Bandit Edition Pontiac Trans Am Barn Finds!

You might remember the story we did about a video I spotted on YouTube about a dealer that is liquidating their personal collection of barn finds, if you missed it you can read about it here. Well, they’ve begun the process of getting all the cars listed and we’ve already featured a few of the more interesting finds. The majority of the collection seems to be composed of Pontiac Trans Ams and while many of them are earlier Firebirds, there are a few 1977-78 Trans Am SEs in the group that could prove to be really good buys. You can see four of the five Special Editions projects here on their website Restore A Muscle Car with prices ranging from $10,900 to $29,900.

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The SE trim (in this case code Y82) was a cosmetic package that added a number of unique features, such as the wider snowflake rims, gold accents, and the gold swirl dash bezel. Of the 15k or so Special Edition Y82 Trans Ams built, the majority were also optioned with T-tops and the 400 cui V8. So what makes this option so desirable today? Besides making these cars look awesome, it also ties them to the most iconic Trans Am of all time. You see, the cars that Pontiac sent to the set of the 1977 movie Smokey and the Bandit were all Special Edition optioned cars. So anyone wanting to truly relive the antics of the Bandit is going to want a genuine Y82 Trans Am.

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These cars are in varying condition, but it looks like they are all complete. Given the popularity and relation to the Camaro, parts are readily available and relatively affordable. Obviously, the biggest concern when restoring one of these is rust and whether the engine is correct. Two of the cars are claimed to have their numbers correct engines and the others are stated to be 400 cui V8 cars, but it isn’t clear if they are numbers matching or not. While numbers matching can impact value, it doesn’t really affect drivability or the fun factor.

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Of these SEs, two have visible rust issues. Without seeing the underside, it’s hard to know how extensive the damage is. The one seen above appears to be the rustiest of the five and would be a major undertaking to fix. That doesn’t mean it isn’t possible, but it’s going to require both skill and money to restore. If you want a project and aren’t looking for the specific options that car came with, this one may be the one to go with. It’s a 1978 and has the same asking price, but the body looks to be more solid.

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Personally, if I were in the market for a Bandit Trans Am, I would probably spend the extra money to buy either of the nicer examples. The asking prices might be three times higher, but you would be getting a rust free car that will only need cosmetic work to be a very nice driver. Heck, this one looks like a good cleaning and a little touchup paint is all that’s needed to make it a really nice car. The other car has an asking of $28,900, which can be found here, and the seller claims it runs and drives as is, so you could drive it while doing a rolling restoration!

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Bandit Trans Am values have really skyrocketed in the past few years. Initially, we thought prices would drop drastically after the excitement of the movie’s 40th anniversary, but values have held steady through 2018. Getting any of these cars to top condition would be costly, but if you are capable of doing much of the work yourself, you might actually be able to come out ahead in the end. More importantly, you’d have one fun classic that will get attention everywhere it goes! So, if you were going to buy one of these Trans Ams, which one would it be and why?

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  1. King Al

    This is not just a dealer liquidating their “collection” of barn finds. They also run a sizable restoration shop that specializes in restoring vehicles like those for sale. So, why wouldn’t they just restore these and sell at greater profit? Based on the condition in the detailed pictures on Flicker, these are gonna need a lot of work. Prices need to be adjusted way down to accurately comprehend what it will take to get these musty classics restored by a buyer.

    • restoreamusclecar Member

      Reply from RAMC — With over 100 projects in our inventory, there is no way we will ever get to them all. We are simply too busy with Customer work and so we have decided it was time to let these projects go. With most Special Edition Trans AM’s selling for north of $60,000 when restored, all of these represent an opportunity to those wanting these highly desirable cars. We welcome reasonable offers and hope to see these cars back on the road soon. We will also restore them for you if you wish to purchase and have us do the work. Just drop us a note!

      • DAVID6

        😲i have a complete shaker that’s been in storage 4
        36 yr’s make💸😎

  2. j liu

    this trans am has 5,340 miles on it and asking is $26,890, silver anniversary 455
    why go to all the expense of resurrecting a wreck?

    • SteVen

      FYI no 455s made past the 1976 model year.

  3. restoreamusclecar Member

    That Trans AM has way more than 5,430 miles on it and is completely Modified. Should have a Silver Leather interior. Not numbers matching anymore. So no collector value to speak of at all. Not that it’s a bad buy as a driver, but not really comparable to a restored numbers matching Special Edition. I am sure you can appreciate the difference.

  4. Chris Lee

    Okay guys this car is in Canton Georgia it’s not far from me near the county jail at a small car lot inside I went and checked it out gave him some comments and pissed him off it’s not a anniversary car wrong interior paint jobs not correct wrong motor not WS6 I’ve had a bunch of 70 through 81 trans am’s another cars quite well


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