As most of you by now know, I’m a big proponent of the salvage industry. I get downright passionate about it when I find facilities that do a solid job of providing great customer service and being savvy enough to use social media and other tools to advertise their inventory. A facility I support in Massachusetts also has an eye for saving salvageable classics like this 1981 Pontiac Trans Am, here on the Smith Auto Recycling Facebook page and listed for $2,500.
I’ve been going to Smith’s for a few years now, and the experience has been largely positive. From what I can deduct, the owner has an eye for classics and is one of the few yards left that will still take in a vintage car or two on occasion (and not crush it immediately). This Trans Am may be straight out of the Malaise era, but it does appear mostly complete with correct OEM wheels and rear window louvers still attached.
The interior is perhaps the biggest (and best) surprise, considering it looks to be in excellent condition. Seats and door panels are untorn, the factory steering wheel is still in place along with model-specific floormats. These are the items that usually go missing or get destroyed once a car has been idle for years, so my guess is this Trans Am hasn’t been off the road for a prolonged period.
The Trans Am comes with the factory 301 Turbo, which represented an attempt to meet changing emissions regulations and also give some power back to the people. The turbocharged mill offered a respectable 345 lb.-ft. of torque, but no word how it runs on this project car. As you can see, it has rust inside the doors, and also at the bottom of the driver’s fender and rear quarter panel. Is this salvage yard find worth rescuing for $2,500?