Author Topic: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?  (Read 10708 times)

erikgto

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76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« on: September 20, 2016, 01:36:14 PM »
Hi Guys,

I'm in a bit of a situation where I don't know what to do.

I recently aquired a 76 Trans Am, stock 400 auto, Sterling silver on red guts, which is a fairly original unmodified car. 70k Original miles, one repaint that needs to be redone, only rust is lower rear quarter where it needs a patch panel.
Plus it has a really annoying exhaust leak on the drivers side exhaust manifold gasket.
Because of that exhaust leak I don't drive it at all since it really bugs the hell out of me.

Now I'm kinda stuck with it...  what should I do?!?
I'm afraid I can't fix the exhaust leak without breaking bolts in the head... so all I have left then is to tear the whole car apart to fix this and then strip it to have the car repainted.
With a few other project cars already that wasn't what I had in mind when I got this.
Is it worth it to spend all the money for a repaint, and a lot on new resto parts?
I mean, I don't see 76 400 auto's bringing any halfway decent money and I dont want to end up with a lot of my time and money in it only to lose a lot on it when I sell it.

Personally I'd much rather have a nice 78 T/A with fisher t-tops or an earlier bull nose.
I just can't get my head around the '76 nose...I think it is least appealing T/A nose out there.

I still regret selling my awesome low mile factory paint silver on silver 81 TA WS6 t-top(400 in place of the 301T) a few years ago..
So I bugged my buddy to sell me this 76, but now I got it I just doesn't do it for me.

What would you do?!?!?

I'll post a few pics of it in a bit

Casey

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2016, 01:46:19 PM »
If it doesn't do it for you then sell it and get what you want.  No point in putting time and money into it only to hope that you can get it back when you sell it, you know what you have in it at this time so you know what you need to try and sell it for to break even.  Or since you want a '77-78 you could find a front end to put onto the '76 and none would be the wiser since the rear is the same.

erikgto

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2016, 02:07:31 PM »
If only I knew how to post pics here

erikgto

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 03:01:15 PM »
See if this works.

The 15" alloy's aren't mine they belong to the PO. 
Fitted the 17"  US Mag Bandits from my GTO to see what that would look like.







erikgto

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2016, 03:03:45 PM »







Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2016, 03:03:45 PM »

Casey

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 03:37:08 PM »
It looks fairly solid from the pictures, if it runs out strong and it only needs touching up here and there and you like everything else about the car it'd probably be worth doing a front end swap since that seems like your biggest issue with it.  If the end goal is selling it it's hardly ever worth putting in the time and money, if it's a car you plan to keep because you love it that changes things somewhat.

oldskool

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2016, 07:04:19 PM »
This just, once again, shows that opinions differ. I think the '76 front looks MUCH better than the '79-'81 front. But, the '77-'78 is my favorite. And, I don't like the rear of the '79-'81's either.

Jack

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2016, 07:27:55 PM »
I agree I prefer 76 over anything after 76 but my favorite is 70-73... anyways none of us restore 2nd gens for profit and I would not do it for that reason. If i where you I would fix the exhaust and enjoy driving it, it may grow on you.




Regards, Jack

Aus78Formula

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2016, 07:56:45 PM »
Fix the exhaust, or replace it, and drive it. Wait until you have the car down as boxes of bolts and a shell and see how that annoys you.

1975 ta

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2016, 08:02:21 PM »
very nice 76!

FormTA

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2016, 04:27:17 AM »
Ditto. I the it is a very nice car. Fix the exhaust leak first. I had the same issue a few years ago with my 79 Formula. I ended up pulling the heads and drilling a couple bolts out. Yes it took a few days to do the job but getting the exhaust quite was worth it. I drove it every day after that.  Then I tore it down for restoration work and it has be in boxes ever since. Don't tear it down.... Fix little things and drive it!
79 Trans am 301 (work in progress) LS swap n progress
79 Formula 301 (Work in progress)
67 RS Camaro (Work in progress)
See the recurring theme???

nas t eh

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2016, 11:07:50 AM »
If it's not the car for you,  sell it now and buy what you want. In fact buy exactly what you want already completed/restored to the level you want. You will save time and money if you shop carefully.

