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Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Old 09-13-2014, 03:33 PM
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Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Hey guys - it was in Wichita KS in 1991. I was a 17 yo exchange student from Switzerland. It really struck me when I saw my first Trans Am! I fell in love instantly and I knew I had to have one like this. A few months later - there it was, my first car: a red 1982 LG4 Trans Am with turbo cast rims, PMD seats and most importantly: a power bulge hood. What a beautiful car!

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When my cousin visited me in the USA in summer of 1992 we traveled west - in style! I’ll never forget those 4 weeks on journey trans America in a Trans Am! We had such a great time and I cherish the memories I have from that time. Of course my parents would not let me take the car back home overseas - it would have cost a fortune :'( So I had to part with it with a heavy heart in the summer of 1992.

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As of now I have a family with 3 kids and I’m working as a pediatrician, so naturally there is not so much time for a hobby. Nevertheless those memories never let go of me. So last year I decided I needed another thirdgen. Luckily I found a cool guy who wanted to sell his Firebird. He actually imported the car directly from the US and he took excellent care of her since. He drove the car only 14K miles, so he almost kept her in the garage all the time! The car is a base 1991 Firebird with an LO3 engine. He kept everything stock since then.

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My parents laughed at me when they heard that I was about to buy a 23 year old car. But it was fun to watch their jaws drop when they actually saw the Firebird. She definitely looks like new lol!

Last edited by Cehbra; 09-13-2014 at 04:31 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:38 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Great dream, never stop following them....kudos!
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:40 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

First I thought of going the LS route to get *a lot* more power. However, as there are very strict laws in Switzerland I would need to have the car retested from the ground. And that means costs of $ 6000 - yes six thousand! And if the car fails the test you’d have to take another test lol!
So for now it’s all about detailing. The only modification I am doing right now is installing a functional cowl induction setup from which I hope to get out a few horses after all. Apart from that I am trying to make some tasteful appearance mods. My goal is to make it look as much as possible to match my first 1982 T/A while keep the distinct look of the 91 model - the best of both worlds so to speak. So adding that ci hood is not about cloning a Formula, it’s about reliving good old memories!

Here's da hood, freshly shipped from the US, came from an 84 T/A:

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Interesting color combination:

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And here it is in the paint shop, there were quite a few coats...

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Stripped to bare metal:

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and in primer:

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Last edited by Cehbra; 09-13-2014 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:46 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by 87oldschool View Post
Great dream, never stop following them....kudos!
Thanks man! Living a dream can be hard work, right?
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:46 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Nice story man and good looking bird!
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Old 09-13-2014, 03:52 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Had to have a nose job done too as that license plate holder was fixed to the bumper with 8 screws and there were ugly holes in it. The guys from the paint shop did an amazing job (which wasn't all cheap too).

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So here she is, back from the painter.



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Old 09-13-2014, 03:56 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by Javier87z28 View Post
Nice story man and good looking bird!
Thank you! Trying my best!
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:02 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Well there are some more things to do. First I had an opportunity to get some black diamond spoke rims for $ 40 a piece, could't pass that up! Then I added the nose bird and the 5.0 Liter decals. My daughter said I should stop decorate the car or it would look like a christmas tree. So I stopped.

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Old 09-13-2014, 04:20 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Great looking bird!
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:20 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

A thing that I never particularly liked was the standard Firebird tail lights.

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So when I stumbled upon a decent set of 91 T/A tail lights I got them. They were in a rough shape and have that delaminating issue. But I think that's ok as it is part of the history of those lights.

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I wet sanded them with 800 grid, then 1200, then 1500 then 2000.

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A few coats of clear, first time there was a lot of dust and it looked horrible. So start over with wet sanding 800 ... 2000 and the next time I did it properly in a dust free environment and now it's a mirror finish. Apart from the delam they look like new!

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Luckily, there was not a lot of modification needed to get them working, basically the only thing was to get a new socket for the turn lights and cut the wires from those small bulbs.



With the proper decals.
Much better lookin, isn't it? Oh and I installed 1.5" spacers in the rear. Will have to take them off before going to inspection...

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Old 09-13-2014, 04:21 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by RubberDucky View Post
Great looking bird!
Thank you!
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Old 09-13-2014, 04:30 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

As for the interior I installed white LEDs, a Momo steering wheel and a 82 style shift ****. Will post some pics tomorrow as I don't have them at hand now. I also got some PMD seats for nostalgic reasons - gee those weren't cheap!! I'm quite excited, hope the arrive this week.
Next big project is to make the hood functional. Will post pictures as it is coming along.
That's it for now.
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Old 09-13-2014, 05:45 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Looks awesome! I've always loved the power bulge hood on a red bird! Good luck with the rest of it
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Old 09-13-2014, 06:04 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Oh wow. Those tails look great!
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Old 09-13-2014, 06:17 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

