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WARNING! Don't let your classic Trans Am get in the condition shown here!

Formula for Disaster

Previously it was reported that we had no picture of the 74 Formula that started it all, but this accidental photo exists. Right before Christmas 1999 Joe bought this car for $400 and drove it home. This was the final pre-Hogheads test car to see if my wife would complain. She didn't. It's still around somewhere; I traded it for a junk 77 base Firebird that had all 8 of its original radio knobs (now in my car), a pair of Y88 T-tops (sold), and some other goodies.

This car was a Formula with the base 2-barrel 350, automatic, and A/C. It was running, and I had a few interesting adventures with it. I parked it in the yard in January, and when I foolishly attempted to move it in the snow, it bested me and eventually fell into the drainage easement in my yard (a big, big hole). I just wish I had a picture of that to post here.



This Chesterfield Brown 78 Trans Am was the first Trans Am we dismantled. It was also the rustiest one we've ever had. It doesn't look so bad in the photo, but it had many square feet of bondo coverage from a prior "restoration". When we took the back bumper off, the springs just jumped into the trunk.

This car had been abandoned at a storage lot, shortly after an ill-fated conversion to a vacuum secondary Holley. It looked like the car had never been cranked with the Holley in place. As usually happens, the shaker was bolted to the hood with flat head countersunk 1/4"-20 screws about 3" long. These were indexed with the screwdriver slot facing front-to-back to minimize wind resistance.

After it was abandoned, the storage lot auctioned it off to an actual member of the Morgan-McClure Racing Team (how about that, Nascar fans?). On closer inspection he decided it was unsalvageable.

Marshall Dillon!

An Amazing Collection

Chester was just crammed with stuff inside, including:
  • A typewriter (no kidding)
  • Glamour Photo of somebody named "Sheila". She's wearing a cowboy hat with a big feather like Richard Petty
  • One Bracelet (Sheila's?)
  • Pay stubs from pizza hut (not Sheila's)
  • Summons for driving on suspended license (for somebody we'll just call "Junior")
  • Junior's overdue bills
  • Junior's keys
  • Gallon can of Bondo
  • Cheapie chrome air cleaner
  • Window tint film (2 rolls)
  • original shaker base in great shape (in trunk)
  • t-top bags
  • 2 scissors jacks
  • Bunch of carburetor gaskets all glued together with indian head shellac
  • New Shocks (in trunk)
  • 10 pairs of safety glasses
  • Information on Junior's union affiliation
  • The usual 10 bottles of oil, brake fluid, power steering fluid, transmission fluid, and water
  • the usual nuts, bolts, spark plugs, hose clamps, wheel cylinders, light bulbs thermostats, and air fresheners
  • and lots more...
Miss Kitty?

The Senator

We bought this car on the East Side of Washington, DC, mostly for the wheels. This car had already been stripped, but still turned out to be a decent parts car. Evidently it was a silver 1978 WS-6 Trans Am with red interior at one time.
I'm not as think as you drunk I am
Here's the Senator after Chappaquiddick. Hard to believe it's the same car, 24 hours later. This car had a modest collection of items in it, which are shown in the top photo. These included:
  • new big block Chevy valve cover gaskets.
  • 79 Trans Am park lights
  • 79 Trans Am bumper jack
  • Aluminum valve covers
  • Door Pulls
  • Most of the spoilers
  • A tire or two
  • A whole bunch more miscellaneous car parts
It had nifty split code interior, with:
  • White deluxe vinyl 79 passenger seat
  • Red Velour 77 Driver's seat
These are both rare seats, so it's unusual finding them mismatched in a junk car neither of them belonged in.
Amazing Transformation!

Esprit De Corpse

We bought this car in Frederick, MD. It was wrecked hard in the right front fender, but it was still a pretty nice car. We could have kept this car together, but the seller couldn't find the title. At some point it had been owned by a person who bought 20 oz Pepsi's and only drank 1 oz of them.

It had original 305 Chevy power. There are three nice things about that:

  • The battery is on the wrong side, so you get a rust-free left inner fender to use on a Trans Am. Joe sold this to Tim Hall because he's a nice guy.
  • The A/C setup is the same as an early 70's Camaro. Chevy guys are notorious A/C killers, so they need help with this.
  • I got the engine running and sold it. You can always sell a small-block Chevy
The Esprit De Corpse had a big patch screwed over both quarter panels, but other than that it was rust-free. We believe it had been garage-kept during much of its life. If we had realized at the time how hard it would be to find a solid 74-78 tail panel, we would have kept the whole hull or at least cut off the back end.
Esprit De Corpse