I would try soaking the exhaust bolts and or heating them to get them out easier, and repair the exhaust leak, as it should help you whether selling or keeping.
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76455sd

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2016, 11:39:18 AM »
whatever you do, I suggest removing the decal at the front of the shaker.  :lol:

Nice looking car.
Steve D
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F-Body International

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2016, 02:20:54 PM »
Front bumpers are interchangeable.  I personally think 74-75 is ugliest of the bunch but that's my opinion.

Aus78Formula

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2016, 02:44:45 PM »
But if wanting a 77-78 front you'll need to change more to match, others will say just start with the model you wanted in the first place.

Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2016, 02:44:45 PM »



erikgto

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2016, 03:28:09 PM »
Yes it is a pretty nice and solid car.
Otherwise I wouldn't have bought it to begin with.   
I sell new european crap cars for a living so my standards for the oldies are pretty high.

It's just that I miss my t-tops and I like the 77-78 nose more than this. (Although it might grow on me some day).
I'm too much of a Pontiac purist to put a 78 nose on a 76...that would never be an option for me.

And no, a Korean piece of crap won't ever do it for me...this looks a million times better than any oriental car ever built even in the T/A's current condition! Even if I can only just look at her!!!

Reason for being just a bit hesitant;
I tore my '70 GTO convertible apart for a repaint back in the spring of '08 and it snowballed into a frame off and it still has no paint on it almost 9 years later!  Plus it has become a giant jiggsaw to me.
I'm not driving my 71 LeMans T41 400 GTO Judge clone either since it needs a bunch of minor mechanical fixes as well.
And I just sold the only classic driver I had left; a 109k mile original 1970  455 360 hp Bonneville convertible
Trying to get my new driver ready; a 66 Star Chief Executive 389 hardtop sedan with a fresh engine rebuild on an otherwise original factory paint car with with a few patina scratches and bruises

Basically I now have 4 pontiacs and nothing to drive...LOL
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 03:41:08 PM by erikgto »

erikgto

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2016, 03:38:25 PM »
BTW The decal on the front of the shaker doesn't really annoy me that much at all, it was on there when my buddy bought the car 7 years ago from the 2nd owner.
The high 4x4 stance bugs me way more than that decal 8-)

Thinking about it;  I do still have a used set of 6X-8 heads which I pulled off the 400 in my 81 T/A when I put fresh 6X-4's on that one with an 068 style cam..
Mabe I'll have those 6X-8 checked and prepared for installation over the winterseason...    mmmmmm :lol:
But then I need to look into the rest of the exhaust system as well....the catalytic converter is still in place under there!
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 03:46:28 PM by erikgto »

Casey

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2016, 06:32:29 PM »
Even if it's this Korean car that'll blow the doors off the Trans Am?


scarebird

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2016, 07:20:59 PM »
Gut up and try to have the exhaust leak fixed.  If it is silenced your view of the car may change completely.  My TA had a spring rate that was too high and made everything rattle - I hated driving it.  I swapped in some softer springs and it drives like a different car.

cal30_sniper

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2016, 08:31:37 AM »
Even if it's this Korean car that'll blow the doors off the Trans Am?


Soulless pile of ugly garbage.
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Tyler

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2016, 09:23:28 AM »
I hope my 76 looks that good eventually.
Speed limits are for everyone else!

Casey

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2016, 11:31:55 AM »
Even if it's this Korean car that'll blow the doors off the Trans Am?


Soulless pile of ugly garbage.
It's better put together than any F-body could hope to be so what does that make F-bodies?  Plus being RWD it has plenty of soul.

