Investment

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I don't remember if you said your car was a manual or auto. Here's a few more numbers for you to see if it's original. Carburetor Manual-7041267, 7041273
Automatic-7041268, 7041270
Head Casting-197
Serial Number Ex. 228871L100001
22887=Trans Am 171 L= Assembly Plant L=Van Nuys, N=Norwood 100001=Consecutive serial number (1xxxxx=8 cylinder, 6xxxxx=6 cylinder)
Bill
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One more thing, They only made 885 manual transmission Trans Ams in 1971, and 1,231 Autos for a grand total of 2,116. Keep your car. ;^)
Bill
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Yep, thats the number I have in my book as well.... Wish I had one of those cars... they don't make them like that anymore....
--

Well catch ya later,
-KITT
1985 Blue Camaro 2.8L w/ T-tops
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Bill, I think you're getting as excited about the TA as I am. It's one in the morning, and it's twenty degrees outside, but I'll get the info in the morning and see what I've got here. BTW, it's an automatic. I found a guy on eBay that lives right near me. He's bringing a set of wheels over tomorrow to see if they'll fit either the TA or the Vette. Well, that's the same pattern so if they fit one, they'll fit the other. The TA handles a lot wider tire than the Vette though. Not many of them made were there? I think the manual tranny was the Rock Crusher, wasn't it? "Boy, just my luck to get one of the damned common automatics," he whinned and bitched like he'd been hanged with a new rope. Wonder how many are still on the road? That might also explain why it's so hard to find any of them for sale. Thanks for all the help. I got a little dizzy reading all the code numbers, but I'll work on it in the morning. Oh, yea, you mentioned rust at one point. There isn't any. Not a smidgeon. I live on the desert, and the car has been here for a long time. We get lizards in 'em sometimes, now and then a snake, but never ever rust.
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You can subtract one auto and add one manual. I converted my '71 T/A to a manual last winter (don't worry, it had long since lost its #'s matching status.)
--
_________________________________________________________________
Dennis Smith
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item $48634256&cat
Hmmmm.....you know, that price seems to be way out of line. First, it's a base model Firebird. Second, the only engine available in the T/As for 71 and 72 was the low compression 455HO. Third, red wasn't offered till 73 and by that year the stripe was replaced by the chicken hood decal. Lot's of other things are wrong like the snowflake rims but I'll leave that to the casual observer.
Many people in the group know that my car isn't in stock form anymore but I don't present it as what it isn't. Unless the seller typo'd the VIN, he's trying to pass of a Firebird as a Trans Am. From the pictures, the car looks very good but pictures never tell the whole story. And if I was laying out 21K for a clone, I'd want a good speedometer cable and all the center cap stickers. ;^)
Dave
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item $48634256&cat
and
I
looks
Good eye, Dave. I hadn't really looked at the vehicle when I posted that link. All I noticed was '71 Trans Am and a price. The price would have been close to right for the real thing in that condition, but I agree with you. Clone Let the buyer beware! Bill
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item $48634256&cat
a
71
the
but
he's
out
cap
Poncho, I need to learn to be aware. Can you tell me what it is that is incorrect about the snowflake wheels? Not that I particularly like them, but in my browsing I've seen several sets, and some claim to fit (I know that doesn't mean they are correct) the 70 through 82 or so TA and Firebird. What is the correct wheel for the 71 TA? And, does it matter significantly if one uses different wheels, or is putting one of these back to factory condition a requirement to hold any value?
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The snowflake wheels weren't availble until 1977. They look OK on an early T/A but I'd rather have the factory rims.
The original rims on the '71 T/A were either JW or KN coded Rally II rims. These rims are special as they used a rim center from a 14" rim and a stretched outer ring to make it 15". These rims are VERY hard to find and usually command high dollars! I ended up paying $200 a rim after searching for over a year.
If your car was made after January 1971 it MAY have been ordered with the rubber polycast Honeycomb rims. The only way to find out would be by looking at the build sheet or ordering the PHS docs to get the dealer invoice.
