Only 15k Miles? 1971 Pontiac Trans Am 455 H.O. 4-Speed

Attention:  Fans of Pontiac’s sporty and powerful Trans Am, especially those with a weak constitution, please take a comfortable seat and reconsider reading this article in its entirety. What you are about to see and read may cause unpleasant symptoms including nausea, dizziness, hallucinations, and uncontrollable sobbing and weeping. The seller of this 1971 Pontiac Trans Am recounts that it accumulated a mere 15,053 miles over about two years before having its High Output 455 cid (7.5L) V8 removed, after which it’s set outside… ever since! The listing here on eBay has attracted bids above $7,800 for the privilege of owning this rusty low-mileage vehicle.

Oh the humanity! OK, cars are *not* human, but this one certainly deserved better. Kudos to the seller for documenting numbers-matching components including the original engine and QuadraJet carburetor (stored indoors). Sadly the transmission, steering wheel, and other parts vanished after the car suffered additional disrespect by being reduced to a lost cause parts car.

Thanks to the careless storage it’s impossible to know which components could possibly be restored to their 15,000 mile glory. Many parts could beg replacement simply from sun damage and seasonal temperature cycles.

Let’s assume the mighty 455 *still* needs a rear main seal… and much more! Source a replacement four-speed and this will be one potent Pontiac! Though not the typical low-mileage car, it certainly makes for an interesting story. A lost title adds to the fun. That’s right; this car comes with no transmission or steering wheel, a big story, an uninstalled engine, and a Bill of Sale. What’s not to like?



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  1. Arthell64 Member

    This one probably has a body change and a vin and serial number swap in it’s future.

    Like 10
  2. mainlymuscle

    Were the 15,000 miles all driven in a shallow lake ?

    Like 36
    • Tony Primo

      I’ve been through Shallow Lake a number of times, never seen this car. It must have been resting on the bottom.

      Like 16
      • Grumpy

        Not far from me Tony. Travel thru there on the way to the beach. I will have to keep my eyes open for Trans Am floaters in the lake.

        Like 2
  3. Rob

    15,000 mile ?? more like 115,000 miles

    Like 10
    • Brandon

      Maybe even 215,000

      Like 12
    • Paul

      Maybe 215,000 miles! Although still a valuable car!

  4. John Oliveri

    Boating anyone?

    Like 4
  5. Classic Steel

    Right 15k on the clock ⏰..
    Sure and i then will believe that 🎅 Is real😉

    I guess 150-250 K on odometer 🤔

    Like 8
  6. 8banger David Mika Member

    At any rate, what a sad sight. But I do say, seeing a hard fuel line from the pump to the carb in a vintage setup like this is a unicorn.

    Like 5
  7. JeffD

    Whether it is 15k miles or not, won’t matter. The big question on price is…is it fixable? Lord knows you are going to get a ton in sheetmetal and missing parts. Sometimes it’s just better to step up and find a better one.

    Like 5
  8. George Mattar

    What a crime. How can anyone allow a truly beautiful design to rot like this? If It was a 1981 Citation, nobody would give a crap. It deserves to be saved, but restoration costs would far exceed the value, or what someone is willing to pay. My best friend of 40 years had a 72 Trans Am in the late 80s. I rode in It a few times before he sold it. Best handling car he ever owned. Today, he has a restored Matador Red 69 GTO conv, but wishes he kept the TA. BTW, he paid $800 for the GTO in 1989.

    Like 3
    • bull

      Many of you tend to FORGET or YOU are not old enough to remember that not long after this car was new the Arab Oil Embargo occurred which sent the value of Musclecars and Pony cars like this to NOTHING OR DAMN NEAR NOTHING due to the increased price of gas. By 1973 this Trans Am was just another UNWANTED USED CAR!

      There were only 2,116 1971 Trans Am’s produced so that oughta tell ya NOBODY WANTED THEM WHEN THEY WERE NEW EITHER! Back then this Trans Am was just another used car that some redneck very easily could have parked in the yard or barn with just 15K miles on the clock and let the car ROT! Remember that the car not worth anything then.

      We all know storage and sitting is the worst thing you can do to a vehicle. For this car to end up in this condition with just 15K original miles would not surprise me at all!

      Now that this Trans Am is a “Rare” and coveted Collector Car changes everything, everyone’s attitude and opinions.

      This car’s value is No Longer “What’s It Worth? What’s it weigh”?

