Barn Yard Find: 1977 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition

Time and the elements can take a heavy toll on any car, but it has certainly had a real field day on this Trans Am. The owner describes this as a barnyard find, and it looks like it’s been there for a while. There is certainly going to be some work in bringing this one back to life, but it appears that there are some people who can see potential in this car because after opening at $1, the bidding has now reached $3,050. It’s worth noting that the reserve has not been met at this stage. Located in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Trans Am is listed for sale here on eBay.

Did I hear someone mention the word rust? Well, there certainly is plenty of that to address in this Trans Am, and you really only need to look at the photos to understand the extent of the problem. Apart from what is visible on the outside of the car, the rear bumper supports, the rear frame rails, and the floors all have issues to be dealt with. It’s a crying shame, as there is one photo included in the ad which shows the car in its prime, and it was such a nice car. I do like the rear window louvers, as they are so fitting for a car of this vintage. One positive that we can extract from all of this is the fact that judging by the state of the interior, it appears that the Hurst T-Top is sound, with no obvious signs of leaks around the seals.

Under the hood is the 400ci V8 engine, which is backed by an automatic transmission. Of course, power steering, power brakes, and air conditioning were also part of the package. The car has 125,000 miles on the clock, so for a vehicle of this age, that’s not that bad. What we don’t know is what state the engine and transmission are in. There’s a fair amount of corrosion visible in there, and if snow can get in, then so can rain, which is never a good thing. There’s also evidence of rodent activity under the hood, which is not great.

Considering the general state of the rest of the car, the interior is quite a revelation. It looks to be complete, and it’s all in solid condition. There are no cracks in the dash or pad, and it doesn’t look like there have been any alterations or modifications made. The car must have been quite pleasant in its day because on top of the A/C, you also had power windows, a tilt wheel, rear defrost, power trunk release, cruise control, and a factory 8-track player. It’s unclear whether everything still works, but if the rodents have confined their activities to under the hood, then it all might be okay.

This Trans Am SE is going to require a fair old pile of work to bring it back to life, but it is a task that might well be worth the effort. Compared to a standard Trans Am of the same year, a Trans AM SE commands a price premium of around 30%. That makes it very hard to find a really good SE for less than $45,000, while immaculately restored examples can achieve $70,000 or more. Sure, it’s going to require some work, but I’m sure that we’ve probably all seen worse cars restored. Even given the extent of the rust, restoration of this car looks like it should make economic sense. Would you be willing to take it on?

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  1. Howard A

    Ha! This,,,is what I remember most T/A’s looked like in MY neighborhood. They were all driven hard,,,

    • Fred W

      ….and put away wet!

  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    For an outfit that brags “We know collector cars because we build collector cars” Why not build this one for an easy profit?

    • Martin

      Because they have dozens of cars already waiting to be restored.

  3. Maverick

    Parts car not a builder car you will have to much money into the car. I seen nicer than this under 5000 .

  4. Spanky

    Looks like a great donor for the SE specific parts, roof, interior wheels, possibly the drivetrain.

  5. Karl

    Look at the place it’s from MN, land if SALT! This type car Camaro,T/A etc. Are rust prone on a good day, drive it through a couple MN Winters and there will be a lot of corrosion you can see and a heck of a lot more that you can’t. This is at best a parts car and I bet there aren’t many usable parts either?

  6. JoeNYWF64

    I wonder how durable that turbo 350 trans is, compared to the turbo 400 used 1974 & earlier.

  7. Dennis

    Back in the 80’s when old cars weren’t all the “thing to do” this thing would be in the local junkyard giving up any usable parts she had. Back in “sensible” days at least. Just crazy now days… I’d give it all another 15 years and most of the insanity will be over. Just hope I can sell all mine before then while the big bucks are still flying around. Been at this since the late 70’s and it’s in the prime right now, won’t last forever… Food for thought when looking at this kind of thing..

    • William Decker

      The “market correction” has already started.

  8. Alexander

    Always disliked the three-part louvers on the rear of the 75 and later Firebirds. Just looks goofy and a waste of an aftermarket “upgrade.” However, it seems these prevented the rear window from rusting completely through in the usual places. Still, a rough T/A and should be relegated to parts car status.

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