First Year Survivor: 1969 Pontiac Trans Am

As beautiful as this car is, it is hard to believe that only 697 Trans Ams were built in 1969. This example is a survivor and was sold new in California. The car currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona and is one of several special cars in a large Trans Am collection. The Trans Am is listed for sale here on Craigslist for $89,000. The car has been listed for only three days and is one of several cars being sold by an intermediary for the collector.

All 1969 Pontiac Trans Ams were white with blue stripes on the exterior but several interior colors were available. This car is said to be unmolested and the interior looks original. The seats are a brighter blue than the door panels but that could just be the lighting. An 8 track tape player is mounted on the top of the dash in front of the automatic transmissions shifter. The car is documented by Pontiac Historical Services (PHS) as a real Trans Am.

Buyers had the option of two engines in the 1969 Pontiac Trans Am. The base engine was the 366 horsepower Ram Air III 400 cubic inch V8 engine. This high compression engine delivered loads of reliable power and 445 lb ft of torque. It was fed via Pontiac’s round port heads and considered a very streetable engine. The optional engine was the Ram Air IV 400 cubic inch V8 engine. This motor had a more radical cam and its power was developed at a higher RPM. I have not personally driven a Ram Air IV car but I have been told it is not as fun to drive on the street as the Ram Air III. The Ram Air IV engine was rated at 370 horsepower which many enthusiast believe was underrated.

The seller states this car runs and drives well. The car is shod in black wall tires on Pontiac Rally II wheels. I met Herb Adams at the Trans Am Nationals several years ago and heard his story about how John DeLorean came to him and told him to build the Trans Am to out handle and out accelerate the Chevrolet Camaro. I think Mr. Adams obtained his goal. Cars like this don’t come along very often. It is reasonably priced for its condition and originality. This 1969 Pontiac Trans Am is a thoroughbred and would be a great car to have in anyone’s stable.

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Comments

  1. Cadmanls Member

    This guy is getting rid of quite a collection, although this may be the jewel.

    Like 7
    • Luki

      There is a 550 Spyder on that list. They sell on the $4-5 million range.
      Nice T/A nonetheless.

      Like 3
  2. sir_mike

    Best Firebird ever….Jerry Titus Raced one and was sadly killed in 1970 due to a steering failure.

    Like 4
  3. Tom Farabee

    My friend had a 70 Titus car. It was the only one left after one of the cars was made into a camaro. As it turned out, as we aquired the car in Otawa Canada, documentation was uncoverered that it was the # 1 VIN of 70 model year. A rare racer indeed!!

    Like 11
  4. Keith

    To Bruce the Ram air 4 was one of the best engines in Pontiac’s arsenal. They ran hard and with either a 3:90 gear or the 4:33 gear not to many lost a race on the street or the drag strip. They were not high wining engine with a 5500 rpm redline.Real nice engine for street use.

    Like 9
  5. Stephen Miklos

    Beautiful ride but image number 6 is a power moon roof. This is a solid roof T/A. I guess the pictures got mixed up from another GM model with the same color interior. I remember growing and seeing one of these T/A on the street and it was fast. I would love to have one in a 4 speed also RAM IV . Good luck to next owner.😊🐻🇺🇸

    Like 5
    • Scooter

      it was a dealer installed based on what I was told. The picture is correct.

      Like 1
      • Scott

        So they added to headliner, but not the moon roof? Please explain if you know more.

  6. Eric

    Ram Air III was a D port head.

    Like 2
    • Steve R

      They also had the same compression ratio as the non-Ram Air 400’s used in Firebirds and GTO’s.

      There is something off about this car. It’s hard to tell based on the description and pictures in the ad.

      Steve R

  7. Lynn Member

    My best friend s neighbor (young lady) had one and in 75 traded it for a very rabbit

    Like 2
  8. George Mattar

    I can’t afford this, but I want that 4 speed 79 Formula. I grew up in Pontiacs in the 50s and 60s. I have owned three, including 69 and 70 GTOs. Miss them.

    Like 1
  9. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Wow. A 69 Trans Am is a grail car for sure. I think the price is reasonable (in today’s market) when you compare this to 69 Z/28 numbers, even with the automatic

    Like 4
  10. healeydays

    Back in 1969 my family were camping in VT and our VW Campmobile had an engine failure and we had to move into a motel for a week while the engine was being rebuilt. I remember being out playing with my brothers when a new white with blue stripe Trans Am rumbled by the motel. I was 12 at the time in a non car appreciating family, but seeing that car go by made me into the car guy I am…

    Like 10
    • Frank Sumatra

      Great story! Getting passed on the Taconic State Parkway by a 1968 Z-28 on a family road trip lit the fire for me! Bought my 1969 Z-28 in 1972.

      Like 1
  11. Motorcityman Member

    Very nice ride and the most valuable TA, but I prefer the 70-81 F body style, they handled better too.

    Like 1
  12. Dan

    Listing a 69 TA on Craigslist??

    • Steve R

      It’s not a big deal, serious buyers will find it. Like this one, it got picked up by an automotive related forum, this is probably not the only one. Cars like this will have the ad forwarded until it reaches Pontiac enthusiasts.

      Steve R

      Like 1
  13. chuck

    When I was a kid, in around 1971 or 72, one of these was stolen and abandoned at the church next door. It sat there a couple days before the cops found it and hauled it away. I was trying to think of a way to hide it somewhere my parents wouldn’t find it, LOL

    Like 2
  14. Bill Hotzopoulos

    Beautiful car when I was growing up
    I fell In love with Pontiac’s read a lot about Titus and Pontiac’s and on 1974 ordered a
    Pontiac ta 455 sd still own it today
    When I heard they were shutting down Pontiac I was so upset
    Ohhh well

    Like 2
  15. Tom Nemec Member

    Scratching my head a little on this one. I am a BIG Gen 1 Firebird guy. The Trans Am’s as said, Holy Grail cars. Car is in Scottsdale. As much as I like watching the big auctions, I am not a total fan. Having said that…..this car, no doubt, should go over the Barrett-Jackson block, in Scottsdale. I am confident, even in the downward trending market that THIS CAR of 697 built, 689 coupes, will (with some correct detailing) sell for well over 100K. The rare, low production number “cult cars”….& the really special versions of them like this one will ALWAYS be of interest and collectable. 689 coupes, how many are left? How many are survivors “only original once”?? !!!

    Like 1
  16. Marty Parker

    The HP rating for the standard engine in the 69 TA was 335. Ram Air IV was 345.

    Like 1
    • Motorcityman Member

      I’m betting the REAL HP numbers r close to 400.

      Like 1
  17. joenywf64

    Can anyone confirm if that formula steering wheel was avail in ’69 on a t/a?
    Headrests don’t match the front seats – latter recovered IMO.
    I guess the t/a decal on top of the rear spoiler is not as durable facing the sun as the racing stripes.
    Car deserves raised white letter tires – not sure if any were built with blackwalls or even without trim rings.
    Could be an aluminum radiator.
    Were any built with 15″ wheels? I suppose they would fit, but would slow the car down a little.

    Like 1
    • STEVEN VISEK

      Sometime in September 1969 the Formula steering wheel became optional. It came with 1st-gen “wings down” bird on the center cap, the only year that style was used.

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