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TurboFocus Reader
12/29/19 9:58 p.m.

I talked to the owner of this car over the course of a few months. Started in mid october, he wasnt the easiest to get ahold of and it turns out, while wholesome, genial and polite, was also difficult to work with. 


This is honestly probably the reason why I got this car. 


I had tried to get him to send me pictures of the car, wasnt happening in a normal time frame; tried to get a friend to look at the car in person, he cancelled last second; tried to get more info on the car since it was originally listed as an 87 firebird but pictures showed a 77-78 model but never got the straightest answers. 


Disclaimer, I do not believe he was trying to swindle me in any way shape or form. I think hes just a busy guy with a lot going on.


This is all the info I had at the time. 

TurboFocus Reader
12/29/19 10:26 p.m.

One day, seemingly out of the blue, while I was in the car with the guy that I sent up to try and check the car out, the seller sends some more pictures that I had requested.

I had just landed back in the USA so I wasn't particularly interested in getting the car at the time. Pettiness set in and I/we never bothered to respond. 

Fast forward a few weeks to when I was in the middle of closing on the house I noticed that the ad was still up. I figured, what the hell, it's one of the two years I want I'll try one last time. It's pretty much a repeat of before, still available, still impossible to get ahold of the guy. At this point im fed up, either I'm gonna get this car for well below asking or it's not the rusty nugget for me. 

I don't know what made me do it but I sent him this.  

About 30 minutes later I get a phone call from the guy. 

He introduces himself

I introduce myself

he says $1500

I say fine but I can't get it for a few weeks

he says whatever that's ok

I say cool

We say bye, ttyl 

Phone clicks

TurboFocus Reader
12/29/19 10:41 p.m.

During our phone call he said he'd get the title and send me pictures of it. While waiting on that is about when I make the GRM towing post. 

Y'all convinced me to not do a bad idea and surprisingly, I listened. 


I thought about road tripping the car home and asked a local autocross group if anyone was willing to go on an uncomfortable and reckless adventure with a complete stranger. A couple people were interested but by chance, one guy was already north of the car and passed by the owners place on his way back home with an empty trailer. Lady luck was in my favor that day, that or sweet baby jesus gave me a hell of a break. 

I message the dude with the trailer, we instantly agree on $200 and from there it's working out the details. 

Per usual, seller was still impossible to get a hold of. However, we got all the major details worked out the day before. 


This morning, I let all parties know I won't have my phone on me during the pickup time due to work. Turns out the guy with the trailer couldn't get ahold of the seller while he was on his way over. 

I get a message reading something to the tune of "we're heading there on a hope and a dream"

TurboFocus Reader
12/29/19 10:54 p.m.

Getting out of work, reading that, I kinda freaked a little bit. I asked if the car was picked up, and the guy responded with his own picture of the car.

After waiting 15+ years for one, even if it's a total nugget of a car, I couldn't help but get a little excited. I've wanted one ever since I saw smokey and the bandit for the first time with a white firebird, a 77 or 78, was in the driveway. 

Giddy would an understatement for the excitement I felt. 


I paid all parties and everything was going to plan, today is the day I fulfill my childhood dream car...

Or so I thought


TurboFocus Reader
12/29/19 11:00 p.m.

Not going to lie, it was a sinking feeling. My heart just dropped reading that. 

I knew everything was still fine and going accordingly but I couldn't help feeling a little disappointed. 


I can't be mad at the guy, nor could I say no. He's not a professional auto delivery driver, he's doing me a huge favor and is doing it very cheap. He is also sending me pictures and videos of the car on its way and is doing all of the tiny things I have asked of him to do. I still can't thank him enough for the massive solid he's doing me. It's just one more day that it would be sitting not in my garage. 

From the current time of posting, the estimated delivery is in 19 hours, 0 minutes and 11 seconds 

AnthonyGS Dork
12/29/19 11:34 p.m.

Good luck and I will follow along with similar glee.  I too have always wanted a Firebird and can blame the same movie.

TurboFocus Reader
12/30/19 11:49 a.m.

that movie is probably why '77s are made of unobtainium 

If i waited a year or two I could've afforded a nicer roller and had it shipped to me at normal market prices but I've always been attracted to nuggets for something to drive. That's why I'm not upset at all when I found out that the rockers are pretty much shot and there are a few other small holes to fill.

when it's done, I won't feel bad about taking it out or ripping a fat E36 M3ty to make a smoke show.

the car ISN'T a survivor, it's NOT nice in anyway shape or form. to me, it's perfect; I can enjoy it and that's what its really all about.


6 hours, 11 minutes, 42 seconds

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
12/30/19 12:35 p.m.

As the owner of a '79, I'll be watching your progress. Hopefully it shows up and it's better than expected! What are your plans for it?

TurboFocus Reader
12/30/19 12:58 p.m.

Obviously fix all the rust will be the first priority. I'll be having a friend come over any second he can to help patch the trunk lid, door skins and a few other spots. Probably the floor as well. I can replace the rockers myself since both should just be replaced entirely. 

Next will be making the car road worthy. Bushings, bearings, ball joints and brakes should all be in good working order

From here is where I have some choices. Make it pretty on the outside, make it pretty on the inside or make it somewhat fast.


Somewhat fast is a turbo junkyard LS, holley terminator x and a larger screen from them, a th400 with a manual valve body and trans brake. If the ladder bars are still good and it is in fact a Ford 9" rear end that'll be all for making it fast.