I guess I should go ahead and add in that clearly I like F-bodies or I wouldn't have bought another, but calling a quality car crap just because it's Korean is straight up bigotry.  Or from any other country for that matter, and yes on the import forums I call people out for unfairly bashing domestics as well.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 01:20:28 PM by Box »

erikgto

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2016, 01:29:27 PM »
Let's just keep it nice and friendly....       that Hyundai just ain't my cup of tea (or coffee or whatever)

roadking77

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2016, 02:32:03 PM »
My 2c and that's about all its worth. Sounds like you have too many project cars. Unless you have a large shop and can pick and chose what you want to fiddle around with, it may be time to get rid of one or two. If it were me I would pick the one that I wanted finished the most, and sell the rest to fund the resto. Keep in mind, I have been working on my car for 5+ yrs now, so I don't have a lot of room to talk. LOL.
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erikgto

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2016, 02:58:59 PM »
I know, had a space problem for many years, sold my house because of it and rented a big old shed.
I am in the process of buying another place with more room for the cars.
An old house with a shop attached where a local garage used to reside, but they moved out over 4 years ago.

Hope I can get the keys to the place in a month.

Got some money put aside to finish the GTO vert resto. (I already sold the Bonneville plus a really nice 72 GMC Sierra)
The 71 and 66 don't need much when it comes to money, that's more a matter of time and elbowgrease.

But I am still thinking about what to do with the T/A..

Casey

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2016, 03:11:12 PM »
I think just fixing the small things on the Trans Am and just driving it will help with making a decision.  Which it's a kind of a "thanks Captain Obvious" thing to say, but once you're inside and driving it the year doesn't matter as much.  If you wanted another and this one is as nice and solid as it looks in the pictures the other stuff may not matter as much knowing what you have in that particular car versus the crap shoot that is buying a 40 year old car.

erikgto

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2016, 03:36:10 PM »
Yes, the one big advantage this one has (that's why I bought it) is that is is a completely unmolested original 69K car which hasn't been messed with.  Plus the body is in good shape.

Especially when compared to the average 70's Firebird here in Europe. (I live in The Netherlands aka Holland)
Most of them are real bondo buckets, some are completely run down others were dolled up after that, but you know where to look an you start running!!!
You need to look at 10 or 15 before you find a nice one

For now I'll just let her sit for a while till I have more time to start working on her.

cal30_sniper

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2016, 05:50:09 PM »
Even if it's this Korean car that'll blow the doors off the Trans Am?


Soulless pile of ugly garbage.
It's better put together than any F-body could hope to be so what does that make F-bodies?  Plus being RWD it has plenty of soul.

I guess I should go ahead and add in that clearly I like F-bodies or I wouldn't have bought another, but calling a quality car crap just because it's Korean is straight up bigotry.  Or from any other country for that matter, and yes on the import forums I call people out for unfairly bashing domestics as well.

"Sure, I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I'm not. I honestly just feel that America is the best country and the other countries aren't as good. That used to be called patriotism."
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Jack

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2016, 06:12:14 PM »
Regardless of which car or origin you like, you simply can't compare modern cars to a 40 year old classic. Technology changed a lot the past decade or 2.




Regards, Jack

Casey

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #29 on: September 22, 2016, 06:27:11 PM »
"Sure, I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I'm not. I honestly just feel that America is the best country and the other countries aren't as good. That used to be called patriotism."
— Kenny Powers
There's a fine line between patriotism and blatant arrogance.

Naturally Jack, it was more to show that there are quality cars made in Korea and nothing more.  Actually ironically there's a Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama which makes most of the Hyundais sold in the United States with exception of the Genesis and Equus lines and maybe another model or two.  Same with Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mercedes, and probably a few more I'm forgetting that're making cars in the United States.  Yet where are most of the domestics' made, and especially those in lower price points...  Hmm... sad when foreign companies have more faith in the U.S. workforce than those based here.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 06:28:54 PM by Box »

cal30_sniper

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2016, 06:47:35 PM »
"Sure, I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I'm not. I honestly just feel that America is the best country and the other countries aren't as good. That used to be called patriotism."
— Kenny Powers
There's a fine line between patriotism and blatant arrogance.