Another amazing collection

The Esprit had an even more amazing collection of items inside it.;
    In the interior we have:;
  • About 250 pennies
  • 10 empty Winston packs
  • cigarette lighter (works)
  • pack of matches
  • Bottle of "Fleischman's" vodka. (Never heard of this brand, thought they made margarine.)
  • 2 or 3 Coors Light bottles
  • 2 or 3 20 oz Pepsi's with 19 oz in them
  • Big Chilton's shp manual on "all cars 1975 to 1982". I don't think so
  • An exhaust pipe (but why?)
  • The fan shroud
  • Loose speaker in the back seat with wires actually hooked to it.
  • Poster of "Coors Light queen of Halloween" (1999), Salma Hayek. Joe was ridiculed at work for not knowing who she was. She was kind of wadded up, so we still wouldn't recognize her.
  • Business card for some guy in Maryland that deals in parts for 79-82 Oldsmobiles (but why?)
  • Lots of fast food trash
  • Cardboard box full of important bolts
    In the trunk we have:
  • 50 empty oil, power steering, dexron bottles
  • T-top bags (nice)
  • The usual nuts, bolts, spark plugs, radiator hose clamps, wires, etc.
  • Spare 6" speaker in case the one in the back seat quits working.
  • Several more empty bottles of margerine vodka
  • Several more 19 oz Pepsi's
  • Many many grease rags
  • Pair of "Vans" jogging shoes (never heard of that brand) approx size 13
  • Another scissors jack from a Japanese car (have 3 now)
  • Coffee can full of important bolts
  • 2 little bottles of Jack Daniels like they use on Airplanes.

The Silver Bullet

This was a great parts car. It was a silver 78 Trans Am in the back, and a 79 Formula in the front. This car had a formula steering wheel that was like new. The owner had obtained the steering wheel in a junkyard. We'd like to find a junkyard like that. The silver bullet ran and even came with a full tank of gas.

This car had been a silver WS-6 Trans Am with red interior. It had a 72 small-valve 400 in it with a 78 Trans Am intake manifold on top, and a Quadrajet from a 74 Chevy.

Hi Ho Silver, Away!

Is anybody out there?

Somebody tried to send us a message though the Bullet's Taillights.
Hello? Kimosabe, is that you?

Trans Am Limosine

Here's how we get to the firewall on these parts cars.
I just know I dropped a nickel down in there somewhere

Germ Warfare

Here's the kind that's advertised in the paper as a 3.23 posi disk brake rear end for sale, $200, 79 Trans Am still attached. As if this wasn't bad enough, we had to agree to take another car (Blue) to go with it. This car was originally a 79 403 car with WS-6 and no A/C. This Trans Am was notable for its apparently tough life, its musty smell, and yet another enormous collection of items!. Brian has identified a former owner of Germ Warfare among his coworkers.
I don't feel so good

Yet another amazing collection

Germ Warefare came with the following personal items:
  • 6 empty cigarette packs along with most of the cigarette butts
  • At least a case of beer bottle caps
  • Insurance notice telling the owner he didn't send enough money for his payment so they're cancelling the insurance and also want the rest of their money.
  • All kinds of quality cassette tapes......ZZ Top, Led Zepplin, George Straight, Van Halen......
  • One unused "OAKLEY" decal
  • A parking pass for Ober Gatlinburg
  • A brouchure about the Youth Program offered from the VFW
  • A couple of Japanese (or Chinese) works of art
  • Army Reserve Training books
  • A curling iron (Sheila's?)
  • Half a jug of chemicals for Bubba's tobacco patch
    Comments on the Condition
  • The front sway bar that has been cut in half with the "blue tip" wrench
  • Vegetation growing in the bottom of the doors
  • A big honking mice nest under the rear seat bottom and above the headliner
  • Enough mice poop in the glovebox to look like someone spilled a container of chocolate sprinkles
  • Old lottery tickets
  • Army Reserve decal stuck on the dash pad on the passenger side
  • Seller BUSTED both of the rear interior panels while trying to remove them. And they were good! Doh!
  • Headliner is covered with black fur material like that used to make velvet Elvis pictures

Blue's Clueless

This is the car that we had to take to get Germ Warfare for $200. It had nothing of value left. This is by far the worst parts car we've had. Of note in this car was one of the old Hurst Dual-Gate shifters made to fit in a Trans Am console. It was trashed, too. We had to put rotors and axles on this car just to roll it around. The seller was still taking parts off Blue 30 minutes before the wrecker pulled away, just to make sure we didn't get anything.
Get Pail and Shovel to bury this thing

Mr. T-10

This car can teach us a valuable lesson. It was a nice, enjoyable, showable car. One day, its owner decided to pull the motor out and "build it real good". He never put it back together, and the car rotted down under a tree. Subsequently, a guy who had a nice 68 Firebird convertible with a Chevy 350 in it bought the whole mess to get the motor. We got what was left. So the moral of the story is, an ill-advised project could kill your car. A 1978 400 won't even bolt into a 68 Firebird. It's all just a shame. Mr. T-10 says, "I pity the fool who lets his trans am rot down under a tree"

This car was a 1978 W72 4-speed, black/black, with T-tops and no A/C. It had deluxe sound insulation. What kind of person buys a non-A/C 4-speed but orders extra sound insulation?

