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5.0-Liter/5-Speed: 1985 Pontiac Trans Am

Turnkey classics are often difficult to ignore because they offer potential buyers instant motoring gratification. Of course, if the classic in question is in exceptional condition, it heightens the desire to park it in their driveway. This 1985 Pontiac Trans Am is one such car, and it is easy to admire its originality. It would suit an enthusiast who not only wants a vehicle that looks good but provides a rewarding driving experience. It is almost impossible to fault this stunning 1985 Pontiac Trans Am. Its next journey could be to a new home, with the seller listing the Pontiac here on eBay in San Diego, California. Bidding sits below the reserve at $8,000, but interested parties may need to act fast as the auction heads to its conclusion.

There is so much to like about this Trans Am it is almost impossible to know where to start. It has spent its days in California, making its rust-free status unsurprising. The sun in that area often exacts a high toll on paint, but the original Medium Blue Metallic gracing its panels looks exceptional. It retains an amazing shine that you could almost walk into, and the lack of significant chips and marks suggests it is the owner’s pride and joy. The secret might be in the car’s low-mile status. The listing “Item Specifics” panel shows an odometer reading of 11,972 miles. The seller doesn’t specifically mention this, but the Trans Am’s overall condition makes it plausible. The original paint also makes the lack of Bondo or previous repairs a no-brainer, meaning there should be no nasty surprises awaiting the buyer. The plastic is free from cracks, the glass is flawless, and the distinctive alloy wheels are in as-new condition.

One glance at this Pontiac’s interior seems to support my belief about the originality of the odometer reading. The cloth seatcovers show no wear or physical damage, even on the prone outer edges. The carpet is spotless, with the seller wisely protecting it with a set of mats. There is no UV damage to the dash and no evidence of abuse. Surprisingly, it has avoided the scourge of aftermarket additions that seem almost inevitable for a classic of this type and age. The console retains the factory AM/FM radio/cassette player, with the winning bidder receiving air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, and a leather-wrapped tilt wheel.

One of the most significant changes introduced to the Trans Am range in 1985 was the company’s decision to offer a fuel-injected version of its 5.0-liter V8. This brought a welcome increase in power and torque, but the auto-only transmission configuration failed to maximize its performance potential. Those wanting the best would have followed the lead of this car’s original owner, teaming the “HO” version of the 5.0-liter with a five-speed T5 manual. The engine produces 190hp and 240 ft/lbs of torque, far lower than the 205hp and 270 ft/lbs churned out by the “fuelie.” However, while the more potent powerplant produced a 16-second ¼-mile ET, this car should complete the journey in 15.6 seconds. Pontiac’s focus on aerodynamic efficiency with its Third Generation Firebird range delivered a top speed of 144mph, far higher than might be expected from a car featuring relatively power and torque figures. Potential buyers can consider this Trans Am a turnkey proposition. It runs and drives perfectly, with no vices or issues. Those who fancy a Californian holiday could fly in and make the return journey behind the wheel of this beauty.

Two things about this 1985 Pontiac Trans Am are unsurprising. The first is that it has attracted twenty-six bids. The second is that even such intense action has seen it remain below the reserve at the time of writing. Recent sales results suggest the current figure will need to double before that happens, although I wouldn’t rule out it topping $18,000 before the hammer falls. That is still a relatively modest price for a low-mile pony car, and the action so far makes me believe it will get there. Do you agree?


  1. Avatar photo Fox Owner

    Very nice Firebird. And it doesn’t look all boy racer ish with the screaming chicken decal, like a grown up could drive it. Unfortunately out of my price range. Good luck to the next owner.

    Like 8
  2. Avatar photo Rebelta1966

    Always loved the blue and silver paint scheme. Fancy car. Sure miss Pontiac.

    Like 11
    • Avatar photo Richard

      I drove a few of these cars. They were fantastic driving cars!!