Keeping the car to factory original will be the best way to keep the car's value highest.
--
_________________________________________________________________
Dennis Smith
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item $48634256&cat
it's
73
of
that
with
Firebird.
significantly
Snowflakes came out in 77 (IIRC) and were available through 81 for the 2nd gens. The standard wheel through 76 was the 15x7 Rally II wheel with the polycast honeycombs optional after 71. The nice thing about the snowflakes (which replaced the honeycombs) is they were made in a 15x8 size which was the widest rim available for the Pontiacs at the time. The 15x8 snowflakes are easy to spot since they have a 1 inch or so lip that runs from the center section to the bead while the 15x7s have no lip. The silver 15x8 snowflakes are a fairly popular upgrade for wider tires as they can be had fairly cheap.
I'm pretty sure the Rally IIs were available through 81 but some models used body color wheels (I'm a little fuzzy on the 77-81 models).
As far as maintaining the value of the car you really ought to talk to Joe and contact PHS for the original info on the car. I missed the beginning of this thread but it sounds like you got a good deal on a 71 T/A. 71s are rare so I'd be leery of changing much of it from original condition. The car will be worth the most in an original condition but a wheel change is pretty insignificant if you have the correct wheels when you sell the car. For a top dollar car, it ought to have a set of wheels with the correct wheel codes and the correct paint.
As far as changing from the correct wheel, my preferences run with the honeycomb wheels (they look awesome on a 2nd gen) but are limited to a 7 inch rim. Next is the Rally II with no trim rings. Third would be Rally IIs with the early 70s GTO type trim rings (sharper and flatter that the bird trim rings). You can buy after market Rally IIs in various sizes (I run 15x8 Rally IIs on my T/A to fit 28x11.5 ET Streets on the back and will run 15X6 Rally IIs up front when I paint them) but a wider steel wheel adds a lot of unsprung weight. If you don't have serious traction problems then a set of 15x7s will work fine for you. Be careful if you are shopping for honeycombs because they usually have no centers and trim rings which can cost more than what you pay for the wheels alone.
Too much typing for tonight, it's been a long day. ;^)
Dave
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item $48634256&cat
it's
73
of
that
with
Firebird.
significantly
Snowflakes came out in 77 (IIRC) and were available through 81 for the 2nd gens. The standard wheel through 76 was the 15x7 Rally II wheel with the polycast honeycombs optional after 71. The nice thing about the snowflakes (which replaced the honeycombs) is they were made in a 15x8 size which was the widest rim available for the Pontiacs at the time. The 15x8 snowflakes are easy to spot since they have a 1 inch or so lip that runs from the center section to the bead while the 15x7s have no lip. The silver 15x8 snowflakes are a fairly popular upgrade for wider tires as they can be had fairly cheap.
I'm pretty sure the Rally IIs were available through 81 but some models used body color wheels (I'm a little fuzzy on the 77-81 models).
As far as maintaining the value of the car you really ought to talk to Joe and contact PHS for the original info on the car. I missed the beginning of this thread but it sounds like you got a good deal on a 71 T/A. 71s are rare so I'd be leery of changing much of it from original condition. The car will be worth the most in an original condition but a wheel change is pretty insignificant if you have the correct wheels when you sell the car. For a top dollar car, it ought to have a set of wheels with the correct wheel codes and the correct paint.
As far as changing from the correct wheel, my preferences run with the honeycomb wheels (they look awesome on a 2nd gen) but are limited to a 7 inch rim. Next is the Rally II with no trim rings. Third would be Rally IIs with the early 70s GTO type trim rings (sharper and flatter that the bird trim rings). You can buy after market Rally IIs in various sizes (I run 15x8 Rally IIs on my T/A to fit 28x11.5 ET Streets on the back and will run 15X6 Rally IIs up front when I paint them) but a wider steel wheel adds a lot of unsprung weight. If you don't have serious traction problems then a set of 15x7s will work fine for you. Be careful if you are shopping for honeycombs because they usually have no centers and trim rings which can cost more than what you pay for the wheels alone.