I pity the fool

It's Hot in Here!

Technically, we learned something from this hot, quiet car. I have seen some gage lenses that seem to have fogged up. Check out the fuel and volt gages in the photo. This car had been very hot inside, and there were some heavily damaged (melted) plastic items. We realized that the lenses were heat damaged, not just in this car, but some others also. They get fogged by buildup of crystallinity.

Tazmanian Devil air freshener provided a little shade, but to no avail.



Whitey was a 1980 Trans Am with the base 155hp W-72 301. We really liked Whitey's looks, and hated to dismantle him. You'll notice the use of red pinstripes on white, white windshield reveal moldings, with an extra sail panel bird fixed below the "Trans Am" on the fender. This makes Whitey look like some kind of obscure special edition. It's a really attractive car, even in junk form. This is the unwrecked side, of course.

Whitey was wrecked on the roof, right front, nose, driver's door, and driver's quarter panel. He was a project of one of our local customers, and obtained some parts from the other cars. The nose and interior you see here came from the Silver Bullet. The trunk lid came from the Esprit de Corpse.

I wish you guys would stop wrecking me...

Poor Whitey

Whitey is definitely a hard luck case. After we removed his front fender, we found that his cowl had been bashed in. He was in a really bad wreck, or a bunch of them.

Scooby Doo air freshener was saying "Ruh-Ro" a lot.

Let's have a bash!


Trixie is a Grand Prix that was traded in locally and "disposed of" by the car lot. Joe saw her sitting in a storage lot and bought her to get seat buns and backs for his deluxe 1977 Trans Am interior. They don't reproduce these seat buns, but if they did, they'd probably cost just as much as Trixie did anyway. See more about the seats in the seat page.

Damage visible on the front fender was caused by a tire that blew up (it was in the trunk). Pretty impressive.

I love Grand Prixs - what's the plural of Prix anyway?

Whites Whiter and Colors Brighter

This is a 79 403 car that Joe's son named "John Whitey". Check out those white wall tires. John Whitey has to be the most complete Trans Am parts car in the world. It had parts on it we'd never even seen before. (I'd mention what they were, but I'm keeping them for myself, and I don't want everybody emailing me.)

John Whitey was the most mammal-infested car we've had (with Germ Warfare T/A 2nd). Mouse nests completely filled the shaker, above the headliner, glove box, and areas behind the rear armrests. The floorboards were covered with nut hulls of different kinds. The mouse that lived in the shaker was still in the car when we got it home. He came out and sat on the shaker one evening and stared at me. I think he was kind of mad after the trailer ride.

1 White T/A


You guessed it; Indy is an 1980 Indianapolis Pace Car. He was painted red once (wheels and all) and running around Johnson City, TN. The original turbo motor was long gone, replaced with a 1971 two-barrel 350 that the seller thought was a 455. It was in the paper as a running car, but he blew it up while it was up for sale. You can see the oil from the ventilated pan in the photo.

It wasn't tagged, and had no rear brakes at the time it blew up. You could tell from the street that the owner pulled it out in the street and did burnouts, and then parked it. Since then, I've noticed a few other spots around town where there are 100 burnout marks in front of some person's driveway. Evidenly it's an addiction, and there's no clinic to treat it.

This was the only limited edition car we've had, and the first good hull. It caused all sorts of soul-searching. We didn't realize how good it was when we bought it. We couldn't crush it, but neither of us really wanted an Indy pace car. We sold it on ebay. Lots of interest, but in the end, only one bid.


Junkyard Dog

We had a busy weekend on July 7 and 8, 2001. We extracted this car from a junkyard, and picked up a wreck (Smack, below). Like Joe, Junkyard Dog looks pretty good from 20 feet away, if you don't use so many pixels. This nice-looking bronze 1980 WS-6 originally had non-turbo 301 power. The junkyard guys sold it somebody who never paid for it, and they went back and got it.

It had a 77 Pontiac 400 in it with no intake. It's been like this for about 2 years, so the motor is ruined. They told us that the former "buyer" had a big tunnel ram on it, and he clearanced the beautiful hood to fit. This car originally had power windows, but was converted to manual. Note the rare power antenna.



This was our third 1980 301-powered WS6 car in a row. It's getting kind of monotonous isn't it? We've got WS6 suspension parts coming out our rear ends. You can just imagine how painful that is.

