Me and my TA one month after buying it new!
My name is Ron and I'm the owner of this 1978 Bandit Edition Trans Am. This particular car and I have a history that goes back to the day she was delivered to the dealer new.
I had recently graduated from high school and moved from Tucson AZ to Austin TX. After being in Austin for a year or two, I decided to start looking for a new car and liked the current edition Trans Am's. After looking at the local dealerships and finding nothing to my liking, I headed down to San Antonio to look there. I arrived at the dealership (Tindall & Son Pontiac) late evening and was talking with a salesman about my purchase and what I wanted when this beauty arrived on a transport. It was sitting top row in the middle and without even looking at the options on the car, I told the salesman "that was the one" and started the paperwork to buy it. Since it was late, I had to come back the following day to take delivery. I drove it home that next night, enjoying my first new car and a special one at that. Although I had wanted a 4-speed car and this one was an automatic, it was too good to pass up. It came with a full list of options with the exception of a rear window defroster I carefully removed the window sticker and any other papers with the car and stored them in a folder (I still have all of those papers now). A little over a year later, I joined the Navy and spent 21 years active duty, retiring in 1999. During my military career, every time I got orders overseas, this car went back home to Texas to my moms place where it was garaged and only driven by my mom or my brother on occasion just to keep things working right (thanks mom and Kelly). It has traveled with me to northern California (twice), Hawaii and to Virginia. During this time, I got married and had 2 sons, and as with most folks who eventually collect too many toys over time, I was told I had to get rid of some. So, in 1993, after owning it for almost 16 years, I sold my TA to a local GM collector for a paltry sum (the market wasn't all that great then). When it was sold, it had only 62k original miles and still looked like brand new, my only changes over the years being adding a Hurst dual gate shifter, a 1-piece rear window louver kit and a new stereo unit (I of course kept all the original pieces).
Fast forward to the late 1990's, I was contacted by a couple in New York who had recently purchased my old Trans Am from someone down in Florida while on vacation, trailered it to NY and wanted to obtain information on the car as they were going to restore it. I told them it's history, asked how the car was and told them that if they ever decided to sell it, to please contact me. Years passed with no word and around 2003 or so, I began to wonder about it again so I contact the last persons I knew that had possession of the car. I was told that about a year earlier, they had traded it to a plumber or heat/ac guy for work done on their home. I gave my information and asked they pass it along to the new owner as I was interested in purchasing it back. Another few years passed, again with no word, so contact was made again. Eventually, in June of this year, I was told that the current owner was interested in selling it and I was given their information. Needless to say, I immediately called and made arrangements to drive from Va to NY to look at it. I took all of my paperwork with me to verify that "this" was the original car I had purchased almost 30 years ago. Upon arriving in NY (a little north of NYC) and given directions to a barn/storage building (yes......a barn/storage building story) where it had been sitting for 3 years or so, I immediately recognized my old TA. As you can imagine, the NY winters had been none too kind on it. Both rear quarters, all floors, both doors and assorted other areas were rusted out, the front fascia was spider cracked, but what really surprised me was that ALL of the original drive train was still intact (including the AC unit) and in the car as was most of everything else (the exceptions being the 2 front seats......old ones had been thrown away and ones from another GM product were now in it). I struck a deal with the current owner and returned the following week with a trailer in tow and brought it back to VA where it now resides in my garage. I'm a government contractor and plan on relocating back to Tucson in the very near future and will bring it along and once settled in, will begin a total restoration.
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