Too much typing for tonight, it's been a long day. ;^)
Dave
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item $48634256&cat
for
Lot's
to
anymore
car
laying
center
have
them,
used
of
rare
will
IIs
15x8
15X6
of
honeycombs
There is an item on eBay, 2448812651, that claims to fit 70 - 81, but they are snowflakes, so I guess while they might fit, they would not be the original wheels for the 71, is that correct?
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item $48634256&cat
till
VIN,
agree
is
know
factory
2nd
snowflakes
was
snowflakes
had
Joe
a
bird
of
Yes, the snowflakes in the auction will fit, I've borrowed snowflakes with drag radials mounted on them at the track. I sure don't like that one ding where the tire bead seats on the rim.
Are you set on a set of snowflakes? Rally IIs are usually still available at junkyards pretty cheap. Have them sandblasted, buy a set of masks and paint them using Eastwood Argent Silver and Charcoal wheel paints. If you can get a set of rims for $80.00 you could have a nice set of wheels without center caps for around $125. You can also buy the correct center caps and lugs but that will run around $120 more. It's really up to you now. If want to get a set of decent looking Pontiac wheels on the car cheap, the snowflakes would work. Later in your resto you can put aside money and time to do a set of Rally IIs (correct or incorrect wheel codes).
If you search around, you will probably find people that will give you Rally IIs to get rid of them. ;^)
One thing I left out on the Rally IIs, I'm pretty sure some were made for the big boats on a 5 inch stud spacing. You want the 4 3/4 stud spacing for Rally IIs. This is not an issue with the snowflake or polycast wheels.
Check some of the Pontiac forums on the web. Most usually will have all types of wheels for sale.
Dave
PS - just went back to check the auction - it's up to $250!
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Good points. I didn't see the VIN problem, though. I agree that the price is way out there, though. If it was closer to factory, I'd still question that starting bid.
--
I am not your rolling wheels
I am the highway
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Hey! Quit plotting behind my back to scam me out of the offer. Bastards.

The vintage wheels you were going to buy me for my '71 Trans Am that you're keeping for me until I have time to fix it up. Had any luck yet?
--
I am not your rolling wheels
I am the highway
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of
you're
Given the public nature of these postings, I think we could more likely be accused of plotting in front of your back.
And I knew it was something about wheels, but I guess I got confused because I sold mine. I guess now I'll be buying for both of us. Man, this vintage car thing really can get expensive. But don't worry, I'm still storing your 71 TA. The bill on that is going to come due pretty quick now, you know?
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because
vintage
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Wait till you want to paint the car. ;^)
Dave
PS for VMM - 71 VIN 223871NXXXXXX 3rd digit
3 = Base 4 = Esprit 6 = Formula 8 = Trans Am
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be
I just painted my Honda, Dodge truck and 'Vette. I know what you mean. You can't even walk into a decent paint shop unless you're willing to collateralize with your first born. But, there sure are some nice paints out now. Soon as Vampy pays me storage, I might get it done. Of course, if he does that, I wouldn't have anything to paint. I think I'll go back and check the emails and see just where he screwed me out of my 71. Something's not right. He is sneaky, and damned good at it.
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likely
You
if
Something's
LOL B Dragon, Sounds like you'll make a good f-body owner. Welcome to our world! Bill
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that
paints
course,
and
Thanks, Bill. I'll try to stay in a warped enough state to deserve the welcome. I wanted to mention to you and Pancho that I just bought a set of used, original Rally II wheels with rings and caps. Hopefully didn't spend too much. They've been sanded and repainted. No dings on the rings; a little fading on the center caps. There was another set that had been chromed. I don't know why, but the chroming looked like a bit much. Angry cars don't need no stinking chrome. Now if I save up for another few months, maybe I can get that crunch in the rearend straightened out. f-body, huh. Gotta keep up with these bodies and generations.
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