1973 Brewster Green “McQ” Trans Am

This looks like the same car Brian covered about a year ago on this post, a 47,000 mile survivor. These Brewster Green 1973 Trans Ams are known as “McQ Trans Ams” after the John Wayne movie of the same name in which Wayne (or presumably a stunt driver) drifts, leaps, and thoroughly exercises an identical car pursuing bad guys in a tire-smoking car chase. This 455-powered example from Lincoln, Nebraska awaits the next green Trans Am or John Wayne fan with a listing here on eBay.

First of all, any car that’s good enough for The Duke is cool enough for you. If you haven’t seen McQ, I recommend it for the chase footage filmed at speed in Seattle, Washington. Of course any movie featuring a Mac-10 toting, Trans-Am driving John Wayne is a winner in my book.

The Brewster Green with the Trans Am package makes for one handsome Pontiac performance coupe. The merciful absence of stripes, birds, and the next year Trans Am’s 5 MPH bumpers work in favor of this ’73 as well. The pimped out Trans Ams of a few years later became synonymous with unbuttoned shirts, hairy chests, gold chains, and mid-life crises, but these pre-bumper models look only a half-step removed from the SCCA racing series that inspired their name.

The simple black and chrome interior with engine-turned dash could easily be from the mid 1980s. Remember, folks, this is a 47,000 mile car said to have been benefited from indoor storage its entire life and this is the original interior. Nice!

The Pontiac 455 in “excellent running and driving condition” should provide plenty of torque and fun for the buyer. I owned and worked on dozens of ’70s GM products in the ’80s and ’90s, and this is pretty much what the engine compartment of a 10 year old GM from the ’70s looks like, except this car is 44 years old! Shining the original parts may not constitute heresy, but what you see here — some dust and surface rust under the hood with shiny (“mostly original”) paint — punctuates the survivor statement while still looking well-kept. I keep a list of Lottery Dream cars, and the ’73 Trans Am may have just earned a spot on the list. And I’m definitely re-watching McQ as soon as possible. What do you think of this movie-featured, pre-chicken Trans Am?


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  1. redwagon

    john wayne drives a trans am???? get out!

    and then there is the clip. i’ll be dipped.

    Like 2
    • Superdessucke

      Yup. I always thought this was kind of a ripoff of Bullitt, which had come out a few years earlier. I mean, at least make it a different color, you know? They should have supplied him with a Firebird Formula instead, it was so formulaic, haha :-)

      That said, cool car. You don’t see a lot of them in Brewster Green.

      Like 2
    • Doug

      So here’s my 73 Brewster Green Trans Am. chased it around town when I was 17 years old. Bought it for $1200 when I was 34. Started restoring it when I was 55, should be done in about 2 months. Full rotissorie restoration. Have never driven the car.

      Like 8
      • Jay Rowe

        I’d like to see that when you’re done! I have a Buccaneer red with a 4 speed I’m going to redo the engine, but I’ve always been partial to the Brewster Green and I could have bought one in Middletown PA back in the 80s but I couldn’t afford two of them.

  2. Curtis

    After selling a late 80’s TA I owned for about 20 years I came home one day to tell my wife I bought another car. The older I get the more I like this color & this would be a great car to buy to go with our 79. She believed me but was happy the car I brought home was only $1

    Like 6
  3. elrod

    Automatic fun at a manual price. Very nice car otherwise. Not many of these unmolested laying about. Always been a Pontiac guy so its hard to not like about the swirl polished gauge background Pontiac used in various themes throughout the years. The fender vents and stock wheel finish it off for me. nice car.

    Like 3
  4. Mike B

    Hilarious clip! Seems like the chase starts north of downtown with all the shortcuts then suddenly they’re on the freeway headed north into the city. And then he speaks French?! Well he’s no James Garner, but the car is all that.

    Like 2
  5. Jim

    The McQ and Branigan movies were made by John Wayne because he was asked to be Dirty Harry(before Clint Eastwood). John Wayne turned it down. He regretted that decision and made these “Dirty Harry” type movies.

    Like 2
  6. JW

    Huge Duke fan but have never heard of the movie, guess I’ll be checking Amazon for my collection.

    Like 1
  7. Van

    Fantastic car for an early Trans Am fan. This is on my bucket list with a 70 GTO convertible. Isn’t this the movie where he shoots a water filled trashcan with the mac 10. Blam, rata tat tat.


    This beautiful machine was offered by the same seller back in November ’16, for the same price. Hmmm…

  9. DR Member

    McQ used sound clips from Bullitt. Listen close and compare.

    Like 1
  10. RR

    Coincidence that the Bullitt car is green and the McQ car is green? Remember, Pontiac and the movie company had the knowledge of the previous car, plus could have picked any color in the spectrum, but somehow a new color shows up – Brewster Green?

    Like 1
    • DG

      Well, actually from that particular year they only had Cameo White and Buccaneer Red to choose from other than the BG. But yeah, its seems pretty obvious they were going for a Bullit vibe.

      Like 2
  11. 8banger Dave Member

    Yea, The Duke in a TA is one thing, but him playing Genghis Khan in The Conqueror is one hell of another, and a hilarious must-see!

    Like 1
  12. Milt

    I had to send the link to the McQ chase to some friends. No one’s going to believe I-5 through downtown could be that empty.

    Like 1
  13. glen

    I too, have never seen this movie, but I think I should! I’m afraid I don’t know what a Mac 10 is, either, but I guessing a gun of some sort. I guess I should also mention,I like this car.

    Like 1
  14. Mac McGee

    Couldn’t you get a Formula Firebird with the shaker hood as an option? I think little bird was option on both T/A and Formula too, but not sure….

