TransAm sport truck

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I saw pics of this vehicle some time ago and knew that I just had to make one! I have obtained a '79 and a '77 special which will give a basis to make a replica of the replicas that were made but I am looking for a '77 'Bandit' as the basis for the original show car. I may practise on the 'replica' before starting on the original show car model. As it is now the '77 would donate the wheels and hardtop roof for a replica model '79 sport truck.

78SportTruck-1.jpg

This will be a long road to travel!

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Posted · Report post

No no no, I absolutely have to! The problem so far is finding a '77 TransAm nearby, they being a few years out of production and kind of scarce on the ground.

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Posted · Report post

No no no, I absolutely have to! The problem so far is finding a '77 TransAm nearby, they being a few years out of production and kind of scarce on the ground.

Daniel, first let me say I will be watching this with great interest, the Trans Am Type K Sportwagon has always been one of my favorite non production Trans Am subjects! I wish you the best in doing this conversion.

Also, I have been a fan of all year Trans Ams for many years, and have done much research on them also. You might try broadening your search for the donor of the non t-top roof, all from the 70 1/2 to 81 model years should work with no problem. The major changes during those model years was most noticeably the front facias and rear panels and taillights, but the main body was virtually the same through the run. The only change I'm aware of is the shape of the rear window, in the 75 (if I remember correctly) model year, Pontiac changed it to curve around the body into the B pillar like the window in the 10th anniversary car in your picture. The window prior to that was flat an slightly larger. Another route you may want to check into for the roof is the same model year Camaros, since they are the same Fisher body style of the Trans Am, and the roof should also interchange with no problems.

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Thamks Highway. I was going to use the 77 Formulae for the roof. I need the standard 77 for the front clip although it looks as though some work will still need to be done around the front flare. The wagon seems to have less slope to the flare. The replicas were built using the 79 car as near as I can tell so that would be the easiest conversion but I would rather try to copy one of the original showcars. If anyone has some more pics I would appreciate any help in that direction as what I have is very limited.

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Thamks Highway. I was going to use the 77 Formulae for the roof. I need the standard 77 for the front clip although it looks as though some work will still need to be done around the front flare. The wagon seems to have less slope to the flare. The replicas were built using the 79 car as near as I can tell so that would be the easiest conversion but I would rather try to copy one of the original showcars. If anyone has some more pics I would appreciate any help in that direction as what I have is very limited.

No problem, Daniel. I know the few Type K pics I've seen all had the 1979 front clip, and they had the Trans Am style scoops in the fenders. I'm going to be out most of the day today, but when I get back home, I'll see what type of reference pics I can dig up for you! :angry:

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Posted · Report post

Thanks Highway. I have only seen one pic from the side that I think is a showcar, the rest are from the rear. Any pics that I have seen away from the showroom I am assuming are pics of a replica on a '79/80 body. I have been staring at pics of '77s and '78s until half blind. I am going into my crawl-space now to do some insulating!

Later.

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Posted · Report post

Well Daniel, I said I'd help and I found not only a few better pics, but a site with the history in the process!! :unsure:

First, here's a pic or two.

79kammbacktransam.jpg

7920Kammback.jpg

And here is the site I found them on:

http://www.wqik.net/kammback/index.htm

There is a complete history of the cars, and I even learned these were built from 1978 cars, but were later converted to look like the 79-80 models, and there were two of the prototypes! I also found out that it was even featured in one episode of "The Rockford Files"!

I also ran across a pic of a later model late 80s or early 90s version, but I don't know if this was a factory concept or just an add on, since this wagon piece just replaces the stock rear window/trunk lid.

hppp_0705_07_z22nd_trans_am_nationalsthird_gen_wagon.jpg

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Thanks Highway. I had not seen the Rockford site before. The TV car is obviously the original car that was reconfigured with the '79 frontend on the '78 body. The rear of the car looks unchanged from the original. I found some info and pics on the wheels that may have been used, another minefield! No matter how long this project takes I will bet that as soon as I am finished some more information will come to light.

