning prevents poor performance"

Offline Matuna

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 116
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2012, 07:58:18 PM »
Thanks guys. Yeah it is awesome that it has been in the family. Those first pics of it in the field are behind the well house of my childhood home. Not sure on the color yet, I did like the dark blue. I know for sure we are re-doing the interior different colors. Probably black with maybe tan or gray seats.
-1975 Trans Am in Restoration Process-

Offline iceman

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 352
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2012, 09:05:05 PM »
Welcome to the forum. Nice to see another one go from sitting to being saved. As far as sandblasting the car goes, go with someone who knows what they are doing with body panels and for $800 to a grand.... I'd pick up a Quality DA sander (between $75-$150) and a roll of 80 grit and get cutting... Took me about 15-20 hours to DA my convertible LeMans down and it had 4 layers of enamel paint on it. Looks like yours may have had one repaint..?.. Maybe? If just anybody blasts the body on that it'll end up not being savable no matter how solid it is. Blasting can create an excessive amount of heat if the nozzle is held in one place too long and the warpage begins.  HTH, Mike...
Check out my facebook page: River City Muscle LLC
1969 Pontiac GTO
1971 Pontiac LeMans Sport Convertible
1977 Pontiac Trans Am

Offline Matuna

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 116
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2012, 09:18:39 PM »
Yeah, Iceman, I believe my mother told me that it was repainted once the same color, so the layers that I have sanded off in a few spots are hard to notice.







-1975 Trans Am in Restoration Process-

Offline Matuna

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 116
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2012, 09:51:22 PM »
A few pics of the interior pieces.












-1975 Trans Am in Restoration Process-

Offline NWW-79 T/A

  • Adv. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1882
  • 16 Year Old T/A Owner
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2012, 09:57:19 PM »
Love the blue interior
Romney/Ryan 2012

-1979 Solar Gold Trans Am in Restoration-

Offline brian c

  • Lifetime Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4880
  • Ohio Firebirds Member
  • Referrals: 0
    • Y88 Resto
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2012, 12:48:02 PM »
Nice project!

Sand blasting the car is a no-no. It'll warp that sheetmetal quicker than you can say "Oh $..t". What you want is media blasting. Either glass bead or soda. The latter is more environmentally friendly, takes longer to do, and requires special prep for the paint to adhere properly as it will leave a film on the car. Trust me, I've been there already with soda blasting when the first shop I was dealing with decided to "try" this and didn't follow through on the prep work before primer. I had paint peeling off my hood in sheets! Not a fun experience.

I believe 4Speed uses a single edged razor to strip the paint off completely. My plan is a DA with 80-220 grit paper on the 80 Firebird. I have the toys, new in box, and have yet to try them out. Hopefully next year once a garage with a house attached is procured ;D

1978 Y88, '70 455 HO block bored 0.060, TH350, 3.42:1 gears...Oct '08 Fbodywarehouse Calendar - Woot!
1980 Firebird - no engine/tranny... to be pacecar clone

Offline Frode_skj

  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1156
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2012, 05:05:03 PM »
Nice project :) nice to see another one getting saved:)
"79 Trans Am tenth Anniversary Edition"
"81 Turbo Trans Am"
Sad to see that people part out T\A's :( especially saveable ones

Offline NWW-79 T/A

  • Adv. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1882
  • 16 Year Old T/A Owner
  • Referrals: 2
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2012, 12:09:38 PM »
Just for a bit of inspiration, look at this Stellar Blue 75 http://www.carrollstauto.com/site/Inventory/chevy/79_chevy_camaro_Z28_white/102_6352.JPG
Romney/Ryan 2012

-1979 Solar Gold Trans Am in Restoration-

Offline Matuna

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 116
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2012, 08:20:41 PM »
Holy smokes! I just went from 6 to midnight, that IS inspiration!
-1975 Trans Am in Restoration Process-

Offline Mongo

  • Ohio Firebirds
  • Lifetime Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3558
  • THREES A CHARM
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2012, 10:49:23 PM »
Very cool.  Your MOM drove a 400 4 speed TA? WAY COOL!
"What we're dealing with here is a complete lack of respect for the law."

Offline Matuna

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 116
  • Referrals: 0
Re: Matt's 1975 Trans Am Restoration
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2012, 11:44:59 PM »
Very cool.  Your MOM drove a 400 4 speed TA? WAY COOL!

LOL, yup, and packed 2 kids in the back with carseats and the whole bit.
-1975 Trans Am in Restoration Process-