Car 1 - 1993 Pontiac Trans am

Car 1 – 1993 Pontiac Trans am

I spotted my first American car by chance passing by a parking lot.

At the time I saw it I even couldn’t imagine I can own it. I stopped and went to see it, because it was a rare sight. 4th generation Trans Am was too new to be popular in Bulgaria in 2004. Back then every car imported from the US was very expensive, because of the excise and customs duty. By that time I knew of only two other 4th generation Trans Ams in my country. The rest were 6 cyl Firebird. Under a closer inspection I was surprised to see the numerous issues such as cracked dashboard, poor body work after a front collision. Both airbags had been removed. They had broken the windshield, because the car had a new one that was not original. The upholstery was pretty worn on both front seats. The tires were old but I fell in love with this car in spite of all its issues. It was 1993 Trans am with a 6 speed manual transmission after all and it was just like the “4th gen F-body” cars that my friend Ozzie from Missouri owned.

I got in touch with the owner and on the next day I met him and inspected the car. I was pleased to see that the engine ran fine, but the transmission shifted the gears very difficult. The only safety assist system – the ABS was not working. Luckily the owner wanted to sell the car. The initial price of the vehicle was reasonable and was approximately as much as the excise duty and the delivery from the USA. But it still was way over my budget. We discussed again the numerous defects. I understood that the owner wanted to rid of the car, because he acquired it from a person who owed him money. Additional issue was that this car was written as Grand am model in the documents. I verified that it has a Trans am VIN, so we proceeded further. I dared to make a price offer which was little over one third of the initial price that the owner asked. He got mad, but seems like I was at the right moment at the right place. He really needed to rid of the Trans am, so he accepted my price.

I spent all my savings from my summer exchange programs in the USA, but I got a great deal and bought my first American car.

Right after I bought it,  I started repairing the problems. The first one was the heating system radiator which was missing. There was no place I could buy an original one, so I installed one from another car. I had to fix it because during the late fall I travelled with friends in a thick fog, so the windshield started to catch ice on the inside from our breath. It was really a dangerous trip with almost no visibility in spite of all the cleaning, so I understood I had to solve this issue. I also figured out that the car has serious suspension damage and was instable at higher speed. I partially fixed this problem with an alignment. All the problems didn’t bother me too much. I really loved that car and was proud of owning it.

We even made a photo session of the car with some colleagues for one of the  car magazines for which I was working as freelance editor.

Soon the Trans am blew one of the head gaskets. It was running and I drove it 220 kms to my birth town where two good friends of mine did the repair. Very soon it was ready and I started enjoying it again. After a couple of risky situations, because of its power and the head gaskets issue I realized two things – the car was too dangerous for a young driver like me with a heavier right foot and that I can’t maintain it the way I want to, because it was over my budget.Also I have always dreamed of a late second generation Trans am.


So I decided to sell it.

By coincidence I sold it to young guy from the same town where the car has been imported in Bulgaria, when it was almost new. The buyer remembered it from his teenage years and it was probably the most unique car in his town. The moment when we said goodbye and he revved the engine at full throttle and burned the tires was a bitter moment in my life that I will remember forever. The good news is that more American cars were waiting for their time to come into my life.

P.S. My first Trans am exchanged several owners  across the country. I was tracking it all the time. It eventually got an ugly new orange paint and unoriginal wheels. Few years later the carosserie was crushed in a movie, but the engine was saved. It was rebuilt and now is under the hood of Nissan 200 SX a drift car.

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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