      Like 4
  3. Avatar photo Douglas Threlfall Member

    The 1985 was the 1st styling refresh but without the horrid 3rd brake lamp. 1986 was a one year only ugly tumor on the hatch glass and then 1987 was integrated into the rear spoiler. These L69 5.0 H.O. (High Output) 305’s with 190 horsepower doesn’t sound like a lot now (especially with 13 second Camrys) but in 1983 when the L69 came out, it was a big deal. Then the TPI w/ the dual cat came out later and had 225 HP with a 5 speed.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo TinIndy

      It’s not an L69, it’s an LG4. The 8th digit of the VIN is an H. It’d be a G for a real H.O., and I believe it’d have a dual snorkel air cleaner and callout decals on the side skirt below the front fenders.

      Seller is being misleading calling it an H.O. Note no picture of the SPI label. A 1985 L69 would be very rare and a lot more valuable. Be careful out there, a lot of scammers have infiltrated our hobby.

      Like 6
  4. Avatar photo Beauwayne5000

    Ah yes the notorious Flopper both the FB & Camaro of these Yrs share a single disturbing manufacturing flaw that is far worse than the Plastic interior & anemic engine Trans Suspensions & Rear ends which btw ALL have to go for any serious driver.
    That is it’s Aerodynamic tendency at speed for front end lift & if Air gets under the car it FLOPS end over end the IROC series with these cars was a DIASASTER with these things going airborne & sailing literally hundreds of feet & spinning end over end on LIVE TV.
    They tried numerous fixes roof flaps bigger air dams under body tunnels nothing worked and the model quickly discontinued .the basic design was the flaw .looks great initially & as a Pontiac dealers kid when it came out in 82 boy was I excited then the race tragedys began on live TV..
    The car I had been planning on having my dad Special Order …I tossed that idea in the trash.
    We did get 1 specially made after market super duper TA white w/a red stripe kit & after market mods that was supposedly extra hot..nah drove it ..nothing compared to 928s 944Ts or even a reg ol 911 and built 71-81 Camero Firebirds walked all over them.
    It’s a nice girls car as long as she keeps it below 85mph

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Melton Mooney

      I’ve run up to the 130mph speed limiter in my iroc a couple of times. I guess since it’s a convertible it must have better aerodynamics, because I’m pretty sure I’d remember if the car went flying up in the air.

      Like 9
    • Avatar photo Roger h

      It’s still a nice vehicle

      Like 2
    • Avatar photo Mark

      I’m thinking that the instances of these cars flipping over, as you say, were a result of the higher than normal speeds brought about by the racing modifications. A stock street version shouldn’t be at risk of this happening.
      As far as this being a “girl’s car”, I’ll be sure to pack a cute sundress, panties, bra, and high heels if I decide to post the winning bid.

      Like 0
  5. Avatar photo Ed Cor

    Not the H.O. L69 unfortunately

    Like 2
  6. Avatar photo Chris

    As someone else pointed out the VIN engine code is wrong for the actual high output ( L69 ) engine. It should be G and this car is H. Other than that it looks like a nice clean T/A.

    Like 1
  7. Avatar photo Kirk

    I dont if anyone has experienced this in these and the camaros but we had one with a stock car 355 installed with the stock 4 gear automatic that would get a higher top speed in 3rd than 4th. When 3rd was wound out to about 55 or 6 grand then shifted into 4th/ overdrive the car would actually start dropping speed about 10 mph and hold there roughly 120-125 . If you wanted to go any faster you have to shift down to 3rd and then it just keep climbing with the rpms

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo George Mattar

    This or a new Chevy Equinox? Pontiac forever.

    Like 1
  9. Avatar photo Frank TA

    US $10,900.00 was the high bid.
    36 bids Ended Wednesday, Mar 06, 2024 at 03:56 PM
    Reserve not met – Not sold.
    That is the market price for a 5.0 engine. Now if it had the 5.7….

    Like 1

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