A limited edition of the most famous and beloved Firebird Trans Am is back! Yes, Pontiac produced the Trans Am from 1967 to 2002 but you can still go and buy a new Trans Am.
The company Trans Am Depot introduced a new, extremely limited, Trans Am SE Bandit Edition, based on the bones of the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro, inspired by the famous and unforgettable black and gold example that starred in 1977 hit movie “Smokey and the Bandit”. They will produce 77 modern replicas, all signed by “Smokey and the Bandit” star Burt Reynolds. The Trans Am Depot model features all the details and elements painstakingly crafted to reminisce the original vehicle, paying more than a tribute to it. Of course, there’s also a big bird plastered on the hood.
“The Shaker hood and T-tops were a must. If you don’t have the T-tops, you don’t have a Trans Am,” said Scott Warmack, co-founder of the Trans Am Depot. The white-letter tires and snowflake wheels complete the retro effect. “It was hot in every way. It was a love story and most guys like a love story with a car in it,” said Burt Reynolds.
The cars are equipped with 7.4-liter LSX V8 supercharged engines that can put out as much as 840 horsepower, about 650 more than disappointing 185 horsepower original Bandit Trans-Am, which should please even the most jaded traditionalist.
Pricing starts at about $115,000, which includes the cost of the donor Camaro. More info at www.transamdepot.com
Pontiac is back… Well kind of. This is Lingenfelter’s Pontiac Trans Am based off of a 5th-Gen Camaro. It’s a turn-key package Lingenfelter introduced at the 2012 SEMA show. Mike Copeland, who used to head special projects for GM and built previous HOT ROD projectcars, said the only thing left is to sell them.
The Trans Ams will be offered in three price point packages that can be expanded upon or ditched for an entirely custom order. The base model is the $40,000 package which includes exterior work and cat-back exhaust. Package two is $69,000 and includes exterior, interior, paint job, and wheels. The top of the line package, what you see here, includes: exterior, paint, interior, Brembo brakes, full exhaust, and a 455ci V8. Lingenfelter starts with an RHS block and builds a custom 455ci with LSX heads and 655hp to the flywheel. The cars are built to order and don’t include the Camaro (they will buy one for you if you can’t show up with your own).
In 2009 Lingenfelter built four prototypes and thrashed on them for several years tweaking them before production was ready. The body kits were designed and now built by Lingenfelter. The car has specially designed wheels built by Forgeline and no, you can’t buy them, they will only be offered on the Lingenfelter Trans Am.
Check out what the guys at Heide Performance Products are up to! A new Trans Am conversion based on the ’69. They also are planning a Z28 conversion based on the ’69 – headlight doors and all! More information on Heide Performance Products at www.hppcars.com.
My name is Nick and I am still in the fight to save Pontiac until the beginning of next year, and I am asking for your help. Please ask your members to consider writing a few E-mails and letters on behalf of rescuing Pontiac. I ask for no money and all it takes is a few stamps and a little bit of their time. First, everyone should send an E-mail to editor Tom DeMauro at High Performance Pontiac magazine atTom.Demauro@sorc.com . He is seeking comments from people who want Pontiac to return. He will then turn these comments over to GM and Michigan senators.
Next, Pontiac fans should write to Magna International. This Canadian and Austrian company is huge and nearly purchased Opel from GM last summer. GM changed their mind at the last minute and the deal fell through. They are an international auto parts firm and even operate assembly lines for other auto makers. They have the means to revive Pontiac. I have already written to two addresses – their Canadian headquarters and U.S. office. Here it is:
Attn: Company CEO
337 Magna Drive
Aurora , Ontario
CANADA L4G 7KI
Magna International of America Inc.
Attn: Company President
600 Wilshire Drive
Troy, Michigan 48084
And finally, if enthusiasts want to go one extra mile they can write to Exxon Mobil. They have vast financial resources and who says an oil company can’t own a car company?
