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Should I Buy One ??

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by hepkat63, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. hepkat63

    hepkat63 Member

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    Hi guys,
    ready to (finally) buy my first TA - however, I am absolutely stuck between two models and was hoping for some advice please? The first is a 1981 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo - two owner, dead stock original white with tan interior with T tops, no air. The other is a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am with Olds 403, white - fully optioned, resprayed (not great job) and new interior (still red, but updated seats). Both are about the same price.
    My thoughts are stick with the more original one, but worried about buying a 'turbo' as have read some pretty nasty things about the motor. Also, that (as an investment), it is better to have non t-tops.
     
  2. kidsixpack

    kidsixpack Well-Known Member

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    That's a tough question without seeing each car in person. I lean towards the 403 car. IIRC the 301 car has pulled some good money at auction in the last couple of years in original condition.
    KID
     
  3. hepkat63

    hepkat63 Member

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    thanks for that. Yes, it is tricky all right. I'm in australia and live in a rural area where it is HOT in summer, so not having air is a not a good thing, but then, you have the t tops ! I guess I can always find an aftermarket air setup, but it would be costly given that it's got the turbo. Of course, the other unknown is has the PO looked after the turbo in-so-far as letting it idle before shutdown etc. The '79 does seem like a better buy, but it isn't totally original - as the interior has been redone - although pretty tastefully, you wouldn't really know the difference unless you knew these cars.
     
  4. robert lee

    robert lee Gold Member

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    I would go with the '81, at least it has the potential for improvement.. would be interesting to see one intercooled instead of the hot-air set-up.
     
  5. TTA855

    TTA855 White lightning drinker

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    From a performance standpoint, your best bet would be a 1979 with the 400 Pontiac motor. It's rated at 220 hp, vs. I think 185 for the Olds 403. I believe 1979 was the best selling year ever for Trans Am, so there are a lot of them out there.
    On the other hand, the 1981 Turbo has the most beautiful hood emblem, and the boost gauge on the hood.
     
  6. TTA976

    TTA976 Silver Member

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    1981 was a pos. I've seen creditable test where the car actually went faster without the turbo on that particular a Trans Am. Not even about speed, it wasn't a good design. Turbo was a draw through design that created a lot of heat and didn't have a intercooler. '79 for sure!
     
  7. hepkat63

    hepkat63 Member

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    well, thanks guys for the replies - most appreciated. Turns out, the 79 has been really badly painted and there is signs of rust coming through. So, I went for the 81. The reason was that I did a lot more research on the car and it's history was excellent. It was imported here into Australia in 1998 as a one owner californian car. It was professionally converted to RHD for the previous owner. He was an older gentleman who only went on car rallies and kept it fully serviced and maintained. It is dead stock original (with the exception of some chrome under the bonnet on the engine). Yes, I know the performance thing is a bit sad, but that is not why I bought it. It ticked all the boxes (original, well maintained etc). It is in South Australia (i am in NSW), so it will take a week to ship over to me.
     
  8. Lsttype

    Lsttype Well-Known Member

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    Are there turbo Buicks in Australia? I'd love to get my hands on an australian muscle car! I love the falcon xa and xb. Monaro is badass as well as the Dodge valiant and charger. You guys have it made with you specific cars and imported U.S muscle cars. Really sad to hear that your Aussie specific car production is shutting down. Gonna miss seeing your utes
     
