Our Feature car number three is one of the most popular American cars out there and was made famous like most other American cars by a road movie. Yes you guessed it, its a Pontiac Trans Am, and its one of the cleanest examples to be seen on our shores.
This 1977 Trans Am belongs to John Chandley and is fittingly done in the colours of black and gold.
John has had his heart set on a Trams Am ever since it first appeared on the “Rockford Files” in 1974 with the legendry James Gardner behind the wheel. The gold Trans Am with tan interior pulled at Johns heart strings and continued to do so right up until the day he purchased one of his own.
In 1977 John was again teased when Universal Pictures released one of the all time great movies and now a classic staring the smooth Burt Reynolds and the ever funny Jackie Gleason, and of course the main star of the show was the 1977 T-top Trans Am done in the same colours as Johns car black with gold stripes. The car became an instant hit with people of all ages around the globe.
Star Wars was the only film that year that grossed more than “Smokey and the Bandit”, which shows the massive attraction of the film and its Trams Am star.
It took John until January of this year to finally purchase his dream car. He has delayed his purchase mainly because the lack of a storage facility. But after talking to our club chairman, John found safe storage with John McCarthy at his home place were it would be kept company by a least three other classic yanks.
After organising storage Johns search for his American muscle car began. He first found a clean car in our capital and had done a deal for the car but before he left to pick up the car he received a call to announce that the advertised Trans Am was viewed and purchased by some one living closer to Dublin. John then began to trace through the net and classic car magazines such as classic American, but every car he found seemed to be a bit on the rough side. Finally John found his car in Spurr classic cars UK, in Nottingham. Spur is an American car importer, who manly import Pontiac’s for re-sale so John had a selection to pick from. He took with him John and Patrick McCarty for a bit of advise and all three boarded a ferry and started the long journey to Nottingham. John had his hart set on the black and gold ‘77 that was on their website and on viewing it handed over the cash and his dream that began back in 1974 were complete.
The car is in total original condition, and he even has the original build sheet. It still has it’s 8 track stereo in full working order. The stripes complete with the famous Phoenix on bonnet, the car drives as good and as comfortable as any modern car and for this reason John splits daily driven between the Trans Am and his BMW.
The engine is a 6.6 litre V8 coupled with a 3 speed Th350 transmission, front discs, rear drums, power steering, white leather seats, red carpet, and a dash board and centre consol that looks like they were only fitted a few hours ago. This Trans Am is clean to say the least. John plans on a few small changes to fit a stainless steel exhaust system, change the tyres and alloys, as well as beefing up the suspension to raise the back.
When all this work is done John will have made a great car even greater. We look forward to seeing the bandit, in it the form of john Chandley smoking up the roads for years to come,
Jason O Driscoll