1985 Pontiac TransAmSOLD
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Estimate: $60,000-$80,000 US

Offered Without Reserve

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $66,000

190hp, 305 cu. in. G-Code HO overhead-valve V8 engine,
four-speed manual transmission, torque arm/track bar with coil springs and anti-sway bar, ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 101"

Enthusiasts trace the Pontiac Trans Am back to the original 1967 Firebird, introduced mid-model year, February 23, 1967, as Pontiac’s version of the Chevrolet Camaro. Both responded to the success of the 1965 Ford Mustang. The Firebird name came from GM’s fully operational Firebird I, Firebird II and Firebird III experimental turbine-powered cars of the 1950s.

Nearly two years after the Firebird’s 1967 introduction, the Trans Am name debuted as a 1969-model performance option on a Firebird show car at the December 1968 Chicago Auto Show. The following model year, Trans Am became a regular top-end, high-performance series for Firebird, tied into Pontiac’s interest in competitive performance events. Firebird production rose slowly at first, only 697 in 1969, dampened by the onslaught of Federal emissions and safety regulations that impacted engineering and promotional budgets and drove Chrysler Corp. and Ford competitors out of muscle cars by 1974.

The Firebird and Camaro soldiered on for GM, and Firebird had its best year in 1979 with production of 117,108. Firebird’s success was much aided by its distinctive Firebird graphic across the engine hood and the hugely popular 1977 “Smoky and the Bandit” movie featuring the car. In the early 1980s, the industry was threatened anew with the combination of recession and fuel-economy standards, and a resulting shift to smaller cars. Still, Firebird maintained its high-performance image and competition – the Mustang, at least – gradually returned to the muscle car market.

This experimental 1985 Trans Am with its “Kammback” rear section is a genuine former General Motors test platform, equipped with the 190hp 305 cubic inch HO (high output) V8 option and a four-speed manual transmission. From the 36,210 miles on the odometer, it is evident the car was used as a test “mule” for some time before being recruited for special body treatment by GM designers.

The station-wagon-like Kammback concept supposedly originated in Europe and almost made it into production for the 1970 Firebird and Camaro. The squared-off back end actually performs well in wind-tunnel tests, providing functional airflow efficiency for reduced drag, translating into higher speed or better fuel economy at highway speeds. And, had it ever become available to the public, an American Kammback would have been quite distinctive from other cars on the road. While not adopted for 1970, the idea stayed around GM Tech Center design and engineering circles, with a 1979 Trans Am version being crafted as a show car. Twin experimental ‘85 Trans Am Kammbacks are recalled as being featured on a Motor Trend cover.

As designed, it was a slick arrangement, because the squared-off Kammback bolted right on in place of the all-glass hatchback of the production Trans Am, including the latching. Again, the concept failed to advance after 1985 and this particular car was stored at GM for 13 years until local Pontiac dealer and collector John McMullen was able to acquire it. Generally, experimental cars go the crusher when their use is over, but this one, by the good graces of Pontiac, escaped.

The car has been professionally restored in meticulous detail by Scott Tiemann of Supercar Specialities, Portland, Mich. The pure white exterior is graced by dove gray leather interior trim, and even the floor pan bottoms of the undercarriage are painted white. This 1985 Trans Am is judged to be in new-car showroom condition throughout – paint, interior and engine compartment. Because it has an “EX” coded VIN, this Trans Am may not be titled or driven in most states and is being sold here on bill of sale only.

Please note that this vehicle is sold on a Bill of Sale only.

Reference Number 8727

as of 4/18/2007

Car 1985 Pontiac TransAm
VIN 0000EX4796 
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