: Helped a friend pick up an '81 Trans Am. Pics inside.



I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-17-09, 11:15 PM
So my buddy Evan has been wanting a '79-'81 Trans Am, specifically for those four square headlights, for a long time now. He found a nice '81 for sale in Fort Dodge Iowa, a city about 3.5 hours away from home, so we went out today, looked at it and picked it up.

Now, in '81, the hottest engine was the turbo 4.9, which made "200 hp and 340 lb/ft", which on paper is more than the 400 or 403 used from '77 to '79, but due to the unrefined way in which the (very primitive) turbocharger works with the carb'd V8, it never was as fast. I've seen 0-60 reports between 8.7 and 10.0 seconds, so it's nothing to brag about. The 400/403 used between '77 and '79 could do 0-60 in 6.7-7.2 seconds BTW.

He specifically did not want the Turbo 4.9, but rather the 400. This '81 has a 400 out of a '68 Catalina, and it's been bored over so it's now a 406, it's got an Edelbrock intake, Holley 650 CFM Carburetor, headers, and a revised camshaft. It's packed pretty thick out back too...4.11:1 rear end, so it moves like a bat out of hell out of the hole, but won't go much past 80 mph.

The powertrain is solid, but it needs some TLC as far as the cosmetics go. The paint is mediocre, it's got one rust hole, the interior needs a lot of work; there's no heat or A/C, no radio, no headliner, etc etc. It'll be a fun project car but we've got winter and he's got a garage at his buddy's rural place to store it in.

Yup, this is Iowa in October. Whee!
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5055.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5058.jpg

There were a lot of these in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5063.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5081.jpg

This is what Fort Dodge generally looks like. It's built across a river, so there's a big ravine that runs though the town, otherwise it's as flat as a board.
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5064.jpg

Anyways, here's the main course, the Trans Am.
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5073.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5074.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5067.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5070.jpg
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5078.jpg

The big 400.
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5072.jpg

It's got a medium blue cloth interior. The seats were fairly comfortable.
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5075.jpg

I like that engine-turned aluminum dashboard.
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5083.jpg

We used a big 7.3 Powerstroke F-250 to pull it up. The owner said that the truck was rated to tow 20k with the special hitch he had on it.
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5079.jpg

Arrived!
http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j313/Chadillac8705/IMG_5082.jpg

orconn
10-17-09, 11:24 PM
Yup, the sky and the terrain look like I remember Iowa, which is why I spent so little time there in a lifetime.

V-Eight
10-18-09, 12:09 AM
It'll be nice to see the progress on that one, I love that dash as well.

Destroyer
10-18-09, 12:10 AM
You have friends with good taste in cars. 2nd gen T/A's and Camaro's are amongst my favorite body styles when in either pristine original condition or tastefully modified. I have owned plenty and know these cars well. I prefer the '70-'76 models the most followed by the '77-'78 models but the '79-81 models were still sexy enough. :cool2:

V-Eight
10-18-09, 12:12 AM
2nd gen Camaros? Aside from the 4th gens I'd say that is my least favourite body styles - to each his own. My favourite Trans Am would probably be the Bandit body-style.

77CDV
10-18-09, 12:31 AM
Why did you have to flatbed it back? Is it not running? Still, looks like good bones for a fun project. Is he gonna slap a screaming chicken on the hood? :D

Kick94sts
10-18-09, 01:10 AM
What route did you take to get there?

Fort Dodge is a sketchy town when you're on the wrong side

C&C
10-18-09, 05:48 AM
Good luck with the restoration; she sure needs a little (a lot) of TLC but it looks like you have the base of a nice project there. Keep us posted.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-18-09, 09:53 AM
Why did you have to flatbed it back? Is it not running? Still, looks like good bones for a fun project. Is he gonna slap a screaming chicken on the hood? :D

It runs, but with the way it's tuned and the fact that the vacuum hose from the transmission to the carb isn't hooked up, it's not the easiest to drive, especially for newbs like us. :lol: Well that and it gets 8 mpg, holds about 3400 rpm at 70 mph, it's exhaust is louder than hell and it's driver's side window was shot out with some kid and his BB gun last week. So yeah...not the best road trip car. :)

Yes, there will be a screaming chicken on the hood soon enough. I told him if he really wanted to be funny and stick with the chicken motif, he should throw the Chick-Fil-A logo on the hood instead, or maybe the Popeyes logo. :lol: He didn't like that idea as much.


What route did you take to get there?

Fort Dodge is a sketchy town when you're on the wrong side

I-35 to highway 20, which took us into Fort Dodge from the south end of town. It did look like the kind of town that had already seen it's best days...to put it lightly. It was on the decline, or so it seemed after spending a few hours there.

oj5VomEAX9E
Sounds nice doesn't it?

V-Eight
10-18-09, 12:50 PM
Hot damn that sounds nice

Jesda
10-18-09, 01:46 PM
My not-so-inner 12 year old is extremely pleased with this thread!

90Brougham350
10-18-09, 09:06 PM
Snowflake wheels, gotta make it happen. Sounds terrific. Hope he's happy with the purchase. And just think, in 8 months when it's actually warm enough to enjoy going outside again, it'll make a hell of a good showing at Porky's.

Brian

V-Eight
10-18-09, 10:27 PM
Snowflake wheels, gotta make it happen. S

http://images.gmhightechperformance.com/tech/0809gmhtp_01_z+gm_high_performance_parts+year_one_ snow_flake_wheels.jpg

QFT

Destroyer
10-18-09, 10:37 PM
2nd gen Camaros? Aside from the 4th gens I'd say that is my least favourite body styles - to each his own. My favourite Trans Am would probably be the Bandit body-style.What is wrong with 2nd gen Camaro's? I especially like the 70-73 models but they looked pretty sweet till '81 in Z28 form.

V-Eight
10-19-09, 08:46 AM
Well, it was mainly the split bumper Camaros I disliked.....the looks didn't do the car justice? I dunno, they just didn't tickle my fancy like the 1st gens did.

billc83
10-19-09, 09:58 AM
Looks like a good find. Other than the front end, the body seems in nice condition. Hope your friend enjoys it.

For what it's worth, I'm not a fan of the 2nd generation Camaros, either.

Destroyer
10-19-09, 09:34 PM
Well, it was mainly the split bumper Camaros I disliked.....the looks didn't do the car justice? I dunno, they just didn't tickle my fancy like the 1st gens did.
To each his own I suppose. The split bumper Camsro's are amongst the more desireable Camaro's.:)

V-Eight
10-19-09, 10:13 PM
While this is true, and I have heard if from many....I was never that big a fan. Maybe they'll grow on me

I~LUV~Caddys8792
10-19-09, 10:22 PM
The split bumper Camaros are the only 2nd gens I like. After they went to the revised bumpers and sugar-scoop headlights it really went down for me.

Aron9000
10-20-09, 02:06 AM
The split bumper Camaros are the only 2nd gens I like. After they went to the revised bumpers and sugar-scoop headlights it really went down for me.

I concur with that sentiment. The longer, bigger crash bumpers really killed the design. It put another several inches onto the car that made it look kind of goofy.