Need some 2nd gen T/A info

Hi, I just found a 1978 T/A in my local paper. I called the guy tonight, and the car is a 400, 4-speed, with T-Tops. Car is said to be in excellent condition, with no rust. Motor was rebuilt 2 years ago. The guy said he was
asking "around $4000" for it. I am going to look at the car tomorrow after work. First of all, does this seem like a decent price? To me it seems pretty average, but I could be wrong. Secondly, could someone let me know where I can find the RPO codes on the 2nd gen T/A's? I want to check those out to see if it has any interesting options. Thanks!
Chad
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com says...

$4,000 seems pretty low for an original 400/4-speed if its "excellent condition". Fair to nice drivers are going for around $3500-$5000.
There are no RPO stickers on '78 Firebird. That didn't start until the early 80's. If its a Norwood, OH car it should have a WS4 for Trans Am on the cowl plate. The Van Nuys, CA plant was somewhat lazy and may or may NOT have WS4 stamped.
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Send the vin # to www.phs-online.com. Have it faxed to you. Then go to the seller and compare all the options to this printout. Any deviation makes the car worth half the asking price.
Look at the #s on the engine by the lower radiator hose. You should see the the last six digits of the vehicle Vin # sequence on the engine. If not, the engine's changed, worthless vehicle.
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 26k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 141k and still going.... '80 T/A project car...
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i must disagree some, just because its not all original does not make it worth half or worthless, maybe to a purist yes, yes it does affect the value, just be aware of what your buying, dont pay top dollar for original if its not original, but you need to decide what you want and pay accordingly, i am not a purist and for the most part could care less if a car is original, i dont buy anything for an investment or to impress people at a car show with an all original car, i buy a vehicle to romp on it and make big smokey burnouts and get tickets and stuff like that and not wash the damn thing for a year, i do care if its done right, in good condition, and is priced by what i think is reasonable and am willing to pay for, just be sure what you are paying for, car misrepresentation is rampant, but if you know what your getting then you can make an informed decision, i ve seen people pay good money for clones, cars that started as something basic, say taking a six cylinder firebird and making it into a killer model, like making it into a SD455 T/A, people do some awesome work and can and have even fooled the pros, but as long as its represented at such only you can decide what to pay for it, in your case do the research and know for sure what your purchasing, even it its not original if its a nicely done car it can very well be worth the price to you
79 T/A WS6 455 ,Hurst 4 spd, Blk w/ t-tops, Heavily Fortified, 4mpg
00 Ram 2500HD QC V-10 4x4,Blk,5 spd,4:10 LSD, 10mpg
98 Intruder 1400, Blk, 5 spd, 25mpg
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Bigjfig) wrote in message
<snip>

A little harsh don't you think. My '73 Z28 isn't original (TPI-5 speed) but I don't think it distracts too much from its value. I know a guy who spent 11 G's on a VERY nice '73 Z28 with a big block. I don't think it would be worth any more with the LT1.

Harsher still! I didn't know F-body owners were like Corvette owners. For some reason Corvette owners will pay a premium for matching numbers. It is the very reason I leave my '72 roadster completely original.

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Your mods are worth zero to the next guy. Unless his ass wants your seat, it's a tough sell. Dollars to donuts you'll never recoup your money on that one.
An ORIGINAL 1978 T/A could easily fetch what it cost new in 1978, even more if it's an SE model.
Also, if I look at a car that's modded, I will assume it's done completely wrong since 90% of that stuff is trial and error and mismatched parts. You typically have nothing but the seller's word that you'll be driving a reliable combination 20 years down the road.
There's a reason why parts are engineered to work together by GM :).
I've said it once, I'll say it again: If you can tell it was converted, you didn't do it right :).
Say you bought this 1978 Trans Am. It could easily have a Pontiac 350 in it or something that looks like a Pontiac 400. Dollars to donuts half the people couldn't tell. Say you didn't bother to check the numbers, just assumed it didn't matter.
You've just been made a chump---a 350 Pontiac is nothing special, and makes this car a collosal pig :).
ALWAYS check the #s first to be sure it is what it is. As I said, my friend paid good money for what turned out to be an original smogged motor in a 80 Z28. An LM1 350 is a $50 motor at a U-pull it yard here in the Northeast. LOL.
Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 26k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 141k and still going.... '80 T/A project car...
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Id say you need to check your sanity. A clean 400 4speed T/A is wirth every penny of $4000 regardless if its original or not. A 78 T/A isnt exactly a collectors car, nor is it rare or "in demand" If its clean, runs well and most importantly YOU LIKE IT, why wouldnt it be worth it? Id like to see where you can get a clean 400 4 speed 2nd gen T/A for half od $4000?
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I bought my #s matching '74 Trans Am, 400/4-spd with no rust for $3000...
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comvVGrrVv says...