    • Van

      The formula only had the trans am scoop on the super duty.

      Like 1
  15. james r burton

    two garbage trucks destoyed the ponco at the end of the movie made me cry. i watched this moive when i was in the army in germany in 76. the dukes hair piece was so noticeble. great car moive.

  16. james r burton

    steve maqueen made a moive with one of these poncos were he was a bounty hunter and he rented one of these. it was a 4 speed that steve couldn’t drive a stick car. very funny scene. steve not driving a stick car. funny but a great movie. the hunter was the name of the movie. one of his last ones

    Like 1
    • glen

      Another movie I haven’t , but should, see.

      Like 1
    • bill

      Steve couldn’t drive a stick when filming the Hunter? He was double-clutching his way through Bullitt…

      Like 1
    • Tyler

      As Steve McQueen was an accomplished racer of various cars, Baha, & motorcycles, as well as doing most of his own stunts, I find it to be a questionable statement that he couldn’t drive a stick…

      Regardless, let’s face it, McQueen could drive a dump truck or 10 speeed bicycle & make it look cool.

      Like 4
      • Todd Fitch Staff

        I did find this comment on the topic… Steve McQueen came up with the idea of going against his famous car racing abilities by portraying Papa Thorson as a terrible driver. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080907/trivia

    • ExTVFunnyGuy

      Actually it’s the other way around.
      Ralph ” PaPa” Thorson rents a 1979 Trans Am in Admiral Blue with Gold decals and brown interior. (I owned one exactly like it, all automatics for that year came with a Buick 403, Manuals came with the poncho 400)

      The TA in the movie is an Automatic and he’s used to driving a manual transmission on the column as he’s driving an older Ford or Chevy convertible with the manual column stick throughout the movie. The reason is that Papa Thorson was an avid collector of all things old, from cars to toys to etc, as he was in real life. One of his lines as he’s picking the car up is do you have anything older, with a manual?

      The two guys he goes to pick up for the bounty on them steal his rental TA and after a drive through a cornfield and lots of dynomite tossing, they end up driving backwards over a couple of sticks of dynomite they’d dropped in the road and blow the car in half going backward at speed. Papa turns in the car on a flatbed in pieces to the rental girl with a look of disbelief on her face.

      This car used for most of the scenes (not the one blown up) but the film car was located and restored a few years ago. Search for McQueens “The Hunter” Trans Am.

  17. sluggo

    nice! cant drive like that in Seattle now…

    • glen

      ” anythings legal, as long as you don’t get caught”

  18. Ernie the Dancing Weasel

    Don’t think The Duke left a note after wailin’ that door into that Kingswood Estate. At least he didn’t hit that Amazon on the way out…

  19. Troy S

    Love the minimal graphics on this TA, combined with that solid dark green paint and it looks bold and muscular. If it had the very rare super duty 455 engine it would’ve been a real terror.But I’m no business man, and it was the screaming chicken clad graphics that really sold these cars, not what was under the hood.

  20. cudaman

    1976 4-speed, complete and original i’ve been after for 8 years. The owner would rather let it rot outside than to sell it to a guy that wants to preserve it……sad!

    Like 1
    • PDXBryan

      I’ve got a neighbor with a GTO Judge doing the exact same thing. Must be some kind of emotional hang ups.

  21. Tyler

    One of my bucket list cars. According to the numbers on the eBay ad, only 650 Brewster green Trans Am’s were built out of 4800 total in 73. Other sources say 252 Trans Am’s were built with the Super Duty 455. So a Brewster green SD 455 would have to be one rare bird.

    As gorgeous as it is, I’m curious as to why this was a one year only color.

    • Van

      You can see a green 73 super duty at year one in Braselton. Belongs to one of the executives.

  22. DonC

    Still can’t believe the dolts running GM did away with the Pontiac brand. With the resurgence of the muscle cars: charger, Challenger, Camero, mustang….Pontiac could be making millions.

  23. Jim Biasella

    They weren’t Pontiacs anymore anyway. First the olds 403,then when they went to Chevy motors what was the point?? I think the support would be there to bring Pontiac back even if it was a stand alone without GM.These days there are plenty of people willing to fork out the cash for a special limited run of Formulas and TA’s.look at the ones based on camaro chassis. TransAm Depot is selling as fast as they make them. 1000 hp Trans Ams, woohoo. The 77 Bandit Tribute cars that were built were beautiful and sold fast. Plus Burt Reynolds got his first new TA since Pontiac closed.my first car at 15 was a 77 trans am and I’ve had five of them and I’m a Pontiac guy to the bone. Build it and they will come.

    Like 1
  24. RoughDiamond rough diamond Member

    @cudaman-when the owner is not around secretly seal the primer with a satin clear coat. He’ll never know and when it’s yours one day you’ll be glad you did.

  25. Puddintang

    I remember this movie especially the chase scene. Could the “Duke” have handled a four speed? Maybe without missing a gear or a few more takes. To me the last year of the Trans Am was ’74. SD 455.

  26. Rolf Poncho 455

    It is the best TA and Firebirds ever built the 73 & 74 455’s
    I have a 73 455 firebird auto 400th trans love it to the BONE

  27. Ck

    I’ve got an old magazine in my garrage with a story on a 73 455 SD in Brewster green that was supposedly owned by Clint Eastwood.I wonder if Clint saw the Duke drivin that green T/A and just had to have one.

  28. landt

    The clip here ends hilariously as John Wayne confronts the bag guy . . . in French!

    Like 1
  29. Utes

    SOLD off ebay @ $35,651.00!

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