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About ironhorseman’s Garage
About me and my passion for cars
Even from the time I was a little boy I have always loved the muscle cars. My father used to fancy himself a mechanic and he did okay with what he did in the backyard. It was my Dad who influenced me to be the car buff that I am today. When I was twelve years old I saw my first Trans-Am on a stretch of I285, on a sunny Sunday here in Georgia. The T/A past my families car on the left side and I remember looking at it; all bright orange and looking like a piece of "rolling thunder"; and screaming out loud... "What the hell is that?"...this was my reaction as "rolling thunder" streaked on by our car. I didn't get the teeth slapped out of my head therefore, I knew that my parents were just as awe struck as I was upon seeing the car go by. I nor my parents, had never seen one of these cars in our lives. As I recall that first encounter years ago, I remember that to me the car looked like a Camaro on steriods! The car was really something to behold, with it's front fender air ducts, fender flairs, and that hood shaker; (I didn't know what it was called then but, I learned later that it was a hood shaker); and the name "Trans Am" in big orange and burnt yellow edged block lettering. I didn't see another Trans Am until my freshman year in high school. One of the guys I played football with got one as a gift from his father. His old man purchased the car for him simply because he had agreed to play football for our high school team...(what a lucky guy, huh?). The car had a red exterior, a white interior, honeycomb wheels, (which were correct for that year), T-tops and what I believe was a 400 ci engine..it was always clean and simply an awesome ride! At that point I was hooked on the Trans-Am and sought out publications in order to learn more about this fabulous car. I had a chance to see the new body styles in one of the issues of Hot Rod magazine that same year. The issue depicted the up and coming body styles slated for Trans-Am over the next several years.... After viewing the magazine, I was hooked for life! I had gottten a glipse in that magazine of what was on the horizon for the T/A and needless to say I was excited to see what the car would look like in the upcoming years! Realistically, I knew that there was no way that anyone in my family would put forth the cash or the credit to assist me in purchasing my dream car. I worked after school, but all of my money was used to run the household that my two brothers, mother and myself lived in. Therefore, I had to put the dream of owning my own T/A on hold for a while. I attended college and I started a job upon returning home. Outside of the building that I worked in; parked close to the curb at the entrance; was what appeared to be a "Special Edition" Trans-Am. It was simply beautiful and seeing it there brought back those familiar feelings that I hadn't experienced in years. But, knowing that I probably could not afford the asking price; that is if the car was even for sale; I chose not to pursue the issue any further. As time went by, (Around six months as I remember), and I would occasionally see the car parked in that spot, close to the curb, outside the main building...I couldn’t help but say to myself,"What If The Asking Price Is Affordable?",,,and with that thought I started to dream again. I began to enquire around the facility in order to find out if anyone knew the owner of the car. Finally, one of my co-workers told me that yes, they did know the owner of the cars name. I looked for and found the owner and enquired as to if the car was for sale. The owner said that the car was not for sale at that time, but that it probably should have been; ( I didn't know what that meant, nor did I ask); and attempting not to show my disappointment, I said thank you and departed the scene. At that point I dropped the entire issue for good...or so I thought. A few days later the owner of the Special Edition Trans Am stopped me in hallway. They asked that I give them a call later that evening. It seemed that they had located a book filled with Trans-Am's that were for sale and wanted to share some of the ads inside that they perceived would be of interest me….Again, I was excited! As a result of that encounter in the hallway, New hope in finding a Trans Am that would be happy with had been restored. We then exchanged phone numbers, and I looked forward to calling that night to discuss the publication that listed several of these cars for sale. I called the owner of the T/A that night and we started talking. It didn't take long for me to realize that I had just been had! It turned out that the publication that was supposed to have held all of these ads featuring Trans Am's for sale, was simply the sales catalog known to us Southerners today; as well as; at that time as The Auto Trader, (It wasn't on line then, no such thing as on line quite yet at that time, nor was it distributed as widely as it is now). I realized that I had been fooled into calling and also into believing that this was just about the car...it wasn't! Turns out that the owner had a thing for me and wanted to know more about me. We started dating shortly afterwards and even though I now had access to the car, I still offered 2000.00 for the purchase of the vehicle. My offer was refused, along with the other five that I proposed. My next offer was agreed upon with great enthusiasm just a few months later and as a result, I was able to get both the car and the owner for 11.68 cents! The 11.68 cents was the cost of a marriage license in Dekalb County/Decatur Georgia back in 1982 when we tied the knot. A few years later; and tiring of the muscle car way of life, my wife talked me into trading the Trans Am in on a brand new Chevy S10 Blazer, (we found out shortly afterwards that she was expecting our first child), in 1985. Ever since that time I have never gotten that car out of my system...it is simply me! Just recently I was in the process of narrowing down the cars that I would like to start to collect in the future. My son is a car buff and has started a vehicle review page that is really neat at: www.steeringcolumnblog.com. We both sat down and put our heads together discussing what he thought that I should purchase as my first collector car. I finally broke down my choices as to what I would purchase and the decision was made to purchase either a 2010 Dodge Viper or the 1977 Special Edition Trans-Am. Upon further discussions I decided to run the two choices by my Brothers and Brother-In-Laws in order to narrow the selection down.. When they heard what I was wanting to do; to my amazement; everyone voted for the 1977 Special Edition Trans-Am!!! Therefore, I am on a quest to purchase one and bring that tradition back to my family so that even my children can experience what I did. Some things stick with you and never leave for a moment, if they are truely a part of who you are. That is the case with my love for the 1977 Special Edition,"The Bandit", Trans-Am.
My first car
1973 Chevy Nova Hatchback
Car I wish I still had
1977 Trans Am "Special Edition"
My dream car
2010 Dodge Viper
- Type of racing: Drag Racing
- Driver: Tony Schumacher
- Driving song: East Bound and Down
- Car movie: Smokey and The Bandit (The original movie)
- Car magazine: Hot Rod
- Car game: Hot Wheels
— Profile last updated: Jul 8, 2011
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The Bandit Run Enthusiast
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