Wild, Whacky or Just Plain Weird TAs

 I started this website in 1997 and since that time I have come across some TAs that were customized or converted into some pretty weird creations. I have always wanted to document those Firebirds in their own section so here it is. This section isn't really for TAs with heavy customizations, in fact I will soon be creating a section dedicated to those Firebirds. To qualify for this section the Firebird has to have been converted into something completely unusual and different. If you have something you think qualifies for this section feel free to send me some pics and information to submittals1@firebirdgallery.com (remove the "1" before sending).



White Trans Am Limo This Trans Am limo has actually been on this site since almost the beginning. I cannot remember where I found it. The pic is terrible and the only one I have but it proves that someone, somewhere thought it would be a great idea to chop up two TAs and create a limo. I've never seen another one since. The stretch limo Trans Am was created by Specialty Occasion Cars Arnie & Dean Holmes. Wish this car had been local to me back when I went to Prom.



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This ladies and gentleman is truly a unique Firebird. It is definitely not your average Pontiac. This 4x4 Formula is owned by Chad Hepburn of Ft. McMurray Alberta, Canada. The engine that motivates this monster is a '79 454 Chevy block that was plucked from a 1 ton truck. Its been bored 0.40 over for a new displacement of 462c.i. The intake manifold is from a 73' Corvette and the heads are off a 68' Camaro. Ignition is provided by the stock HEI unit with an Accel Coil and 8MM plug wires. Carburetion is provided by an Edelbrock Performer 750. The transmission mated to the engine is a GM Turbo 350 unit.     
The suspension, which I am sure most of you are interested in, is next. In the front you'll find a set of Superlift 6" lifted springs and dual Rancho RS5000 shocks at each corner. In the rear a set of custom made (ordered) leaf springs with 4" blocks are installed along with a single Rancho RS5000 shock on each wheel. The transfer case is a New Process 205 Gear driven part time case with slip yoke rear output shaft. The axle in front is a GM 10-bolt with wrecked carrier, 8.5" ring gear (hence Lincoln Locker) and dual RS5000 steering stabilizers. In the rear is a 14-bolt with a 10.5" ring gear. It is full floating and an Eaton torque biasing posi. Both drive shafts were custom made by Chad on a Lathe. Another interesting part of this car is the chassis which had to be modified. It is a combination of the original Formula uni-body on top of a 79' GMC Jimmy frame. Chad tells us about each frame:

     "The Jimmy frame remains unmodified, up to the extent of a rear shackle inversion kit. With stock springs this would provide about a 4" lift. I had my dad's friend fabricate it for me after I drew up some plans for it. Also all the engine and drive train sit in the trucks chassis in the stock locations. The Firebird frame however has been pretty mangled. The front uni-body section has been cut out from the bottom of the firewall to just below the battery trays. This will allow me to clear enough room for the engine to fit in, with plenty of room to work on things. The front of the car is supported very rigidly (joined to the truck frame by way of 2 inch square tubing) and the rear of the front uni-body is welded directly the the other frame by way of 3" angle iron and other structural steel. The rear uni-body frame remains un-mangled but welded to the truck frame. All told the car is welded to the truck frame in 8 points."

     Other modifications performed include the removal of the back seat. This was done to cut out a 14" x 3" section just inside of the frame rails to allow the car to sit lower on the truck chassis. For those of you that have sharp eyes or experience with 4x4s you will notice that this particular Formula has the optional T-roof. Its fairly common knowledge among Firebird owners that cars with the T-roof installed are less structurally rigid than the hardtops. This has been a concern for Chad. A fellow 4x4 enthusiast mentioned he felt the T-bar would crack once the vehicle was taken off-road.




The second installment in the Firebird 4x4 club. Dubbed the "Smokey Bandit Offroad Edition" this Trans Am provides some unique opportunities in traffic, not to mention use on the farm or hunting with your buddies. You might even be able to participate in a tractor pull competition or a serious mudbog competition which would be a ton of fun. According to sources, this Firebird is mounted on a 4WD K-5 Blazer frame. Motivation comes from an always reliable Chevy 350/TH350 combination.




The third installment in the Firebird 4x4 club. Now look at pic number two on the left and tell me, "What TA have you ever owned that could do that?". That's just cool. This bird went offroad, pulled some duty at some parades and participated in a few car shows. I'm betting it grabbed attention everywhere it went. The frame under the bird is from a 1985 K5 Blazer. Custom, heavy duty body mounts were fabricated and used to mount the Firebird body on the full size Blazer frame. Front and rear axles are 1/2 ton axles equipped with 3.08 gears. Rancho 5000 shocks and steering stabilizer were also installed. The custom 4x4 rides on aluminum rims equipped with 33' All Terrain Tires. Power comes from a Cadillac 500 pulled from a used '72 Eldorado. The 500 was rebuilt and several new parts were installed including a new timing chain set, water pump, high volume oil pump, fuel pump, 110 amp altenator, rebuilt carburetor, and an HEI Accel distributor. The transmission handling shifting duties for this monster is a rebuilt TH350 with a multi style bell housing and a mild shift kit. A rebuilt 208 transfer case was also installed. Cooling is provided by a 4 core radiator mated to dual electric fans. A whopping 32-gallon gas tank was added to keep the thirsty beast running for extended periods of time.
The entire exterior of the car was treated to a healthy coat of Dupliliner which is thick and tough and very similar to the coatings sprayed in most truck beds. Two KC headlights were added up front for night time off roading. The interior features bucket seats out of a Mitsubishi Eclipse (can't imagine what he had to do to get the bolt holes lined up), Hurst ratchet shifter, AM/FM stereo with a Pioneer 10-CD changer mounted in the trunk and a set of Blue Racing multi-point harness seat belts.




Aptly named the "Trans Camino" this interesting creation mated a '76 El Camino with assorted Trans Am pieces from a '77 to '78 TA. Unfortunately the pics are small and low quality. Hopefully someone will provide new ones. The engine depicted is an Olds 403 which must have also been transplanted from the TA. Transmission is a TH400. The rear end, oddly enough is reportedly out of a Jaguar XKE. I have NO idea what prompted that modification.



This is one of the more interesting cars I've come across. A site visitor sent me this pic and stated that the front half is from a '79 Trans Am and the back half is a Nissan 240SX. I really can't fathom what must've gone into making those two pieces to work together. Apparently this car was more than a novelty too, it was actually raced in some capacity, maybe drifting.



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