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GTA DOCUMENTATION/RESEARCH Want to ask about your GTA's documentation, build codes, or other historical data? Then post it HERE!

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Old 03-28-2002   #1
swace123
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Question '88 & '89 GTA Convertibles

I own a 1988 GTA convertible, black with gray, digital dash, 5.0L, about 85,000 miles.

My brother owns a 1989 GTA convertible, metallic red with tan, 5.7L, with only about 20,000 miles.

We are trying to find out how many convertibles were made each year and how much they might be worth. I will probably keep my '88, but my brother is thinking about selling his '89 if the price was right.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 03-28-2002   #2
Fred91GTA
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Umm, if I were you, I'd grab the '89 convertible. Sorry to ask, but are you sure that yours is an '88? Somewhere on this site, it states that GTA convertibles were only converted by ASC during the '89 model year. I'd check it out if I were you.
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Old 03-28-2002   #3
Krazzycowgirl
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Production numbers for the GTA in 88 11,214GTAs made
in 89 9,631 Gta made.

As for the Convs. they did not come from the Factory that way until 91 for the Firebirds. Even then they were shipped out somewhere else to be done.

Also a note no 3rd Gen cars came with a stock 350 with the convts.
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Old 03-30-2002   #4
FrankieRider2
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GTA Year: 1988
GTA Engine: 350 TPI Automatic
HERE WE GO AGAIN....

Boy, this topic needs a real definitive answer.... and soon!

Quote:
Somewhere on this site, it states that GTA convertibles were only converted by ASC during the '89 model year.
The 1989s were the only one authorized by Pontiac, but there were others years cars that were done as well.... presumably by dealerships and/or customers themselves. I have seen 1987, 1988, and 1990 GTA convertibles, and they were all real Y84 GTAs. You just have to keep in mind that they didn't leave Van Nuys as droptops.

Quote:
As for the Convs. they did not come from the Factory that way until 91 for the Firebirds. Even then they were shipped out somewhere else to be done. Also a note no 3rd Gen cars came with a stock 350 with the convts.
Pontiac did contract ASC to convert a small number of Firebirds in 1989.... a total of 369 'Birds. Reportedly, only 50 cars were built with the 5.7L TPI V8 which was standard on the GTA. When you figure the usual 2/3 split on the 5.7L availability going to the GTA on these cars as well, the total comes to 33 GTAs. But the actual total of GTAs converted has never been documented.

And yes, they did put 5.7L in some of these cars.... pages 36-37 of the February '96 issue of HPP will show you one.

Those facts are correct for the 1991-92 convertibles (which wasn't even offered on the GTA model), but are not correct for the small number of 1989 cars built.

Just some more info....
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Old 03-30-2002   #5
swace123
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Thank you all for the replies. I ran the vin # on mine at:
http://www.thirdgen.org/newdesign/vin/
and it came back as:

Made in: United States
Manufacturer: General Motors
Make: Pontiac
Carline Code: F-Body
Carline Series: Trans Am, Formula
Body Type: 2 door coupe (hatchback)
Restraint System: Manual belts
Engine Code: 305 ci V8 LB9 (1987-1992)
6 is the CHECK DIGIT
Model Year: 1988
Assembly Plant: Van Nuys

I bought it back in 1990 from a woman who worked for GM in Janesville, WI. She said she ordered it just the way she wanted it direclty from GM. The convertible part of it is identical to my brother's '89, so I believe both were done by ASC. And although my '88 is a 5.0L 5-speed, his '89 is a 5.7L automatic.

