Car 4 - 1978 Pontiac Trans am

Car 4 – 1978 Pontiac Trans am

After I sold the black 1979 Trans am I got in touch with the seller of the gold 1978 Trans am that I liked. I was lucky. The car was still available. The seller was very correct and honest car guy and had several classic cars. He had removed the original engine when he bought the car and put it on a stand. He drove the vehicle with an older 1971 Pontiac 400 which had more power. He was willing to sell the car with the original engine and was ready to install it. This is what I preferred as well. After a couple of months,  the original engine was in the car and it was running. Since the car spent most of its life in California and Reno, NV the body was very solid, but the paint and interior were in poor condition. This is what I was able to figure out from the detailed pictures that I received from the seller. 

We finalized the deal quickly and soon the car left Reno, NV and headed on its long journey to Bulgaria. 

I was very excited. I finally acquired my most favorite Trans am – 1978 model year.

It was the best of the best – a W72 car with the 220 hp engine, WS6 performance suspension, Fisher t-tops, Deluxe velour interior, cruise control, power door locks and windows and many other options. The good news didn’t stop there. After the car arrived,  I was glad to see how smoothly it was running and made a short ride with my friend;  the mechanic who helped me with the 400 engine on the 79 Trans am.

 It turned out that mechanically the car needed just a good maintenance and service: oils, brakes, coolant system, cables, spark plugs, wires, carburetor service etc. We did this and very soon I attended the first classic car meet with it.

I started looking for a good painter and soon figured out that this is quite a tough task. Most painters didn’t want to do a total repaint of an old car that required a lot in order to have the body panels properly aligned. At last I found a guy who lived in a small village and accepted the challenge. Initially he was doing good. But a month after he started working on the car, a big hailstorm hit the area of the capital Sofia and damaged a lot of vehicles. The painter got mad that he is missing a lot of easier and more profitable work. He slowed down the pace with the Trans am work and was not as precise anymore. At the end I got my car painted with few months delay and a few issues but not the job I had hoped for. I eventually had to take the car to another painter who redid both doors.

I was not lucky with one of the upholstery guys as well. The first is a good friend of mine and redid the seats nicely with used original seat covers in very good condition. But the one who covered with leather the dashboard, seat backs, central console and the rear plastic interior panels didn’t do well at all.  

I was disappointed with the less-than-optimal experiences with the repaint and the interior restoration.  With my everlasting dream for a late 50s American car getting even stronger, I decided to sell the Trans Am.

Only two weeks after I advertised it a guy from Denmark got in touch with me. He really wanted the car, but since Bulgaria does not have a good image among the Western European countries, he was afraid to come and see it. After many phone calls we finally agreed to meet in Denmark. I loaded the car on a trailer and sent it.

Two days later I took the flight to Copenhagen and met the buyer at the airport. We quickly found many common interests and had a good time cruising with his modified early C3 Corvette which was very powerful. On the next morning the Trans am arrived right on time at the buyers place.

It didn’t take much time for the buyer to figure out that the car was exactly as I described it to him. We finalized the deal and on the next day I landed at Sofia airport and was back home. 

I got seller’s remorse about a week later.  Apart from the paint and interior issues the gold 1978 Trans Am was a great car and mechanically was the soundest of all to date.


I really miss it. 

I continued browsing the ads for a late 50s classic in the USA, but meanwhile I started looking at the 77/78 Trans ams ads too.   

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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