Just when I had finally decided to not repaint the lower ground effects of the TA gold or change her into something she was not originally, just when I decide to not only keep her all monochrome black but to also finish the low key blackout of the car by powder coating the 16x8 wheels black and swapping out the factory gold decals for reproduction black decals, I review the RPO codes again line by line and make a surprising discovery. My "monochrome" TA is actually an ex-two tone TA. It left the Norwood assembly plant in 1985 as a black and gold two tone Trans Am and somewhere along the line in the last two decades, she has had her lower ground effects re-sprayed (and lost her original 16 x 8 wheels). I've got the wheels inbound and will get them refinished to a natural aluminum flat finish with a band of black around the rim and the inside of the "feather" vents finished in flat black.
It looks like I'm going to get the
lower ground effects repainted gold after all, just to restore this car to her
original self again. It also looks like I'm going to need some factory decals added, namely the
gold "TRANS AM" name above the left front driving light and the plastic
"PONTIAC" emblem normally found in the headlight groove. Wow.
The car I always wanted is the car I got. It's kind of like one of those
Russian dolls that is a doll within a doll within a doll. As I peel back
the parts of this TA that I didn't like, I find what I am looking for
underneath. I wanted an adventure, I sure got one!
The black and gold two-tone TA that I always wanted as a teenager is now mine,
and it was hidden under the wrong size wheels / tires and repainted ground
effects. Forecast calls for restoring this car to her original factory
specs and color scheme then campaigning her on the local show circuit for a
while. The first thing I'll probably add is new coil springs to lower the
car an inch and a half all around, new KYB shocks and struts, and some SFC sub
frame connectors to tie up the unibody and keep the roof paint from getting
crow's feet in it from body flex. I'll probably add a strut tower brace to
keep the car stable, removing it when I go to shows. Later, I'll add in
the rest of the suspension components; new larger sway bars, front end rebuild
kit, lower control arms, panhard rod and torque arm, all with polygraphite
bushings where available. I remember building a similar suspension on my
'90 Formula with the 5.0 liter TBI V8 and that suspension was king hell tight on
curves. I can't wait to get that feeling again with this car.
While fueling up the TA, I get a chance to crawl up under her somewhat and
inspect the recent custom exhaust work. The Flowmaster is present and
accounted for, the exhaust pipes are going to either have to be chopped and
moved further inward so they don't stick out past the rear bumper or they are
going to have to be replaced with less obnoxious tips. The exhaust work
looks good and the exhaust pipes are frigging huge! I'm wondering if they
are too large for a 305. The motor doesn't feel as strong as I expected it
to feel, "peanut cam" not withstanding.