Deal of a lifetime. I bet you could get around $7500 for it right now.
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I don't know about deal of a lifetime. I think the guy knew something was up. 10k miles in, it spun a rod bearing. Still worth it to me, though. And then there's the crappy paint. I know what I have, and it was still a deal, if not of a lifetime. I definitely know what it can be, though...
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wrote in message > Agree.

Trans Am with a 455 and TH400, 54,000 miles. But that was back in 1980 and I had paid $1500 for the Pinto. My TA now has 69,000 on it. That was MY deal of a lifetime! ;^) Jim
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Pinto for a Trans Am... Euthanasia comes to mind.
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You obviously haven't been checking T/A prices. :)
A '78 400/4 speed IS a sought after car as not many were 400 equipped by 1977/78. Less with the 4 speed. Even less that are original.
I paid $7500 for my #s matching 10th Trans Am back in 1999 and based on the prices for 403s (not even 400s) on Ebay, I'd get $10k for my car without a sweat. I have seen rough beaters get 7500 on Ebay and they aren't worth half of that if you shop around. Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 26k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 141k and still going.... '80 T/A project car...
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Rommel Spilled my beer when they jumped on the table and proclaimed

I would say you need to check yours. You see, around here mid to late 70's Fbodys are in demand...
NOI
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Do a search on EBAY, you can get decent 77-78 T/A's all day for 4-5k, no big deal, they arent regarded as serious "performance cars" in stock trim and there are plenty out there.
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worth it for parts and I'll buy them. :). Better yet if they are SE cars :).
Fact: They are getting harder to find. Plenty of lackluster junk out there, it will cost you a fortune to get into running condition again unless you do everything yourself. Paint runs you 3 to 5 grand to do right (assuming you have it done) an interior can run you 1 grand, if the engine needs work, another grand :), etc..
"Decent" means 400 4speed, or minimally 400 automatic. 403s even in MINT condition are worth 1/2 what a ratty 400 is. 403s are a dime a dozen and not worth nearly as much as a 400.
Again, I have seen these cars with bare bones options eclipse what they cost new in '78. Not all "collectables" do that. Joe--ASE Certified Parts Specialist & 10th Ann.Club Tech Director '80 Carousel Red Turbo T/A, 26k orig. '79 "Y89" 400/4 speed 10th Ann. T/A, 57k orig '84 Olds 88 Royale Bgm 2 dr, 307 "Rocket" (lol), 141k and still going.... '80 T/A project car...
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I watched a '67 RS go through the auction on the Speed Channel for nearly 50,000. It had a late model LT-1 and a 6 speed.
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I saw that car too. It had a huge write up in Hot Rod magazine. The whole upgrade was documented there. As far as other modified cars go mods usually devalue an original car, just because you can't be sure of the quality or compatibility. If you can be sure of quality it does add vale. Case in point, this Camaro, or the 454 Corvette being modified on "Dream Car Garage."
says...

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the build sheet is either under the driver side seat in the springs,behind the rear seat or under one of the rear seats
check behind the front tires for bondo with a fridge magnet. also infront and behind the rear tires. these are huge trouble spots on these cars.
if it checks out ok,the paint is good and interior is good then it's worth it.
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"Chad" < snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com> wrote in message
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thought i was replying to a canadian group. 4000 us is a bit steep.
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"Chad" < snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com> wrote in message
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