Live Auctions

#635 Of 1500: 1989 20th Anniversary Trans Am

The Pontiac Trans Am (itself a rather exclusive model) has spawned many even rarer limited edition versions. For example, we’ve recently featured a 1988 GTA, a 1984 15th Anniversary car, and just this week a 1980 Pace Car edition. This one is rather special, though, as it’s the only place outside of a Buick GNX you will find the ultimate street version of Buick’s turbocharged V6. This one is being sold here on craigslist and is located in Gilbert, Arizona. The asking price is $16,500. What a great find by Barn Finds reader Pat L!

The car is owned by the seller’s father and has recently been recommissioned after having been dry stored for 20 years. The seller has gone through the car extensively and is claimed to have no rust at all.

In the seller’s words, the refurbishment included “…cleaning out the entire fuel system including removing the fuel tank and having it cleaned while installing a new fuel pump, sending unit, and fuel filter. Also, I replaced the spark plugs, installed new plug wires, and replaced all the vacuum lines. I also replaced all the fluids including oil, coolant, brake fluid, and drained and refilled the trans fluid. Brakes were completely redone including new pads, new rotors on the rear, and refinished the front rotors including new wheel bearings installed on the front rotors.” Pretty extensive! The car now runs and drives as new. If you look closely at the rocker panel just behind the front wheel, you’ll find a small badge commemorating the fact that the 20th Anniversary Trans Am was the Indianapolis 500 pace car that year.

The interior lets the car down a little bit with cracking in the original leather. However — as the seller tells us — for the right price, they will include a set of brand new original seats that they will swap out for these. They also have a NOS rear spoiler to replace the cracked original one. According to this article, this is one of 1,324 cars with t-tops and a leather interior.

It’s not a tremendously impressive-looking engine, but in 1989 the 250 (actually over 300, but GM supposedly down-rated the engine to keep Corvette folks happy) happy horsepower was more than just about anything around, and shouldn’t be sneezed at even today. The engine actually has several detail differences from the GNX, including adding a cross-drilled crankshaft for better lubrication and somewhat different cylinder heads to fit better into the F-body platform. I don’t know about you, but I like it — this came out three years after I graduated from college and I vividly remember thinking how great a car this could be. Maybe one of you feels the same way; I know I’d like to be the one who moves that odometer from 75,832! Let us know if you pick this beautiful survivor up!


  1. Rock On

    Still a fast car by today’s standards. Lots of tried and true hop up options exist for the turbo V-6, if you need a quicker way to lose your license.

    Like 1
  2. dirtyharry

    I owned a 1985 Trans Am with a 305 and tuned port injection. I thought it quick at the time. One day another TA pulled up next to me, for an impromptu drag race. Little did I know how potent the turbo V-6 is. It not only launched better, all I saw were his tail lights the rest of the way.

    Like 1
  3. Troy s

    I remember these as well, and was glad to see this Buick engine being used again, although it had only been a few short years since the Grand Nationals demise. I don’t remember any of the performance numbers on these Trans Am’s, but I suppose they were as good if not better than the Buick GN’s and T-Types, very strong for the day especially when allowed to cool down.

  4. Vegas Vic

    Styling, cool interior color, fairly fast, only 75k mikes for $ 16k?
    Good deal, great summer cruiser, wax her for shine n show events!🇺🇸

    Like 1
  5. JimmyJ

    How bout you throw in those seats and spoiler for $16,500?

    Like 1
  6. ACZ

    Definitely a Top of the Bucket List car.

    Like 1
  7. Steve in Charlotte

    One of my friends has #915. He also owns the Trans Am NASCAR Pace Car that was used the entire 1994 Winston Cup Season.

    Like 1
  8. Steven D Visek

    Nice ride. Definitely worth buying as a weekend fun car and collectible. Personally I’d go for one with the cloth interior and no t-tops; only 15 with that combo as I recall. Likely the best of those sold at Mecum Chicago 2014 for $34,000:

  9. firemedic2714

    I do like hearing about all these high priced 3rd gen T/As. While my 1992 is not an anniversary car, it is a convertible WS6 with a 5-speed. If the top goes down, the price price goes up.

    • Oingo

      Nice T/A, conversely if the year goes up the price goes down.

      Like 1
  10. Bill

    Drove one brand new in late 88. What an amazing car. I love the Grand National, but this was a far better platform. The heads were also different in that the engine actually was a 4.1 liter. They made in excess of 300 hp and were low to mid 13’s bone stock. Weight distribution was also better with less weight in front. Handling was superb.

    Like 1
  11. Frank Serpico

    I love this car, LOVE IT! I remember these when they first came out. So cool, awesome post

    Like 1

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