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Posted · Report post

Daniel my friend, you have embarked on another odessy into uncharted territory in diecast reconstruction!B)

With the great job you did on the 58 Chevy this should be even better yet to watch as it unfolds!:)

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Thanks Highway. I had not seen the Rockford site before. The TV car is obviously the original car that was reconfigured with the '79 frontend on the '78 body. The rear of the car looks unchanged from the original. I found some info and pics on the wheels that may have been used, another minefield! No matter how long this project takes I will bet that as soon as I am finished some more information will come to light.

No problem again, Daniel, I enjoy helping whenever I can! :D

As for wheels, I'm not sure exactly what is available in the 1/18 scale diecasts, but they are Pontiac Snowflake wheels that were common on Trans Ams, but they need to be this style from a 77 or later car.

HPIM2575.jpg

I know you had mentioned the Bandit version, and that would have the correct wheels, you would just need to remove any gold like in my pic to make the all aluminum colored versions on the Type K.

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I have been ammassing doner vehicles and so far it looks as though I will have to make or modify something to make the wheels and maybe the tires as well. Ertl appears to have used the narrower wheel/tire combination on all their cars to save on tooling. We are talking 1/18th of an inch which is easily noticable (albeit only to the most anal retentive of us!) Ah well, if it was easy then everybody would be doing it. My buddy Mike thinks that he would like a model of the Olds F88 and we are getting materials for that little project!

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Posted · Report post

Interesting project!

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That will be a cool project for sure. Greenlight has a 1980 Trans Am coming out that has that front end on it. The Pace car is the first due out and several others early next year including the Smokey car, maybe it'll have the wheels you need.

AzTom

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for the tip.

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Posted · Report post

Well, the Lord hates a coward so out came the knives and saws!

DSC02103.jpg

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Well golly gee, that smarts! Got this far with my cutting when the saw jumped on the return stroke and buried itself in my thumb. Blasted thing is awkward to hold while cutting. So now this project is on hold until I heal a bit!

DSC02104.jpg

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Um, DanielG You gotta watch them wild Hacksaws! B) They do have a tend to get unruley and bite back from time to time. I learned this lesson many times myself. You are off to a great start and you get better my friend. I can't wait to see more on this conversion. The 58 Turned out Awesome and I know this is in good capable hands. :blink:

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Posted · Report post

I am a fast healer so back at it! I got the bottom of the rear body fabricated. Next up is to fashion the upper portion and then JB Weld the unit in place.

TransAmbackend003.jpg

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Posted · Report post

Welcome back. :blink: Off to a good start. I'm watchin'. B)

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More progress.

Fitting, jigged and soldered and test fitted.

DSC02108.jpg

DSC02109.jpg

DSC02110.jpg

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Posted · Report post

Oh my .. that is looking good!

Hey, Daniel, do you realize that is all metal!? :lol:

Glad to see you back and healed. I never imagined you were gonna use metal, but it IS a diecast. Will make it all the more interesting to follow. :lol:

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Posted · Report post

I am going to try and use brass as much as possible for strength. While comparing this fitting I noticed that the underframe on the model hangs down below the body whereas the real car seems to have everything tucked up nice and clean!(sigh).

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Posted · Report post

While comparing this fitting I noticed that the underframe on the model hangs down below the body whereas the real car seems to have everything tucked up nice and clean!(sigh).

What areas did you see that in? I had a real 79 Firebird, I might be able to help.

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78k-car-fb6.jpg

I am refering to the rear. On the model the spring is visible below the body panel whereas on the photo of the car the only thing visible appears to be the exhaust pipes. Did these things ever have coil suspension? This is always assuming that the photo was not retouched! I already have the reshaping of the front flare planned out.

This is a picture of the '78 before the '79 upgrade.

Any assistance greatly appreciated.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Daniel, I was just looking at the photo above of your project. I think your going to half to do something about the original diecast rear roof part. It seems to me it is abit sloped down wards in the rear. It looks like you might have to take and slightly notch and push it forwards just afew hairs and make a small metal piece to stick in there where the gap would be at on the bottom. I really like your project so far and I will be following it. Keep up the good work on your build here man.

Edited by m0parman

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