Was the Bandit Trans Am a California edition with the Olds 455 or from another production?
Bandit, simply means its an Authenric SE Special Edition Trans Am, because that is what the movie car was, now as far as the engine, in 1977 the the 403 Olds made its first appearance in the TA because the 400 engine would not pass their emmisions, you could get any drivetrain you wanted in the SE Bandit, the SE package was simply decor trim Pkg, now as far as the Movie Car, it was a W72 / 400 / auto/ Y82 SE Special Edition Trans Am ( with a couple 4 spd exceptions in the movie), side note; i was about to get out of Marine Corp late Summer 77 in San Diego , i stopped in to local Pontaic dealer to buy Black one sitting on Showroom, but quickly found out you could only get the 403 olds engine, so i waited till a got to TX to buy one, (i was goin there to work temporaroly in my brothers painting company, before goin back to my home town in SE Ohio), so experienced the CA restrictions first hand, thanks for your Question, Rick McLaughlin
What is your all-time favorite Trans Am and why?
Very Tough question, i guess because i purchsaed 2 New 10th Anniversarys (WRECKED THE FIRST ONE IN 30 DAYS FROM PURCHASE) and because they are such an Exclusive Deluxe Pkg, having every option available at the time, plus other options never avaialble on any other TA, this would be my Fav, thanks for the Question, Rick McLaughlin
In your opinion, what is the best suspension set-up for a 67 A Body small/block auto car that is going to see light strip use on weekends?
I’ll assume that you are also interested in at least a modicum of street handling / cornering. If that’s so, something on the order of what was OEM in a big-block A-body would be a good start. 0.890" torsion bars, a 7/8" or 1" front sway bar, and MP resto HD leaf springs. If the launch is important, substitute a pair of MP S/S rear leafs, but you’ll need to have them decambered at any local truck spring shop if you want to maintain any semblance of handling. No rear sway bar.
Bilstein shocks are about as good as it gets in readily available shocks.
Of course, if the 60-foot is paramount, and handling be damned, then go with 6-cyl torsion bars and up-lock front shocks.
If wheel hop becomes a problem, a quick-adjust axle pinion snubber is an excellent dual-purpose fix.
My dad left me a 57 Chevrolet Bel Air that he owned for 30 years. What is the best way to figure out it’s worth?
The best way to determine the value of the car is to have a classic car appraiser look at the car. A 57 Bel Air is, in general, a desirable car and highly liquid. That being said, each classic car is a unique piece and must be evaluated based on condition, age of restoration, colors, options, OEM vs customized. If you would like to send me pictures of the car (body, trunk, interior, door jambs, engine compartment and undercarriage), along with a summary of any known specs, I can provide you with a solid ballpark value on the car. Thanks for the question.
In your opinion, what is the fastest production Trans-Am ever produced? I say it’s the 1970 1/2 Ram Air IV.
Sorry by Far its a 6 cylinder, the 1989 20th Anniversary Trans Am, put simply "Scary Fast " , it doesnt have the Grand National Turbo V6, it Has the GNX TURBO V6 Engine, and even 5 HP more than the GNX, because diff Exhaust Manifolds had to be used, Theres your Fastest Production TA of all time, A 6 CYL, can you Believe it thanks for the question, Rick McLaughlin
when are they revealing the trans am winner for the sweep stake on myclassicgarage.com/
A friend of mine is trying to buy a “Macho” Trans Am. What exactly is a “Macho” Trans Am?
A Macho TA is a high performance Trans Am that was Sold by Mechum Pontiac in Arizona,1977-1980. Mechum added headers, tweaked the suspension, modified the carb & cam, custom paint scheme, custom seats & wheels. Mechum made approx 200 a year, (each was numbered on the fender). This was a Modified NEW car so the original Factory Warranty was voided. Very Exclusive TA. I was 20 years old in 1978 , i had just got out of Marine corp in San Diego CA, was traveling to Freeport TX dn on the coast and not knowing at the time the chance Dealership i had decided to stop at was Mechum Pontiac, i was driving a 75 Trans Am and was in the market for my First New TA, they had only 1 Macho TA that day (Red n Black ) and as i arrived it was goin on a Test drive, i remember saying i would like that one, well as it turned out that guy purchased it, so i was close to owning one, but not knowing the signficance at that time, ended up buying a Y88 Gold Special Edition off the showroom floor in Lake Jackson Tx, (My First New TA )so all was well, thanks for the question, Rick McLaughlin
What makes a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am 10th Anniversary a Pace Car Edition?
My 1967 Plymouth GTX HEMI is newly restored and I am getting conflicting information on which oil to use in the 426 HEMI. Your opinion?
