Amazing Auction: Over 50 Pontiac Trans Ams

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Some call this collecting, some call it hoarding but VanDerBrink Auctions seems to find estates that have some incredible collections of cars. This collection is located in Waverly, Iowa and includes approximately 50 Trans Ams as well as Pontiac parts and engines. Mixed in with the Firebirds, Formulas and Trans Ams are a few Camaros and square body GM pickups. All the cars and parts will be auctioned later this summer. The open house is on Friday August 4th and the auction will be held the following day on Saturday, August 6th. The cars can be bid on in person or online. However, parts sales can only be made in person.

The video on the VanDerBrink website shows many of the cars that are in the auction that are primarily Pontiac Trans Ams ranging from 1970 to 1981 which are considered 2nd generation F bodies. The above picture is an unrestored 1973 Super Duty 455 Trans Am. Just 252 of these cars were built. Trans Ams in 1973 were available in only three colors – Cameo White, Brewster Green and Buccaneer Red. Total Firebird production for that year was 46,313 with only 4,802 being Trans Ams. The Super Duty 455 is the holy grail of Trans Am engine options and were only available in 1973 and 1974. Also pictured above, appears to be a 1976 Trans Am which was the last year for the 455 cubic inch engine in the Trans Am.

With what looks like a Georgia license plate, the above Polar White 1970 Trans Am has been used as a storage shelf for many years. This was the first year for the 2nd generation Trans Am but only 3,196 Trans Ams were built. They were available with either the Ram Air III or Ram Air IV 400 cubic inch V8 engine. Only 88 Ram Air IV Trans Ams were produced in 1970. The 2nd generation Trans Am made its debut on February 26, 1970 so many people call these a 1970 1/2 model.

As the 1970’s progressed, the popularity of the Trans Am increased and, in turn, production numbers increased substantially to a high of 117,108 Trans Ams in 1979. This collection also includes some early 1980’s pace cars both 1980 Indy 500 and 1981 Daytona 500 models. I know a few collectors with 10 Trans Ams and one with 40 Trans Ams in drivable to pristine conditions. This collection seems to be comprised of project and unrestored cars so it might be a good entry point for some enthusiasts.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Nostromo

    Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974) lit the fire of desire for getting a Trans Am. I did finally get a WS6 in ’01 then an SLP Firehawk in July ’02.

    Like 24
    • Rw

      Totally agree one of the all time great movie T/As

      Like 14
  2. Ken

    I’m glad people do this but I never find this any where near me or the cars for sale

    Like 18
    • Aaron

      Yeah man I have never seen anything like that near me in Tx it’s amazingly nice but I’m not driving that many hours for any kind of car

      Like 1
      • Chris Krause

        Not a real big deal but in your article you say open houses on Friday the 4th and the auction is the next day Saturday the 6th. What happened to the 5th

        Like 0
  3. Maggy

    Guy I went to high school with wrapped a red 74 SD 4 speed around a telephone pole.He was never quite right after that.

    Like 17
    • Autoworker

      Me and all of my friends drove $50 dollar beaters during high school. One of the jock’s daddy bought him a new orange 73 Trans Am. He guardrailed it within a week of getting it. Can’t say anyone felt too bad for him.

      Like 23
    • Dave Australia

      When these hoards are discovered it must dilute the prices of the cars already in circulation cars to a significant extent. I can remember a hoard of 50-100 early 1960s Ford Falcon XK-XP discovered on one property here near Adelaide probably 20 years ago.

      Like 2
  4. Tbone

    Keep em like this and its called hoarding.

    Like 14
  5. Yblocker

    Thank Smokey and the Bandit for this illness, personally never cared much for these.

    Like 12
  6. Slantasaurus

    Whoever collected 50 trans ams must have had the most epic mullet ever.

    Like 43
    • Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

      Now THAT is funny!!

      Like 13
    • Rick R

      Lol, Slantasaurus

      Like 2
  7. Mohammed Singh

    Another uncredited find Bruce?

