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1989 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA Rebuild

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  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
1989 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA Rebuild
Posted by mrmike on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 9:32 AM

I found this long forgotten Firebird GTA that is in dire need of a rebuild...or I just needed another distraction.  LOL  This I believe was the High Performance Series kit since the Buick V-6 engine is wired and plumbed and I didn't do that unless the necessary parts were in the kit.   Anyway, this Firebird GTA will be blown apart, rechromed, repainted, and rebuilt.  This is probably another one of those models that I originally built in a weekend.  Once I take the model apart, everything will be washed, inventoried, and refinished.  The wheel rims will need to be rechromed.  I never painted the model, but I did clearcoat it with enamel clearcoat which has yellowed over time.  I always thought the Firebird GTA looked great in white, but I may paint it another color. 

More to come...

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet." Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

On my bench-1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409; 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by mustang1989 on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 4:10 PM

Ha!! Managed to find it here too. Looking forward to it Mike.

Being really stupid is the new smart!! 

    Joe

  • Member since
    February, 2008
Posted by justmike on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 5:54 PM

This'll be interesting.

Feelings are like scents: The more they are analyzed, the worse they smell.
  • Member since
    August, 2007
  • From: Kamloops,Canada
Posted by mclovin on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 6:51 PM

What you have is the 89'T/A,it was the indy pace car for that year with the Grand National engine,Amt did the same kit with the Pace Car decals.Looking forward to your restoration,also the pace car only came in white.

"to love it ,is to live it"

 http://public.fotki.com/convertible-fan/

 

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Thursday, January 31, 2019 9:39 AM

Thank you guys!  I have been building constantly since 1983, so I don't remember when a specific model may have been built.  I don't know the history of this kit other than that it is hard to find along with the AMT version, although I have seen a few Monogram and AMT kits on ebay.  I may decide on the body color after I wash everything and start on cleaning and repair of the rest of this build.  Thank you mclovin for the correction of the model year!  

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet." Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

On my bench-1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409; 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Friday, February 01, 2019 12:04 PM

I washed the parts of my '89 Firebird GTA this morning.  As you can see, the enamel clearcoat has yellowed over time.  Don Yost says that enamel clearcoat won't yellow so what is his method of adding enamel clearcoat?  When this is dry, I'll paint the body parts with primer and then with white paint.  I'll have to dig through my paints and pick out a white paint for the GTA.

More to come...

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet." Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

On my bench-1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409; 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    September, 2008
  • From: East Templeton Ma
Posted by streetrod on Friday, February 01, 2019 6:40 PM

Hi Mike.

Don't forget you have to use enamel primer over the clear already on the body and not lacquer.. Your white will have to be enamel too.

Barry

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Saturday, February 02, 2019 7:16 AM

Thank you for the advice Barry!  Actually, I'm going to strip and sand away the old clearcoat and start over with fresh primer and paint.  I am doing bodywork on this Firebird since I never did any on it when the kit was brand new.

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet." Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

On my bench-1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409; 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    March, 2011
Posted by gulftarpon on Saturday, February 02, 2019 9:57 AM

Since it was an enamel clear coat, you might try dunking it in Purple Power or similar for a few days to try to remove the coat. That way you won't risk losing any detail to sanding.

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Tuesday, February 05, 2019 8:54 PM

The Firebird has been sitting in a container completely covered with Easy Off Oven Cleaner.

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet." Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

On my bench-1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409; 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Classic Plastic Model Club

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by mustang1989 on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 6:33 AM

Looks like it came apart ok Mike. Aint it funny how alot of the builds that we did early on in our modeling careers just kind of ....pop apart. These days I'd dang near have to take a hammer and a chisel to separate alot of glued together parts. lol

Being really stupid is the new smart!! 

    Joe

  • Member since
    August, 2005
  • From: Nashua, New Hampshire
Posted by mrmike on Wednesday, February 06, 2019 6:42 AM

Back then, it was tube glue and the aweful non-toxic tube glue which didn't work all that well.  Today, we scrape the mounting points of chrome or paint to get better adhesion between the model parts.  Today, if we want to take model apart that we had built in the last couple of years, get out the hammer and chisel, like you said!

"That's Spenser with an 'S' like the poet." Robert Urich Spenser For Hire 1985

On my bench-1961 Chevrolet Impala SS 409; 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited

Classic Plastic Model Club

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