By Barett Poley
Toronto, Ontario -- March 1, 2017 -- A Scarborough, Ontario automobile enthusiast, John Antoniadis, has walked away with the $5,000 Grand Prize at the Canadian International AutoShow’s Muscle Car Matchup. Antoniadis took the prize with his pristinely restored 1977 Pontiac Trans Am, modeled after “Blocker,” the black and gold Trans Am from the film Smokey and the Bandit.
Muscle Car Matchup was presented as a partnership between the AutoShow and Legendary Motor Cars.
Antoniadis is excited to have won, especially considering the fact that in many ways, he was an underdog in the competition.
“I can’t believe this is happening to me,” said Antoniadis after winning, “I don’t own a shop. I’m just a regular guy.”
Antoniadis may not be a professional, but he’s certainly experienced in the classic techniques of body repair, paint and restoration. The 1977 Trans Am was purchased 10 years ago, after having sat immobile in a barn for decades after its original owner had passed away. Bringing the car back to its original glory meant Antoniadis had his work cut out for him. Decades of sitting had meant quite a bit of restoration needed to take place, 95 percent of which was done by Antoniadis himself.
Antoniadis’s beautiful black Trans Am is a faithful recreation of the original “Blocker” but with some improvements. Equipped with a 6.6L big block, a 4-speed manual transmission and the highly sought after code w72 high performance package, Antoniadis’s Trans Am would almost certainly outpace the automatic and non-code-w72 Trans Am used in the movies. Other features include fully matching numbers all the way around, original radio and 8-track player, a 3.23 Posi-Traction Rear, and the special y-82 designation code, meaning the vehicle was part of a special edition limited run which came with special paint and interior colours.
The dream worthy Trans Am was inspired by one Antoniadis had owned and driven in his adolescence, and when he’d found this one, he knew it was perfect. The Trans Am had only 36,000 miles on the odometer, an incredible feat for a now 40-year-old muscle car classic.
Though the Trans Am beat out more than 80 other cars for the top-spot, all the cars provided were beautiful. Legendary Motor Cars certainly lived up to its name with all the cars that were shown.
“I’m really grateful to the AutoShow, to Legendary Motorcar Company, and to everyone else involved, for organizing this contest,” said Antoniadis.