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.