Inside pretty is pretty much blacking it out. Kirkeys, new carpet, headliner, "leather" door panels and flocking the dash/center console and other plastic bits. I'd like to paint the roll cage a darker gold as well.

Outside pretty is pretty much snowflakes, shaker hood, and paint it black with all the gold decals that were there from factory.


This should only take a decade and double the $15k I think itll take to complete


5 hours 2 minutes 3 seconds

AnthonyGS Dork
12/30/19 5:35 p.m.


TurboFocus Reader
12/30/19 6:37 p.m.
AnthonyGS said:


I may have bought a parts car....

Long story short, there was no rust where I expected it to be and a good amount of rust where I thought there wouldn't be.

I wont know for sure what I got until I get it in the air and everything gutted. Only then can I get a real idea of the work involved, costs and if it makes sense to pursue this car.

Doors and rockers are shot as expected. Might be able to get away with skins but I might also just be worth the money for new doors.

Firewall forward is amazingly clean, behind the back seats... not so much. There is frame rot back there and tons and tons of little holes in and around the trunk. Occasional small hole on the front pillar, rear quarter, etc. Few holes in the floor as well.


This is part of life and buying cheap stuff sight unseen, sometimes you score big. Sometimes, not so much.


@slow_and_solo is my insta, you'll get the fastest updates there.

Agent98 Reader
12/30/19 7:05 p.m.

Good acquisition. Even the parts are worth way more than you paid for it. Scariest rust on these tends to be the rear upper "frame" rails...other than that ....pass floor and outer rockers are pretty routine repairs...Looking forward to the updates! That guys on again off again demeanor probably saved the car so you could buy it

wheelsmithy SuperDork
12/30/19 7:13 p.m.


TurboFocus Reader
12/30/19 7:55 p.m.

Agent 98:

Not going to BS anybody 

This is a bigger project than I was planning on. Im sure I can do it, especially with a buddy whos a decent welder but I took a big bite of a project that im not sure im ready for. 

Im scared and a little uncertain, no other way to put it. Id almost rather I bought a total write off so I have a clear path forward, monetarily anyways. save the parts, find a base 2nd gen fbody Pontiac, swap over, continue on. 

My tools don't arrive from Germany until the 9th, I can justify buying more power tools and materials with all the money I've spent on the house... I'm in limbo and it sucks. 

I'll get (better) pictures in the coming daysfor everyone. 

TurboFocus Reader
12/30/19 7:56 p.m.
wheelsmithy said:


This hit a funny bone, I think I needed that lol

RandolphCarter New Reader
12/31/19 9:34 a.m.

Those of us that are a certain age (I'm 49) wanted a few cars when we grew up-  a black with gold 1977 T/A, an orange 1969 Charger, or a red 1981 Ferrari 308.


Even if you ended up buying 'just' a parts car, it looks like what you ended up with is worth the effort.


Good luck, and keep the pics coming!



Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
12/31/19 10:08 a.m.

In reply to TurboFocus :

I’d be seriously tempted to just fix any structural rust, then look for some cast-off circle track 2nd gen FBody body parts, and make a Street-legal bomber car. 

gumby HalfDork
12/31/19 10:53 a.m.
Pete Gossett said:

In reply to TurboFocus :

I’d be seriously tempted to just cut out all the rust, then look for some cast-off circle track 2nd gen FBody body parts, and make a Street-legal bomber car. 

This. Back-half the car, reuse the ladder bars that are already there, and enjoy beating the snot out of it till you find a nicer one

Patrick MegaDork
12/31/19 11:03 a.m.

yeah grab a backhalf kit and some sheet metal and a brake.  You can do it

TurboFocus Reader
12/31/19 11:17 a.m.


funny story, I was pondering what to do with the car after watching about half of smokey and the bandit for inspiration. For some reason I thought of B is for Builds 240Z, then 1320 videos and all of the back half cars they feature.

I have to consider the cost of a new car, a kit or fixing what's there. For the record I have taken 0 effort to researching any of this.


Also, I took some pictures today. Some sexy-ish, not a great photographer, some showing all the rot.

I'll upload tonight

Agent98 Reader
12/31/19 11:26 a.m.

one of my 280Z's cracked in half. Now THAT is unrestorable rust lol

12/31/19 11:28 a.m.

I would go looking for a C5 and skin it down to the firewall and drop that TransAm shell over the top. Yes there is a matter of a 4" wheel base mismatch the TA being 108" and the Ct 104.5"

Crackers Dork
12/31/19 11:32 a.m.

99% sure the title and Vin plate alone are worth the ante. 

+1 for a back-half unless you're prepared to blow apart the whole car chasing tin worm.

JesseWolfe Reader
12/31/19 11:49 a.m.
RandolphCarter said:

Those of us that are a certain age (I'm 49) wanted a few cars when we grew up-  a black with gold 1977 T/A, an orange 1969 Charger, or a red 1981 Ferrari 308.



I'm 39 and understand each reference, granted it's because of reruns.

iansane New Reader
12/31/19 11:52 a.m.
NOHOME said:

I would go looking for a C5 and skin it down to the firewall and drop that TransAm shell over the top. Yes there is a matter of a 4" wheel base mismatch the TA being 108" and the Ct 104.5"

I like this idea. And 4" gives you a good amount of frame to stretch to fix drive position/dash/steering wheel inconsistencies. Although then it's either stretch the the torque tube or set the engine back a bit...

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