    Like 4
  8. Bob Crowe

    I know a guy in western Mi with a barn full of old Cadillac’s, he keeps telling me he’s going to restore them some day. Only problem he’s in his late 80’s

    Like 21
    • KH

      Yes. The sad thing is most of the time, the mice get into them or they sit and rot in the Midwest humidity or snow.

      If they can get to a new owner before they sit in someone’s backyard forever, they are sure easier to bring back to life.

      Like 4
  9. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    Bob Crowe, the story of the guy who is “going to restore them some day” is the very stuff of the old car hobby at this point. That delusion has caused the demise to literally zillions of old cars.

    I’m tracking 3 or 4 near me right now. I send them letters, offer a fair price, but no response as I watch them deteriorate daily. It’s puzzling.

    Like 26
    • Boo Radley

      I don’t remember Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, and never watched the Bandit movies despite growing up in the 70s. Somehow I still caught the Trans Am bug, and in the early to mid 80s I owned a 73 455, a 75 455 4 speed, and an 86 455 4 speed, along with a 74 Formula, a 74 Firebird with a 6 cylinder engine, and two Camaros, a 75 and a 78 Z28 with a 350 and 4 speed. Looking back, they were pretty much all terrible cars, poorly built and constantly needing work. Rear springs were a particular problem. But again, these cars were all 7 to 10 years old by the time I owned them so they may have been abused by former owners. In 85 I found a beautiful black 75 TA for sale with only 6,400 miles, but the price was a tad high for me.

      Like 14
      • ccrvtt

        It’s hard enough driving a 16-year-old Corvette and trying to keep it nice let alone justifying the expense to my wife. The lustful looks at old Trans Ams and other vintage rides are tempered with Boo’s comment, “Looking back, they were pretty much all terrible cars, poorly built and constantly needing work.” pretty much sums up the sobering reality.

        Like 13
    • maggy

      Rex…it’s not about $ for hoarders or people that hang onto things they don’t really need. It’s called a mental illness.In their minds they like to know they have something somebody wants but can’t have because they won’t let them.

      Like 7
  10. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    Pretty much sums up everything GM built post 1971.

    Like 8
  11. TomP

    Alot of people confuse the 455 with the SD455. So nowadays any schmo that has a 455 in their junk pile think they have a gold mine.

    Like 16
  12. Jay E.Member

    I thought I really wanted one of these back in the day. Then I drove one. Cramped, really slow and poorly fitted, I was cured after the first drive. I don’t get the attraction. I agree with the comments on quality above.

    Like 6
  13. C Force

    I owned two trans ams,a 76 400 auto and a 78 400 auto.driving them daily they got to be alot of work maintaining them and the barely double digit mileage cost plenty in gas over time.don’t really miss them though and i was averaging at least one ticket a year(usually speeding).those cars gave me a heavy right foot behind the wheel.

    Like 4
  14. AlanR

    The auction company is misrepresenting the white 73 Trans Am. It is NOT a Super Duty.

    This TA is a 455 four-speed with air-conditioning. Again, not an SD-455.

    I suspect there will be a few angry people that won’t know it is not a Super Duty until they travel a long distance to this auction.

    This auction company is known for poor and inaccurate descriptions of the cars they sell. They did an auction in Kansas a couple of years ago that was disorganized chaos. There were many angry and frustrated people that day.

    Like 13
    • Michael Simonis

      Can you clarify why you are of this opinion? I likely know a good deal less than most about these cars but from the video I couldnt see any telltale signs that it wasnt a SD455.

      Like 3
  15. 455RAIV

    Great find – specially the 73 SD-455 T/A all in all the Best handling cars through the 70’s . 70 – 74 were fast RA III – RA IV – 455HO – SD-455 . 78 -79 W72 400 T/A’s The last Muscle car of the 70’s – as Hot Rod Magazine stated in their test of a 79 T/A W72 400 4 spd that ran a 14.62 @ 96 mph in the 1/4 mile – Fastest American car of the late 70’s :)

    Like 5
  16. Gary

    We had a warehouse complex near me back in the late 90’s that was used for storage/light industrial. A bunch of motorhomes and cars were stored there, including a 69 T/A and a supposed 69 T/A convertible, both nice drivers.Obviously the convertible had to be a clone as all eight of the real T/A convertibles are accounted for, but it was nice. One of the industrial shops caught on fire and burned he whole building to the ground. The owner of the T/A’s did not have insurance on them and I watched the burnt, smashed carcasses get pulled onto flatbeds and hauled to the local wrecking yard a few weeks later. A friend of mine had his 57 Chevy 2dr sedan stored there for the winter and thankfully it was in another building. something like 20 motorhomes and 10 pull behind campers and 30 cars burnt in the fire, shame for sure.

