Dawn C 1984 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 15th Anniversary 2dr Coupe

Cash in Hand

A little background always adds flavor to a story like this, in 1984 I was a high school senior. My boyfriend at the time drove a brand new 84 silver Trans Am, it was sharp, with after-market louvers and T-tops. At the time I wouldn't have admitted it but the car was way more attractive than he was. I so wanted a brand new 15th Anniversary of my own, the car was the sweetest ride I had ever seen. Coming from a long line of car nuts, I just knew I was destined to own one. The sticker price new was over 18k and for a high school student working part-time at Arby's, just a dream.

Just a few months after graduation I was to find out the fella with the hot car had been dating my best friend on the sly, I found this out when he totaled his car and my best friend was with him.

She had completed a nursing program during high school and making pretty big bucks already went directly out and bought another brand new silver Trans Am for the both of them to drive. That was over thirty years ago, they eventually married and are now divorced.

Well jump ahead ten years, I am on a rode trip with my brother and sister-in-law scouring Nashville, Tennesee during an ice storm for hot rods to bring back to Michigan. Nothing was open and the highways were all closed down. Not having much luck we were about to turn for home when off the corner of my eye I see, behind a locked and fenced used car lot, a 15th Anniversary Trans Am. Across the windshield in big yellow paint, 4995.00 5-spd, knowing my excitement my brother wheeled around the divided median and we pulled up long enough to look it over thru the fence. I wrote down the number, before the time of cell phones we had to find a payphone. Of course the lot was closed as the storm had shut down the state.

With time pressing us home I could only hope that I'd reach them from Michigan before some one else snatched it up. The first thing that next Monday morning I reached a salesman, worked out a cash deal and promised to be down that next day to retrieve the beauty. He most honestly confessed that the car did need an alternator and didn't feel right about sending me all the way back to Michigan without having it replaced first. He would send it to the shop that afternoon and have it ready by the time I got there. My grandmother was tickled to come along and help me drive it home. I went and got the cash and grandma and I headed down Nashville.

Upon arrival the salesman looked like someone had stole his cookies, he didn't know how to tell me but at the shop the mechanic had accidently back up a welder into the quarter-panel, there was a dent, a little damage. It didn't even sway me, I offered to knock $700. off the purchase price and take it anyway. Where else would I find a car as rare as this one ( 1 of 470ish ) near this price and salt free to boot. There wasn't a lick of rust even on the undercarriage, it was a done deal.

Once on the highway home, it was apparent the car had a few glitches. The speedometer jumped allover like a volt meter, there was no parking brake and when you opened the hood you had to prop it. I was still just as excited as a lottery winner. My goal was to get hit home on dry roads and put it away til spring.

That was twenty years ago, over the years I have of course made several little investments in maintenance, drove it in parades, put it in car shows and even paid storage over a few winters that I was without a garage. It became eligible for Hagerty Insurance and then historical plates. Most folks don't pay any attention to it because it isn't an oldie, but the few that do know what it is just drool over it.

I became a little older and a little sore at times after driving my hot rod. I began to get "clutch-leg" as I am of short stature and it takes all I have to push in the clutch and maneuver thru the gears. Driving it is like a trip down memory lane, to a time when $480. a month and another couple thousand a year for insurance was way over my head. A little time and patience and fairly thick wad of hundreds, and here we are today.

Last fall I "gave" the car to my oldest son, he was five when it came home from it's southern roots. He grew up in the passengers seat and now at twenty-six, he is just as enamoured with it as I have always been.

I am proud of both him and all the fun he has enjoying such a fabulous example of American sports car engineering!

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