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1989 Pontiac Trans Am GTA With 16,700 Genuine Miles!

By the 1980s, manufacturers like Pontiac had found their mojo once again. After surviving the depths of the Malaise Era, they were able to claw back much of the lost performance that had been part-and-parcel of complying with tighter emission regulations. Cars like this 1989 Pontiac Trans Am are a perfect example of this improvement, and this one also happens to be a real beauty. It is in spotless condition, and that is hardly surprising since it has a genuine 16,783 miles showing on its odometer. The owner has decided to part with it, so he has listed for sale here on craigslist. It is located in Wilmington, North Carolina, and the owner has set the sale price at $23,900. I have to say a big thank you to Barn Finder Ikey H for spotting the Trans Am for us.

I’ve been trying to decide whether Pontiac offered a nicer color than Flame Red Metallic in 1989, and I am struggling to think of one that was better. It is a shade that looks incredible under the blazing sun but shows incredible depth in subdued light. It is also a color that tends to show every sin, so any car that is going to wear it successfully has to be in good condition. This Trans Am pulls it off well because there are no signs of any dings or dents on the panels. This photo allows us to see one of the more damage-prone areas of the Pontiac because those wide expanses of paint on the front of the vehicle can be susceptible to all sorts of chips and marks. There are no visible issues, which would seem to support the mileage claim. The panel gaps are tight and consistent, while the trim and glass appear to be flawless. The GTA rolls on its original wheels, and I agree with the owner’s claim that these are in as-new condition. There is no physical damage, and none of the sorts of stains that accumulated brake dust can cause. Part of the reason that cars like the Trans Am began to claw back lost performance was lateral thinking in vehicle engineering. Compared to its predecessors, the 3rd Generation Firebird was lighter, stiffer, and was more aerodynamically efficient. This meant that it took less horsepower to achieve high levels of performance, and explains why this car should be able to be pushed to a top speed of 151mph.

Hiding under the hood of the GTA is the 5.7-liter Tuned Port Injection V8, which produces 235hp. These ponies find their way to the rear wheels via a TH-700R4 4-speed automatic transmission. Tackling the twisty bits should be enjoyable with power steering and the WS6 suspension package. The improvements in aerodynamics and engine development meant that this was a vehicle capable of storming the ¼ mile in a neat 15 seconds. The V8 in this car is original, and it has never been modified. The owner claims that the vehicle has only covered 16,700 miles, but doesn’t indicate whether he holds evidence to verify this. However, the engine bay presents as well as you might expect for an original survivor with that sort of mileage. It isn’t all about looks here, because he also says that the car runs and drives like new.

Cars of this age with light interior trim, especially when it is cloth, can look tired very quickly. That isn’t the case with this Pontiac, because the upholstery and carpet are close to perfect. There might be some slight wear on the driver’s seat, but the emphasis has to be placed on the word “slight” in this case. That is about the only flaw to be found inside the car. The rest of the trim and plastic appears to be perfect. Equipment levels are high in this classic. As well as air conditioning, it has been fitted with power windows, power locks, power front seats, a leather-wrapped tilt wheel with stereo controls, cruise, and a premium AM/FM radio and cassette player.

This 1989 Pontiac Trans Am GTA is a stunning car, and it would be safe to think that its condition means that it would grab plenty of attention. The asking price is somewhere near the top end of what you might expect to pay for a GTA of this vintage, but it isn’t unprecedented. It is possible to find plenty of cheaper examples, even in this stunning and desirable color. However, those more affordable cars will have higher mileage and won’t be as well-preserved as this one. It isn’t surprising that values have remained flat throughout this year because that is a common theme across the classic car scene at present. However, values were climbing slowly but steadily up until then, and I would expect that trend to continue into the future. That means that if you have the available funds, now might be the right time to do your homework and to consider parking a car like this in your driveway.


  1. Mitchell Gildea Member

    That steering wheel tho

    Like 6
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      That must be the TI calculator limited edition steering wheel.

      Like 7
    • MBorst

      That steering wheel. Is the only option I didn’t get. Radio controls are on it.

      Like 0
  2. Vin_in_NJ

    Beautiful car. Top of the line for the Firebird line. All the bells and whistles.
    Too bad it wasn’t driven and enjoyed.

    Like 1
  3. jerry z

    2 hrs from my house but for $24K, I’ll pass. Favorite color though and no t-tops!

    Like 7
  4. Keith

    24k way too much, 10 to 12k max.

    Like 1
    • MBorst

      That car is worth every bit of that if it is all original. That car new was between $25-28g. I know, I bought an 87 GTA

      Like 3
  5. Steve R

    It may be aggressively priced for the time being. The 80’s performance cars are gaining ground, they are 35 years old value will likely play out like 60’s muscle cars and late-70’s F-body’s have before. If you want one, this is the one to get, low mileage, largest engine, excellent condition.

    Steve R

    Like 6
  6. Superdessucke

    This and Gunmetal were the best colors on these GTAs IMO. This was the most popular of all the colors on 1987-89 GTAs. The 1987-only Dark Russet (Dark Brown) is the most rare and interesting.

    Like 0
  7. JoeNYWF64

    A mix of blue & brown plastic trim inside? That’s factory original? Blue hardly matches the exterior color.

    Like 0
  8. Tom71mustangs Member

    I’m pretty sure that’s Black and Brown interior trim, Joe.

    Like 5
  9. MBorst

    Mine had the digital dash and red interior. Loved that car. They would do better than 15 in the 1/4 mile ! If I had the $$ I would grab this car right NOW ! Their value is only going up. If this car is as clean as it should be, it’s a steal ! Tho I got a special price on mine when I ordered it, retail was $24,800 in 1987. Thanks for allowing me to dream. I’d past a picture of mine if I knew how.

    Like 1
  10. Maestro1 Member

    Ikey comes up with great finds. Well done. And thank you Adam.
    This is a louche ride for someone who likes these cars, and I do, but my experience with his body style is that you feel like you are sitting in as hole.
    I’m probably showing my age but I like to sit up in cars, so I can see what’s
    going on around me easily. It’s a hell of a nice car. I think it’s mildly overpriced
    but it doesn’t matter. Drive and enjoy.

    Like 0
  11. bikefixr

    Nice car. Similar with low miles sell at the auction in the mid-high teens. He’s looking for very high retail.

    Like 0
  12. Ron

    Had one like this except the interior was light gray, a better choice in my opinion. Car was fun to drive, would really scoot.

    Like 0

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