Naturally Jack, it was more to show that there are quality cars made in Korea and nothing more.  Actually ironically there's a Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama which makes most of the Hyundais sold in the United States with exception of the Genesis and Equus lines and maybe another model or two.  Same with Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Nissan, Mercedes, and probably a few more I'm forgetting that're making cars in the United States.  Yet where are most of the domestics' made, and especially those in lower price points...  Hmm... sad when foreign companies have more faith in the U.S. workforce than those based here.

Drove right past that factory last week during my move. I yelled "Hyundai!" in my best oriental martial arts voice, fed the old 454 a few more degrees of throttle, and kept my 30-40 year old American iron train roaring on down the road.

All light-hearted joshing aside, you're on a Trans Am forum. You can't honestly believe you're going to bring some oriental rice box on here and not catch crap for it. Trust me, I daily drive a 25 year old BMW that has twice the build quality of anything to ever roll off a GM line, and I still catch hell for it every time I hang out with real car guys.

Just read the OP's car list, and try and tell yourself he's not a red-blooded Pontiac man through and through. The Genesis was a stupid suggestion purely designed to garner attention, which I guess worked out pretty well for you.

All those overseas car companies set up their factories here and provide jobs for the workforce, but that's about all of the profits that stay in the US. At least when I buy a Canadian or Mexican made GM, I'm keeping it in the family tree. I'm also that weird guy that will pay twice or three times as much for a part made here in the good ol' USA, because that's the only way we're going to get out of the manufacturing mess we're currently in.

To the OP, you've obviously gotta go with your heart on an old car. Sounds like you've got a lot of irons in the fire and don't really want a '76. Personally, I love the '76 year model, and would drive it just like it is, but I also know how hard it is to leave well enough alone with an old car. If you don't like it as it is, or don't have the time for it, I'd just pass it along to another Poncho enthusiast. Cars in that condition are getting really hard to find and will make someone very proud to own.
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Casey

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #31 on: September 22, 2016, 07:48:27 PM »
Yes but since this is the internet it's a global forum and not just the United States, last I saw we have members from all around the world.  Hell the op is from Holland.  Also the Genesis was never a suggestion but to prove a point, and if they're making fun of your BMW they're not real car guys since they'd realize how capable the E30 platform is...

cal30_sniper

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #32 on: September 22, 2016, 08:30:15 PM »
Yes but since this is the internet it's a global forum and not just the United States, last I saw we have members from all around the world.  Hell the op is from Holland.  Also the Genesis was never a suggestion but to prove a point, and if they're making fun of your BMW they're not real car guys since they'd realize how capable the E30 platform is...

A global forum, dedicated to an American-made vehicle, which is an American icon, from an American era. The same America that put men on the moon and stopped communism in its tracks. There wouldn't even be a South Korea if it weren't for good ol' American boys freezing their butts off over the last 6 and a half decades. I keep trying to type in transamcountry.kr, but it isn't taking me anywhere. Maybe I'm misspelling something.

The point you were trying to make was stupid. I would hope that a performance vehicle that's 40 years newer would be able to outrun a car from the dark depths of the smog era. How does that little rice box stack up against a Chevy SS, Camaro, or Corvette?

The OP is from Holland and still gets it. I'd try and take some notes from the guy if I were you. Can I say all that and still keep it civil?
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scarebird

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #33 on: September 22, 2016, 08:47:51 PM »
...Also the Genesis was never a suggestion but to prove a point...

unless that point was to prove to themselves that a budget level company cannot successfully market a luxury car I am not seeing it.   Honda, Toyota and Nissan all wisely setup luxury divisions.

Casey

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #34 on: September 22, 2016, 08:54:44 PM »
Funny mine was made in Canada.  It's also the same America that stole everything from Native Americans, put American citizens into concentration camps just because they were of Japanese descent, stole technology from Russia just to catch up in the space race, unfairly labeled anyone not of the status quo during McCarthy's Red Scare a commie to throw them into jail or kill them, so on and so forth.

Besides that was never the point, the point was Korea is a capable country and can make a quality vehicle.  Though if you must know from a handling standpoint it dances circles around a Camaro.  Also throwing racial slurs doesn't help your cause any whatsoever.