Sounds a bit off, but they can make it happen if they believe it is a good investment. Pontiac fans can convince them that it is. What have we got to lose? I already wrote them a letter. Here’s the address :
Mr. Rex W. Tillerson, Chairman and CEO
Exxon Mobil Corporation
5959 Las Colinas Boulevard
Irving, Texas 75039
Thank you for your time in reading my letter. Any help you and your club members can offer is greatly appreciated, Nothing will happen unless we all work TOGETHER.
Not surprisingly, Pontiac’s demise has spurred an interest in the creation of Trans Am replicas based on the new Chevrolet Camaro. We remind you that we’ve already seen a conceptual proposal for a modern-day Pontiac Trans Am from ASC Creative Services and real-life examples from Lingenfelter and Trans Am Depot.
The latest company to join the list of tuners interested in creating a Trans Am replica is a company called Gearhead Performance Group.
Along with the cosmetic upgrades that include new front and rear fascias complete with unique lights, 21- or 22-inch snowflake wheels, a large rear spoiler and gold interior accents, the tuner claims that it will offer an optional twin-turbo LS9 V8 with some 900 horsepower.
Another Saving Pontiac effort involves asking BMW to purchase the Pontiac name. This might not be as popular because it would mean German ownership, but it may be our only chance. Both BMW and Pontiac share the same automotive philosophy of sport and performance.
Pontiacs can be more fuel efficient and more affordable for most Americans. And with so many Pontiacs still on the road, BMW would stand to gain MANY MORE potential customers! Also important is that a dealership network already exists, the plants are still standing, and there’s thousands of workers ready to go! Ask BMW to put them to work! Here is their address:
BMW North America LLC
300 Chestnut Ridge Road
Woodcliff, New Jersey 07677
There are many behind-the-scenes players in the automotive industry that few on the outside ever hear of, despite their huge contributions. One such company is Trans Am Depot, who together with designer Kevin Morgan plans to launch a new Pontiac Trans Am conversion for the latest.
Labeled the ‘Phoenix’ Trans Am, and inspired by the original Camaro-based Trans Ams from 1977 and 1978, the new design has been in development for the past three years and was previewed for the first time in concept form at the 2009 Trans Am Nationals.
The concept will be followed by the first production conversion later this year. It will vary from the concept car but will be an exact version of the conversion kits that are expected to go on sale this fall.
The kits will be available as an installed conversion only, with order details and pricing expected to be revealed closer to launch. Some of the basic specs will include a suspension lowering kit and new sway bar, 20-inch wheel and tires, a new ‘shaker’ hood, fender vents, custom bumpers and of course a Trans Am graphic package.
Believe it or not but this is not the first Trans Am conversion kit currently in development for the new Camaro. Earlier this year, ASC Creative Services has also unveiled its own modern interpretation of the legendary muscle car.
Buick, Pontiac and GMC dealers will get 12 new or special-edition vehicles over the next 20 months — but they won’t get a Pontiac Trans Am.
Pontiac had lobbied for a sibling vehicle to the Chevrolet Camaro, which is scheduled to arrive in February 2009.
General Motors’ plan to make Pontiac a rear-wheel-drive performance car division is likely to be scaled back because of fuel economy regulations, GM leaders told dealers at the make meeting.
One dealer said the business case for the Trans Am didn’t compute.
“It was an economic situation,” said Lynn Thompson, owner of Thompson Motor Sales in Springfield, Mo. “It would cost $200 million to bring out the vehicle.”
Pontiac will remain a car-only brand for the foreseeable future, dealers were told. But because of new legislation requiring vehicles to reach a fleet average of 35 mpg by 2020, Pontiac might not end up as GM’s performance division, dealers said they were told.
“The plan is being tweaked because of the gas situation,” Thompson said. “I hope they don’t give up on performance because they don’t have to. You can use four-cylinder engines to achieve incredible power.”
B-P-G will give dealers six new or special-edition vehicles — such as the special-edition GMC Sierra pickup, called Pro Grade — this year. They will get another six next year, dealers who attended the meeting told Automotive News.