455 Trans-plant! 1975 Pontiac Trans-Am Four-Speed

Let’s face it; no matter how small the horsepower ratings, 455 cubic inches give you serious bragging rights, especially in a vehicle as relatively compact as this 1975 Pontiac Trans Am in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Sadly the barrier of a $17,999.99 opening bid makes the auction here on eBay seem more like a fishing expedition, but even taking the car for what it is:  a blue-blue car painted black, probably damaged in the rear, and sporting a non-original 455, there’s enough here to hope for a re-listing with a more realistic starting point.

Professional photographers might suggest getting the entire vehicle in the viewfinder before pressing the button, but credit the seller for his or her savvy use of mixed case typing. I’ve driven 45x cid V8s from this time period and, despite some weak horsepower ratings, they provide satisfying thrust and enough torque to incinerate the tires even with an automatic. With this one’s manual gearbox and posi-traction rear end, you’ll have no problem writing two black streaks with the 3.08 gears, and the latter will keep the RPMs reasonable on the highway as well.

Pennsylvania winters took their toll on the lower bits of this Pontiac. The doors and cowl vents (below) suggest a blue car with blue interior. The VIN decoder at transamworld.com describes a genuine Trans-Am with the S-code 400 cid four-barrel V8. As hagerty.com reports, “The blocks of all Pontiac V-8s from the 287 to the 455 are the same size and very close to the same weight, which can make it more difficult to identify the 11 different engine displacements produced from 1955–79.” Thus we never call Pontiac’s monster motors a “big block.”

The 1972 Y-code 455 wasn’t known as a fire-breathing monster, but if the Flowmaster exhaust, big-inch torque, and four-speed fail to elicit a grin, pull over immediately and check your pulse. “The car runs and drives fine,” according to the seller, and features an Edelbrock intake and carburetor. Some metal-work has been done, but, clearly, more remains. We’re lucky to live in an age where imperfect cars like this can be bought and enjoyed for a modest investment. Rare and special models of this vintage –across all makes– are going up and up. What would you do after twisting the key and bringing this 455-powered Pontiac to life?

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  1. Rx7turboII

    18k for this is not even close to reasonable. Too much work for too much money. I see about a 7-8k car more like….

  2. Pat L Member

    It’s never a bad idea to ad more displacement, but this car is pretty roached out.

  3. RobB

    That is not a 75 rear bumper set. Looks like a 76 rear bumper.

  4. Des Ryan

    You guys have already featured this P.O.S. – Barn Finds doing re-runs now?


  5. Tony Primo

    Come on Des, there’s only so many used cars in the world!

  6. Des Ryan

    Yes, but half of them are Trans Ams, so there’s no excuse. :) LOL!

    • Rx7turboII

      Yes, and the other half are Grand Nationals! LOL

  7. Ted

    Another case of “well, one just like it sold at barrett ripoff for a trillionteen dollars!!!”

  8. Steve A


  9. Tort Member

    I had no idea so many cars with chickens on their hood were made until I joined Barn Finds!

  10. Dave Rudziensky

    Cool car, stick shift is rare on these. we are building a 455 engine for a customer now, original owner, original paint 4 speed T top too. Paint is a bit rough, I’d leave it that way and drive the wheels off.

  11. Brian K

    Don’t walk, run.

  12. Chris

    Its the way of the world now way over priced for the condition its in. But as many have said on here before a fool & his money may soon part if someone is foolish enough to pay the opening bid price for this bird.

    • Brian K

      Even if the price was much lower, I’d still pass. Notice that awful rusty floorpan and engine photos. You can bet the house that the frame is shot. Cars like this seem like fun to take on but, the nightmares begin when you start tearing it down for resto. You can find cleaner ones out there. I’m a big fan of the ’75. I would like to see this car go to an advanced body guy who can do most of the work himself. A person just jumping into the game would be a train wreck with costs that would go into the stratosphere.

  13. Steve S

    If the price was reasonable and I could afford it. I would like to have this car. Then I would have to change the numbers on the cowl from 6.6 to 455 or what ever the litres would be for the 455. Then add some power to the engine and have fun.

  14. Steve Phillips

    Think maybe it was under water for a while!

  15. Skip

    Did anyone notice the aftermarket hole in the roof? Car is not worth the cost of trying to restore when it was only a 400 engine to begin with. Cheaper to buy one in great shape and enjoy driving it when you go to work an extra couple days a month to make the payment. This is a parts car!

    • Brian K

      Great catch Skip. Another reason to pass. You know it will leak. On a positive note, I’d like to find an Artic Blue ’75. I’ve never seen one except in photos.

  16. mark houseman

    ….one too many 9’s on that opening bid. $1799.99!!!!!!! TOPS, especially after carving a hole in the roof that the seller doesn’t really point out.

  17. Stevie G Member

    Back in the mid 1970’s, my uncle was leaving my grandparents house. As he approached the corner at the end of the block, a guy driving a twin of what this car looked like when new ran a stop sign & totaled my uncles freshly repainted 1970 Mustang fastback (302 automatic, full wheelcover car, nothing fancy). The guy in the Trans Am drove off.
    A day later, my aunt (uncles younger sister) mentioned to my grandparents that her friend with a blue Trans Am had been in an accident & asked her to store the car in her garage. My uncle & grandfather, with me in tow (I was 7 or 8 at the time lol) went over to my aunts rented flat with a funnel & a pitcher of sugar from my grandmothers bin in the kitchen. Somehow the sugar made it into that gas tank.
    Being as young as I was, I told my Mom about it after she returned from work. She told Grandma who then chewed out my Gramps. Funny thing is, she chewed him out for wasting the sugar, not for damaging the car lol. The fun of growing up in an Italian family! I learned a lot that day!

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