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Old 09-13-2014, 07:02 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Welcome aboard Cehbra. That's a great looking Firebird. Congratulations!
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:14 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Great looking car and mods! Wow-it would be really cool to have 4 weeks to drive across the country in an 82 TA! Bet you had some really great drives! Welcome to TGO!
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Old 09-13-2014, 07:36 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Very nice car and inspiring story. I'm curious as to what test Switzerland does on older cars and how often do you have to get tested?
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:42 AM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Thanks for all the kind words and the warm welcome! I'm proud to be on the coolest board on the net!
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Old 09-14-2014, 05:57 AM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by red rock View Post
Very nice car and inspiring story. I'm curious as to what test Switzerland does on older cars and how often do you have to get tested?
We have to get the car inspected every two years which is not a problem if you keep the car in decent shape. The extensive testing is only necessary if you do some heavy engine modifications or swap the whole engine. Itís a law that was passed mid 1970ís and lasted until 1995. So the cars that were built in this time are practically not allowed to change. Older cars can be modded almost at will and younger cars fall under EU regulations which are *much* more easygoing. On the other hand that might have saved many a thirdgen...
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Old 09-14-2014, 07:03 AM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Some time ago I installed a 1982 reproduction shifter **** by 1batt4u on this forum. It went in without flaws and it's very well made. The Pontiac logo comes from an old plastic push cap, it's a little cracked but after wet sanding and clear coating it's quite nice.

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Old 09-14-2014, 07:12 AM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Inspired by many on the forum and especially iansane I got myself a Momo Millenium steering wheel and an early thirdgen horn button.

I removed the rusty metal inserts and shaved the rubber on the back side.

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I think it looks nice when installed:

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Unfortunately the steering wheel adapter from Momo which is supposed to be a bolt-on thing was rubbing. My dad helped me on this and removed almost a fifth of an inch from the back. Now it fits snuggly.

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Yes 24495 km = 15300 miles, that means in a few months I drove the car more than the PO in a year, oh man...

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Am I posting too many pictures?

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Last edited by Cehbra; 09-14-2014 at 02:00 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 09-14-2014, 09:45 AM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

No such thing as too many pictures man! The car looks great.
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Old 09-14-2014, 01:42 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by Buggy Disaster View Post
No such thing as too many pictures man! The car looks great.
Pictures help tell the story. Love the wheel and shifter. And you have door storage pockets/cupholders, and GM logo floor mats. Lots of goodies!
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Old 09-14-2014, 02:02 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

All right sirs! I'll keep posting pics then
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Old 09-20-2014, 03:31 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Great job on car overall!!! Love the steering wheel!!!
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:41 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Thank you!
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:00 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

That's a good looking bird.
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:39 AM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by iansane View Post
That's a good looking bird.
Thanks! Same to you! Your car has always been an inspiration to me.
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Old 09-29-2014, 07:08 AM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Nice story,nice red firebird! Im a little fond of them also man.
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:27 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by dmccain View Post
Nice story,nice red firebird! Im a little fond of them also man.
Thank you man!

By the way: got my PMD seats last week. They are in an amazing condition. I actually paid US$ 800 but they're definitely worth it, especially considering a new upholstery costs more than 500 bucks. Yet these seats are like new - at least on the outside and after giving the fabric a good wash in the machine.

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Old 09-30-2014, 01:52 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

The PMD badges are a little - well not so super..

However after wet sanding and clear coating one of them looks ok. The driver's side however needs some heavy work up.

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I tried a lot of things to get this working. After removing the top resin I primed the black background with plastic primer and taped the PMD logo and sprayed some chrome on it. It looked nice until I tried to give it a protecting coat - the lettering went berserk and liquified! Whatever I do the logo runs off EVERY single time!! It just won't stick.

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What am I doing wrong? Any suggestions?
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:52 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Very Nice Ride! And the story........well, that's too cool! Keep up the great work!
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Old 09-30-2014, 01:57 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

As I am at it: the seats are nice on the inside too, no smell and intact foam. Only thing bad is the rusty seat frame. Some spots are literally crumbling. Seems that's a problem with most of those seats. I'll need to have them sandblasted and bad spots welded.

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Old 09-30-2014, 02:02 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by Bob88GTA View Post
Very Nice Ride! And the story........well, that's too cool! Keep up the great work!
Thank you Bob!

Sometimes it seems to me I'm a little too crazy about details, but I wanna do it right. And those cars deserve it, right?
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Old 09-30-2014, 02:06 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by Cehbra View Post
Thank you Bob!

Sometimes it seems to me I'm a little too crazy about details, but I wanna do it right. And those cars deserve it, right?
There is nothing wrong about "attention to detail."

I HATE "GOOD ENOUGH!"

It's normal to be **** sometimes!

And being a pediatrician, means paying attention to detail!!!!!!!!!!! Praise you man!

