70 Firebird Esprit TA clone



70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby NOT A TA » May 9th, 2014, 1:54 pm

I'm new here and figured I'd post up some pics of my 70 bird. It's currently apart for upgrades and if I can figure out where to post projects here I'll start a thread.

Anyway I bought this car over 20 years ago and started building it in a tiny garage. It has evolved since with lots of mods from a neglected backyard find in a local trader paper.

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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby grumpyvette » May 9th, 2014, 3:00 pm

from what I can see in the pictures the work done looks rather well done and the car looks very impressive!
what engine did you install/ what parts did you use? and what drive train components?

in an UNRELATED STORY,
back in late 1973 I purchased a 1970 trans am,I loved the look of the car, and this one had obviously just been repainted, I was young and it never dawned on me at the time that new paint job,might indicate a major accident,
(they were asking $3700 at that time), that looked identical to this one,pictured below, from a local Pontiac dealer on 441 down in Miami Florida, they would not allow a test drive ,( because they said it was too difficult to take it off the inclosed show room floor), I had a contract written up and gave them the check for the purchase price for the full asking price, from my credit union, , minus the $1000 cash I had given to hold it, I was a done deal,or so I thought!

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for a week they refused to allow me to take delivery and kept it out in the show room,claiming it needed to be gone over for a dealer mandated safety check before delivery ,as it was a recent trade in, that had yet to be inspected.
I did some research , and asked the dealerships mechanics and found out the reason was the car needed some extensive frame repair work,..they knew it, and were waiting on parts, after I found out, I got a refund.
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby NOT A TA » May 9th, 2014, 4:06 pm

grumpyvette wrote:from what I can see in the pictures the work done looks rather well done and the car looks very impressive!
what engine did you install/ what parts did you use? and what drive train components?


Current engine is a fairly mild Pontiac 400 with canton road race pan, MSD ignition system, BG Speed demon fed by Holley blue dynoed at 265 RWHP corked up by too small a carb & exhaust. I have a 8.5 10 bolt with 2.41's for high speed events & trips and an 8.2 10 bolt with 3.73's for drags & around town. Was running a T-350 and currently switching to a T-400 with the plan to eventually install a 5 speed manual. Suspension is Global west and Hotchkis with Bilsteins and of course there's frame connectors, driveshaft loop, etc. My plan is to build everything for more power then build an engine that can push the car to 200 MPH.

I've been building the car to be safe and reliable rather than make more power than the car and driver can handle. I've run it at Lebanon Valley, Silver Dollar, Bradenton, and the Moroso/PBIR drag strips. I've also run it at Lime rock Park, Road Atlanta, the old Moroso and Palm Beach International road courses as well as taking it to 1 mile Land Speed Races at Maxton NC and down at Dade/Collier. I do still drive it on the street even with the full cage & Kirkeys.

I should be working on it today (I'm off) but I just don't feel like working on cars today so I'm playing on the computer. I build cars for others and have to work tomorrow & Sun on others projects.

Here it is in it's current state. I had to put it out to paint a Honda the other day. Where should I put a project thread about it?

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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby grumpyvette » May 9th, 2014, 4:43 pm

viewforum.php?f=87

THIS FORUM would be a good fit for that thread

we need a few Pontiac engine builds with detailed pictures so please post as much detail and clear pictures as you can, I know I darn sure built a few dozen 389-400-421-455, and a few stroked Pontiac engines over the years, and the availability in the last few years of the aluminum,edelbrock heads , the MUCH BETTER VICTOR edelbrock INTAKES and scat connecting rods sure helped

http://www.edelbrock.com/automotive/mc/ ... ctor.shtml
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IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby philly » May 9th, 2014, 5:29 pm

wow what a gorgeous car. love them trans ams... thanks for bringing this one back to life.
-phil

There's never enough money to build it right, but there's always enough to build it twice!
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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby 87vette81big » May 9th, 2014, 7:09 pm

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My 1970-1/2 TA is Real.
4-speed Muncie.
Ram Air IV.
I have owned it 20 years now.
Mopar Bob & Me pictured.
Last picture is me.
I have the correct Trans Am Steel Hood.
The Fiberglass Formula Hood has been on the car since it was pictured on Car Craft many years ago.
I chose to leave it on.
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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby grumpyvette » May 9th, 2014, 7:30 pm

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I played with your photos to see if I could get them a bit clearer
IF YOU CAN,T SMOKE THE TIRES AT WILL,FROM A 60 MPH ROLLING START YOUR ENGINE NEEDS MORE WORK!!"!
IF YOU CAN , YOU NEED BETTER TIRES AND YOUR SUSPENSION NEEDS MORE WORK!!
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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby 87vette81big » May 9th, 2014, 7:38 pm

Old photos Grumpy I scanned earlier this year.
I haven't taken any recent photos.
Its put away & covered up.
Maybe late this year bring it out again.

