I was 19 in 1976, and wanted to buy a new car. Being a Pontiac guy like my Father, there was only one choice. A 76 TA. So in March of 76, my father and myself went to Roley Pontiac in Belle Vernon, PA. I sat down with the salesman, and had him offer me every option that you could get. I ended up only picking, hood decal, 455 performance package, light group, drip rail, tinted glass, and my Dad talked me into the AM/FM stereo radio. Didn't want a SE car, to many bad reports about the T tops. After going through all that, my dad says "C'mon lets go." I was like but, but, but I didn't order my car yet! Again "Lets go!!!" Little to my knowledge, my Dad had contacted a little dealership in Suttersville, PA. This place had four employees, the owner Tom Messner (Messner Pontiac), his secretary, one mechanic (Speedy) and a lot boy/ mechanic. The show room barely held one car. Anyway, small dealer equals low over head. My dad saved me close to $800 by going there. With trade in I paid $4900 for my brand new TA! I got to know them pretty well. Speedy told me later that "You looked like a little kid walking into a candy store." that day I picked it up. Tom the owner had a few Pontiacs sitting way back in the corner of the shop. I remember a 65ish Goat and late 50's big Pontiac sitting there.
I ordered the car in March and took delivery on the car May 20, 1976. March to May was the longest 9 weeks of my life. After 6 thousand miles, I swapped out the heads and cam. That really woke the motor up. Well after only three years of having fun with the car, I blew it up. Long story short, the car sat from 79 until 2001 when I started restoring it. I finished restoring it in 2005. Shy of the paint job, thatís another story. Car didn't need much, since it sat in (mostly climate controlled) garages. I kept every receipt for the car. There may be a few non important ones missing, like oil and filter, tune up stuff. They fill a 3 inch 3 ring binder.
I did however get to drive it to the drive in to see SATB. That was a great night. "I was to cool to move" that night. Don't remember how many Pontiacs were there, if any, but I was the only black TA there. After the resto was finished my Wife and I discovered The Bandit Run. That is the most fun I've ever had in my car legally. So we are still having fun with the car. We belong to a local car club, and attend weekly cruise ins. I sorry to say that after going on all the Bandit Runs, sitting behind my car at shows or cruise ins, just doesn't hold the same excitement any more.
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