Faked by Flares: 1983 Trans Am Greenwood Edition


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I wonder if Barn Finds reader Blaine D. knew when he sent in this Trans Am Greenwood edition here on craigslist that he’d be starting a potential firestorm. We’re the gasoline and he’s the match, so to speak. Over the years, I’ve accumulated some basic background knowledge on the Greenwood Corvettes and even found out an acquaintance of mine has a close family connection to the Greenwood organization. That’s why I’m going to cast some doubt on this 1983 Trans Am with what amounts to a body kit and rear window louvers with the “Greenwood” name on the doors.

Now, look: if you’re not a car person and you drag a vehicle out of storage due to a friend or relative passing away, I can see how a quick look on Google could lead the uninformed to think the mere presence of the word “Greenwood” indicates a connection to the storied organization. But there’s next to no information associating Pontiac’s Firebird and Trans Am models with the Greenwood company, not even in the form of a replica bodykit offered by an unknown aftermarket customizer. However, my curiosity got the better of me and I kept digging. One thing is for sure: Camaro and Mustang owners of this generation like the idea of widebody kits and there’s plenty of message board chatter about the best options out there.

firebird (1)
Image courtesy of http://the-stickman.tripod.com/

What we see here is the original IMSA-style body kit offered in the 80’s to a range of Pontiac models including the Trans Am and the  Fiero. It was also a popular look for import brands as well, with the likes of the RX7 and 914 sporting the widebody look to fit massive tires inside the wheel wells. I can’t be sure but I think our fake Greenwood car is wearing one of these kits – the angles of the side skirts in front of the rear fender and behind the fronts looks correct to me. This car here, known as the Superduke, does sport flared fenders but not the same as the Greenwood car. But fenders are often a personal choice for owners, so it wouldn’t surprise me if the car in the craigslist ad is wearing some homemade arches.

Image courtesy of speedhunters.com

Well, I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t solve the mystery of the Greenwood Trans Am today. But it did give me an excuse to gawk at the IMSA cars that dominated tracks in the 80s, like this Pontiac Firebird IMSA GTO campaigned by the legendary Dyson team (fun fact: Dyson is from my hometown in upstate New York). These cars rocked fender flares and other aero enhancements with a legitimate purpose in mind, unlike this craigslist oddball. Now, for the fun part: what do you think this car’s history is? Am I overthinking its origins? And do you remember this kit from the 1980s being a popular modification for Camaro and Firebird owners? Let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Blindmarc

    There’s no such thing. I love the imsa cars of all flavors, but the vette kits were the pinnacle for greenwood.

    Like 0
    • Jerry

      When I was a kid my father bought a Greenwood t/a brand new in Washington state above seattle and I still have pictures of it. It looks just like the one in the picture except my father painted it red below the Greenwood all the way around and also painted the iroc rims. Just to say when he bought it there he was told that only 2 were made in the US. Thanks for reading. Jerry from Washington also photo of car was taken in 1986

      Like 0
      • Barrett Steffes

        This is an old thread so hopefully you reply, I just bought the car in this article yesterday (Feb 11 2023) in Spokane Washington and although it is now all silver on the bottom has lots of evidence of having been painted red at one time. I believe this is your dad’s old car by what is stated. I would love more information if you have it. Thanks.

        Like 0
  2. Joe Nose

    I certainly remember the Monza having this sort of kit. Not that my 76 had it; with the Iron Puke in it (Vega origin predecessor) it would have been as stupid as a Versa or Sentra with a case of the gluons.

    Like 0
  3. PaulG

    Love the line in the ad: “You can’t find another one of these” Yeah, we know why…

    Like 0
  4. piper62j

    I really don’t recall these mods.. It’s probably someones’ wannabe..
    Nice find, good car to bring back to stock Firebird credentials.. A phony like this may not be worth much more..

    Like 0
  5. Cleric

    I thought modifications were supposed to add value to a car?

    Like 0
  6. roger

    I like car.Looks COOL

    Like 0
  7. RFenton

    Greenwood was a PONTIAC dealer in Downey CA who made Special Edition cars replicating the smokes and the bandit cars of the 80’s. The Greenwood S/E was designed by Robert Fenton who was a partner and GM of the dealership. Greenwood sold about 100 of the SE cars in various colors, however black was the most popular.

    Like 3
    • JC

      My Uncle bought one and gave it to my Mom. This was the fist car I ever drove, loved it. It had full touching T-Tops. My Dad was scared I was going to kill my self driving it so, he sold it. Trying to find her now.

      Awesome picture!!!

      Like 1
  8. piper62j

    Cleric.. Mods only add value to a vehicle if there is a demand for them.. In this case, the mods never really took hold.

    Like 0
    • R. Fenton

      Any time a dealer can sell over 100 new vehicles that were modified to look like the above photo, I don’t think you can say “never took hold”. That car represents approximately $3.5 million dollars of sales. It was a giant hit in its day. People drove from all over CA. to get one.

      Like 1
      • R. Fenton

        I would just like to add that the cars up top with the “Greenwood” on them were early versions of the black cars development. All were done by Greenwood Pontiac in Downey, CA and had nothing to do with the corvette people.

        Like 1
      • Piper62j

        These cars were never popular. They were a fad that didn’t last..Compare these to the millions of factory Firebirds produced, Greenwoods were in the class of Leisure Suits. They came and went.. I doubt Greenwoods pulled in $3.5 million in sales when so few were ever constructed, not produced. That’s why Greenwoods “never took hold”.

        Like 0
  9. Robert Fenton

    I can personally verify the Greenwood S/E Trans Am’s made and distributed through Greenwood Pontiac Inc. 7255 E. Firestone BL. Downey, CA sold in the 100’s of cars. The one shown above was a one time one off car. That car has had the wheels changed from original. Greenwood Pontiac S/E Trans Am’s came in all Trans Am colors. We used to stock at least 10-20 of these cars at all times in all colors. These cars are not to be confused with the Greenwood Corvette cars. Different folks! We however in Downey CA sold more Trans Am’s at that time than any Pontiac dealer in America.

    Like 0
    • Barrett Steffes

      The car that I just purchased is 100 percent the car pictured in this feature, I have made it run and ordered parts to replace the cam (the whole reason this car was parked for 20ish years was over the ever common 305 flat cam issue) I would like to make this car appear as close to how it left the greenwood pontiac dealer, so do you remember which wheels this one would have had on it at the dealer? the factory Trans Am wheels or something aftermarket and period? thanks for any info

      Like 0
      • Robert Fenton

        You can use the ID# of the car to contact GM to get the original window sticker of the car. It will name the correct wheels that came on the car. I don’t remember myself, exactly which wheels were on the car. In all likelihood we didn’t change the wheels on that car.

        Like 1
  10. Barrett Jonathan Steffes

    Robert, I am in The process of reaching out to gm historical to positively identify this as a car that was delivered to (and then modified) by greenwood Pontiac, also as of yesterday I have driven the car for the first time since it was parked by previous owners some 20 odd years ago. The engine had a flat camshaft (common 305 issue) but with that and some basic maintenance, the car is running quite well and on its way to being back in action. It sounds like you have lots of first hand experience with these cars and I would love to hear some of your knowledge and share with you pictures of my process of saving this car. It was quite dead and this thread started in 2017 even and it still up until three weeks ago was completely hopeless, now it’s driving again. Hopefully that makes any employees of the former greenwood Pontiac proud.

    Like 0

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