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1970 Firebird Trans Am

My favorite car, bought one new in 1970 (blue/blue, close ratio 4 speed, radio and a console), then bought a basket case identical to that one in 1996 and did a 3 year nut and bolt restoration. This is the most comprehensive restoration I have done. Absolutely everything - except the rear axle and the emergency brake cable - was either rebuilt or replaced. Rebuilt engine, rebuilt M21 transmission, new clutch, rebuilt steering box, all new suspension components. Had to settle for a RAIV service replacement carb - could not find a correct carb that was affordable.

Found NOS quarters and tail panel. NOS front fender skin to replace minor issues with those body panels. Dave at the body shop did an outstanding job, hand sanding every body panel to perfection, then finishing with base/clear before wet sanding and buffing. Engine was completely torn down and rebuilt by Gorilla Engine - Chris did a great job.

Interior got a correct 1970 dash, like new OEM door panels, new headliner, seat upholstery, carpet, headliner. All glass was new. Basically it was a brand new car.

click on any image below for a larger version...

The 70 TA in 1971 - leaving on our honeymoon. It came from the factory the way you see it - no nose bird.


Same day. another picture. It also came from the factory with the custom interior door handle inserts but with a standard interior.


The 70 TA was 2 days off the dealers lot when this picture was taken at the Mid Ohio race track. List price was $4507, purchased for $3762

The primary subject was the house, but I decided to take a shot with car in it. This was taken in fall of 1971.


Buying back my youth?? The project 70 TA being loaded on the trailer in Pittsburgh in 1996 - cost $2000 more than the new one.

Back home and unloaded, it didn't get any prettier but the body looks really solid.

Subframe removed and will be sandblasted and ecoated.

I knew about the trunk floor, but the rear pan and right quarter panel were a surprise. Pan and quarter were replaced with NOS parts.

Back from the body shop, the subframe has to come back off and get redone - careless overspray caused a bunch of rework!

Freshly rebuilt RAIII engine from Gorilla - absolutely beautiful. Chris does great work.

Gorilla rebuilt the 1970 Ram Air 3 engine to factory stock. See the RAIII section for lots of pictures of a stock restoration.

I've always thought the rats nest of tubing on the 70 brake system is "interesting". It got simplified in 71.


Its almost a shame to put sheet metal over something this pretty.

Early formula wheels were "fat" wheels. This is an original fat wheel with a few spots where the finish has worn off.


Interior shot from the Eyes show. Colors all match which is as
the designers intended.

Bill Porter with the finished car at the 2002 Eyes on Design Show on the Chrysler Headquarters campus.

Me at the same show, about to be overwhelmed with a Best in Show award.