Muscle Cars

Muscle Car Talk: Smokey and The Trans AM

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This is a 78 Pontiac Trans Am. As you recall all the hype was on the ’77 Trans Am with the screaming chicken on the hood, CB radio, and a young Burt Reynolds behind the wheel.

So, we strip off the chicken and get the car down to the bones and we have a good car. The car had a variety of engines from the puny 301 all the way up to the Super Duty 455.
Most of the buyers went for the run of the mill, always dependable 350 V8. The black paint job implies that was the only color available but there were other colors and a favorite was a red exterior with a black interior.
The wheels were a pretty standard item as was the standard list of options.
The option alot of people paid extra for was the famous T Tops. Back in the day any type of T top was extremely popular. Not just on the Firebird, as far reaching as the Chrysler Córdoba. The issue with the tops was after a few years they leaked. It rained, you got wet, run it through a car wash and the interior got washed as well. Many a owner kept a towel under the seat for the drying process.
New gaskets were installed and at times that didn’t help as the tops themselves shrunk in heated cities or warped. Small pickings for a very popular car back in the day.

The hay day was from 77 to 80. Remember, the movie spawned the popularity of the car and of course the movie had a remake that just did not have the bandit number one fame. After the hysterical fans waned and Pontiac went out of business the restorers kept this car in the limelight. It’s only been the car auctions of late that have people with a lot of money buying the original car and cars that were remotely associated with the movie. The recent madness happened at Barrett Jackson this year. A ’77 Trans AM that never was in the movie but was a back up to the original car sold for $550,000. Gulp.

The car was iconic and still looks great today, but be careful for which year and options you buy as like all things, they were not all made equal.

By Mark Weisseg

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