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Old 09-30-2014, 02:15 PM
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by Bob88GTA View Post
There is nothing wrong about "attention to detail."

I HATE "GOOD ENOUGH!"

It's normal to be **** sometimes!

And being a pediatrician, means paying attention to detail!!!!!!!!!!! Praise you man!
YEAH!! You're right!

Now I just need to convince my wife and kids about this fact lol!!!
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Old 09-30-2014, 04:34 PM
  #38  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Excellent looking car! I love the exterior mods, very tasteful and really bring it up a notch.
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Old 09-30-2014, 05:18 PM
  #39  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

How much you paid to ship them to Europe?
Im in Europe to but I never thought to ship parts that big

btw awesome looking car.I like that even though you used parts from older model the car is still very "OEM" .Love these threads where people make professional detailers look like amateurs.
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Old 09-30-2014, 06:44 PM
  #40  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Your car looks amazing. I also have a red 92 and seeing how good yours looks makes me realize I need to get in gear and start finishing it.
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:31 AM
  #41  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

great looking bird!
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Old 10-01-2014, 12:53 AM
  #42  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Thank you all guys!
To be honest I had some rough days lately but now I feel cozy again lol
Gives me energy to get this moving
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:43 AM
  #43  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by FirebirdUSX View Post
How much you paid to ship them to Europe?
Im in Europe to but I never thought to ship parts that big

btw awesome looking car.I like that even though you used parts from older model the car is still very "OEM" .Love these threads where people make professional detailers look like amateurs.
I paid $200 - per seat - it's been my major investment in the car apart from the hood. Still, my first Trans Am had them so I think that's ok especially considering their good shape.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:46 PM
  #44  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

LOl I have good Knight rider friends in Switzerland I'm their go to guy on car parts for his KITT replica build he's doing.I have shipped TONS of cowl hoods,PMD seats and turbo cast wheels and I shipped 3 cars to his friend

I ship MANY parts to Lucern. lol

Dave

Last edited by 3rdgenparts; 10-06-2014 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:26 AM
  #45  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Nice the black GTA rims are classy!
Go on ebay, type in PMD there is a guy selling PMD badge stickers just for what you need!

Rafael
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:35 AM
  #46  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by 3rdgenparts View Post
LOl I have good Knight rider friends in Switzerland I'm their go to guy on car parts for his KITT replica build he's doing.I have shipped TONS of cowl hoods,PMD seats and turbo cast wheels and I shipped 3 cars to his friend

I ship MANY parts to Lucern. lol

Dave
That's good to know.
I'm not that much into Knight Rider though. Actually I always admired the car as a Trans Am but the tech bits and pieces and bling are not my affair. But I'll get back to you in case I need some stuff!
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Old 10-14-2014, 03:57 AM
  #47  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by luvofjah View Post
Nice the black GTA rims are classy!
Go on ebay, type in PMD there is a guy selling PMD badge stickers just for what you need!

Rafael
Thanks! I've seen those but I wanted to tackle it myself. After I got frustrated with painting it (see above), I rethought the whole process. Here's how I did it in the end:

I traced the logo in photoshop (see attachment below) and printed it mirror inverted on simple overhead film.
Name:  pmd_005_zps547dd931.jpg
Views: 450
Size:  54.3 KB


Then I glued some household aluminum foil with 2 part epoxy glue on top of it and another bit of transparent film on top of that and weighted it down with a few heavy books:
Name:  pmd_006_zps2119f929.jpg
Views: 439
Size:  80.7 KB


After gluing the clear coated resin still on top of that sandwich and after cutting it out this is the result. It's not perfect but quite decent for the time being. And it should hold on for a few years.
Name:  pmd_007_zps79a49b47.jpg
Views: 435
Size:  93.8 KB

The steel seat backs are at the sandblaster at the moment. I'll update as soon as I get them back.
Attached Thumbnails Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)-pmd-logo.png  

Last edited by Cehbra; 10-14-2014 at 04:13 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 10-16-2014, 12:17 PM
  #48  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Love it! Looking really good!
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Old 10-26-2014, 03:01 AM
  #49  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Beautiful vehicle, my friend.
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Old 10-27-2014, 03:30 PM
  #50  
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Re: Reliving good old memories - 82 T/A and 91 Firebird (pic heavy)

Originally Posted by visitor View Post
Love it! Looking really good!
Originally Posted by tunatrky View Post
Beautiful vehicle, my friend.
Thanks guys!


Havenít posted in a while, progress was quite slow as I was busy at work and there was an annoying set back.

Got them seat backs from the sandblaster. They turned out really nice. Some bad spots needed some soldering.

Name:  pmd_008_zps8f79bcb3.jpg
Views: 435
Size:  131.0 KB


I used a grey zinc primer for rust protection. Hope they last longer this time...

Name:  pmd_009_zps446c7e52.jpg
Views: 455
Size:  161.4 KB
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