For '80, 48,365 Trans Ams rolled off of Pontiac's two assembly lines in Van Nuys, Californ
When David T. Owens, a diesel mechanic from Talking Rock, Georgia, wanted to treat his twin daughters, Michelle and Malenthia, to their first car-one they could use with their learners' permits-there was no cooler choice on the planet than a Second Generation Trans Am.
"My girls were not old enough to have their own driver's licenses, so I wanted them to have a sporty-looking car that they could drive, show off, and cruise around town, all while I sat in the backseat as their chaperone and driving instructor," David recalls. "I had always loved the Trans Am, and so that was what I started looking for."
In November 1983, David learned through some friends that a local '80 Trans Am was about to come up for sale. He contacted its owner and asked for the first right to buy. The owner told David that he had just ordered an '84 Trans Am and didn't know when it would arrive, but once he received it and worked all the bugs out of the new car, he would give David a call.
The good news came May 7, 1984, when David brought the code-24 Bright Blue WS6/W72 '80 Trans Am home for his daughters. "It was rust-free, well-maintained inside and out, and had 65,000 miles on the odometer," he explains. "I was real excited and so were my two daughters, but my wife, Joyce, was nervous and worried about two teens driving a Trans Am. I explained that I would be with them at all times they had the car out until they got their licenses, and eventually my wife agreed to the plan."
David's T/A is painted in code-24 Bright Blue, which was offered as a Firebird-only exclus
Though the girls took their driving test in David's less-conspicuous '80 Oldsmobile Cutlass four-door sedan, they were given the green light to use the good-looking Trans Am for their junior and senior years of high school, and for transportation to and from a technical college that they both attended after graduation.
Three years later, the girls each wanted their own car (Michelle bought an '87 Firebird and Malenthia bought an '87 Monte Carlo), and David offered them what he felt the T/A was worth-$6,000-even though he was the one who paid for the car in the first place. "It was the fatherly thing to do," he laughs. "I didn't mind paying for the car twice."
For the next 10 years-from 1987 to 1996-the twin-spin T/A sat in David's basement garage, and would still likely be there today if he and his wife hadn't planned a Christmas get-together requiring the area, which prompted him to pull the Trans Am out into the natural light for the first time in a decade. "I had a choice to make-sell it or keep it. It was in such good condition, I decided to restore it and have some fun," he says.
After first seeing if the Trans Am still ran-it didn't-David delved into the drivetrain. He pulled the 301, machined the block 0.040 over, and reinstalled the rotating assembly, including a polished original crank, original connecting rods, and Hastings cast pistons in lieu of the factory slugs. Since the "01" heads were undamaged, he rebuilt them and installed fresh 1.72/1.50 stainless steel valves. He also replaced the factory "471" cam (274/274-degrees duration and 0.374/0.374-inch lift) with an aftermarket stick with similar specs. The factory 1.5:1 rockers were retained.
He sent the metric Turbo 200C automatic transmission out for reconditioning and rebuilt the Rochester Q-jet himself. In June 1997, he reinstalled the drivetrain, choosing to leave the factory 3.08 rear gear in place, and began enjoying the T/A at car shows and weekend cruises.
The original-but-rebuilt code-YN 301ci engine has been restored mostly to factory stock, e
How often do you see a code-26B1 Blue cloth interior in an '80 Trans Am? The answer is pro
In '80, the WS6 package's four-wheel disc brake package included call-out emblems on both