    Like 6
  17. Robert Levins

    WOW – SO MANY Trans Am’s too little time. You would have to take a sleeping bag with you just to be able to “check out “ this collection ! Well , it’s a perfect time, now , to “purge the herd “and give (or) sell back to the collector car world! Good luck. Rock On – car collectors !

    Like 5
  18. BajaPFEMember

    Our inner 18 year old wants one our outer 55 year old eventually pays for it after driving. Still want one of course.

    Like 9
  19. 62Linc

    I bought a trans am new in 1978 and owned it for five years. 400 with auto trans A/C P/W and 8 track Lol. It was daily driver those five years in Oklahoma then West Germany (air force) then Georgia where I sold it. Other than crappy door hinges and slow power windows the only problem I had was a leaky radiator that I pulled and had repaired. I’d say the weak points are the cheap door hinges and weak rear springs.

    Like 5
  20. Jack

    74 trans am 455 automatic, fasted car I’ve ever been in. 145mph. Center dotted line looked solid .

    Like 1
  21. AlanR

    There are two details that confirm it is not an SD-455.

    In the video, there is a view of the interior of the car. You can see in the video that it is a 4-speed and has air conditioning. Air conditioning was not available on a 4-speed SD-455.

    There was a photo on the auction company website that showed writing on the back window of the car. If you zoom in you can read this:

    455 4sp
    Was Br Grn
    Not Super Duty

    Y in the VIN is for D-port 455, X is the code for SD-455.
    “Not Super Duty” is written on the back window.

    I saved a copy of the photo before it was removed from the website.

    Like 5
  22. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    What happend to the mullet comment?

    Like 1
    • TomP

      My hoarder comment was deleted too… I guess someone has too much time on their hands, deleting posts that they think may hurt someone’s feelings.

      Like 4
  23. Wayne

    Having worked in a Pontiac store when these were new AND had the opportunity to drive them many miles I have several comments.
    1. Door hinges very weak.
    2. 455 Firebirds (NON SD engines) seemed slower than 400s. Don’t know why.
    3. 455SD cars Really fast! And ton’s of fun! (although I did drive an early HO car that was very fast also, but did not have the overall “haul the mail pull of the SD over 100 MPH)
    4. I found (the hard way, luckily the ticket was for a lower speed than the speedo indicated) that the Firebird speedos were wildly optimistic once they pushed past 110 MPH. One of the magazine articles I read after that also verified that. (Road and Track or Car and Driver) It was very strange, because the other Pontiacs’ speedos seemed to be right on the money.
    5. The cars were as heavy as most Chevy “B” body (Caprice) cars.
    6. I drove one of the very last (If not the last one) 455SD cars. It was not a Trans Am it was a Formula 455SD. It still had the backwards scoop, and fender vents, but no fender spats/deflectors or a puking chicken on the hood. It was an animal! Significantly faster than the other 455SD cars I had driven. (I know it had not been modified as I drove it right off the transporter when it was delivered to the dealership.) It even had a little bit of a lumpy idle!
    Good times working at a Pontiac store back then and having a boss that was also a “fast car freak”! Selling Trans Ams meant that you would get other interesting cars traded in (AMXs, Corvettes, 442s, etc.) tons of good memories!

    Like 3
    • KH

      Yes that’s true. I worked at a Chevy dealer a little before you’re talking about and the trades were just as fun as the new ones.

      Like 2
  24. Big Al

    Looking for a 1970 400engine or 455 Pontiac if interested let me know

    Like 0
  25. BMan Lewis

    Would be a blast to go through that collection… I’m sure there’s a good deal to be made

    Like 1

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