1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 455 HO 4-Speed

For people who hate making decisions, the 1971 Pontiac Trans Am must’ve been a revelation. The company offered it with a single-engine, and potential buyers had to choose whether they wanted to undertake shifting duties themselves or whether the transmission should do all of the work. This 1971 Trans Am is a tidy survivor that seems to need nothing. It runs and drives and is begging for a new owner to take it home. Located in Port Saint Lucie, Florida, you will find this Pontiac listed for sale here on eBay. Light bidding has seen the price crawl to $52,000, but this is short of the reserve. The owner offers a BIN of $58,500, and you have to wonder whether one of the ninety-six people watching the auction might be tempted to hit the button before the auction ends.

For buyers looking for a turn-key survivor, this Trans Am has to be a hot ticket. It rolled off the line finished in Cameo White, and the owner says that there has been no prior accident damage. The paint holds a good shine for its age, with no blemishes or problems. The panels are laser straight, and the gaps are about as tight and consistent as you are ever likely to find on a Pontiac from this era. The big news surrounds rust, or more accurately, the lack of it. The exterior looks clean, with nothing visible in the lower extremities or around the back window. It isn’t lulling you into a false sense of security because the seller assures us that the vehicle’s underside is equally impressive. The trim is in good order, as is the glass. The owner refers to the wheels as Snowflake, but a quick glance reveals them to be the original Rally items. He has recently fitted these with a new set of tires from the good people at BF Goodrich.

Lifting the hood brings us to the business end of the deal with this Pontiac. The engine bay is occupied by the numbers-matching 455ci “HO” V8. This brute should be churning out an impressive 335hp. All of that power has to find its way to the bitumen, and it does so via the rear wheels and a four-speed manual transmission. That makes it the most desirable combination offered by Pontiac in that model year, and the inclusion of power steering and power brakes should make it easy to handle. Point this beast at the ¼ mile, and the journey will be a memory in 14.3 seconds. The Trans Am may be considered a pony car, but those figures cement its muscle car credentials. The engine bay presents well for its age, and it doesn’t flatter to deceive. The owner says it runs and drives well, making it a confirmed turn-key proposition for its next owner.

The originality of this Trans Am continues when we open the doors and survey the interior. It seems that this is another aspect of the car that has never been restored. Apart from a CD player, it is also unmolested. The interior is trimmed in Sandlewood vinyl, and its condition is remarkable for its color and age. The seats show no marks or stains, and physical flaws seem limited to some slight stretching on the driver’s seat. The remaining upholstered surfaces are in good order, as are the dash and pad. The carpet is marked around where the driver’s right foot would sit, but I find that forgivable in a car of this age. The original owner ordered this Pontiac with air conditioning, and it appears that this is in working order.

When I look at fantastic cars like this 1971 Trans Am, it is hard to believe that a company capable of producing automobiles of this caliber could disappear due to financial rationalizing. However, that was the fate of Pontiac, and I doubt that General Motors would consider reviving the brand in the foreseeable future. This vehicle looks like a clean and original survivor that is ready to be driven and enjoyed by a new owner. The BIN price means that this isn’t a car that someone will buy with pocket change, representing a significant investment. However, that BIN is also in the ballpark for a clean and original vehicle, which is what this appears to be. That’s why I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone hit the button well before the auction is due to close. Are you tempted to be that person?

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Comments

  1. Des Member

    Seats are wrong, wheels are wrong – that’s just at a glance.

    Like 8
    • EJ

      And, the “Radial Tuned Suspension” emblem on the dash is wrong.

      Like 3
    • morrisangelo

      Snowflake wheels in the description as well…

  2. Dave

    Nice to see one for sale that could be fine-tuned. First hand copilot seat in a 73sd4554sp; these cars were the real thing. Values on this Trans-Am model will rise.

    Like 3
  3. Jeff

    I don’t see any claim of “numbers matching” engine (or any driveline) in the eBay ad.

    Like 1
  4. Ken

    Door fender gaps bad

    Like 3
  5. Larry Wood

    Ken. I have had several F-body cars and none of them were ever especially well put together. That includes my 1979 Trans-Am that I bought new and still have.

    Like 7
    • Tom

      I agree, but I have a ‘71 that’s not as nice as this one and the gaps are way better. Fun car that gets driven all the time! In my opinion, you couldn’t do much better in ‘71. And that mid 14 second quarter mile time is a bit on the slow side based on reviews from when they were new

  6. Joe H

    These wheels are period correct. The Snowflake wheels did not come out until 76 or 77

    Like 4
  7. Patrick Flynn

    Those big long heavy doors play heck on the hinges. Way too much for this car today. Nice example though.

  8. MikeB

    I bought a new T/A in 75 and it had the snowflake wheels, I think that was the first year but not certain about that. I notice this car does not have PW which is kind of odd. Overall these were handsome cars indeed. Mine was an automatic 400ci., very nice driving car, great interior layout, very nice steering wheel and comfortable seats.

    • MikeB

      Sorry, mine had honeycomb wheels not snowflakes.

      Like 1
  9. Marshall King

    In the description, the seller says it has snowflake wheels. Maybe confused about Rally ll wheels versus snowflakes that were on the 77 and later Birds? The optional wheels on these T/A’s were Honeycomb design.

    Like 1
  10. Frank

    Just think how much more the owner could get by spending $300 on Detailing.

    It worth the extra money as this looks to be pretty nice overall.

  11. Troy s

    Solid performance car that screams it out loud, even the Formula model with that scooped hood had a chip on its shoulder. I like the RallyII wheels best on these whether they are correct or not, where it loses a bit for me is the interior color. I could live with it though, just run it hard thru the gears a few times…interior color?
    GM may have deleted Pontiac from existence but by then they were running Chevy engines anyway. Even the dull looking millennium GTO had a Corvette engine. It’s just not the same,, like this ’71 that all Pontiac, all 455 inches of it.

    Like 1
  12. JJ MAGUIRE

    Had a 70.5 one. Same color combo with Hurst 4 speed. 400 ci. No air. Nylon woven seats. Much better handling car than 455 and 400 put out more hp.
    Still have dreams of it. 🌀JJ

  13. George Mattar

    Snowflakes not available til 77. High back buckets came in 71 with stupid government regulations. Same for the Camaro. These cars bring big money. 77 to 79 cars are bringing stupid money with 220 hp. That’s if you got the L72. The other cars are 403 Olds boat anchors.

    Like 4

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