Discovering a Gem: The Story of a 1980 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am


Searching for a classic car can be quite the adventure. There are so many online sites that publish private party listings and deals from online old car brokers. One can really spend a great deal of time and effort finding just the right vehicle to research, go and see, take for a test drive, and decide on whether the muscle car is worthy of negotiating a fair price with the car's current caretaker.

Stumbling Upon a Winner - 1980 Pontiac Trans Am

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One fine day, Eastvale, CA resident Robert Gamboa was spending some quality time online kicking the tires with his fingers so to speak seeking just the right weekend warrior to possibly purchase. He stumbled upon a 1980 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am listed by a private seller in Compton, CA. Mr. Gamboa drove the 50 miles to Compton to inspect the Trans Am. He had several conversations with the seller in person and over the phone but was taking some time to think it over.


Preoccupied with Family Matters

Mr. and Mrs. Gamboa had some more pressing matters to attend to that took top priority. Mrs. Gamboa was pregnant with the couple's first child. When it was announced at the gender reveal party that she was expecting a boy, the couple decided that perhaps that was a sign. Robert bought the Trans Am the very next day. 


Considering the fact that the Firebird had a solid body, no rust, and a nice paint job, Robert was able to purchase the car for a very reasonable price. He drove it on the weekends sparingly and began to upgrade some suspension components here and there. As luck would have it, Robert met a young man in his neighborhood, who was a very competent mechanic. He asked the young man how much it would cost to install a GM LS3 E-Rod performance crate engine and a built GM 4L80E automatic transmission.

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The young man quoted an unbelievably economical price to perform all the work in his home shop. After Robert checked with some of the mechanic's other customers, he hired the young man to perform the engine and transmission swap. The Gamboa's are now the proud owners of a 1980 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that is EPA compliant and CARB legal. The Trans Am is a safe vehicle for their son, Mrs., and Mr. Gamboa. It passes smog testing and all of the safety inspections with flying colors.


The list of enhancements to the Gamboa's Trans Am is a long one:


A CI coworker met Robert one day in the Classic Industries Retail Showroom parking lot. He was taking some beauty shots of the Trans Am with his cell phone and using our Retail Showroom as a backdrop. The coworker went out and talked to Mr. Gamboa and learned that he had purchased many parts from Classic Industries to transform his Trans Am into a pro touring restomod.

We invited the Gamboa's back one day, so that our humble photographer, Vicente Diaz, could capture his Trans Am with the CI Nikon DSLR camera. Though the Trans Am looks great in pictures, thanks to Vicente's expertise, in real life it sounds, looks, and goes absolutely amazing. We bet that the Gamboa's son will be lobbying with his parents to drive the Firebird when he comes of age. After all, he could make the case that they bought it for him.  

Classic Industries - Your Trusted Source for Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Parts

Whether you're restoring your Firebird to Pontiac factory new condition, or you are building a Trans Am race car for track use only, or anything in between, you may rest assured that Classic Industries has the parts that you're seeking. You can start your online search on the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am shopping page. You can also enhance your Firebird Trans Am shopping experience by obtaining a Firebird Trans Am Parts & Accessories Catalog. Simply click the button below to download a pdf version and/or to have a printed catalog mailed to you. Happy shopping!