Casey

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #35 on: September 22, 2016, 08:55:28 PM »
...Also the Genesis was never a suggestion but to prove a point...

unless that point was to prove to themselves that a budget level company cannot successfully market a luxury car I am not seeing it.   Honda, Toyota and Nissan all wisely setup luxury divisions.
Ahh but here you go: https://www.genesis.com/us/en/genesis.html

cal30_sniper

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #36 on: September 22, 2016, 09:42:45 PM »
Funny mine was made in Canada.  It's also the same America that stole everything from Native Americans, put American citizens into concentration camps just because they were of Japanese descent, stole technology from Russia just to catch up in the space race, unfairly labeled anyone not of the status quo during McCarthy's Red Scare a commie to throw them into jail or kill them, so on and so forth.

Besides that was never the point, the point was Korea is a capable country and can make a quality vehicle.  Though if you must know from a handling standpoint it dances circles around a Camaro.  Also throwing racial slurs doesn't help your cause any whatsoever.

Doesn't matter, won the war, and the race. If you think we were stealing any technology from the Soviets that didn't come from the Nazis first, you're out of your mind.

It's obvious that you're quite probably a bleeding heart liberal, so there's no point in getting in a nationalist measuring contest over it. The only thing I'll say, is before you roll down the hippie drivel creek, forget the high school liberal lit class and read a real history book or ten. You could start with some Aztec study to set the stage on pre-Columbian Native American inter-relations, and follow up with some first hand accounts by actual concentration camp survivors (and non-survivors) in Nazi occupied Europe or the Soviet Union. Then I would look into people who were actually executed by the government during the era of McCarthyism. The Rosenbergs were confirmed by both sides as spies, and essentially created the cold war by helping to give the Soviets the bomb.

I was only lightheartedly ribbing at first, but you're ignorance has begun to offend me.
'73 Formula 350
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cal30_sniper

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #37 on: September 22, 2016, 09:45:47 PM »
There's also a few lap times from "the ring" that would dispute your claims of the Hyundai! superiority in the handling realm.
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Casey

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #38 on: September 22, 2016, 10:26:10 PM »
Yeah thanks to von Braun making our rockets, sure give a Nazi amnesty to get ahead.  I'm neither liberal or conservative, but I refuse to let racism slide and have you insult what are possibly the nicest and some of the most patriotic immigrated citizens we have.  I've already covered history from the cradle to the grave and have books on ancient civilizations from around the world up to WWII so you're preaching to the choir.  I wasn't talking about the Rosenbergs but Sacco and Vanzetti if you must know. 

Also the Nurburgring is a huge track with long straightaways, pull up some Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Road & Track with testing where horsepower can't make up for agility.

cal30_sniper

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Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2016, 04:23:20 AM »
Yeah thanks to von Braun making our rockets, sure give a Nazi amnesty to get ahead.  I'm neither liberal or conservative, but I refuse to let racism slide and have you insult what are possibly the nicest and some of the most patriotic immigrated citizens we have.  I've already covered history from the cradle to the grave and have books on ancient civilizations from around the world up to WWII so you're preaching to the choir.  I wasn't talking about the Rosenbergs but Sacco and Vanzetti if you must know. 

Also the Nurburgring is a huge track with long straightaways, pull up some Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Road & Track with testing where horsepower can't make up for agility.

Solid response dude, you've lost me in some sort of logic-delusion loop that I'm just not fooling with anymore. If you honestly think that the term "rice box" or "rice burner" is a racial slur, or that I was insulting Korean immigrants by not advocating the purchase of a new generic Korean import on a forum dedicated to Classic American cars, I doubt we have enough in common to even share a beer over.

G'day, neighborhood social justice warrior.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2016, 04:28:55 AM by cal30_sniper »
'73 Formula 350
'88 Trans Am GTA L98
'86 Suburban C20 454/NV4500

Formula build thread: http://transamcountry.com/community/index.php?topic=75375.msg705571#msg705571

Re: 76 standard T/A worth the effort?!?
« Reply #39 on: September 23, 2016, 04:23:20 AM »
You can help support TAC!