Sunday, May 29, 2011

Where we are now...May 2011

Well I stored the car at my parents house until about 2006 and then I moved it home and started disassembly and collecting parts.Around that time we had our 2nd child. Around 2007 I got very busy helping take care of my mother until she passed away. In 2008 and 2009 I moved the car back to my dads carport because we decided to sell our old house and build a new one. In 2010 I went through some job changes and then moved my dad to a new condo. Around that time he bacame ill and I was busy taking care of him until he passed away in August of 2010. Fast forward to May of 2011 and my life at least at the moment seems to be calm. So I pulled the car out of the old carport, put 4 good wheels and tires on it and called a flatbed to bring it home again. So on Monday May 9, 2011 the car was put in the garage beside black 78 Trans Am and I bought a new car cover. Now I am in the process of building a new building right now and I have already began working on the car again. I hope to keep this blog updated as time goes on. There is no timeline, but I hope to make steady progress.


Finally I find my 1974 Trans Am

Quite a few years went by and around 1999 I started getting the itch to find a nice solid project 1974 Trans Am. I wanted something that was affordable and restorable, what I found was that is something that didn't go hand in hand. Early Trans Am's 70-74 cars are increasingly hard to find. Unlike later 2nd Gens, production numbers were much lower. For instance only a little over 10,000 Trans Am's were built in 1974 compared to around 119,000 or so in 1979. After over 25 years not many of these cars are still around for the taking.

I had looked online and in trader magazines, but could find nothing close by or in a price range that I wanted to spend. Fast forward to 2004, By this time I have a two year old daughter and my wife has quit her career to be a stay at home mom. Money is not just laying around on every shelf for a project Trans Am. One day I am riding around with my two year old daughter when she falls asleep in my truck.

So I am just 3 miles from my house, but I decide to ride around through some neighborhoods that I have never really been in just to let her sleep, when all the sudden I spot it out of the corner of my eye. A Cameo White 1974 Trans Am sinking into the ground, covered in mold and leaves. It was sitting in a backyard, I could see from a distance it looked pretty solid, I could see the shaker still on it and the ever sought after bottom front valence seemed to be in one piece. So of course I pull up knock on the door. No one home so I leave a note and a number. Months went by and I went by and knocked on the door and left more notes. Finally I gave it up as another, I am going to let it rot and you ain't getting it stories.

After all most a year my wife tells me someone called about a 1974 Trans Am and left a number, I almost had forgot about it, so I called and sure enough its the owner of the T/A. He tells me he is ready to sell it so come over and take a look. He had kept my number all that time. Of course I am thinking he is going to want a fortune for it and I had not seen it up close so I thought the floors are probably rotted away, so anyway, I am out the door hoping for the best. I get over and see the car and too my surprise the body is very solid, there is some typical rust in the lower quarters and a quarter size hole in the trunk from a seal leak but the floors are perfect as well as the rockers, fenders and no rust around the windows or cowl. Of course I am hoping for the 5th digit to be an "X" meaning Super Duty, but it's a "Y" code 455 car, however the original 455 has been replaced with a 75 400. It was exactly what I was looking for, so here comes the question, "How much do you want to get out of it". He looks at me and say's I would like to get $1000.00 for it. I looked at him and said I will take it. I wrote him a check and called my tow company to come get it. I felt it was a good deal and it was the car I wanted.

Here are some photos I took the day I went over to get it in July of 2004. I knew it would be years before I would really be able to get into the car. But I didn't want to miss the opportunity and I am glad I didn't.

Why a 1974 Trans Am?

Everyone has a favorite car. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I like Trans Ams. I am 42 years old now. I was 8 years old in the summer of 1977 when Burt Reynolds drove that shiny black and gold 1977 SE Trans Am out of snowman's trailer and into Hollywood stardom. I sat there with my draw jopped thinking. "one day I am going to have one of those". Ever since 2nd Gen Trans Am's have been number one on my list. The love for that black SE evolved into a passion for all the 2nd Gen Trans Am's. If money was no object, I would have one of every year 1970-1981 Trans Am's.

