1971 Chevrolet Nova
1979 Pontiac Firebird Redbird
Head to Head
About “Dream Car”
I've owned this car since '86. It started out as a big project but as I dug deeper into it, it turned into a major project. I bought it from an old friend of mine. He left it in the care of his cousin when he went in the Army. His cousin trashed it! The engine was blown up, the trans was locked between gears, the rear tires had no tread left on them (one had cords hanging out) and the driver's door had been swiped forward by a passing car after the Nova broke. He kept it at his Mom's house after that. When he got engaged, he decided to sell it. I bought it with the promise I'd make it better than it was in the "Glory Days". I started working on it in'87 when I got my first body shop job where I could get parts at cost and had access to the shop and materials. It went pretty quick at first then came to an abrubt stop when my son was born in 1990. I worked on it a little over the years he was growing up. I got myself side tracked and tinkered with V-8 Monzas and V-8 S-10s. I also got my son into go-kart racing and did that for a couple years. I got going pretty gung-ho on it in 2003 while I was married to my first wife. When we got divorced in '04 there was no money left in my budget for any more car work. Plans kept building in my head, though! I've had it so long and bragged it up so much that when I do this car it HAS to be right! I've learned so much and got tons of experience to help me get it done right.
1979 Firebird Esprit Redbird Edition. I purchaced this car in 1998 from a man at the Petit Jean Mountian Car Show
in Morrilton AR. It is featured in Marc Cranswick's Book Firebird the Auto-Biography (page 100). It has always been stored indoors. It gets alot of looks wherever I go in it.
Specs for “Dream Car”
Engine will be a 350 I had built for my Monza then used in my S-10s: 4 bolt main truck block, Z-28 rods, flat top pistons, ported heads with 1.94/1.60 valves
Erson cam & lifters (0.449 lift 292 duration)
Edelbrock Performer intake.
Holley 650 carb.
I never had it on a real dyno, but on the Desk-Top Dyno, it made 302 H.P.
Trans is a TCI shifted 700R4 that I had in my V-8 S-10s.
Rear end is a Chevelle 3.73 posi 12 bolt.
Specs for “Redbird”
301 Pontiac V8 4 barrel with TH350 Automatic trans.
Factory Options for “Dream Car”
Car was made from 2 car grafted together. Front half (according to VIN tag) was a 6 cylider, automatic. The rear half(according to cowl tag) was a V-8, stick shift, posi rear end.
It was equipped with black interior, bucket seats, center console (no gages) no A/C .
Hints in the rear section of car indicate SS badging and rear panel plate between tail lights (holes filled in). Hood had grills like SS.
Factory Options for “Redbird”
T-Tops, Redbird Trim Package, AC power "everything" (windows, locks, trunk latch, etc.) cruise control, deluxe cloth (hobnail) seats.
Mods for “Dream Car”
I want to keep the body as stock as possible and make the drivetrain strong, yet drivable and reliable. All still in the planning stage, but I do know I'm going to get started on it (again) soon. Hopefully I can finish it on this attempt! I plan to drive it to my 30 year high school class reunion and let Michelle drive it to her class reunion both in 2015.
Mods for “Redbird”
I was told that the rear window louvers were added when the car was purchaced new... I like them, so they stay. I have seen a lot of the three piece rear louvers, but haven't seen any just like these.
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