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My T/A restoration...

Grady Cain

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I thought I would finally sit down and start a restoration thread for my 1970 T/A. Quick history on the car: I am the 4th owner of this numbers matching, 62,000 mile, 4-speed with 3.91 option, non-rallye dash, non-console, radio-delete, steel wheel, FY1 Challenger. Purchased locally and has never left the 15 mile radius of the dealership. Owner of the now-extinct dealership's son is a friend of mine who helped me find the car in 2014. He remembers ordering this car when he worked for his father at the dealership as a kid. My uncle was the Service Manager at that dealership at the time. He remembers prepping the car and installing the radio after the original purchaser requested that option. The car was delivered to it's original owner at Lime Rock Park in CT at the 1970 Trans-Am race as a promotional event to celebrate the Trans-Am series and the car that bore it's namesake. Uncle Norm took it around the track for a few pace laps prior to that race. The 3rd owner (whom I bought it from) had it since 1977 and in 1986, decided to start a "restoration" that would result in the car being taken completely apart and left sitting in a barn/garage until I got it out in 2014. He did have the car documented by Galen Govier and it has been entered into the T/A registry. It was painted in 2000? but was put right back in the barn uncovered along with all of the removed parts that were stacked up on the floor and allowed to rust and get exposed to rodents and birds, etc... Segue to February 2014 - I worked out a deal and was able to purchase the T/A. I scrounged around and was able to find most of it's original date-coded parts. Pulling it out of the garage after being in for most of 27 years was quite a moment. I have been chipping away at an assembly-line correct restoration since then. I will post pics as I get time as I have had several requests to see its progress. Thanks for reading... Mark (aka: Grady Cain)
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This is how I found it...
 
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Grady Cain

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Sanded/stripped off all the old paint and undercoating and applied the correct dip primer and grey coating that came on non-undercoated cars.
 

Grady Cain

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Front rail and wheelhouse area also incorrectly painted black. I primered and painted the appropriate areas with body color, leaving out the areas that were to be eventually undercoated at the dealer (front & rear wheel wells). Factory overspray was applied on floor pans.
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Grady Cain

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Fortunately, I could still see where the dealer applied the heavy undercoating in the wheel wells. After playing around with the air pressure on my shutz gun, I was able to copy the texture of the factory undercoating fairly closely. Hard to tell from the photos but it is real gloppy and thick like the factory.

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AUSTA

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Awesome
Rails & floors look to be in great condition
Great solid body look forward to the restore process.
I still have 1 TA to do Ferric Red with black interior 3.9 4 speed real rust bucket.
What the old bike engine looks a bit like a Bultaco
 

MN74

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Mark

This is going to be a great build thread my friend. What a wonderful story overall. Beautiful car and a car that is in the right hands. Looking forward to the progress!

Justin
 

Grady Cain

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Awesome
Rails & floors look to be in great condition
Great solid body look forward to the restore process.
I still have 1 TA to do Ferric Red with black interior 3.9 4 speed real rust bucket.
What the old bike engine looks a bit like a Bultaco
Yes, the car is structurally very sound. Only rust was a small bubble on the top of the left quarter near the tail lights. Quarters were both skinned which is not so bad because the original undercoating on the quarters inside the trunk can still be seen. If money were no object, I would have done the bodywork differently as there are things I don't like about it but the paint was near flawless and taking into account what I paid for the car, I couldn't justify tearing it all apart. As for the bike, I can't remember what it was! Thanks for the comments man...
 

Grady Cain

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Mark

This is going to be a great build thread my friend. What a wonderful story overall. Beautiful car and a car that is in the right hands. Looking forward to the progress!

Justin
Thanks Justin! Saying that it's in the right hands is a compliment coming from you - your work is fantastic. Nice to see you over here on FEBO...
 

Grady Cain

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Upper pic shows correct front frame section paint fade. There should not be an abrupt paint line seen here. Lower pic better shows my duplication of the factory undercoating. The axle bumper is the original!
 

Grady Cain

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Assembly - Original hardware cleaned and reused. There is a flaw, though, with some of these parts. True purists will know what it is. It was a choice I made with a select few items which may get me dinged in judging but... I am a purist and it was a difficult decision to do what I did.
 
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Grady Cain

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is it all original sheet metal ?
Unfortunately, no. Quarters have been skinned as I previously posted and 1 fender was replaced way back in the day (first owner) due to a minor collision. It was replaced with an original OEM fender sometime around 1971-72 from what I gather from the stories I have heard. Nice thing (or not) about the car still being in the same town for all these years is that I hear stories about it from people that also are still in the same town who remember the car!
 

3406pk

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Hey Grady, the work is looking great. Good job. It seems like you have all original details for correct OEM restore. But if you need any pictures to compare, let me know and I can send.
 
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