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First $10K Gets It: 31K Mile ’85 Firebird

When looking at the fan support for the original Smokey and the Bandit series, it’s not surprising there were numerous Trans Ams acquired in the movie’s hayday that mimiced Burt Reynold’s gold-and-black hot rod. It makes me wonder if the owner of this low-mileage 1985 example here on craigslist was channeling the original Bandit when he bought this car new and then socked it away, racking up a mere 31,000 miles in the process. 

Of course, whether you enjoyed the movies or not, gold and black is an ideal combination. This Trans Am also sports a variety of period-correct features, from the T-Top roof to the rear window louvers. And no matter what you think of how this Firebird is equipped, it’s hard to deny the cool factor of knowing you’ll be just the second owner of a car that’s never before been advertised for sale.

1985 was the first year of the “tuned port injection” 305, which produced a respectable 210 b.h.p. Other changes for the year included a restyled nose, a hood with a pair of integrated vents, and updated ground effects. Overall, the changes weren’t dramatic, but they helped to modernize the Trans Am a bit along with giving it impressively low drag resistance.

Although a Trans Am Recaro edition would have been an even better find, this example ranks pretty high on my list of Trans Am survivors. This car just seems like a honest-to-goodness specimen, and with those miles, you know it was used but never too much. The seller has promised that the first buyer to show up with $10K gets the car; is anyone heading up there at first light?


  1. Rick

    I’ll never forget the day my own mother bought an ’84 right from the showroom. It was the T/A spec. I didn’t even know she bought it. I was sitting working in one of the house rooms and I heard a low rumble.. stepped outside to see a dark metallic blue Pontiac in the driveway with a very happy mother behind the wheel. Kinda blew me away.. being more of a reserved kinda woman. It seemed quick, handled reasonably well and sounded great. Within the year little pieces started falling off the dash… the doors… the hatch wouldn’t shut right…. electronics issues in the engine started creeping in… I think she traded it for a Buick or something the next year. This car? Even with the low mileage, $10K might be pushing just a bit…

  2. nessy

    Nice well kept low mile T/A. Look how weird the front plate looks being mounted off center. That is not factory. I like where the seller says, “first 10k gets it”. If anyone pays 10k for this car which I don’t think will happen, he really will “get it”.

  3. Kman

    K.I.T.T meets Smokey and the Bandit. Nice Combo! Unless the guy is a complete slob I would say 131000 on the miles.

  4. Chip Lamb

    5 digit odometer fantasies. No way this has but 31k.

  5. Jay

    I heard the second bandit movie that Burt didn’t star they had to seriously trick this series TA to even get a tire spin. I don’t think it will bring 10K. There is a lot of potential issues I see looking at the pictures.

    • mars2878

      Burt was in the 1st 2 movies, Jerry Reed had the lead for part3 w/ a 3rd gen, Brian Bloom did parts 4-7 w/ a dodge Stealth

  6. speedy d

    An 85 MPH speedometer? — a 1934 Ford had 90 MPH!

    • MSG Bob

      Yeah, that was Federal rules back then. I think the government clowns that came up with that idea thought that if the speedometer pegged at 85, people wouldn’t drive faster. HAH!

      • Stang1968

        55 stay alive.

  7. zipy

    yes the plate is of center and the word firebird onthe front is wrong. t a had the word trans am. i own an 85 t a also with 27000 plus miles and original owner. mine is russet metalic and russet and gray inteior. not for sale. want alot more then ten grand

  8. Scarl

    I know from owning several of these years Firebirds that you could unplug the odometer and the speedo still worked. Very common in the 80’s. People would unplug them for stretches then plug them in for servicing or when they sold them. There were a lot of low mileage birds flying around in the 80’s and 90’s.

  9. Rustytech Member

    I remember taking a trip to Atlanta a few years back with a 92 Crown Vic. with the 85 mph speedo. I had it pegged and cars were passing me like I was in a model T. We blew through a radar trap and the cop didn’t even respond, he looked confused!

  10. Lyndon Canastra

    Sweet! So glad The Car Gurus have turned their attention to Firebirds…I call mine the “FireChicken”, a 1986 Blue V8 “Mean Streeter”…I drive it all around NYC, from time to time and still turn a lot of heads! LOL!

  11. Brian J Manners

    210hp is respectable in an 85 305 TA but not in an 80 / 81 Turbo T/ A color me confused ….

  12. Rolf Poncho 455

    For 10k he must throw in the toolboxes too.

  13. Joshua

    Hahaha you wish, 5k maybe but even then… Too make it any fun you automatically have to do a rebuild and that’s about 10k if you do it right.

  14. Rob F

    I cant tell from such a dark interior photo how one can come to the conclusion of the mileage given the seats velour casts natural shadows even in good lighting. Looking at the guy’s garage he seems FAR from a slob so maybe the mileage is in fact true.

    the engine bay looks like it would that of a low mileage and garage kept car.
    You can tell it hasnt been detailed to look pretty for photos, so it shows its “as-is” condition
    little to no corrosion on the aluminum
    The AC accumulator and lines look very clean

    Having owned 3 of those era cars the stitching on the seats would let go really easily so what I can see of the seats that looks good.

    The FIREBIRD decal on the front is wrong though, all Trans Ams said just that- TRANS AM

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