88 Trans Am GTA – Steve Henson

I bought the car for just under 5 grand from ‘American Car Imports’ way back in 2000 during my second mid-life crisis. I’d owned a 1977 302ci Mustang when I was a teenager and had promised myself another piece of American history at a time when I wouldn’t have to sell it due to lack of funds – so that was that! The joys of the early-ish internet!

So in the first few years I extended the garage (!), repaired some bodywork damage due to an undersized garage – then got to work keeping it roadworthy. So that would be front discs, pads and bearings, alternator and drive belt, drop links, short-term exhaust, running lights, rear fog light (used one of the rear light cluster lamps for this), partial re-spray, tyres and radiator.

Then disaster struck – I had to move to Ireland for a year so the car was left languishing outside (!) for a year (2004-2005). On my return zero funds and debt left it off-road (but garaged).

Kicked the restoration back off again last year, with new brake lines, injectors, head lining, door sill trim, more tyres, fuel tank flush, proper muffler, new fuel filter. Plus the usual electrical works, and some remedial work on the drivers door window motor and external weather strip, horn wiring, thermostat, fuel pump and restoration of factory engine settings.

A new stereo is in the works, plus passenger door window motor (sourced from Robin) and weather strip.

Had our first full summer running this year an fell in love with it all over again.

That 1970 Buick Riviera still looks tempting – but would need another garage extension

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