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Possibly Picking Up My Trans Am Soon. What To Expect?

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Hello, this is a long story, lol.

So my dad owned a 1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am, which he bought in the 90s. The Trans Am lived most of its life in North Carolina from the mid-80s until 2013. He drove the hell out of it, putting over 300,000 miles on the odometer, which is still the highest mileage Trans Am recorded (as of 2011 - Trans Am Nationals). He, unfortunately, passed away from cancer in 2013. I inherited his car; however, I was only 11 at the time and didn't have a driver's license or any place to store it, so my dad's best friend has been looking after it for the past ~8 years, and he's been taking care of it. The car was fully restored in the early 2000s and was run-and-drive before 2013. The car hasn't been driven much in almost 8 years. What are things I should look for in the car before starting it this summer? I own a 2019 Toyota Tacoma, so I'm not very familiar with older engines.

1978 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am w/ 6.6L V8 (400ci, I think), 3-Speed Automatic, Solar Gold (repainted in the mid-2000s).

The interior was refurbished sometime in the early 2000s, the exterior was repainted, and the decals/emblems were replaced in the mid-2000s. The engine has gone through a ton of work and has only broken down once since 2010 because of some minor issue.

The car has been garage-kept its entire life and rarely sits outside.

Here is a picture of me in 2011. This was at the 2011 Trans Am Nationals

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The pictures below were taken in 2012 and 2013.

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I'll talk to the guy whos taking care of the car, and I'll see if he can send over some pictures before I make the long drive up to Marshall, Michigan, to see it in person.
 
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I just heard back, and it looks like the Trans Am is still running strong.

I will be waiting another year or two until I bring it home to North Carolina because I want to be able to store it in a garage and I don't have the space at the moment.

I'm still waiting for some pictures.

I'll post some pics if I get some lol.

I'm also making a trip up there in July :)
 

Brentco

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If they’ve been running it regularly, that’s the best-case scenario; you shouldn’t have to do anything special for start-up.

I was in a similar situation after storing my car for about six years, but I didn’t have anyone to maintain it, and it had been sitting dead.

It was stored outside in Oregon, and the logistics of getting it back running and making the drive down to California were a bear.

I focused on getting the engine and mechanical stuff sound, but the one thing that bit me was a worn-out seal in the rear air shocks.

On the drive down, the shocks would leak air until they were completely bottomed out, and the rear of the car was scraping on the freeway.

I had to stop every 20 minutes to reinflate the shocks with a small 12v portable air pump for the whole 990 miles.

You’re going to be starting from a great place since your TA has been garaged and already had a lot of recent engine work, but bring a lot of tools with you on the drive.

I hope you still have that red fire chicken shirt!
 
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If they’ve been running it regularly, that’s the best case scenario. Shouldn’t have to do anything special for start up. I was in a similar situation after storing my car for about six years, but I didn’t have anyone to maintain and it had been sitting dead. It was stored outside in Oregon, and the logistics of getting it back running and able to make the drive down to California were a bear. I focused on getting the engine and mechanical stuff sound, but then the one thing that bit me was a worn out seal in the rear air shocks. On the drive down the shocks would leak air until they were completely bottomed out and the rear of the car was scraping on the freeway. I had to stop every 20 minutes to reinflate the shocks with a small 12v portable air pump. For the whole 990 miles.

You’re going to be starting from a great place since your TA has been garaged and already had a lot of recent engine work. But bring a lot of tools with you on the drive.

I hope you still have that red fire chicken shirt!
I got a few more updates about the car since I posted this thread. He told me he starts the car 1-2 times per year, and he's driven it ~100 miles in total since October 2013. He changes all the fluids, filters, and other miscellaneous parts every year before he drives it. He also told me the car has just over 334,000 miles on the odometer. The exterior and interior was fully restored sometime in the 2000s. The engine and transmission might need a full rebuild sometime within the next 25k miles. The engine and transmission do run, but they leak fluids (not uncommon for any GM car though LOL). I'm still waiting for some pictures but it might take some time since its still snowing up in Northern Michigan. The car sits under a cover in a barn that was recently built on his property. No electrical issues reported other than the windshield wipers not working (they haven't worked in like 15 years and my father never bothered fixing them because he never drove the car in the rain). The car has been garage kept since 1978 and rarely ever sits outside.

I don't plan on bringing the car back home for a couple more years. Still deciding on a time to bring it back. I might have the engine and transmission rebuilt in Michigan before bringing it back to Mooresville, North Carolina.

I still have the shirt too :)
 
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Brentco

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You’ve got it made!

Starting it a couple of times a year and changing the fluids now and again is all it needs.

That’s a good family friend you’ve got. I wouldn’t worry about doing any rebuilds now.

Probably 90% of these cars will need engine/transmission rebuilds in 25k miles.

That’s a lifetime! For now, drive it until something breaks.

And if it DIDN’T leak some fluid, then I’d be concerned!