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Thread: 1970s Trans Ams

  1. #1
    SCRAMbler
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    1970s Trans Ams

    Eric,
    The Smokey and the Bandit era cars, i.e., 1977-1979, have hit 20K. Are there any words of wisdom in choosing one? After all, you are man to talk to on things Pontiac.
    And get pics of your 455 car up! I for one would enjoy hearing about how you set it up - the modifications that you made to it, etc...

  2. #2
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 1970s Trans Ams

    Quote Originally Posted by SCRAMbler
    Eric,
    The Smokey and the Bandit era cars, i.e., 1977-1979, have hit 20K. Are there any words of wisdom in choosing one? After all, you are man to talk to on things Pontiac.
    And get pics of your 455 car up! I for one would enjoy hearing about how you set it up - the modifications that you made to it, etc...
    Hi Scrambler,

    Heck, some (like the '76 LE cars with the 455 and 4-speed) are selling for a lot more than $20k!

    The '77-'79 cars with the performance option ("T/A 6.6 litre") 400 are also getting pricey; the 10th Anniversary cars are also becoming very collectible.

    However, there is good news!

    The mid-late '70s Trans-Ams were produced in very large numbers relative to the earlier cars; especially standard cars with the non-"T/A 6.6" 400 and automatic transmission. (These have the 185-hp 400; they can be identified by their shaker decals, which just read "6.6 litre" instead of "T/A 6.6")

    You can find a very nice one for under $12k. Solid drivers for much less.

    Trans-Ams with the Olds 403 engine (aso ID'd as "6.6 litre" ) are considered less collectible/desirable - but that makes them even less expensive.

    There are also some sub-models that I think will be collectible in the future but which are not getting a lot of ink, including:

    * Formula 400 4-speeds (esp. the '79 models; last of the line)
    * '75 Trans-Ams are pretty rare; one rarely sees them (at least I don't)
    * Unusual colors - such as Goldenrod Yellow and Carousel Red (1976)
    * Fire-Ams (HPP just did a great article on these, fyi)
    * 1980-81 cars with either the turbo 301/THM or the 4-BBL 301 and 4-speed; Daytona Pace Cars are good-looking and have lots of potential.


  3. #3
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    Re: 1970s Trans Ams

    SCRAMbler,

    Best advice I can give is to you, is buy the 2nd generation Trans Am you are interested in. Forget about value or collectibility. If you buy what you like, you will enjoy the car more.

    1970: Ram Air III and Ram Air IV Trans Ams - both are very expensive, these cars in good condition are way above what most of us Trans Am fans can afford.

    1971 - 1972: 455 H.O. Trans Ams are close to '70 Ram Air III prices (just a little less about 10%).

    1973 - 1974: 455 SD Trans Ams are a little less than the '70 Ram Air IV T/As but not by much. SD's are very expensive, and expect to pay Barrett Jackson type prices for the nicest of examples especially the '73 SD's. Mint conditioned 1973 455 (D-port) L75 - 250 horsepower Trans Ams can still be had for a reasonable $18,000 - $25,000 in good condition. The '74 455 (D-port) L75 in good condition are selling for slightly less than the '73 L75 Trans Ams. The '74 400 L78 Trans Ams generally sell for slightly less than the '75 455 L75 Trans Ams.

    1975: '75 L75 is very rare only around 800 were produced, even with the rarity these cars are only slightly more than a '75 L78 (so it's a good T/A to buy if your looking for a reasonable priced rare Trans Am. The '75 L78's go for anywhere to $15,000 - $22,000 for good conditioned examples.

    1976: Even though '76 has the same engine options as the '75 T/A, the '76's are priced higher. I believe this is because the '76 body style is very popular among Trans Am fans. Around 8,000 L75 455s were produced these only came with a 4-speed just like the '75 L75 T/A, and these go from anywhere to $18,000 to $35,000. The 50th (Pontiac) Anniversary black and gold '76 Trans Ams are on the upper scale and as Eric mentioned the Golden Rod Yellow and Carousel Red are also rare colors that you can expect to pay more for. The '76 L78 T/As tend to be around 10 - 15% less than the '76 L75 Trans Ams.

    1977 - 1978: The W72 400 T/A's are the most sought after '77-'78 T/As especially the Y82/Y84 black and gold T/As (due to Smokey and the Bandit movie). A good conditioned Y82/Y84 can cost anywhere from $20,000 - $35,000. A regular run of the mill good conditioned '77-'78 W72 T/A will be worth $18,000 - $22,000. The '78 W72 automatics are rare since production ended mid year. The '77 - '78 L78 400s generally go for around 15-20% less than '77 - '78 W72 cars. Also for '78 the WS6 handling package was introduced and this will add value to a '78 Trans Am. Also the solor gold Y88 special edition Trans Am is very sought after. They are worth anywhere from $20,000 - $32,000 for good conditioned examples. And for the California market there was the Olds L80 403 which has the same resale value of the '77 - '78 L78 cars.

    1979: The W72 400 T/A's are very much sought after since only about 1 in 12 of all T/As produced for 1979 model year had the W72 400 which only came with the 4-speed that year. Expect to pay around $18,000 - $25,000 for a '79 W72. And for a W72 Y89 - 10th anniversary Trans Am expect to pay $20,000 - $40,000 for a good one (I have seen some very low mileage absolutely mint ones 3,000K or less miles, sell for as much as $50K). The L80 - Olds 403 powered 10th anniversary Trans Ams generally are around 15 to 20% less than the W72 10th anniversary cars. The L80 - Olds 403 powered T/As non Y89 cars were the bulk of the production of the '79 model year, these cars in good condition go for around $12,000 - $15,000 (non Y89). However the real sleeper this year was the 301 powered Trans Am which are very low in numbers since it was a delete special order from the factory. The 301 '79 T/As in good condition can be had for $11,000 - $14,000 and may be future collectables due to their low numbers and oddity if they catch on with collectors (then again they may turnout to be overlooked like the 400 2bbl GTOs).

    1980 - 1981: These are by far the most reasonable priced 2nd generation Trans Ams. The highest in price are the '80 Indy Pace Car edition and the '81 Daytona Pace Car edition - both of these range in price for a good one - $12,000 - $25,000. Both of these only came with the LU8 Turbo 301. The LU8 '80 - '81 T/As generally go for around $8,000 - $14,000 for good ones. The '80 - '81 301 4bbl T/A's in good condition go for around $8,000 - $12,000 for good ones. The '80 - '81 305 T/As in good condition are around $8,000 - $14,000 for good ones.

  4. #4
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 1970s Trans Ams

    Pete, this is a superb synopsis/analysis; thanks for taking the time to get into such detail on this!

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    Re: 1970s Trans Ams

    Eric,

    Thanks!

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 1970s Trans Ams

    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man
    Eric,

    Thanks!

    Love the billboard ... can you get that on a T-shirt?

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    Re: 1970s Trans Ams

    Eric,

    Thanks, I made the banner a few weeks ago to use on a Trans Am board. It turned out better than I expected. I like the shirt idea, would make a good retro iron-on shirt. ;D

  8. #8
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 1970s Trans Ams

    Quote Originally Posted by Disco Man
    Eric,

    Thanks, I made the banner a few weeks ago to use on a Trans Am board. It turned out better than I expected. I like the shirt idea, would make a good retro iron-on shirt. ;D
    Check with Cafe Press.. I think you have a winning T-shirt design here!

  9. #9
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    Re: 1970s Trans Ams

    Eric,

    Thanks for the info, I'll check out Cafe Press.


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