If it was restored dead-stock, it will have a flat-tappet solid-lifter cam. For that arrangement, having plenty of anti-scuff additive (ZDDP) is paramount, as your builder noted. The only national-brand, available-everywhere oil I’m aware of that still has ample zinc is Mobil,1 15W50 (only). However, if the engine was built with tight bearing clearances, that may be too heavy an oil to allow fast oil pressure buildup on cold starts. If that’s the case, virtually any 10W30 (synthetic preferred) with a dollop of ZDDP additive would be called for.
My newly newly rebuilt 440 (.030 overbore) with stock components overheats no matter what I do. What should I check and in what order?
This depends on under what conditions it overheats and what components the cooling system consists of. Get back to me with a lot more info, and I’ll help. Body style. Original radiator or replacement (what type / size)? Type of fan / number of blades, distance to core. All air seals present? Thermostat? Is is an original 440 car? How many degrees do you consider “hot” and what’s the ambient? Overheats at idle, around town, or at highway speeds?
Rick, I picked up a 69 1/2 Superbee from an estate and it’s currently painted black. How do I know if its an original black car or not?
There’s two basic routes to determining the original color — the “paperwork” method and the “look and see” method. The paperwork method assumes that at least some of the factory documentation is available. If so, this is the easiest: Just decode the data plate (the metal tag on the drive’s fender apron). The first code on the second line from the bottom with be the primary color code; TX9 is black. The paint code will also be on the broadcast sheet, and, with the name of the color spelled out, on the Moroney label.
Failing that, you have to play Sherlock Holmes. Look behind door and quarter panel trim panels, under trunk mat, behind various weatherstrips, etc. One area that many resto shops will miss is the undercoating in the luggage compartment — the original body color may be visible if you peel off a chunk of that.
If the car has no documentation, and was acid dipped or fastidiously sanbldasted during a resto, there may be no way other that finding an earlier owner.
Rick Ehrenberg-on MyClassicGarage! This is incredible! How can I determine the original color code for my 1969 1/2 Superbee?
A buddy of mine has a Solar Gold 1978 Pontiac Trans Am. How does he know whether or not it’s a “Gold Special Edition”?
To start with all Y88s had Camel “DELUXE” interior if you have Black Deluxe interior or standard interior (Camaro Seats) in Black or Camel, its not a Y88,. The only other way to tell is from the Build Sheet or PHS docs, Jim Mattison is Founder of PHS and is a good friend of mine, he purchased all Microfish docs from Pontiac and can give you what verification you need by simply submitting your V.I.N, thanks for your question, Rick McLaughlin p.s. The of course obvious also it has to have all Special Edition Gold apptnts, Like steering wheel spokes Gold, Dash bezel Gold, all Brn pinstripes through the car , Larger Sail panel birds, Gold nose crest emblem in front, etc, but this could have all been added, be careful, only Real way to know is PHS Docs or Build Sheet
Rick, what exactly is a “Bandit Edition” Trans Am? People throw that term around loosely. Spell it out for us.
Bandit simple means it has to be an Authentic “SE” which means it has to have the Special Edition Pkg, now depending on which year we are talking 1977-1981, it would mean a Y81- Y82- Y84 Special Edition (i can break that down at a another time) The Point is there is a BIG Diff in Value between a Special Edition and a Regular Black TA. The " Bandit " all started of course with the Movie : Smokey and the Bandit " and that Movie car was a 1977 Y82 ( SE ) Special Edition Trans Am What Special Edition Pkg consists of is the Folowing, Gold Snow Flake Wheels, Gold Pinstriping, Gold Anodized spoke Steering wheel, Gold Plated Dash Bezel, Gold Bird Badges in Door Panels, Gold Nose Crest Emblem ( EXCEPT 1977 ), Larger Sail Panel Birds, Gold Bird Automatic Shift Button,exclusive Black n Gold Hood Bird,(1977-1978) there are other factors depending on what year we are talking, for example a 1977 SE also received exclusive German Lettering decals, i am sending a 1977 Window sticker example, this one happens to be a Y82, which means “with T-Tops”. Now you can ad all the items mentioned above to any Black Trans Am, but that would be a Clone and not an Authentic SE " Bandit " Edition Trans Am, thanks for the question, Rick McLaughlin
needing help with something new in my life "saginaw 3 speed 1967 in a tempest sprint witha x block 421
Which Trans Am should I buy right now as a combination investment/cruise night car?
depending on how much you want to invest, any 1976-1981 Black Trans Am, if its not an SE Bandit, you should be able to find a very presentable local show and cruise in car for under $20k, this is a very good investment right now, thanks for your question, Rick McLaughlin