We called this car Rainman, because it was abandoned for many years with the T-tops off. Rainman was originally white with blue decals and red interior (very patriotic). Unfortunately, an employee of the Federal goverment later admitted to us that he, in fact, was the one who stole the T-tops. The red interior has been painted black. I'd never seen matching front and rear Indian blanket seat covers before.

I just knew Rainman's trunk would be full of valuable items, like t-top bags and the shaker, so it was with great anticipation that I drove the lock out with a 3 pound hammer. Inside we found nothing except the most bizarre item found in a trans am to date! Rainman contained a real estate contract where his owner bought a convenience store in Pheonix Arizona (that's 2000 miles from here). A mouse ate the selling price, but the address was (missing digits)15 North 52nd Street in Pheonix. The trunk also contained a phone bill, which was $80 in arrears. This is the fourth or fifth car in which we've found an overdue bill.

I'm wet!

Home-made Tunnel Ram

Rainman had been involved in a carb spacer world record attempt (yep, that's 3). Looks like the objective here was to make something stick out of the shaker hole (like a velocity stack). It looks like something out of a Hot Rod Magazine tech article on making your own tunnel ram for under $18.

At any rate, Rainman got his engine full of rain for years also, and sports a colony of cast-iron-eating moss.

Reach for the Sky!


This is kind of a bad car for us. It is shown here arriving on the trailer, and it looks worse than a lot of our cars when they leave. Smack belonged to a young woman here, and I remember seeing it around town. It got hit and they sold the front sheetmetal off before I got it. The best part of it appears to be the snowflake, and of course I put that on it to get it on the trailer.

It's not a very good parts car, but it had a very good 1969 400 engine and transmission. We sold it to the guy who bought Joe's 69 Firebird convertible. It had special edition gear shift and horn buttons in it, and we're just suckers for stuff like that. Smack has blue interior painted black (two in a row....)



We get a lot of "Frankenstein edition" Trans Ams, and we don't take this name lightly. This car is about as molested is it can get, really. This 79 Trans Am originally had tan interior. Most of the interior was replaced with black. The front clip was replaced with a 78. The original rear disk brake axle was replaced with a drum axle. The motor was replaced with a 73 small-valve 350 (its 2-barrel intake was changed to a 4-barrel.) The steering column was replaced with an earlier model column, so that it has no dimmer switch anywhere. I'm statisfied that it's deserving of the name.
Not Hans Delbruck?

The junkyard sold its master cylinder before we got it, so Chickenstein had no brakes at all, and no parking brake due to the disk/drum conversion. When we unloaded it, Brian used his famous put-it-in-park-every-two-feet method to roll it behind his house. As you can probably guess, it got away, and he executed a well-timed rollover-contest maneuver to stuff it into a bank of dirt. The right rear wheel came 4 feet off the ground. I'll have a camera ready next time he does that, so tune in again later.


Snoopy and the Red Baron (Brian's project car) were a two for one deal, where Snoopy was the stripped parts car. The seller claims he planned to restore the Red Baron and owned it for six years, but he apparently did nothing to it during that time except sand off a lot of paint and let it rust.

You will probably recognize that Snoopy is a Y-84 Special Edition Turbo Trans Am. It may have had every option available, but unfortunately we did not find a build sheet. Joe actually tried to buy this car to restore some 5 years ago, on Vance Street in Kingsport. At the time it was a complete, running, numbers matching car that deserved a better fate.

It was later purchased and stripped by the same guy who sold us Germ Warfare and Blue (see the killed trans am page). When we bought those two in 2000, this car had already been there and gone. He's just a butcher. He cuts any wire hooked to anything he removes, and we've seen that on 3 cars now. He took Snoopy's hood off and advertised it in the paper, leaving the engine (which ran!) in the rain. Just nuts. The blue hood was added by me, but it's much too late at this point.

Here's the world war I flying ace.....

Sgt. Schulz

Well, it didn't take long to find something to compete with Chickenstein for that "most molested" award. This car was originally posted on the Island of Misfit Trans Ams because it looked like a 1978 black Special Edition without t-tops (they didn't make any). On closer inspection it was obvious that the back half of the car is a 75, and the front half is a 78. It has the 78 VIN plate, which shows signs of being replaced.

We left our business card on this car, and the wife of the owner called us and said she wanted to sell, and he didn't necessarily need to know where the car went. We decided to wait until he agreed to it. It became evident later, when we met him, that he was one of the vast horde of Trans Am owners who don't have a driver's license.

Schultz's owner confirmed that it was two cars siamesed together. It has a 78 trim tag for a white car with red interior, but the 75 back half was originally buccaneer red with black interior. In addition, it has authentic Special Edition grilles (78), steering wheel (black), and gearshift button. So, at least 3 cars were involved. This car also came with another set of honeycombs, which were under the mobile home of the former owner. Robert volunteered to go get them, in the dark. I let him. We eventually got 7 honeycombs: two black, one gold, and 4 silver. Robert let one of them roll away, which cut the total down to six. We eventually found it.

