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March 2012 AllGenTransAms Member Feature
Year: 1980 Trans Am
Owner: Bill King
AllGenTransAms Member: 1980mnt/a

1. What Year and Model is your car? How many miles?
I have a 1980 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. Right now, it has 88,751 miles.

2. What was it that made you choose that model Pontiac?

I originally fell in love with this vehicle in May of 1994 when we got new neighbors at the end of our circle that we lived on. A family that we knew from having played hockey with my brother moved in. As a 14 year old who was totally obsessed with cars, seeing this vehicle move in was simply amazing. I spent many hours looking at it, looking inside it, and dreaming about it. Once I turned 16, one of my best friends ended up buying a 1981 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am which was pretty much the same as this one but black and lacking T-Tops and the full power interior. Since my friend wasn't exactly mechanically inclined, I spent time working on his Trans Am and I got my "fix" again. He ended up trading his Trans-Am in on a 1987 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer (sigh...) and now I could just dream about the one at the end of the street again....

3. How long have you owned your car?

I bought it September 21st, 2008, so a little over 3 years.

4. Where and how did you find your car?

As I mentioned above, it was my neighbor’s car, but there is a little more to the story. Skip ahead a couple more years and now I had graduated high school and was in college taking my generals wondering what to do for a career. I ended up talking to my neighbor with the Trans Am one day. Now, I knew he was a volunteer Bloomington Firefighter and a career, full-time Minneapolis Firefighter but I didn't know very much about either. Well, after a very short conversation, he basically recruited me into joining the Bloomington Fire Department (you tell me what 18 year old male wouldn't want to ride on a shiny red fire truck?!)! I thought this was a great opportunity and really have enjoyed being a part of the fire department, and I have my neighbor to thank for this. Plus, I got to see his Trans Am more!

Now skip ahead about 10 more years. My neighbor has since retired from the Bloomington Fire Department and was planning on retiring from the Minneapolis Fire Department as soon as his house here in Bloomington sold. His kids are in college and living on their own and him and his wife bought a house in Florida at a gated golf course community. My parents told me about two weeks ago that their house finally sold and they are moving. They also mentioned that they will be having a garage sale and that they invited my wife Shannon and I down before the sale opened to the public to see if we wanted anything. So, last weekend, Shannon, my daughter Maeve, and I stopped by to check things out. I spent a little more time gazing at the Trans Am sitting in the garage thinking to myself how I may never see this car again. I left the garage and walked through their house. Shannon ended up buying some martini glasses and we were on our way out. When we walked into the garage, my heart sank.....I saw a "For Sale" sign in the back window of the Trans Am!

I asked my neighbor "What, why, when, is it sold yet?" and a bunch of other mumblings. He said that after 28 years of having at least three cars (since he NEVER drove the Trans Am in winter) he only wanted to have one vehicle (and a golf cart) when he moved. He said he hadn't had very many people interested in it....and I think before he was finished that, I told him I would buy it. We basically left it at that and I drove back down to his house a few days later and we agreed upon a very fair price. One week later, after we both signed the original title and he handed me the original keys (complete with the dealer stock tag) I drove away with my dream Trans Am!

5. Is your car stock, restored, modified, or in between? If restored, tell us about the restoration. If modified, what “mods” have been done?

My car is mainly original/stock. I have done a little restoration. This past summer, I update the interior with new carpet, seat covers, and freshly dyed interior panels.

6. Do you have any future plans for your car?

Down the road, I would love to get a new paint job, decals, and maybe an entire restoration.

7. Do you attend shows/events/races with your car? Are you a member of any clubs?

I usually attend a couple local shows every year. I would love to get to Nationals one of these years!

8. How many miles a year do you put on your car?

Here are the mileage totals since I have owned the Trans Am:
2008 – 163 miles
2009 – 398 miles
2010 – 539 miles
2011 – 308 miles
Total: 1,408 miles

9. Have you won anything with your car you’re especially proud of?

I have never won any awards with my vehicle, but I am always proud when people compliment me on the Trans Am or approach me and tell me about some story they have involving a Trans Am. It is always nice knowing you can bring back a memory for someone!

10. What's your fondest memory in/with your car?

My fondest memories in my car all involve my family. I love taking the Trans Am and going on date nights with my wife. My kids LOVE the Trans Am, they know it as the “chicken” and they both love going for rides. I also had the opportunity to take my Dad (who is a total car guy) for his first ride in a vehicle with T-Tops!

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