Car 6 - 1988 Pontiac Trans am GTA

Car 6 – 1988 Pontiac Trans am GTA

I saw this 1988 Trans am for a first time in 2004 while I was on a vacation. It was sitting abandoned in the bushes with missing front right headlight and rear spoiler. It had old registration tags and a thick coat of dust. I inquired in the small service shop next to the car and got the “Not for sale” answer, so I quickly lost interest.

By that time the third generation F-bodies were still just older daily drivers, so I wasn’t insistent in getting more details about the car.

Few years later I saw it running and was glad that it is back on the road. I got in touch with its caretaker and learned about the repairs that he has done to the car. The car belonged to his rich Godfather and was not for sale.

Fast forward 15 years and I was surprised when a friend of mine ended up buying the Trans am. He was looking for 3rd gen Firebird across the country for several months. He had a limited budget and we were discussing only base 6 cyl Firebirds. When he told me which car he got this was quite a breaking news. The Trans am was not running due to electrical issues and needed a lot of TLC. I helped my friend to buy some used parts. He managed to partly solve the electrical issues with a lot of efforts and started driving it.

This Trans am being a GTA with WS6 suspension, 305 TPI engine, T-tops, with digital dash and steering wheel with remote controls was among the best equipped 3rd gen Trans ams I have ever seen in Bulgaria. Keeping in mind that its color combination was among my most favorite I told my friend that I want to be the first one to know if he ever decides to sell it. And several months later the miracle happened. He called me to let me know that he is willing to sell the car. He got tired of the electrical issues and realized he had to spend a lot more money to finish it the right way.



I went to see it for a first time in person and initially was a little disappointed from the many issues that I saw. This car was imported in Bulgaria from almost brand new and got many modifications over the years plus a slight front end collision. I almost gave up buying it, when I realized that I will have a very tough time to go back home, since it was the middle of the COVID pandemic and the intercity public transportation was very limited. The easiest way was to buy the car and go back home with it. 

So, I bought it and I drove it all the way from Burgas to Sofia with no issues.

In the next months I was able to determine the condition of the car in details.


One of the problems was a small coolant loss that turned to a head gasket leak. I figured out this on time and drove the car to my birth town where my friend Gancho agreed to fix the issue. When he took the engine apart, we figured out we had to partly rebuild it and replace more parts we expected. I was surprised how I drove it without any issues.

This was a crucial moment for this vehicle. If something went wrong, it would quickly turn into parts car and would be gone.

In three weeks Gancho professionally rebuilt the engine and serviced the transmission. All electrical issues were fixed and the modifications were brought back to original. The rear axle got a new oil and the car was ready again for the road. The brake system, exhaust and suspension were also redone.

I was able to attend a couple of car meets with this Trans am. The first one was the “Muscle car fest” where I went with my family. My sons were very happy and we enjoyed the event.

On the second car event I got my wife and we spent a nice weekend in the town of Vidin.

A friend of mine who is American car fan joined us on this event and we had a ride with the Trans am. He owns 1987 Cadillac and was impressed with the appearance and the style of the Trans am. He was in a search for another American classic and figured out that it might be a car like it. Few months later when I faced difficulties and had to part with the car my friend bought it.

Now he is the happy new owner of this beautiful and rare 1988 Trans am and is taking it to the next lever with all the cosmetic work that it needs. I definitely miss this car, but I am glad that it went to a good home.

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Since I have so many good friends in the USA, have bought, restored and sold cars in Bulgaria and Europe, I decided to create this website where you can find a good selection of classic American cars and projects for sale. You will also see the cars I have delivered over the years by people order.
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