Out of 3 tires on it, 2 were flat. The driveway is pea gravel. I suppose that's what they make runaway truck emergency lanes out of. I didn't think we were ever going to get the car out of these gravels. In fact, if you want to prevent someone stealing your car, you might want to park it in pea gravels.

I know nothing!

Count Turbula

This 1980 Turbo T/A Special Edition looks like a good restoration project, but there's fraud. The seller told me that when he bought the car, he was told it had the original engine in it, but after he got it home he realized it actually had a 1981 engine in it. He was right. The engine management and carburetion on 80 and 81 Turbos is totally incompatible, so it's pretty clear that somebody stuck a dud engine in it to fill the hole and make it look like a complete car. And that's not all. See those original-looking wheels? Every one of them was out of a junkyard, with paint pen writing on the back side. We had 3 of one width and 1 of another. Also, it had no taillight wiring, but two sets of enging control wiring. I guess you could say that on average, it was a complete car.
Vlad the Kompressor


If you're reading through the site in order, you may remember that the real estate contract for selling a gas station in Pheonix Arizona was the strangest thing we'd found in a Trans Am. I guess the typewriter in Chester was in second place. Well, forget all that, and welcome to a whole new class of finds.

Here's one that has a live opossum family living in the trunk. Brian just happened to have his camera handy, and viola! We have next year's winner in the Possum in the Trunk of a Trans Am photo contest. This is definite calendar material. Shaker furniture is pretty popular with some folks, and apparently this possum likes it too.

The car itself is a blue/blue 78 Trans Am that was in awful shape. It has some Bandit Trans Am T-tops on it that Joe kept for himself. This car had a Camaro console in it with a hole cut in it to fit a big gulp. First time we'd seen that feature. It also had a complete set of 79-81 fender flares in it (not on it, in it). This car had the biggest hole in the floor I have EVER SEEN. (Coming from me that's saying a lot.) Most of it was really too rough to part out, which kind of reminds me of Jeff Foxworthy's comment about being "too drunk to fish."

It ain't George Jones
Could I have some privacy here?

Repo Man

I wanted to name this one oddball, but the seller named it for me. It's a 1979 301 automatic car, loaded with options and WS6. Now you might be asking, "what kind of person would buy a loaded WS6 but take the delete-option engine?" An even tougher question would be, "What rear end ratio do you get in a 1979 301 WS6 automatic with air conditioning?" I certainly couldn't answer it. I pulled the build sheet out and came up with a 2.73 disk posi. How's that for strange axles? This car also has light fixture grating for grilles (and it looks grate!) and 3 battery cables. I don't think that's an original GM feature. I hooked up all 3, but the engine still wouldn't turn over.

This car was on the road up until recently, and has a basic case of being worn out. The lo-po 301 is locked up tight. Although it's rusty, it's very nice-looking, complete, and fixable. Trouble is, what would have if you fixed it? A rusty 1979 301 automatic? It wouldn't be so bad if they were slow and rare, but they're not even rare.

I'm not strange


This is another trashy car like Possum (although not quite as bad). It's held junk car status for a long time. We won't be saving any body panels off this baby. It's a 78 Esprit. For some reason, all the interior plastic was replaced with good red stuff, even though the car is a total pile of junk. They even put up the red headliner, which was held up by a mosaic of thumb tacks. Why would anybody go to all that trouble? It has blue velour interior painted black. We've had several cars with black painted interior, but velour?

As you can see, it has achieved flight status as my lift test object. It weighs about 2500 pounds without its drive train, so it's a good light thing to practice on. You can check out my other garage pictures on Joe's garage page

The seller told us it had been a Chevy 305-powered car, and that's pretty typical for a 78 Esprit. The seller told us the previous owner just had to keep that 305,because he said it was a Canadian 305. So what? Maybe when you use it for a boat anchor it makes the lake taste like maple syrup. It's another life story car like Chester, totally full of trash. Check out the summary below.

Chester, this is your life!
It's not unusual for use to find a cheap stereo in these cars. In fact we have a whole box of them. It's just that usually they're CAR stereos.

At least it's more interesting than the typewriter we found inside Chester (the car I mean). It has a class of '81 sticker on it, so it's at least 22 years old. It ought to be just the thing to play those old 45 rpm records. We're the kind of guys that just have to plug things up to see if they work, and it works fine. So I threw the typewriter away years ago, but I put this stereo in the garage and listen to it every day!
Add me to your cheap stereo collection!

