Autoform Conversion: 1984 Pontiac Trans Am

There were numerous companies throughout the 1980s that specialized in converting hardtop coupes into drop-top cabriolets, often with varying results. Some looked good enough to be mistaken for a factory product; others were unmitigated disasters. This 1984 Pontiac Trans Am is one of the better ones, in my opinion, converted by a company called Autoform in the 1980s and commissioned directly by GM. This 1984 model here on craigslist is a genuine Auto Form car with 20,000 original miles for $6,000.

Unlike some conversions that consisted of merely chopping off the roof and installing a soft top, the Autoform cars adopted a large decklid panel that hinged upwards. The rear seats were deleted, along with the back hatch. The simulated headrest panel gives the Trans Am the appearance of a true two-seater, with no visual cues left that a backseat once resided where the top is now stowed.

The seller notes that the Trans Am has decent cosmetics, with decent paint that shows a chip in the front bumper. The interior does need some freshening up, as the seller points out coffee stains in the carpet (I just spent a weekend removing these from my new project car – thank goodness for steam cleaners). The Trans Am features an automatic transmission paired to the “High Output” 5.0L V8.

The seller claims the Trans Am by Auto Form is one of less than 300 converted examples, and that his asking price is quite reasonable compared to what other examples have sold for. Recent maintenance includes a new carburetor, brake lines, hoses, bumper grills, and wheel caps. While aftermarket convertibles aren’t particularly valuable, they are all considered rare and an Autoform may be one of the rarest.

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Comments

  1. Moparman Member

    I realize compromises were needed to accommodate the snap on top, but I think the headrests would have looked better with longer backings (like those on the ’60’sThunderbird tonneau cover). Those surface mounted hinges for the “trunk” (IMO) are awful. To me, the side profile just looks slightly off/unbalanced. GLWTS
    :-)

    4
  2. Mike leyshon

    Could do without those trunk lid hinges too… Probably from a boat supply store. Otherwise a pretty nice car for the money based on what is depicted by the seller.

    The 305 was pretty weak in 1984 compared to the Ford HO 302 4V. Easily remedied if desired. LS1, frame ties, lose the boat hatch hinges on the trunk and rock it !

    1
  3. Vin_in_NJ

    I’m not impressed with the quality of this conversion. The hinged top looks warped/wavy ( see pic 13 of 18 on Craigslist) and the glued on bodywork that runs from the rear to the headrests don’t meet the taillights, making it look alike a cheap, ill-fitting add-on. The chrome door hinges make it look like a boat with wheels.

  4. Coventrycat

    It’d be cool if I wasn’t so worried about it messin’ up my mullet.

    3
  5. Jerry

    I would be more interested in the black Trans Am next to it.

  6. Bob Ch

    To me this doesn’t even look like a Trans Am….a plain Firebird. It doesn’t have the lower ground effects on the side or in the grill.

    1
    • Vin_in_NJ

      In ’84, the lower ground effects were the optional W62 “Aero Package”. it also included the solid plastic grill

      1
      • Bob Ch

        Yeah you are correct….since most had them I think it just doesn’t look right like this

        1
  7. Mike leyshon

    Appreciate how Jeff L and staff present their write – ups.
    Putting things in perspective and standing by for all the negatives.

    Chrysler and Ford introduced factory convertibles in 1983. GM only shipped base model F-bodies for conversion to various shops, so there is no single original appearance until 1992 when GM built Camaro/Firebird converibles themselves. I would imagine there is a heck of a discussion on them amongst owners.

  8. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    I can feel the shakes and rattles from here.

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