In the summer of 1986 I had saved up about $1200.00 for a Trans Am, my dad said he would add $1000.00 if I could find one that needed a little work that wasn't too bad. He called up a friend of his who was the sales manager at Lamar Pontiac in Macon, GA. He had sold my dad a 1964 GTO brand new in 1964. He told him his son was looking for a Trans Am and if he knew of one. He said he was considering selling his personal 1974 Trans Am. So off we went to look at it. He struck up a conversation with my dad and handed me the keys to it. I thought he was kidding at first, he was giving the keys to a admirality blue 455 Trans Am to a 17 year old kid. I didn't hesitate and off I went. It was the first Trans Am I ever drove. Although I was wanting a 77 or 78 Trans Am, I imediately fell in love with the round headlights and the flat rear glass which 74 was the last year that got that. After a brisk drive I returned back to my dad and his friend. I knew I wanted it, but I knew in my mind he would want more than I could afford.

He told my dad he would take $4000.00 for it, but it might as well been $4 million because I didn't have it, so off we went and all I could do was see it fade away in my rear view mirror. about 3 years later I found my 78 Trans Am which was a local car that came from Lamar Pontiac as well and I was happy, but in the back on my mind I always knew that one day I would like to have a 1974 Trans Am to restore.

Ironically enough, 16 years later I ran into the gentlemen that had the 74 at a car show and turned out he still has the 74 to this very day. I became friends with his son who is a huge Pontiac guy too, and this past May, We all met up and drove to The Ban One Show in Atlanta together. My 1978 Trans Am placed 2nd in Stock Class and that very same 74 Trans Am placed 3rd. I told him that if he ever sells it, let me have first shot at it, but that is neither here not there right now.

This is a photo of Buck Smith's 1974 Trans Am taken in 2011. This is the very first Trans Am I ever drove back in 1986.

Welcome to My 1974 Trans Am Blog

Above is a photo of a Cameo White 1974 Trans Am. This is not my car, however this is what my car should look like at completion. My car is a Cameo White 74 Trans Am that came without the screaming eagle on the hood. I have no plans of adding the eagle at this time. I also plan on running the famous rally II rims without trim rings like the one shown above.

My name is Mark Haynes and welcome to my blog about the restoration of my 1974 Pontiac Trans Am. I am no stranger to Trans Am's. I own a Black 1978 Trans Am that I have owned since 1989. Over a period of years I restored it and around 2002 I finally got it to a point where I could show and attend local cruise ins and I have been enjoying it ever since.

I am also a forum moderator / administrator on the very popular 2nd Generation Trans Am website, . This is a great source for meeting other enthusiast and sharing information about all 1970 - 1981 Firebird Models. I have been fortunate enough to make many very good friends through this forum as well as meeting many great people attending Firbird shows such as The Trans Am Nationals held in Dayton, Ohio. STARS Southern Trans Am Regionals Show held near Destin, Fla. and The BAN ONE show that is held near Atlanta, Georgia.

I have owned four Trans Am's in my 42 years.  In addition to my 1978 Trans Am and the 1974 Trans Am that I currently own I owned briefly a Buccaneer Red 1975 Trans Am. I bought the 75 although I had been looking for a 1974 for a number of years. The 75 came available and I bought it. After about a year my heart just wasn't in it, as I really wanted the 74 because I loved the flat rear fastback window and the razor grilles. So I sold the 75 to gentleman in New York. I also owned a beautiful low mileage 1979 W-72 4 speed Trans Am. After owning it for just over a month a collector bought the car for a price I could not say no too, so off it went to Texas. It was a car that belonged to a collector because it was so original. I really prefer to drive my cars and enjoy them.

While website's such as,, and are all great sources for many year models of Trans Ams and Pontiacs. My Blog will center around one year only. The 1974 Trans Am.