As usual in these cases, we have to identify the owner by the mail in his car. In this case we have pay stubs, we'll just call him (drum roll) Chester. That's right, the same name as our first life story car. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Here's what Chester left for us in his car:

  • one C and one D battery
  • Overdue bills for somebody we'll call Debbie
  • A pair of open-toed shoes (maybe belong to Debbie?)
  • A bunch of nylon ropes (Debbie's too? Let's hope not.)
  • Remote from a Daewoo CD player (I bet Chester wonders where that got to)
  • Toby Keith "boomtown" tape
  • 1999 Newspaper
  • Pulltab collection (maybe following a fund raising chainletter?)
  • 52 beer cans, bottles, and cases
  • Form for Moms to volunteer to make Gingerbread men for 5th grade Christmas party. Didn't you guys know you were supposed to turn that in?
  • 1997 Tennessee Tag
  • Jesus air freshener
  • New transmission gasket
  • Blue industrial coveralls, size 38 extra wormy
  • Red Atlanta Falcons jacket
  • Empty STP smoke treatment bottle (further proof of the Chevy 305)
  • Peter Pan glass from Burger King. Wonder what those are bringing at Sotheby's
  • Handouts from self-esteem presentation at PTA
  • Laundry Detergent
  • Big ol' snake skin
  • Pacifier
  • keys
  • WQUT (top 40 trash) "preferred listener" keychain.
  • a home stereo in the back seat

King of the Hill

Here's a neat find that one of my relatives had wasting away in his driveway: 1978 Regular Trans Am, black, black, T-tops, non-WS6. Like 90% of Black Trans Ams, it has been pinstriped like a special edition (quite well, too). The Lemans stripes, while imaginative, don't look quite so original.

Has a Cheby 350 in it that runs. I took a test ride in this car, and all I could think about was how rich my wife would be if she collected my life insurance.

Can't decide if I'm Bo or Luke. or Dale


As you can see from this picture, something Unthinkable occured. We bought a Camaro. It's not what you think, though. We're not about to try to feed the world's lust for Camaro parts. This car was only $100, and Joe couldn't pass it up. This car has a whole set of Camaro A/C hoses on it.

We have been wondering for years about which parts are the same on the two F-bodies, and now we're going to find out, which is well worth $100. We're working on another web page on that.

Earnhart's dead, and I don't feel all that good either

The Big G

This 1979 Camaro was parked across the street from Joe's Sister's house. This picture is right out of her front door. It's just a stripped-out Camaro, but those t-tops look a little funny, don't they? Hmmmm.
It's me, G!
On closer inspection, it's clear that G has Cars and Concepts aftermarket t-tops. You could even call it a targa. The roof was cut all the way across when this was installed. We traded the 350 out of King of the Hill for this car, mainly to study the tops for our t-tops web page.

This is the lowest optioned car we've ever seen, bar none. It's an original six cylinder three speed car. No air conditioning. The interior is gone, but from the trim tag it had blue standard interior. We found a build sheet in G, but it's not for G. It's for a different car which actually had some options.

Blue Skies, smilin' at me,
We didn't get a title or any info on the previous owners, but as usual, they left plenty of evidence of their lifestyle in the car. Here are the folks that used to own this car. I'm not even going to comment on this. Well, yeah, I am. When you take a junk car apart you'll always find something with the owner's name on it. This is the first time we've read it off anybody's leg though.
Luv 4-Ever
Miraculously it still has its conversion sticker on the glove box door. It shows that G had its roof cut off by "G Classics" January 30th 1979 (yes that's how I named it). The body build date was 12C (about December 20th) so the car was new. I don't know where G Classics was.

We have had several Bandit Trans Ams, and their Hurst stickers always seem to get destroyed. Look back at the picture as the car was found. Somehow, with the t-tops off and the glove box open, this sticker has survived. Isn't that odd?

Blue Skies, smilin' at me,
G has that rarest-of-the-rare lack of options, a single side mirror (right). This mirror is something I have only seen twice in my whole life. And, equally impressive, this car had manual brakes (lower right). The master cylinder is gone, but you can still see the outline of the master cylinder and a spacer that probably was under the proportioning valve. The brake pedal has a return spring on it. I've never seen that before.

G has console brackets, so it did have at least one option.

Don't look back, look ahead instead
Can't stop the music or the camaro
So, we bought 2 Camaros! Are we losing focus? I don't think so. In fact, our "Camaro vs. Firebird" page will be much better with two, because these two Camaros gave us a huge range of parts to look at. Unthinkable was a 1976 V-8 automatic with A/C, while G was a 1979 6 cylinder 3-speed with a heater. In addition to the mechanical differences, the cars had different body styles.


September 2003 was a month of firsts for Team Hoghead. We bought our first Camaro and our first restored car, a real tragedy case. You can see in this picture that the car is collapsed. The frame is bent and the roof has buckled. It's a nice car, much too nice to fall into our hands. It had a lot of new parts, but of course we're making sure they don't go to waste.

