1980 Trans Am Turbo 301
|Fully rebuilt and refinished engine and transmission
|Just a little work to do here!
Now, back to what we did to the body to get to this point.Let the rust repair begin! What's getting fixed? Here's the rundown:
- Trunk floor
- Full tail panel
- Gas tank straps/trunk supports
- Lower left and right quarters
- Lower fenders and left inner fender structure
- Lower front quarters at sill plate
- Complete left outer sill plate
- Driver side rear floor pan
- Passenge side front and rear floor pans
- Frame rail at right spring pocket
- Floor to rocker at driver side wheel housing
- Inner wheel housings at frame rail in wheel wells
|This repair is not just for the floor. It's a major structural area incorporating the rail and interior floor, to the rocker and rear wheel housing. Bracing and correct execution of this repair are critical.
|There was nothing solid about that trunk floor. The entire left half was squishy flakey rust. Once disassemble the rust continued to the back panel, requiring a replacement trunk floor and tail panel as well as lower quarter repairs
|After replacing the panels the spot welds were ground smooth and the whole panel prepped for primer to get rid of the bare metal areas after the repairs.
With the metal work at the trunk and quarters complete, we prepare to tackle the underbody issues. The rear spring pocket and the surrounding floor, one full rocker, and 3 floor pans needed replacement.
To do this right (and save ourselves extra body aches) we had to completely remove the front clip and rear axle and fabricate mounts for the rotisserie. Once mounted it's much easier to work on and we can fully prep the underbody with sandblasting and cleaning. Finally we seal it up with seam sealer and fresh black epoxy for corrosion protection and then paint, so it looks great and it will last a lifetime on the road.
|Underbody structure and floors were scraped clean of undercoating and seam sealer, then sandblasted and cleaned. Final metal repair work was done, then the whole underside was seam sealed and prepped for epoxy sealer and black paint
|Wheel housings, tail panel and firewall were painted black after the repairs and the rest of the body was coated in 2 coats of epoxy primer before beginning body work and initial straightening.
|The engine work was complete, so we re-installed it and put the car back on it's suspension. This is critical for panel fit and gap correction to be done properly.
|After initial straightening and final patch repairs it went back in the booth for primer surfacer, also called fill prime.
|After a LOT of sanding at every stage of the restoration, the body was finally masked for paint! The original Ontario Gray looks really nice when it's fresh and has a nice layer of clear coat bringing out the metallic.
|Graphics kit and final assembly completed. Time for the photo shoot.
Here's a little look inside the completed restoration. The interior work included sound deadening and new finishes including carpet, headliner and seat covers, but using mostly original gauges and "hard parts" like steering wheel, window surrounds/plastic trim, window cranks and shift components. Some of those old plastic and vinyl pieces shined right up!
This is the part where we send the this Trans Am home
After completing the restoration we did the final photo shoot and test drives followed by a complete final detail.
At the beginning of June, 2021, the 1 and only owner of the 1980 Turbo Trans Am picked up his car along with some of his family. The car got the seal of approval from his grandson before it was driven back to Southern WI and tucked in at home in a garage with a few other items...
Some of those items require battery chargers...
Sometimes those battery chargers go a little haywire, causing...
You guessed it... A GARAGE FIRE!
|The rear tail light assembly and rear bumper deformed and melted
Upon initial inspection we noted a lot of heat damage.
- The windshield was broken with bubbles appearing in the glass
- Both side mirror glass was melted
- Door weather-strip and exterior window felts are deformed or shrunk
- Taillight assembly and gas door melted and misshapen
- Front bumper was mostly free of paint and melted significantly on the left.
- The rear bumper is deformed mostly at the left quarter
- Left side flares deformed
- Paint peeling off the body mostly on the left side but extending up over the roof area
- Front and rear window trim is deformed
|The heat from the fire caused the paint to peel off in several areas
Needless to say we will be evaluating the car much more closely when tear down begins. Inspection of all under hood mechanical and electrical components, and insides of the left door, left fender and roof will tell us just how far we have to go with this re-restoration. If the paint and primer on the insides of the body panels shows heat damage and peeling we will be starting from square one with refinishing. At least we know there won't be rust or other surprises underneath the paint this time!
|Despite not actually catching on fire itself the paint is peeling