|‘87 Trans Am GTA of Derek Harrell from Seymour, Indiana|
|‘99 Firebird of Louis Failla of Massapequa Park, New York|
I have been a huge Firebird fan since I was little kid. I always thought the look of a ’68 or ’69 Firebird was nicer than the Camaro. I bought this car in Bend Oregon. I put a 5.7 liter 440 hp engine that I bought from a guy who makes engines in Tacoma Washington. I have redone the suspension, replaced the shocks and the disc brakes and of course rebuilt the engine.
Thomas Maffei, Redwood City, CA
A National Firebird and Trans Am Club featured car is the ‘68 Firebird 400 convertible of Jim McCarty of Palm Springs, California. Here is his story:
I am a happy owner of a ‘68 Firebird 400 convertible, and I thought I would share some pictures of my car. These pictures are a little different from the normal ones you see. No green lawns, and well kept houses.
I have owned the car for about 25 years, and it’s our daily ride when we live here in Palm Springs California in the winter season.
The somewhat unique thing about my car, is that it has an agent, and does a fair amount of advertising, commercial work, and photo shoots in and around the Southern California deserts and ghost towns. I have worked with clients ranging from high brow ad agencies with household brands, to adult film producers. It’s always different, fun and oh, interesting….
Here are some pictures recently taken at a photo shoot for an Australian fashion brand at a deserted gas station at Salton Sea, CA-about 140 miles east of Los Angeles.
Hope you enjoy them!
Palm Springs, CA
This is the 1987 Trans Am of Walter Stasiewski from Denver, North Carolina. It is black sapphire, t-tops, 5.0 liter fuel injected engine, 3 speed transmission with WS6 performance package and digital dash.
One owner, everything is original including the interior, drive train, suspension, paint and radio. He has all the original paper work. The rear spoiler was repainted by the dealership at purchase and the wiper fluid is original to the car.
|‘77 Trans Am of Scott Atwater|
from Albuquerque, New Mexico
|2002 C. E. Trans Am of Ed Jones|
|‘74 Trans Am of Douglas Sciberras from Highland, Michigan|
The iconic muscle beast has always been a synonym for an American sports car for decades, and the legend it’s still alive.
As a brand Pontiac may have been discontinued 9 years ago, but some enthusiasts keep the famous name still alive, a company called Trans Am Depot builds extraordinary custom, brand-new Trans Am models, which unmistakable bring the flavor of the famous Firebird.
The company is now preparing something completely new, a model that will compete with the beastly Dodge Challenger Hellcat.
This new version will come out as 2021 Pontiac Trans Am, sometime in the next year most likely.
Being a custom car we all are curious to know on what model is this legend based on, the answer is clear and it comes from GM, 2021 Pontiac Trans Am will come based heavily on another iconic legend, Chevy Camaro.
The Trans Am is a reworked, brand new Camaro SS, but of course there are a lot of modifications but most of them are in styling terms, since you can see a lot of details that bring the iconic model flavor.
Knowing the Camaro’s pretty angular approach, it’s no surprise that 2021 Pontiac Trans Am most resembles versions from the late 70s, such as the legendary Bandit.
The modifications include various tweaks to the exterior, particularly in a completely new body kit, beside bumpers and the similar things you can also see a beak-like front fascia, as well as taillights that feature those legendary horizontal stripes.
Obviously it has a unique set of wheels, as well as the famous firebird print on the hood.
The mechanical part has a lot of upgrades as well, starting from a new rear differential, Eibach springs, roll cage and five-point harness, carbon fiber body panels, all these upgrades will have a high impact on overall performances without a doubt.
The interior of this car for sure will be pretty familiar, the Trans Am Depot didn’t take a lot of time for a cabin since it would make the vehicle more expensive, that’s why he dashboard is pretty much the same as in the Camaro, including the instrument cluster, there are a lot of customization on it of course, mostly in badges, color schemes and things like that. Inside the car there are also new seats with exclusive stitching and similar details.
When we talk about the standard equipment remember that this model is built based on the Camaro SS, so you can count in things like power adjustable seats, an 8-inch infotainment system, and all other features that characterize this trim level.
The vehicle is based on a familiar 6.2-liter V8 unit of course, but there are a lot of upgrades too, the standard models come with typical engine tweaks, a completely new version will come for the 2021 Pontiac Trans Am, which will be 455 Super Duty.
Apart from having numerous modifications that are typical for engine upgrades, this unit has actually been stoked to huge 7.5-liters, or 455 cubic inches, in accordance with the model’s name. So you can imagine how powerful the engine will be, as latest reports show, max output will go between 1.000 and 1.100 horsepower, which seems more than enough to be able to compete with already monstrous Dodge Challenger Demon, which is good for about magnificent 840 horsepower.
