1988 Formula Build for Jeri (Page 1/12)
Toddster AUG 30, 08:08 PM
I found this gem on craigslist. All I had to do was drive to Arizona to get it and tow it home!

The car has been sitting for the past 15 years or so but it is 100% rust free, the dash has just one small crack, original literature is with it, it is an auto and Non-CJB, but I just parted a 1987 GT with 5-Speed so I got this swap in hand. The car was owned by an elderly man and I am the second owner. He passed away so I bought the car from his daughter. He drove it to Fiero events when he was younger but it was parked out back under a car port when his health failed and it sat there, un-moved for 15 years. I had a heck of a time dragging it out as the tires sank into the soft sand over the years. The car had original T-Tops although not CJB. It also had cruise control and AC. Other than that, it is bare bones! I will add all the desirable options.

As you know, I name every build so, I give you project WHITE LIGHTNING!

[This message has been edited by Toddster (edited 06-09-2021).]

IMSA GT AUG 30, 10:47 PM
Glad to have you back.
Toddster AUG 30, 11:02 PM
Thank you brother. All the kids are grown to the point where they wants cars so what better way to get them started than working on a car with them. We just finished fixing up an 86 GT for Evan who is going into the Marines at the end of the year.
Spadesluck AUG 31, 12:20 AM
Awesome find! Can't beat that price.
Tony Kania AUG 31, 10:26 AM
I appreciate your presence also.

Whatever happened to that hot rod you were building from scratch? I have pics on another hard drive. Just thought it was really cool and hoped you went farther with it.
Toddster SEP 01, 10:18 PM
Thanks Tony, Life changes kept me away for a while but I am back to stay.

OK, the first thing to do when you get a car that has been sitting for a long time is RESEARCH!

1) Start with a visual inspection at the storage location:

I noticed no oil leaks under that car, no break fluid leaks, and no coolant leaks. The Schrader valve for the AC was pressurized, and the car rolled with the break off and the transmission in Neutral with no labor. The car was stored under a car port so it did have some sun damage on the passenger side. And I noticed the property was next to a dry creek bed so I check for evidence of flash flood damage, none was found.

2) Examine the paperwork:

In this case I bought a 1 owner car and have plenty of paperwork. At 34K he had a code 42 and 32 so an EGR and pick-up coil were replaced, tires at 67K and regular oil changes right up to 92K miles (there are 113K on it now). That is where the paperwork ends. The original title from Arizona shows the car was purchased March 1988 and the owner paid $8,999. It comes with original keys (including T-Top locks).

The paperwork was kept in a manila folder and the car has no damage. Clearly this was loved car at some point in time. This gives me hope for the next step;

3) Do a detailed inspection of the car:

The front compartment looks like a time capsule. Nothing has moved since 1988. Even spare tire still has the little thin ridge of rubber around the center line indicating that it has never been used. The tire iron look factory fresh with no paint chipping or scratches and the AC still has R-12 in it. Aside from a layer of dust to remove, I will not have much to do up here. the head light motors are probably due for a rebuild so I will get to that first, it's a simple job and takes an hour.

Spare tire:

The rear trunk is clean and the original T-Top bags are neat and folded.

The engine has good and bad news: the good is that the dog bone is in perfect condition. THAT means that it has been driven responsibly and not raced. It probably means that I will find the internals are clean. As long as I can turn the engine by hand, it will need just basic service.

the BAD news is that critters got under the hood and lunched on the wiring. It's a good thing I am swapping in a Getrag 5-speed (harness is part of the swap. I will go into a lot of detail for the benefit of all)

The T-Tops are cooked, but fortunately, the main seals are only cracked on the outside passenger side edge. The rest of the parts are available easily so I will give them a good clean and respray.

The last look is at the interior. Aside from some driver side bolster damage, the interior is in great shape. I do have some reshaping of the squishy bits to do but the dash is uncracked (I'll use caster oil to keep it that way, old navy trick) and the most interesting part is that there are NO OPTIONS......NONE! This was one light weight bad ass car in it's day. But I am building for Jeri so we will add all the bells and whistles. I have a 1987 GT parts car with everything I need: power windows, door, locks, mirrors, subwoofer, trunk release, and cruise.

Stay Tuned!

[This message has been edited by Toddster (edited 11-15-2020).]

Toddster SEP 06, 08:29 PM
Nothing like a new pair of shoes to lift your spirits. uh...wear your sunglasses.

[This message has been edited by Toddster (edited 11-15-2020).]

fierogt28 SEP 06, 09:07 PM
Todd, those look beautiful !!

Did you get them refinished?



88 GT, Loaded, 5-speed.
88 GT, 5-speed. Beechwood interior, All original.

Toddster SEP 06, 11:10 PM

Originally posted by fierogt28:

Todd, those look beautiful !!

Did you get them refinished?


Yes, re-rounded, minor road rash cleaned-up, mirror finish, and new paint on the honeycomb. I'll get some new tires mounted and balanced later. Sunday, the real work begins.
blackrams SEP 07, 05:24 AM

Originally posted by Toddster:

For years Jeri has wanted a very specific car, White, Formula, T-Tops, 5-speed.........................sigh, sure babe, I'll just run out and buy one for you.

10 YEARS LATER.....I give you my Arizona Craig's list find for just $700:

The car has been sitting for the past 15 years or so but it is 100% rust free, dash is uncracked (believe it or not), original literature is with it, it is an auto and Non-CJB, but I just parted a 1987 GT with 5-Speed so I got this

As you know, I name every build so in the spirit of my southern belle, I give you project WHITE LIGHTNING!

Stay tuned

Had I known, Jerri could have been happy long ago. Mine could be your car's twin.
My 88 CJB Formula, 5 speed with most of the bells and whistles sits the vast majority of the time. Have thought about her going several times. I just don't have the time and resources to retain, use and play with the whole fleet. My sideline activities (transporting other people's junk) takes up way more time than it's worth.