1980 First-Timer's Project


Veteran Member
Jan 19, 2011
Daytona Beach, FL
Hey everybody, I've been watching the forums for a while and finally decided to post up my project. This is my first ever resto project, but I think with a lot of concentration I can do this! I'm 22 and still in college so $ is tight, but I squeeze what I can for little stuff here and there. I bought the car because my Dad had an '80 Berlinetta 302, nothing outragious but for an 8 year old it was the best thing I had ever seen. He had to sell it years ago, and ever since I have missed that car. So after a few years in college, and a little financial help from a friend, I bought one. I found it in mid-Florida, some guy had it in his back yard, it needed help but I was hooked. Body is solid, frame is solid, no structural rust except for rotted floors, it had a 350 put in it later (it was originally a V6 A/C car with power everything but most of it was removed or broke) but all the original paperwork was with it so at least I had some history. I brought it home along with a bunch of pontiac junk (tried to sell it but no-one wanted it) and parked it in a dorm parking lot. Since then I rented a nice big storage unit and really started to tear into the car. Here are a bunch of pics, I'll keep posting as I get them!




In this one please notice the awesome textured outdoor paint on everything... That along with the mass amounts of blue RTV have been the bane of my existance...


An example of the fun I ran into...




I know its prolly OK, but I really wanted even the smallest reason to swap out the tranny. I want a 4L80E sooooo bad...

Anyway thats all I have for now. Big dreams for this car... I just hope I can do it!


Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Sep 2, 2008
Plymouth Mass
Welcome to the best sit in the world!!!There are alot of great guys here that will help you out as you go.If it wasn't for NastyZ28 I wouldn't be doing my project.Its a first for me also.Don't be afraid to ask alot of questions.Let the fun begin.:bowtie:


Veteran Member
Apr 8, 2010
welcome to the site. really like the skinny front and fat rear tire combo. also like the valve cover under the front tire.;)


Veteran Member
Jan 19, 2011
Daytona Beach, FL
Hey thanks for the replies guys! I'm hoping this project works out, it was a bit of a stretch getting things moving but I think it was worth it! I plan to keep the wheels although my Dad keeps picking on me about them... I do plan to run more stock 5-spoke wheels around town though, the Mickey Thompsons are a bit expensive for street use... big gear head, thanks for the offer, but do you have the 3 or 1 piece rear spoiler? I'm hoping to run the old-school early 70s low-pro 1-piece along with window leuvers, its a look I've liked for a long time.

As for drivetrain I'm hoping to drop in a 454 if I can find one locallly, and really want to run a 4L80E tranny. I'll take some pictures of the rusted floors, because that will have to happen first, so no rush on the engine/tranny. I havent pulled the rear lights yet to look for rust but a once-over with a magnet and a close look tells me the main body is straight otherwise. Its got some old track bars installed that I'm gonna trash, any suggestions on rear suspension mods with my planned setup? Should I get new track bars or ladder bars? I dont really want to spend the money on a huge overhaul like a 4-link setup (no-matter how much I want it) so whats the best option to keep the rear meats on the ground?

Also, any suggestions on doing the floors? I dont have any advanced tech to rotate the body or anything, I was just gonna drop the sub-frame and nose-up the body with an engine hoist to make it easier to get to. Will this tweak the body at all? The doors are still on and the T-tops are too, so that should help but should I worry about anything else? thx everyone!