455/4-Speed? 1977 Pontiac Trans Am

There’s a thought that postulates, “When enough is just right, too much is perfect!” And that is particularly pertinent when it comes to pony cars like this 1977 Pontiac Trans Am. They came with big engines but why not stuff in a larger one and see what happens, right? Well, that’s what’s going on here, so let’s take a closer look. This Trans Am is located in Phoenix, Arizona and is available here on craigslist for $15,800. Thanks to rex m for this tip!

Whereas Ford and Mopar had no issue cramming a monster-sized V8 into a Mustang/’Cuda/Challenger, GM was more reserved preferring to not trip the light fantastic with an engine over 400 CI in a Camaro or a Firebird. And that was per a GM 14th-floor rule but the rule was rescinded in ’70 and Pontiac ventured into the big engine/small car mash-up by inserting a 455 CI V8 into the Trans Am starting with the ’71 model year. Unfortunately, horsepower was in retreat in those years though Poncho had still some standouts like the ’72 455 HO and the ’74-’74 SD-455. By ’76, Pontiac’s big engine was only capable of wheezing out 200 net HP and it became a why bother exercise. That being the case, in ’77 Pontiac was back to a 400 CI max. V8 in both the Trans Am and Firebird Formula.

Enter this rather austere looking ’77 Trans Am. Usually when the topic of a ’77 Trans Am surfaces, all focus is directed towards the black and gold “Smokey and the Bandit” edition. This Trans Am is shorn of its “screaming chicken” hood decal and exudes a less-is-more attitude with its unadorned plain white finish. The seller suggests, “Body is in good shape no dents has a few small rust bubbles lower quarter panels and car does need paint“. Overall, it does look fair, there are noticeable chips in the paint and the rear window reveal molding is missing (supposedly it’s included) but there is a lot here with which to work. The snowflake wheels cap off the appearance and they look to be in good nick.

No 400 CI V8 for this Bird, it’s powered by a 300 net HP 455 CI V8 that was liberated from an undisclosed ’72 Pontiac model. Operating via a four-speed manual transmission, it is said that this Trans Am, “now starts runs and drives brakes and Clutch are good“. It is further described as a garage dweller that sat for several years but when freed from storage and treated to a new fuel pump, new plugs wires, a cap, rotor, and a rebuilt carburetor it was able to shake off its slumber.

The interior is certainly passable, there are no signs of rips or tears in the upholstery or the dash pad. The carpet is typically faded but that’s expected. The lower passenger side door panel is missing (he’s supposed to have that too) and the driver’s side piece is warped and looks to be shedding its red applied finish. But all of that said, the environment is usable as is and it wouldn’t take a ton of effort to bring it completely up to snuff. BTW, this is an air-conditioned car and the seller has the detached components.

I like the minimalist appearance of this Trans Am and really appreciate the extra cubic inches. It’s especially enticing because the stock vibe has been maintained and it gives off no pretense of its modification. Sometimes, if you can’t find what you want,  you do have to build it yourself, right?


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  1. Tony Primo

    Original cars are nice, but cubic torque is what is going to keep you happy!!!

    Like 10
  2. JMC

    Dang I was just in Phoenix,back in WNY Sunday night..

    Like 2
  3. JoeNYWF64

    A blue shaker would give it that patriotic look.
    No doubt the up to triple! the cost of new RWL tires these days is leading to more & more tires like these.
    Fan shroud probably needed.

    Like 1
  4. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    No surprise posting already deleted!

    Like 2

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