      Like 5
      • JCA

        Around 1986, i was 15 yrs old and I called an ad in the local paper for a 1970 1/2 Trans Am 400 Ram Air IV. White with blue stripes i was told. It didn’t run and needed some work.The guy wanted $800. I had the money saved from my paper route, mowing lawns and shoveling snow. It was sold within hours of the ad printing but the seller took everyone number just in case as a backup. The owner called me a week later, the buyer got a DWI over the weekend and had to back out of the sale and I was the second person to leave a message on his answering machine. That’s how it worked back then lol. Ultimately, my Dad said no, he didn’t want a non running car sitting around our suburban neighborhood yard until i fixed it and got my licence. That day will always be etched in my mind forever. I still have nightmares. So, yeah, there was a lot of interest in those cars in the 80’s. He could have sold it easily.

        Like 5
      • Paul

        Buy the mid seventies everybody and their mother wanted a second generation trans am…at that time this car wasn’t old enough to not have had value and left to die!
        Sales for trans am where through the roof in the mid to late seventies all these F-body’s where very popular then.

      • M

        l don’t know where you are from but here in eastern Canada these cars in the the early seventies were much desired and appreciated… far from no one wanting one, it was extremely difficult to find one! In any case l was in my early twenties and had to make do with a new ’71 GT-37. It was a fun Pontiac at a bargain price but l really coveted a Trans-Am.

    • Purple sky

      The good old days! Buy a numbers matching Hemi ‘Cuda for $6000 or 70 T/A 455 4-speed for a paltry $3800 I looked and drove a 70 Goat 400 auto for $1700 but decided to pass on it. Damn, those were awesome days.

      Like 1
  9. Steve R

    Please stop repeating (3 times) the sellers claim of low mileage when there is no documentation and the condition of the car suggest it’s not true.

    Steve R

    Like 17
  10. Fahrvergnugen Bo Tanker Member

    Put the chain back on and toss it back in the river.

    But stuff the owner in the trunk first for crimes against machinity.

    Like 16
  11. Chris M.

    Milage is completely irrelevant when there’s this much deterioration. It offers absolutely no added value to the car. The bidding is already way past what I would value the car.

    Like 8
  12. Angel Member

    Must have had a snorkel hood.

    Like 8
  13. 86_Vette_Convertible

    When you look at a car that the aircleaner is rusted completely through, you have to expect the rest of the car to be attacked in much the same way. It’s too bad it wasn’t taken care of, but it wasn’t. Simply put, IMO there’s little chance this one will return to the highway without someone with either extraordinary talents or very deep pockets. Add to that the lack of a title and there are too many issues I believe for most people. Only a true Pontiac fanatic with deep pockets and talent should consider this one IMO.

  14. Des Ryan Member

    To keep all the extensive documentation in such pristine condition, preserved even, and let the car dissolve into a rustbucket is counter-intuitive to me. Paper means more to you than the actual car??

    Like 1
  15. Marathon06

    I cannot believe that bidding has reached $7800 on this turd.

    Like 4
  16. JCA

    Yep, one of these days he’ll get to that pesky rear main oil seal. God forbid he paid someone to do it 35 years ago for $120 when the car was basically brand new. Better to let it rot away in the yard and take the bus? What???

    Like 3
  17. Alford H Pouse Member

    Old mechanic friend once said if the numbers don’t line up you can be pretty sure it’s been around the clock at least once.

  18. BPierce

    The oil grime on the close up picture of the engine casting cast doubt on the story of the mileage. I would like a picture of the rubber on the pedals to see how worn they are. Also, who paints their wheels black on a new Trans Am in 1971?

    I agree with the earlier statement, low mileage or not, it really does not matter. This is a rare car to own and still needs a complete restoration. I just don’t know if I would feel comfortable buying a car from this person. The story seems unlikely.

  19. TM

    Why is the engine painted black (rust-o-leum)? And shouldn’t an HO have chrome valve covers???

  20. Ohio Rick

    I admit I don’t remember what GM offered as far as warranty coverage is concerned in 1971, but I have to think that it would have been greater than 2 years and 15k miles. So why worry about a rear main leak? Just take it to a dealer for a fix!

    • Chief

      Back in those days it was 12 months or 12,000 miles, whichever came first. American car companies started getting hammered in the late 70’s for poor quality to include major rust issues. Along the time line, Japanese car were being praised for high quality. American cars sales began to decline. Then, and only then did Detroit get on the quality band wagon and the warranties began to climb to ultimately 3 years or 36K miles. In some cases, certain cars got 60K on the drivetrain.

      • Ohio Rick

        Thanks for clearing that up. I was buying cars long before 1971 which probably explains why I can’t remember these things!

  21. TimM

    What a shame and it gives a whole new meaning to driven hard and put away wet!!!

    Like 2
  22. Steve P

    Another classic left to rot, what a shame

  23. Dallas

    Sat. The car has SAT outside ever since.

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