It would just be nice to know an actual number made, and an approximate value. Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder...
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Old 03-31-2002   #6
91GTA383
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Is it possible for you to run your brothers vin and post the results? As for the value of your car it is difficult to say as well as the #'s. Since it isn't a factory convertible it would be difficult to have it appraised as well. There are quite a few converibles that have been converted from coupes (not necessarily GTA's) wich hurts its value from a collectors standpoint. If you were going to sell it dont expect to get any more than a factory convertible and possibly a little less depending on the cars overall condition. I seen on a e-bay an 89 GTA vert. and the bidding only got to about 7K. I dont think it met the reserve and wasnt relisted that I saw. I am not saying that it isn't a nice car, just giving you an idea of what I've seen for sale. Of course if you find the right person it changes everything.
On to ordering verts from GM. You could have ordered a vert from the dealer and it still not be an official GM vert. As long as the customer was paying dealers would order the vehicle then they would have it sent to be converted to a convertible.
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Old 03-31-2002   #7
underdave
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does anybody know the color schemes of the convertibles that were done by ASC? the only ones i've ever seen that were "official" convertibles were black with a black top.
just curious.................
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Old 03-31-2002   #8
91GTA383
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Dont know what year your talking about 89 or 91-92 but you could get pretty much any color car with any color top. Since ASC is not part of GM any color combination could be ordered. I have seen a 91 TA with a burgundy top. And a couple of red verts with white tops(non GTA's). Were official verts, but not sure if the top was original or not. The basic tops were tan, black and some white. If the car was new on the lot it most likely had one of these colors. I have seen white with tan top for 89's. Didn't see the vin so I dont know if it was official.
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Old 04-02-2002   #9
swace123
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The vin decoder gave the following results for the '89 GTA convertible:

Made in: United States
Manufacturer: General Motors
Make: Pontiac
Carline Code: F-Body
Carline Series: Trans Am, Formula
Body Type: 2 door coupe (hatchback)
Restraint System: Manual belts
Engine Code: 350 ci V8 B2L/L98 (1987-1992)
X is the CHECK DIGIT
Model Year: 1989
Assembly Plant: Van Nuys

It appears that the only difference between the '88 and the '89 is the engine info (his is 350 auto, my '88 is 305 5-speed).

Thanks again for all of your comments.
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Old 04-02-2002   #10
91GTA383
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Seeing that his vin does not show that it is a convertible leads me to believe that either it isnt one of the authorized convertibles or GM never authorized them. GM was authorizing convertibles for Camaro since 87 and 3 would be the digit for the body style portion of the VIN. It stands to reason that if they were authorizing convertibles for pontiac that it would also use the same numbering system since it is what they used for 91-92 verts. Again I am not saying that it is a bad car just that not having the number in the VIN will hurt it collectible status compared to a vert that had it.
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Old 04-09-2002   #11
dwhess504
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Talking

to the previous post, 91GTA383. Pontiac didn't have a factory convertible so the 3 in the vin would not apply to GTA's. As you probably know they were sent to ASC.

Swace123, I have a 1990 GTA convertible people say there is no such thing, but its right in my garage. I'm in the process
of finding out if it is orginal. ASC says they made 313 conv. in 1989. ASC also states that it didn't go by model year but the year itself ex. a 1990 Could be converted if it was sold before the year 1990. A lot is still unknown.

1990 GTA black/black leather tan top 350 auto 46k.
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Old 04-09-2002   #12
91GTA383
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Quote:
Originally posted by dwhess504
to the previous post, 91GTA383. Pontiac didn't have a factory convertible so the 3 in the vin would not apply to GTA's. As you probably know they were sent to ASC.

Swace123, I have a 1990 GTA convertible people say there is no such thing, but its right in my garage. I'm in the process
of finding out if it is orginal. ASC says they made 313 conv. in 1989. ASC also states that it didn't go by model year but the year itself ex. a 1990 Could be converted if it was sold before the year 1990. A lot is still unknown.

1990 GTA black/black leather tan top 350 auto 46k.
I know that Pontiac didn't have any convertibles, that was my point. Since it doesn't have the 3 it is not a GM authorized factory convertible. ASC converted many 3rd gens that were not factory convertibles. Even though GTA's were converted by ASC it doesn't mean it was factory authorized (89, 90 or any other year). ASC converted all factory authorized convertibles from 87-92 and all were labeled as convertibles at the factory by placing the 3 in the VIN then shipped for conversion. A vehicle that has a 2 was built then sent for conversion by dealer or customer.
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Old 04-09-2002   #13
dwhess504
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91GTA383,
Have you ever seen a convertible GTA with a 3 in the vin? Is this your findings through research? Just wondering because I'm still trying to see if mine was GM factory authorized or not. Thanks
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Old 04-10-2002   #14
SuperDutyDave
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Here is some information I have dug up from an orginal blank ASC order form from 1989.

