Car 3 - 1979 Pontiac Trans am Black Special Edition

Car 3 – 1979 Pontiac Trans am Black Special Edition

After I sold my 1991 Trans am GTA I experienced several unsuccessful attempts to buy some older American cars for four years. Then in the very beginning of 2009 an ad for 1979 Trans Am project appeared online. It was obvious that this car was in Bulgaria for a long time and I have never heard of it before! It was partially taken apart, with bodywork done and on primer. The price was so high that someone could easily import the same model in running condition from Europe or from the USA. The ad disappeared quickly, but I saved the phone number and got in touch with the lady that was selling the car. I went to see it as soon as I was able.

It turned to be a real Y84 Black Special Edition car. And its story was similar to the stories I have heard over the years for other older American cars in Bulgaria. This car was confiscated by the customs authorities, because it was used for drugs transportation. It was sold at an auction to a person who had a currency exchange office and has been very rich by that time. In 1989 they paid as much money for it as for two apartments in the center of the town where they lived. The people in the town knew them as the young couple that was renting an apartment to live in but were owning this very expensive Trans am.

 Keep in mind that the car was 10 years old by that time. They drove it for a couple of years and then her husband decided to repaint it. He gave it to a body shop, but meanwhile, got sick, broke down, divorced and passed away. The car spent 10 years in garages partially disassembled. Some parts were lost or stolen. It still had complete engine and transmission. The body was very solid as well. I somehow managed to explain the lady that now the car is not as expensive as she thinks. After a tough negotiation we reached an agreement that was fair for both sides.

So I bought my first second  generation Trans am.

It was my first serious project. With the permission of my boss, I put the car in a covered parking space at the INFINITI dealership where I was working as a salesman. I started working on the car after work and at nights.

Some friends were helping me with the needed work and we started up the engine very soon. It ran well with no smoke. It was the 301 non turbo V8 with automatic transmission. I remember the first ride with it after I redid the brakes on a back street behind the dealership. The car had almost no interior, no seats, no headlights, no rear bumper, almost no exhaust system. But it was a well running second generation Trans am. It took 11 months for the most skillful painter in the dealership to repaint it, but it worth the wait. 

The car was not fully repainted when I got an offer to provide it for several days for the TV production For honor and glory (2011). So it took a little part for that movie.

Two years later I was finally ready and went to the first car meet with it.

I was disappointed with the 301 performance. Nothing in common compared to the newer Trans ams that I had before. A week after I started driving it, I was unhappy to see that it is overheating. To my disappointment I saw mixed oil with coolant on the oil dipstick. It was the worst possible issue – a badly cracked engine block. The old owner has been running the engine with water instead of coolant which caused the crack during one of the winters when it was left in the garages. This was quite a disappointment, but I had to have the car running again. It was impossible to find a decent older GM engine in my country. So I finally decided to find a 400 Pontiac engine for her from the USA. I bought one from Ebay and imported it. Much to my regret it turned out that it needed a rebuild. It had mixed coolant and oil in it, although that seller claimed I can put it and drive it as is. But I was lucky to find and experienced mechanic who is a great friend of mine and agreed to rebuild and install the engine. 

So it took a lot of time and money, but the outcome was great. After three and a half years I had a great looking and running 1979 Trans am, which was the only one in my country.

Hence it appeared on the cover of Avtoklasika magazine which was the best classic car magazine in my country.

Unfortunately all the unexpected expenses and troubles made me think it that it is not my car. Moreover it was not 1978 Trans am, something that really mattered for me. I was browsing the car ads in the USA already for several months. I came upon a gold 1978 Trans am that I really liked. I couldn’t dream of it much, simply because I had the black 1979 and I didn’t believe I can sell it at all in my country. I put an ad in with attractive price. I got a phone call from a Belgium guy who decided to come and see it. The day before his arrival the transmission made a problem. The gear lever somehow lost its connection with the transmission. I had 12 hours to solve the issue. A sleepless night in the tight garage and in front of the computer reading about the transmission linkage, but at the very end I was lucky. It was just a loose nut, that my friend didn’t tightened well when he rebuilt the transmission. On the next day the car was running fine again. So the customer really liked it. The sale finished quickly. I sold the car just in one week. The new owner a young Belgium guy, who is now a good friend of mine drove it to Belgium – more than 2200 kms with no issues. So it was HIS car, not mine.

 It was almost totally restored car after all – totally rebuild engine and transmission and a new paint on a great body with no rust issues. I was very sad to see the car leaving my country, but I was not lucky with it. The new owner did some changes to make it looks like the car from Smokey and the bandit 2 movie.

This car became a cover car again in a magazine –

this time on the much more popular Chrom & flammen magazine issue 08/17.

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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