Tenth Anniversary Trans Am
I first heard about this car while on vacation in Maine in the summer of 1999. It had been in storage in a barn close to the Vermont/New Hampshire border since 1994 and the owner was considering selling it as she had moved to Arizona. I stopped in to see it on my way home and found it sitting under a thick layer of dust, a bit bruised up but still a very solid car. It's 1 of 1817 Tenth Anniversary TAs built with the 400 motor and 4 speed transmission in 1979.
I struck a deal with Monica, the owner of the TATA since March of 1986, shown here with the car shortly after she bought it. She kept it out of the snow and rain but had a "little incident" with the parking brake not holding one morning resulting in a bruised tree in her driveway, and the TATA getting an all silver paint job when the nose and hood were repaired.
In October of 1999 I returned with a new battery and some fresh gas, it started right away and I was able to drive it onto my trailer. Saw some great fall colors and joined the other tourists on a bumpy ride across Lake Champlain from Vermont to New York.
At home - with the dust washed off - it actually cleaned up pretty good! Bonus, the car came with it's original paperwork right back to the day it was sold new to Terry A. Pierce of Wenham New Hampshire on June 22, 1979 by Marshall Pontiac on Rte 1 in Saugus MA
In February 2003 another project came along that I just couldn't pass up, a low mileage 1966 Corvair Corsa turbo-charged 4 speed from Texas.
I decided to sell the TATA to a friend in Georgia who had been looking for a car like this to restore, so it left the snow belt for a new home in the deep south - temporarily!!.
Click here for the Missing Years!
2008 and the TATA is back - the Real Restoration Starts
Home again and cleaned up once more - now to take it all apart again and start the real restoration.
The seats were removed and taken to a local upholstery shop to see about some repairs, the driver seat bottom had come apart at the seams and some of the others were showing signs of wear. It was determined the original leather was getting pretty brittle and would start cracking and tearing with use so new TATA upholstery has been ordered for front and back.
Next up was to remove the original carpet which was pretty badly worn and dirty. Out of the car the bottom of the carpet didn't look too bad, but the underlay was hiding the bad news, and over two dollars in loose change.
The drivers side floor had rusted out from the inside, most likely from moisture under the carpet, the passenger side also had some small rust holes. A trip was in order to Kerr Auto Body in Orillia Ontario, Guy Kerr soon had the rusty parts removed and new floors installed, sealed and covered with epoxy primer. Next up was to wire brush the entire bottom of the car clean and coat the frame rails and suspension with Zero Rust
The next step - a temporary power train substitution with a built 71 455 HO motor- because you can never have TOO MUCH Torque!! :)
The original W72 and stock exhaust will go back in the car after a year or two....or ten.
The interior has been completely removed and is being refurbished including new TATA seat covers and carpets.
After putting it all together in 2008 it's now all apart again - with all the missing pieces currently at the body shop
In 2011 the rad support and inner fenders are finished and reinstalled, the motor was treated with engine conditioner to try to clean up some sticky rings and noisy lifters. A short from the main starter cable to the engine block put an unexpected early end to the engine treatment and resulted in ordering some new wiring from the battery to the starter - on hold again.
The motor is running and the car ready to be transported to the body shop for reassembly. At the last moment, after loading it on the trailer I got the word the body shop is full and it would be better to wait until next winter. At least the car has seen some day light again!
Moved to it's new home with a lot bigger garage, finally have everything organized and in one place!
I came across a new cat back factory exhaust system and 4 perfectly refinished TATA turbine rims at the Trans Am Nationals
.......to be continued!
What it will look like again......someday!
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