Couple of other projects I want done.
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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby NOT A TA » May 9th, 2014, 9:58 pm

87 vette, Nice car! I believe I've seen it before in a pic, might have been in CC mag. Do you have a 70 TA hood? The hood shown in the pics of my car is a stock hood with a hole cut for shaker. While it's apart I'm installing a true 70-76 TA hood of unknown year. I've read the 70 hoods were unique but never checked to find out what is different.

Grump, the current build project budget won't allow the engine build or trans swap. It's already a huge project because scope creep took over as you'll see in the build thread. I am putting a much better exhaust on and carb upgrades so I should have some more power. Hopefully that will compensate for the weight I added with the cage & safety equipment. Eventually I'd like to build a Pontiac based engine (possibly IA II) with E heads etc. that can crank out enough power to hit 200 MPH using a shot of Nitrous while remaining durable enough to use on road courses (without Nitrous).

I have access 24/7 to a friends automotive machine shop where I help out when they get too busy. I'm not a highly experienced engine builder but can do a lot of the grunt work as well as decking blocks, shaving heads, reconditioning rods, balancing pistons & rods and those kinds of things so the builders can concentrate on building & catch up. I'm not the guy to ask about which cam to use or what combos will be best, I leave all that math to those that know more. I'm currently building a 357 SBC for my 81 Malibu at the shop.
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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby NOT A TA » May 9th, 2014, 10:10 pm

Here's the last white 70 TA I worked on, pics taken right after I installed the stripes. One of the last engines Nunzi built was for this car. This was in my old shop up north.

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Me and my bud Paul with his RA III 4 speed at the strip. His cars actually faster but he's never beat me AHAHA. I've run his car 3/10 quicker than I've run in my own.

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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby 87vette81big » May 9th, 2014, 10:14 pm

Yes I have the Correct Hood for my TA.
From a 1971 Trans Am 455 HO.
As far as I know, the 1970-76 TA hoods are the same.
I know the 1970 Formula Firebird Ram Air Hood is unique.
It lacks the underhood bracing along the hood hinges.
Straight fiberglass.
The 1971-75 Ram Air Hoods had Long Stamped steel flat bracing pop riveted in.

Many unique oddities about the 1970 Birds.

I like your Custom Sidepipe exhaust on your 1970.
Nice.
3"inch Torque Tech mandel bent on my TA.
Original Flowmaster 2 Chamber Muffs.
Real loud at WOT.
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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby NOT A TA » May 10th, 2014, 8:49 am

You might be interested in this thread on 70 bird unique and early 2nd gen only stuff. 70-76 hood discussion of differences in starts on page 5 http://forums.performanceyears.com/foru ... 0+firebird

My cars so far from stock it'll never go back so I sell off 70 only parts guys want whenever I replace something (that's still good) with aftermarket parts.
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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby 87vette81big » May 10th, 2014, 9:54 am

I didn't find the page. Try again later.
I am not just a Pontiac Guy but a C4 Gen Corvette owner.
Drag Racer. I like them all . All musclecars, street rods, Race Cars& Home built.
Only other like me that I know of is Grumpy.
Been hesitant to modify my 70 TA Too much.
I have owned it a long time now.
I bought an original 1970-1/2 RAM AIR IV Shaker Hoodscoop & special lower base with Dual Air inlet tubes & dual heat riser stove setup 2 winters ago.
Non existant today. Different from the 1971-72 455 HO Setup.
It costed $$$$.
But I wanted.
Restore this year. Electric solenoids both work still.
Incorrect 1970-1/2 Ram Air 3 setup on my TA now.

Let me know what you want to sell. I may be inteterested.

Most Repro 2nd gen made in China.
Have to research carefully .
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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby NOT A TA » May 10th, 2014, 10:19 pm

Sounds like me. I like all kinds of automotive stuff. I'd be hesitant to modify a 70 TA now too. They're rocketing in value. My bird was a lowly Esprit so I had no problem modifying almost everything I started with. My 70 Wildcat survivor is on the opposite end of the spectrum with everything kept as original as possible.
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Re: 70 Firebird Esprit TA clone

Postby 87vette81big » May 10th, 2014, 10:30 pm

Its not so much the $ intrinsic value to me.
Its the History behind the car.
Many memories.
Many street races won.
I was dominated by Chevy guys all around.
A Corvette Owner seen something in me he liked.
Became best buds.
I ovecame the impossible .
Back in 1994 No one appreciated Pontiacs.
Just myself & Bill from Grumpys Generation.
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