A 79 TA was my first car I bought. I said one day I would have another just like it. I just didn't think it would be almost 30 years later. I bought one last week just like my first car. I really want to talk it back to factory condition. Does anyone have any suggestions for a restoration company that is reliable and trustworthy? Thanks for your help.
Depending on your personal talents and skills, you may be able to do much of the work yourself, if you don't mind getting dirty. As for professional shops, check with local guys at shows and cruise nights to see who did their work for them. In my experience, most cars don't get dropped of at pro resto shops and picked up 6 months later complete and ready to show. Most guys do some of the work at home like stripping out the interior, motor, trans and wheels, then send the body out to be done by a pro, get the engine rebuilt at the machine shop etc., then put it all back together themselves. Magazines and TV shows have led alot of folks to believe that pro shops are the only way to go, and that every car must be restored to competition show quality. Your 79 TA gives you the advantage over older cars because it is still possible to buy all the mechanical parts through the local parts stores. Stuff like brakes, steering parts and suspension parts (springs, shocks) are all still available at decent prices, as are good upgrade kits like poly bushing kits and exhaust systems. Suppliers such as Year One, Classic Industries , Ames etc., can all supply just about anything for interior and trim, even the hobnail cloth upholstery is now available in reasonably priced kits. Cars like ours ( I have a 79 Formula) are easy to work on and drive great when brought back to like new or better. Like I said above ask around, someone will know of a good body shop, machine shop, alignment or exhaust shop who does great work and you can usually look at their car as a reference to see if it's good enough for you. Have fun.Steve
A little help... 'cause we don't all have to learn the hard way!
That is good advice, I bookmarked Year One as I recently got a 1977 Firebird myself. It has a Pontiac 350 in it, runs, needs rear brakes, some other, minor, work which I will do after registration. But, you should try to do as much work as you can or have mechanically-inclined friends before you hit the shops.
Cool, my 79 Formula has a 75 350 with 5C heads, Q-jet on stock manifold, th400 trans and 2.73 open rear. Just put it on the road this summer and still working out the bugs, have to pull the gas tank and flush it out, I've clogged 6 fuel filters so far. It sat for 15 years before I bought it. I'd post a pic but I don't know how to do it. It's silver with charcoal lower accent and 3-tone blue Formula striping and light blue deluxe interior (hobnail cloth). Looking forward to next spring!Steve
A little help... 'cause we don't all have to learn the hard way!
Yours sounds nice, have to figure out how to add pic, too, mine is blue, basic black vinyl interior. I have some bugs to work out, too, but after registration and sticker, want to take it for test run - spring will be fun, though.
OF COURSE DEPENDING ON WERE YOU LIVE, YOU HAVE TO CONSIDER TALKING TO MELVIN AT CLASSIC RESTORATIONS IN PINE ISLAND NY. THEY HAVE A NICE WEB SITE. WITH NUMERIOUS CARS AND HOW THAT CAR WAS RESTORED. I HAVE A 79TA/400/WS6/T-TOP CAR WHICH HAS BEEN TO CLASSIC FOR MINOR WORK. I HAVE JUST FINISHED GETTING TWO DAUGHTERS THROUGH COLLEGE AND WEDDINGS, SOON I WILL BE RESTORING MY *** I WOULD NOT CONSEDER ANY ONE ELSE. WHEN I FIRST SAW CLASSIC'S SHOP IN ORANGEBURG NY (B-4 THEY MOVED) THEY MUST HAVE HAD 5 TO 6 LATE 2ND GEN T/A'S. CHECH OUT CLASSIC'S WEB SITE, CALL AND TALK TO MELVIN. PS MELVIN HAS DONE SOME TECH ARTICALS FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE PONTIAC IN THE PAST.
My husbands first new car was a 1979 TA, Heritage Brown, unfortunatly it was totaled out at 6 mos. but he still talks about it fondly. He is turning 50 years old this year so myself and my daughters 4 & 5 years old are restoring him a 1979 TA. We were really lucky to find a work in progress on craigslist, he put in all the new sheet metal, floor pans, and had the engine professionaly rebuilt, trans, and the suspension are done and he just ran out of money and time. So for $2,500 we bought this car. Just down the street from our shop is a custom shop and these guys helped us take on this project. They are so cool and they have the girls come down a few days a week and do some sanding, preloosend bolt removal or anything else that gets us pics and lets the girls be able to tell daddy-man they wrenched on his car. You cannot believe how great these guys have been, the mechanic showed the girls how different cars sound, the paint guy has worked with them with colors for the car and they truly make them feel part of it. We are really excited to get this car done and surprise him at his surprise bday party.
Mewchat,That is absolutly too cool. I had my daughter working on her own '79 Trans Am when she was a little person too. Now she's 26 and drives a killer '79 Silver Anniversary.The thing can run 12's and she is still the safest driver on the road.Brazil
Thanks, and I think it is so important to get the girls involved with cars and other cool things. I myself am such a car chick, was born in '65 so I grew up with all of the coolest cars ever and they have made such an impact on me. I was the little wrench rat in my dads garage, every weekend when my dads friends and uncles would come over and they would all work on the project of the week and get it done. It was so cool, my dad had an Impala SS, my uncles and friends had Camaros, Cudas, Mustangs etc and I just loved being there getting snacks for them and finding dropped items under the car since I was the only one small enough to crawl under or my hands were small enough to reach that dropped nut. I can still remember sitting there listening to the engines and thinking that is so cool and dreamed about the cars I would one day own.I am so glad your daughter worked on her own car and understands all that goes into it, and what a cool car for a little person to build. My daughters will also be building their own cars, makes them a more responsible and better drivers knowing all the hard work that is in their car and what is at risk if they are careless.
Fantastic! I have always thought the hobby need more ladies - thank you for joining the forum. I think if you took a poll most of us started early and I am so happy you are getting your daughters involved. They will grown up with some very fond memories and valuable hands on experience - a lot like yours I imagine. Keep us posted on your progress with your project.
Hi,there you picked the right car to restore i love my 79 trans am!If you are looking to find some new used parts but not wanting to spend 800 dollar's for a bolt from year-one.Go to www.eagle classic auto parts.com and he's in ill and has a shop full of new used and has a list of what he has and great prices i bought 2 front t/a fenders a few yrs back and it was 200 for the pr and he delivered them great deals on used parts too so check him out first and that goes for everyone reading this i don't have bundles of cash to throw out with a family.Send a pic in love to see other *** hope this helps.
REAL CARS FUEL FROM THE BACK!