We can easily conclude that this will be a real drug beast, according to some reports we can expect to do a quarter-mile in less than 9 seconds.
This beast will probably come sometime in the next year and for sure it won’t be cheap, latest news are suggesting a price tag of around 190.000 dollars, which is twice higher if compared to the “standard” model.
There were also reports that GM plans to revive Trans Am, as well as Pontiac as a brand, but it seems that won’t happen in the near future.
This issue’s featured car is the ‘80 Trans Am of Craig Pelletier from North Smithfield, Rhode Island. Here is the story:
I am new to the club, but not new to Pontiac. My first cars when I was 16 was a 69’ Firebird 400 and a 69’ Firebird with the Pontiac 350. My current Firebird is a 1980 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am Indy Pace car. It has 52,000 miles and is all original. The decals are starting to fade, crack and slightly yellow. Overall the car is in really good shape. On the sail panels, I have the “500 Festival” logo. They are also fading and cracking the same amount as the rest of the cars decals. I believe they are original.
I am unable to find any info about the actual track cars. I realize it is not a “true” pace car. I believe it to be one of the press cars. Does anyone have any idea on how to verify that the vehicle was at the Indy 500 race on the track during the parade lap? I have searched the internet with no luck. I have decoded the VIN and other tags and it is a real pace car, but I could not find the build sheet. Editor’s Note: If you have any information that can help him, please contact him by email at Fnfast468@yahoo.com .
|‘85 Trans Am of Sally K Smith|
|2000 Firebird of Robert J Spina from Merrick, New York|
|‘89 Formula Chris Stark|
by Mitch Prentice from the Lake Sun
If you had been looking for your fix of classic cars, The Bandits brought it straight to you on June 28, 2019. Camdenton, Missouri was the host to a parade of Pontiac Trans Ams as they rumbled through town. The parade was in honor of Smokey and the Bandit.
The event began in Texas and went all the way to Kansas City, Missouri. With over 110 cars in attendance, it was hard to miss. John Kelsey, owner of Kelsey Tires in Camdenton, is one of the main reasons the group decided to make a stop in town. Kelsey’s museum is home to a number of rare and vintage automobiles.
The event is not only in honor of Smokey and the Bandit, but also to Burt Reynolds himself. Kelsey Tires supplied the tires on one of the vehicles Reynolds drove in the movie, and is one of the many claims to fame Kelsey enjoys.
The Bandits enjoyed this while in town, with buses shuttling drivers to and from Kelsey’s location on US-54. The drivers made their way to Camdenton Middle School and park at the building. Lunch was held for the group inside the building, with Kelsey and his wife hosting a number of memorabilia pieces inside the cafeteria. The public was welcomed to take pictures and see the cars as they came through, but it was not considered a public event.
Kelsey says that this group is important as they recognize a significant era in this vehicles history. He says that the era of Reynolds and Smokey and the Bandit was important to tire salesman and classic car lovers. Being a salesman at the time of its release, he says it’s a tribute to an era that is loved by many.
“For those of us who were active in that era and in the tire business, it set the tone for that car and was very important,” Kelsey said.
While the Skies over our Garden State Fall Show may have been cloudy, it was clear that the most ardent of Pontiac, Oakland and GMC Truck enthusiasts from our area were undeterred. Our show drew some great entries from across northern New Jersey, Staten Island (NYC) and from the Long Island Pontiac Clubs (oh, and one guy from Manhattan, too). Our Fall Show was definitely the place to be on October 6, 2019!
Dianne Lennox, president of our chapter, certainly knows how to organize a first-class event. Fellow Garden State Chapter members helped her smoothly orchestrate everything, from registration to class parking to the award presentation – noted for its rather nice trophies. Thanks go out to the efforts of each of our club members for their individual contributions.
More thanks go out to the Clifton, NJ Masonic Lodge for once again for providing and excellent venue for our show. I know everyone appreciated our genial food vendor. We started out with a “just-right” DJ, but later on, we introduced the spectacular talents of the Glynis Cobb Band. They simply wowed the crowd!
There was no shortage of trophy winners in the various classes and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
I think it is worth mentioning that this is our 39th Fall Show, which has to be a record for POCI chapters. Just wait until next year!
Now, having assumed the role of roving reporter and photographer, I find it personally rewarding to chat with as many of the owners as possible. Everyone in attendance had great stories to share about their pride and joy. Sharing the passion for our Pontiacs is why we have our club, and our show is enhanced with a diverse selection of models from the various decades – a true hallmark of POCI events.
Mike Weiss Editor’s Note: Mike Weiss is a member of the NFTAC and this event draws many Firebirds and Trans Ams as shown by the photos hers. I encourage our members to attend this show later this year.