The code 64B Pimlico Cloth...
The code 64B Pimlico Cloth in Camel Tan interior was upgraded with a Trans Am Specialties custom speedo, an Escort radar detector, a Hurst shifter, and custom floor mats.
The #24 Bandit began life as a loaded '81 Turbo S/E that stickered for $13,114.23. It's new owner, Carter R. Dennis, specified exactly what he did and didn't want on and in his Bandit in a letter to Chuck Posey in late August 1981. Possibly, because it was so late in the model year there was a problem finding an SE, as this one was purchased from a Wichita, Kansas dealer and delivered by rail to Trans Am Specialties. After the transformation into a Bandit, Carter flew in to pickup his new prize, drove it home, and kept it for the next 25 years.
When Neil took delivery, he described it as being in "excellent used condition with just 12,900 miles, and very complete." Regardless, it would receive a comprehensive restoration and be reborn with even more power.
Engine And Drivetrain
The '70 YH-code 455 block was bored 0.030 over back in the day by Trans Am Specialties, so for this build, the walls were cleaned up by boring another 0.010 inch to 4.190. An Eagle 4.25-inch stroker crank combined with the 0.040 overbore equals 469 cubes. Custom JE flat-top pistons are wrapped in Total Seal rings and pinned to Eagle forged rods.
The oiling system features a Melling pump with a Milodon pickup, a shortened GM windage tray, and a stock oil pan with Trans Am Specialties' trap door system.
Comp Cams' custom hydraulic cam with 228/234-degrees duration at 0.050 and a 110-degree lobe separation angle was installed 4 degrees advanced. Lift is 0.540/0.528-inch with Comp Cams 1.5:1-ratio rockers.
The 6X heads were ported to flow 243/214 cfm at 28 inches of pressure at 0.550 lift with 2.11/1.77 Ferrea SS valves, by Dan Harry of Harry's Heads in Sioux City, Iowa. Comp Cams valvesprings and pushrods round out the valvetrain, and the compression ratio is 9.98:1. Set up for 36-degrees total timing, the HEI's advance curve is all in by 4,000 rpm. Wires are from the original Turbo 301 and are dated 1981, and the plugs are AC R44TS.
A dare-courtesy of Trans Am...
A dare-courtesy of Trans Am Specialties.
When Neil got the Bandit, the exhaust had no cats and the mufflers needed replacing. The original headers were ceramic coated and reinstalled. They feed into 2.25-inch pipes and Dynomax mufflers.
Because the car sat idle for an extended period, Neil rebuilt the Doug Nash 4+1 transmission. A clunk in the rear brought about a simple repair, as well.
Since #24 had sat for a while, the braking system and the suspension were completely rebuilt. Chuck says that some of the Bandits featured urethane bushings at the front and rear swaybar attachment points only, as on #24, but others had them in the control arms as well, and a few even had the body mounts replaced with them. The 1.25-inch and WS6 0.750-inch swaybars, and the Gabriel adjustable Strider shocks were reinstalled.
Even the fuel filler door...
Even the fuel filler door cover, which had a Bird emblem on it for '81, was replaced with one from the '80 Firebird.
The Starlight Black paint looks like it's about a mile deep and as smooth as glass, which is no accident. Mike Dahl of Auto Body Tech & Services in Bismarck is responsible for it and describes the process here.
"All PPG products were used. After the bodywork was completed, each panel was then sprayed with three coats of NCP 271 filler primer and dry blocked with 180 grit. This was done two to five times until the panel was flat. Then it was again sprayed with three coats of NCP 271, final dry blocked with 320 grit, and wet sanded with 600 grit. At this point, it was ready for the sealer, color, and clear.
"One coat of DAS 3025 sealer was applied, followed by three coats of single-stage DCC Concept Acrylic Urethane and wet sanding with 600 grit. Then came three coats of DCU 2002 High Solids Polyurethane clear and more wet sanding with 600 grit. The last three coats of clear were applied next.
"Final cutting and buffing started with 1,000 and then 1,200/1,500/2,000 grit before buffing, which was done with 3M Perfect-it III ruff cut, and then Perfect-it III polish, using coarse and fine foam pads."