This car was one of the first 1980 Trans Ams built, and it had a very rare feature; In 1980, as in 1979, it was possible to delete the standard Trans Am engine and get one engine below that. This car was equipped that way. It was built with the 140 hp 301. I was not sure any were really made this way, but I am now. A lot of stuff was deleted from a Trans Am with this engine: Electronic spark control and dual cat-back exhaust were standard on the Trans Am, but were deleted with this option. According to the shop manual, the transmission and torque converter would have also been different. This car had a 2.41 axle (vs. a regular 1980 Trans Am's 3.08), but I don't know if that's original. There was no build sheet.

1979's with the standard Trans Am engine deleted are fairly common; see "Repo Man" for an example.

I can't look!

Formula 409

We bought this 1978 Formula off ebay. This car has W50 Formula Appearance Package, and it's the first one we had. It has a nifty color scheme. Most of the cars had a black band around the bottom, but black and white cars had a gold band, gold hood scoops, and gold grilles borrowed from the Trans Am Special Edition. The tailpanel is also gold. This car has red interior, which gives it the Formula version of Dutch's oddball color scheme. If you're not tired of factoids yet, all 1978 Formulas had black taillights EXCEPT ones with this color scheme.

This was another abandoned storage car with no title, and it was a major rust bucket. The seller had already cleaned it out, which is a shame, since we would have given you a full report here about its contents. It also ran, which is pretty impressive. Nothing like a rare car that runs for $300.

Hey you gotta love my color scheme. Yes you do, too.

Old Yeller

This poor old thing was once a classic yellow Formula W50 with yellow wheels, just like in the 1976 Pontiac Ad. However, in this case the car was a 1977.

This car was so stripped it came straight to the killed Trans Am page without being in the Trans Am Parts Hopper. As always, there was still treasure. Check out that upper photo: they threw the nose under the hood and flopped the hood down on it. Perfect, uncracked grilles under there..

We got a full build sheet out of this car, and it turns out it had several rare otions. First, it had the rare Z45 Deluxe Black Spray Painted Lamps. Not only that, it had the even more rare W92 Flintstone Handling Package (no floors). When we got it home, there was a perfect, uncracked A/C plenum laying on the back of the trailer (pretty much the only one we ever saw). Makes you wonder what else may have spilled out.

This car was so rusty, you could park it in a dark garage, put a light bulb in the trunk, and make your own planetarium. Which obviously is going into "Hoghead's top 10 uses for a killed Trans Am" after we figure out how to photograph it.

Couldn't you just give me a rabies shot?
Don't shoot me! I'm feeling better! I'm not mad at all! Really!
One for the weird file: The tail panel was nearly perfect?!?
How can a car with quarter panels like this
I think a cat just went through my quater panel
Have a tail panel like this?
They had an unusually good run of tail panels that day

Ain't Skeered

This Blue 79 Trans Am should have been PLENTY skeered as it never got out of our junkyard alive. It was obviously in a barn somewhere for a while, because it was full of hay. About 80% of the stuff taken out while removing the engine (like radiator, accessory brackets, etc.) was in the back seat and trunk. We got half a new gasket set, a gallon of carb cleaner, all sorts of stuff. The interior of the car is totally trashed, and the engine compartment is pretty bad too. The body was pretty good except the left rear was rotten, and we wound up cutting it into patch panels.

Aint Skeered had yet another Nova rally wheel, which gives us a total of 3. We just need one more to slap a whole set on ebay.....

I do have Some Fear

Goldilocks and the 3 Bears

We recently had to "buy out" long-time Trans Am parts predator Tim Hall. As you can guess from the title, there are 4 cars.
just going fora little walk while this porridge cools off....
Papa Bear,right, was a 1976 Bonneville that he used as a yard barn. How do you like your Bonneville? We like ours 455 powered and crammed with Trans Am parts. Check out the pile-o-parts in Papa Bear's trunk!

Baby Bear, below, has got to be the most pitiful sight we've ever seen. The sad thing was, this was Tim's car when he was a teenager. Imagine finding your car in this shape! It's pitiful.

this porridge is too hot!
Somebody's been eating my porridge
All the stuff pictured below came out of the Bonneville!
My porrige is all over the garage!
Here on Goldilocks we see why the 1970 Trans Am hood is so rarely seen on 1980 Trans Ams.... Goldilocks is a 1981 Gold WS6 Trans Am junker that belonged to another local. He told me he wouldn't sell it for less than $600, then turned around and traded it to Tim for a pistol.

Note also the Gen-u-wine Y88 t-top roof. That's the roof off "Fool's Gold", finally reunited at Hoghead's secret storage location.

Mama Bear was Tim's Daily driver, which was much too nice to part out.
my porridge is too cold!

