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CanuckDreamz 09-14-2011 09:39 PM

Looking to Buy One
I have always been a 3rd Gen Fanatic, for as long as I can remember, long before I knew what a 3rd Gen was, or even the difference between a formula/t-a/gta.

I remember taking a small handful of trips over an hour out of town when I was seventeen (in an 89 tempo) just to LOOK at an 89 GTA they had on the lot for 2500 (which was way out of my price range then, sadly).

Now, I am finally in a position to maybe pick one up. But I need your guys' help!

How do I ensure that this is, in fact, a GTA? I know to look for the steering-radio-controls, no fender vents, etc. I know what the body should look like, more or less.

But about the engine: an 88 GTA could be a 5.0 or a 5.7? or just a 5.7?

I don't intend to purchase without first obtaining a CARFAX...but what else can the VIN tell me?

Also, this SPID thing: I don't suppose it is a simple matter to find in someone else's vehicle unless they are particularly accomodating?

Do I understand right, it's stuck to the interior of the plastic molding between the fronts seats? Behind the gear-shift? I would have to remove that, flip it up, and hope it's there?

I am looking at an 88 GTA (white) as a starting point.

Finally, am I right in the understanding there were only 1200 or so built for Canada in that year?

Cheers guys! Thanks for the help!

Wes 09-15-2011 07:00 AM

Re: Looking to Buy One
The SPID sticker is inside the center console storage bin. No need to disassemble anything. Just open the lid and it should be glued to the inside wall. If you are in the drivers seat, you should be looking right at it or the glue residue from where it once was.
Both engines were available every year of the GTA.
Steering wheel controls were not a GTA only option.
The VIN will not give you any GTA specific info but it will allow you to determine which engine the car originally came with and the model year.

You can find all the other info you need using these links:

CanuckDreamz 09-18-2011 01:28 PM

Re: Looking to Buy One
Helpful links. Thanks!

CanuckDreamz 09-30-2011 12:40 AM

Re: Looking to Buy One
Well I'm about to pull the trigger on this deal. Car looks like a creampuff other than the usual 25 yr old GM growing pains.

First things first: Car's gotta be stored outside this winter unfortunately: Anything I need to know? Planning on just giving her a quick oil change, remove the battery, toss some steel wool in the tailpipes, block her up and call her good. I'm currently looking for a high-end car cover--anyone have any suggestions?

merc3065 09-30-2011 10:17 AM

Re: Looking to Buy One
Cover the wheels if you can with some of those motor home/trailer wheel covers.

You want to have the cover strapped as tightly as possible without bending things to prevent the cover from flapping in the winter winds and damaging the paint.

Since you're up here in Canada, ensure your neighbours aren't douchebags about "derelict" cars in your driveway. Ensure you have valid plates attached.

CanuckDreamz 10-01-2011 01:06 PM

Re: Looking to Buy One
Wheels are coming inside, and yes, I am very concerned about cover flapping.

Trying to find a plasticized/heavy canvas/soft sided cover with eyelets for good securing--was hoping somebody here might have done something like this in any weather.

Turns out there is only really one online that I can find that is actually designed for f-body.

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