The documant is titled: "Limited Edition Vehicles Direct Sales Activity Firebird COnvertable 1989"

Ordering information:
* Required Base Unit - Firebirds All Models (Must Have T-Top Package)
*A Purchase Order Must Accompany All Orders
*A $50.00 Drop Ship Courtesy Charge Must Be Remited With Each Order. Make Check Payable to ASC Direct Sales
* Only One Vehicle Per Order Form
*Submit Completed Order Form to ASC Direct Sales Activity - Retaining The Last Copy (pink) for Your Records

** Standard Conversion COst
$4990.00
* Available Option
Imported Top Material in Tan Only
$300.00

All units are drop shipped to:
Pioneer Pontiac
1600 Fort Street
Southgate, Mi. 48195


The points I notice that are interesting is the cost was set at $4990.00 (no retail vs dealer cost) and the cars were drop shipped to Mi. from the factory, converted and then shipped to the selling dealer.

Dave
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Old 04-10-2002   #15
91GTA383
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I have yet to see any firebird(pre-91) that has the 3 in the vin. If GM had authorized any it would be there. VINS are stamped at time of production. It doesnt make sense that they wouldn't use the same numbering system for firebirds since it was already in use. Being shipped from the factory to ASC doesnt make it an official vert. Many customers ordered there vehicles this way, but as mentioned in the above post, the cars were required to have t-tops to be converted.
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Old 04-10-2002   #16
SuperDutyDave
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91GTA383,
I agree with your argument from a purist stand point. The car was not available as a orderable item from Pontiac in 1989, only the dealer.

Unfortunatly even organizations like the Pontiac Oakland Club International (P.O.C.I.), which hold national events, allows the car in the stock Firebird/Trans Classes with the 1991 and 1992 convertables.

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Old 04-10-2002   #17
91GTA383
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Dont get me wrong, they are definately nice cars and have a place in auto history. The problem is that it can hardly be considered rare since any firebird could be converted by ASC without having the correct VIN. Combine that with the unreliable #'s that were converted of any particular model year. They will hold more value than other customs since they were done by ASC. I am just saying dont expect to sell for big $$$ based on rarity. I would expect them to keep pretty much on par for other convertibles of the same year and condition (thats what I see most selling for). Of course there will always be a few that sell for much more and some that go for much less. As for pure collectibility, only time will tell. It will basically come down to what people will accept as collectible reguardless if it was authorized or not.
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Old 04-10-2002   #18
dwhess504
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OK, since you(91GTA383) have not seen a pre-91 bird with a 3 in the vin. What makes you sure it would have a 3 in the vin. The same vin structure is used on camaros witch were built as Factory convertibles. My theory is based on blue books wich have a convertible listed as a model on the pre-91. Not picking just trying to be thorough.
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Old 04-10-2002   #19
91GTA383
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Which book exactly are you looking at. Pontiac kept very poor records compared to other divisions and most literature is incorrect or inaccurate at best. There is little documentation proving that they do exist other than some blue books. Seeing a car without the correct vin does not count because it would be indistinguishable from other unauthorized convertibles that may have been done by ASC. The vin would be pretty much the only concrete proof if they were factory convertibles. My point on the vin is this. GM already had the system in place for vin (camaro). GM used this system in 91-92 firebirds/camaros. Why would they all of a sudden decide to use it in 91 for only two model years when the system was in place since 87. Consider this as well. If you were looking at a 89 GTA how could you tell if it was an original factory convertible or done after by owner if it was converted by ASC? Most owners no longer have the original documentation. I am willing to bet that the RPO's do not show the convertible provisions either. Now what proof do you have other than a book? I am not trying to be an a$$. There is just isnt enough evidence that they were factory authorized.
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Old 04-10-2002   #20
dwhess504
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91GTA383, I agree with everything your saying. Pontiac and ASC have poor records. I ws refering just to a regular blue book (kellys) wich have a camaro convertible option and firebird as only hatchback. Also I went to carfax and tried to enter my VIN with a
3 in the 6th position and is was not reconized. Thats my only hard facts.
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