I think I'll take a little nap


Here's an apparently nice car that was some Hot Rod Magazine subscriber's project. It's a 1978 WS6 with Hurst T-tops. We're not sure exactly what happened to it. The floors are pretty rusty, and apparently somebody separated it to "fix" the subframe mounts. Eventually some other dude got it for the engine. We got what was left, as usual. Looks like it was pretty nice until some hairy-legged teenager decided to "build" it.
just wait to you see me jump off this trailer
Lucky gets its name from how it was unloaded. Like a classic science fair physics demonstration, they aimed it at Brian's brand new garage, put the floor jack under the nose, and turned it loose.

Potential energy = height * mass * g

ready to roll
Here's Lucky after it came to rest. It swerved around the edge of the garage, jumped over the drain, off the driveway, and into the Emergency Junk Trans Am Escape Ramp, where it bogged down in the mud. It missed everything, a miracle.

Kinetic energy = 1/2 * mass * velocity^2

velocity = square root of (2* (1 meter)(9.8 meters/sec^2))
= 4.5 meters/sec.

Pretty darn fast to steer a floor jack.

That was fun - can I do it again?

Big Blue

In this case, IBM stands for "I've been mashed," as in "at the scrap yard." This poor 1977 Esprit was part of a package deal for Brian's 72 Formula. It was a nice car inside, but horribly rusty in the back. The seller pulled the engine and put it out to pasture after he saw how bad it was.

Why would anybody bother pulling a 2-barrel 305? One unusual find on this car was the WS6 snowflakes.

I've been mashed

Pete and Repeat

Pete is a 1980 WS6 that Joe Dragged home from a business trip. It had a Buick 455 under the hood. Repeat is the 1978 T/A on the left in this picture. We called this car "Repeat" because it looked so much like our first car, "Chester". We bought it off ebay here in Tennessee. It was advertised as a solid car, but most everything but the body was too rough to part out.
Pete got crushed and who was left?


I bought this 1973 Firebird on ebay during August of 2005. I hadn't looked at my junk car search for several weeks, and I just happened to look one day and spot it with only a day to go.

This poor car was killed by an option - it had a vinyl top. Based on looks, it would have been much too nice to destroy. But, under the top, it was speed-rotting itself to death. The owner realized it was too rusty to fix, and he cut the tail panel off and sold off the interior and some of the body. I got what was left. What I got was the engine compartment.

I think I'll have a.... nectarine crush

Ernie and Bert

This 2-for-one deal shows just how desperate I am to get a parts car. They don't look like much. Ernie is a 78 with Hurst tops and a 455. Bert is a 79 Trans Am that was originally 301-powered, but came with a 400 under the hood. I learned my lesson with Bert. I had a chance to buy the whole car for $600, but by the miracle of procrastination, I wound up buying only half of it for just as much money. Stupid me.

Notice Bert has a really cool blob of bondo on the driver's side quarter panel, but nothing can match the quality of Ernie's stereo install.
Put down the ducky.. Put down the ducky....
No amount of workmanship is enough for some Trans Am owners. If you know wut I mean.

You gotta put down the ducky if you want to haul the Trans Am home
another look at Ernie


Luther was just a great parts car. It came from Baileyton, TN (we pronounce that "Belton") It's a 1981 Trans Am with a pretty good list of options. It had pieces of numerous cars, including pretty nice 1975 interior in two different colors and some remnants of an Olds 350 under the hood. The body is pretty beat up, but not very rusty. It does have a good Fisher t-top roof. I don't know what happened to it, but instead of the roof cracking, the floor cracked on the driveshaft hump. No doubt that relieved a lot of stress.

I often see creative ways of shaker attachment. In Luther's case, nothing sez quality like galvinized self-drilling screws, pointed up for aerodynamic effect.
It's a boundary layer effect
Before you 77 T/A owners get excited about this uncut low shaker, I sold it already.

Attaboy, Luther!
say no to crack


This car turned up in the land o' goshen. It looks like the other side of Luther, but it's not (honest). Robert is somewhat of a structural curiosity. This car is incredibly rusty, and some former owner was pretty smart about that - he installed subframe connectors, the kind that include a mount for the rear spring. The rear frame rails, spring pocket, and floor under the rear seat were all cut away. The stiffener that connects the rocker panels laterallly to the frame is gone. As a result, the rocker panels are no longer a part of the structure. Which is good, because it ain't got any rocker panels.

This car had some good qualities. It was my third car in a row with power windows and door locks, it had 6x-4 heads on it, and it even had a B&M quicksilver shifter on it (still here!).

I didn't want rocker panels anyway

Our current cars that we are dismantling are on a separate page. Check out the Trans Am Parts Hopper and maybe you'll spot something you need.

Not pictured:
1977 red base Firebird that I got in trade for the Formula for Disaster (I forgot to take a picture of it).