  9. hepkat63

    hepkat63 Member

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    I am not sure if there is. The XA and XB coupes are getting ridiculous money. It is strange as you only bought one years ago if you could not afford a mustang (as they were modelled on those) and they really are heaps of @$$2 to drive ! They are just a base falcon and most ended up around poles or in ditches. Things really changed in australia when they let us drive left hand drive cars here. Although I never would - too dangerous driving on the wrong side of the car !!! I guess ok for city driving and slow crusing, but out on the highway - nope - no way!
    Most of the aussie cars were really badly put together - especially from the 1980s onwards and never really sold well. The holdens and fords were cheap rubbish. 1960s and 70s holdens and fords were the best cars and valiant - well, that was the cheap, alternative. I had many valiants and they went like stink and when they ran out of registration, you could just leave them on the side of the road for the next guy ! It was actually amazing that no one here did a convertible - as that would have sold well. American cars really started pouring into the country in the 1980s (co inciding with crap local product) and the conversion business took off. I had many 1950s cruisers at that time -and if you chose your car, the conversion was a simple one as there was usually a Canadian or local rhd equivalent. I brought in two tank fairlanes (1959) coupes and did the RHD conversion in a weekend - bolt on steering box (holes were already in the chassis) and straight swap dashboard. only the wiring was a pain. Yes, the utes are good fun - usually trashed as they were actually used for working - not show. THese days, the utes are a single guys pickup magnet and kept in pristine condition. Times change though - most young blokes couldn't give a rats about high performance v8s and american muscle cars (although there are a few whom are) - choosing instead to go for smaller cars with all the electronic bells and whistles. Even the iconic mustang - which used to be so hard to find in australia are everywhere and people are finding them very difficult to sell - i reckon we've got more mustangs in australia than the states now !! and yes, it is super sad that we no longer have any car companies in this country - a topic for another day I'm sure, but australia is going to the dogs. Once, australia used to produce everything here and import very little of anything - now, the opposite.
     
  10. robert lee

    robert lee Gold Member

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    Yeah i know it was a pos. almost got run over by a 18 wheeler in Greensboro NC while test driving a new ta from Crown Pontiac while merging onto 1-40 wb when it was still a divided hwy...but it still has the most potential and it is the last Pontiac v8 ever made...
     
  11. Lsttype

    Lsttype Well-Known Member

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    My dream car is a ford landau. I also dig your 4 door 70-72 falcon xa with the kangaroo on them. The charger with the hemi 6 was just badass! Those things were beautiful. I enjoy watching the touring car masters. There's a guy here about 20 minutes from me here in Kansas that has a 74 Falcon coupe mad max replica. He bought it like 15 years ago for 2500$. 351 cleveland, 4 speed top loader, and factory 4 wheel disc brakes. It's in real rough shape but at least I got to see how cool your cars are in person. Oh and I thought the new Mad Max was an abomination to the original series.
     
  12. hepkat63

    hepkat63 Member

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    The XA's you find easily enough - but the original XA GT (super roo) are really hard to get. The original ones were pulling over $100K !! They kept getting stolen and never seen again - so most guys just buy a stock XA and make it look like a GT. Yes, have had a few chargers - they used to call them 'widow makers' as they couldn't turn corners very well at speed and the torsion bar front end used to snap (yes, really) in half under extreme load. I had a V8 318 charger, man did that go ! There were a few mad max replicas done over here - kind of forgot about those - be worth a bit now though! (and yep, latest MM movie was crap !).
     
  13. hepkat63

    hepkat63 Member

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    Thought you might like to see a photo of the car I just bought - (note the XB GT Coupe in the background !!). 5.jpg 6.jpg
     

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  14. Lsttype

    Lsttype Well-Known Member

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    Nice car! Hope you enjoy it. Someday if I get enough money I'd like to import an xa replica.
     
  15. 2QUIK6

    2QUIK6 Well-Known Member

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    Are those Recaro seats in it, maybe a Recaro edition? Nice looking car, I looked at several of the '81 Pace car editions before deciding on the 79 10th anniv I have now.
     
  16. hepkat63

    hepkat63 Member

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    funny thing Rob - i was just about to ask that question on the forum ! I've never seen those seats before except in a pace car (but of course red/black) - so not really sure. Here is a close up, but it is the bit on the top of the seat that is throwing me ?
     

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  17. 2QUIK6

    2QUIK6 Well-Known Member

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  18. hepkat63

    hepkat63 Member

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    thanks Rob. I guess once i get the car , I can check. I assume if they are recaro seats, that they should have a label or tag somewhere on them.
     
  19. kidsixpack

    kidsixpack Well-Known Member

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    Car looks real nice! You made a good decision. Congrats!
    KID
     
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  20. hepkat63

    hepkat63 Member

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    exciting - just got this photo sent to me from the car yard - she's on the way !
     

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