Just Dashes restored the dashpad,...
Just Dashes restored the dashpad, door panels, and other small parts. Ames Performance provided the upholstery, carpet, and package tray. The console came from Classic Industries, and Ssnake-Oyl Products supplied the seatbelts. Precision Radio tended to the 8-track and AM/FM stereo. Chalek's performed the bulk of the interior work, and West End Audio & Upholstery in Elkhorn, Nebraska, did the headliner and sunvisors.
Because the factory #96 heads were damaged, they were changed for an earlier set. A rebuilt Q-jet, the original intake and distributor, 7mm silicone wires, and log-type exhaust manifolds handle mixture delivery, spark, and exhaust.
Steve also went through the Muncie trans and the 10-bolt rear, replacing worn parts and all the seals. A stock replacement clutch was swapped in for the stiff racing clutch that Layna's father installed in the '70s.
Just two months after the engine and drivetrain were completed, the Formula went to Chalek's Auto Body in Bellvue, Nebraska, for restoration. Dave Chalek and his staff stripped the body via media-blasting and replaced both rear quarter skins, the trunk floor, and the outer skin of the roof. Once the shell was solid metal, the techs applied multiple coats of Dupont primer, and block-sanded until it was straight and smooth. They followed with sealer, three coats of Dupont Chroma-base, and three coats of clear. Next came wet-sanding using progressive grits from 1,200 to 3,000. Chalek's then performed the final polishing using Meguiars products.
While the body work was being done, the techs stripped the front subframe, repainted it semigloss black, and installed fresh TRW springs. The company restored all the hard parts-control arms, spindles, and 1.125-inch swaybar-and replaced wear items-the steering linkage, ball joints, bushings, and shocks, the latter with Monroe Gasmatics. This was repeated in the rear, then stainless-steel brake lines and fuel lines were installed for durability.
After five years, Chalek's finished the restoration in 2009. How did it come out? Check the sidebar Show Record. Yes, the Formula has continued its winning ways 26 years later, taking home jewelery for the mantle from every event it competes in-a testament to the quality of the work that went into it. As we know from her younger years, Layna enjoys showing the Formula, but she also loves to drive it.
The original WK 300-horse...
The original WK 300-horse 400 engine remained with the Bird, and it was rebuilt to mostly stock specs. Note the attention to detail under the hood, right down to the reproduction battery. Some items differ from stock, but it was not the intent to build a concours-gold Formula, but rather one that was pristine, yet easily driveable without worry.
"With the 400 and four-speed, it has plenty of get up and go," she quips. "And the Safe-T-Track helps put that power to the ground. The thick factory stabilizer bars make my Formula handle wonderfully, with input via the padded Formula steering wheel."
Why didn't Layna have her Pontiac restored to the '70s street machine that she remembers so fondly? "The Formula was too close to stock already," she states. "All of the modifications were cosmetic-the engine, trans, and rear are original to the car, and with its rarity, I decided to go the factory-stock route."
Judging by the finished product and the fact that she enjoys driving it so much, it appears Layna made the right choice. I guess you could say that Layna has grown up and so too has "The Kids' Toy."