Good From Afar / Far From Good

Picked up a parts car for the Trans Am project this weekend.

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1979 Esprit..... 301 auto. A/C, tilt, t-tops.

Couldn’t pass it up since it was local and cheap, and full of goodies that I need....

I need so many odds and ends, but the big ones I need are the HVAC ducting behind the dash, the dash switches, wiring (it should be nice and un-hacked), wiper arms, tilt column (I have one for the TA that’s fixed), rear window with defrost (if I feel like swapping my defrost-less glass), shifter knob and bezel, center console and dash (painting them black of course).

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Oh and the right inner fender (someone cut mine to access the blower motor, the one on the Esprit is un-cut). And a few other things I can’t remember at the moment.

And goodies I can sell to make back my investment and then some.

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If I can get the 301 to run I can maybe sell it to a masochist. If I don’t use the dash I can sell it. The 15" rally wheels might clean up ok. The t-tops fetch a pretty penny.

So, I’m all in, with the trailer rental, at less than $500. I think I’ll at least break even.

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About the car, its been sitting in a field since the mid 90's according to paperwork and what the seller told me from when they first picked it up. It was going to be a project for them but it ended up being in worse shape than they thought. Sitting in a field for 20+ years will do that, even WITH rust proofing being applied when it was new.

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It nearly split apart on them when they unloaded it after they bought it and brought it home, so we were very careful to load it in one piece.... before the thunderstorm came. So yeah we rushed it a bit, which is why the rear end looks like it does on the trailer. The right rear brake was frozen, the tires kept going flat, the front springs are collapsed, it was sitting in mud, and worst of all where the front of the leaf springs mount, the rear FRAME basically, are non-existent. They are pretty much where the back seat would be.... IF there was any floor or frame there to begin with.

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So yeah she’s a little rusty, kinda bendy, but after driving it home IN that thunderstorm, I took my time off-loading it so that it didn’t bend or split in half or anything. Only took me the better part of three hours.

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Once I put my TA’s wheels on it, it rolled a lot better with a jack under the frozen right rear. Got it on the ground, noticed it was trying to imitate a banana on the right front, so I now have it all propped up on 8x8x12 blocks so I can start tearing her apart. After I swept up all the rust flakes it dropped on the trailer and driveway.

Speaking of which, the damn trunk pan sides has less rust than my Trans Am. I’m jealous. If only someone had rustproofed THAT back in the day...

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