BF AUCTION: Jim Wangers’ 1974 Pontiac Trans Am Drag Car

Asking: $20,000
Current Offer: $5,299

Here’s a Pontiac with some history! This Trans Am started life as Jim Wangers’ daily driver. If you don’t know who Jim Wangers is, you’d better study. He was Pontiac’s ad man during the sixties and was influential in the creation of the GTO and helped Pontiac create the performance image the company once enjoyed. After driving the car for a while, this Trans Am ending becoming Jim’s drag car. At one point it was even running mid-9 second quarter miles! Somewhere along the line, it ended up in the collection which we are helping auction off.

Here’s an old photo of the car racing back in the glory days. Fittingly, Jim wrote a book entitled Glory Days which is supposed to be a good read. If you look closely at the hood scoop in the first photo, you’ll notice that the stickers spell out SD-440. This car was originally ordered with a standard 4-barrel 455 V8, so I’m guessing that was a reference to the engine that was put in it later to race? This is a vintage drag car with interesting ownership so I’m sure it would be welcomed at many events around the country.

As you can see, the race buckets and roll cage are still in place. The provisions to hook the NOS back up are still there too. Everything appears to be in excellent condition in the photos. Unfortunately, the engine and transmission are long gone. The next owner will either have to build an engine themselves or the seller has multiple drivetrain options that they would be willing to install at an additional expense. Which engine would you go with if money were no object?

The old Centerline rims and slicks are mounted up and ready for a few passes. Well, you might want to replace those tires before getting too crazy. This looks like a blank canvas to us. What would you do with it? Return it to its former spec, turn it into a street car, or build a modern drag car? It’ll be interesting to see what happens. Either way, this is an exclusive Barn Finds auction so be sure take a look at the photos in the gallery here and leave any questions you may have in the comments below.

  • Location: Lincoln, NE
  • Title: Clean

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Comments

  1. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Didn’t we see this one the other week?
    Good luck to the buyer and seller on this.

  2. JRH

    Any documented history on car?

    • Tom

      What would you like to know. We have a copy of the original title showing Jim as the owner and a wealth of information from people that have contact us. We have heard from multiple people that worked on and raced this car with Jim Wangers.

      1
  3. Jeff

    Why is the underside all dented up?

    • v

      driveshaft explosions i assume . since the damage is all around the driveshaft area.

      1
      • YellowB4Z

        Clearance for mufflers I would assume.

        1
    • Tom

      Underside was hammered in to make clearance for the Exhaust – They were racing this on the streets and had 4″ running into Flowmasters with 5″ exits. They wanted to keep it tucked up tight and outa-site. So they did some garage mods to the floors for clearance.

  4. JerryDeeWrench

    LS3 Strong auto be great street machine.

    1
  5. Troy s

    Jim Wangers was probably more instrumental in creating the super car phenomenon than the GTO itself, very aggressive marketing on his part. Come to think of it there were a lot of “car guys” involved with GM back then.
    Just a mild 455 for me, nothing fancy or prone to breakage, if it were mine. Oh, and it’s got to be street legal and run just fine on today’s pump gas. I don’t honestly know what poncho guys are building these days.

  6. Classic Steel

    Might one suggest the following…

    “1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and a lithium-ion battery. As you drive switch back and forth seamlessly between its gasoline engine and electric motors”

    Okay kidding how about a old school 428 cu in (7.0 L) or 455 cu in (7.5 L) tied to a four speed m22 with the engine
    bored out with fuel injectors plus NOs?

    5
    • Steve R

      Turn it back into a bracket car. One of the pictures shows it was raced often enough that Wangers had an NHRA division 7 permanent number. Depending on the class, someone could build an all Pontiac drivetrain that wouldn’t break most budgets and would last for several seasons with just routine maintenance. That would be a fitting tribute to his legacy, since that seems to be the original purpose of this car.

      Steve R

      6
    • Kurt

      And a turbo or two with a turbo cam that matches.

      1
  7. v

    if its not used for jim wangers history theres a 74 formula sd being auctioned off needs a body shell bad. this would be an excellent donor vehicle. since bidders have very little interest in this one.

    1
  8. mainlymuscle

    I’d like to own this and DAMN STRAIGHT it would see a lot of track time !
    I also wonder wtf happenned to those floor pans ? The panel gaps are even worse than the 70’s poor quality originals,but sub 10’s in a unibody will do that.
    Wanger’s history ? I’d like to be in on this,and will watch it closely.
    I’ve bought a few cars off BaT,and more than a few from Evil Bay,but having to join BF and pay monthly ,just to be able to bid rubs me wrong.If the price is still right on Friday,I guess I’ll get over it !

  9. v

    this car has had multiple driveshaft explosions. you can tell this car was hammered. this is a donor vehicle for the formula sd car in other auction. these bodies were not built for what jim wangers did to it. but im sure those 1/4 mile runs were one heck of a ride. i would not feel sorry using this as a donor car. there is very little left of what jim used this car for. FORMULA SD TRANSPLANT. im sure there are better jim wangers cars to save…REST EASY FORMULA SD , HOPE IS COMING…

    • Steve R

      Second generation F-bodies have been drag raced since they were introduced. At my local track there are several which are still raced weekly and have been so for decades with no ill effect.

      Steve R

      1
      • v

        9 seconds in jim wangers uni-body ta??? thats a lot of twisting forces. did you see the undercarraige damage in wangers TA floor area. . my ta had a regular 455 and while racing i broke the sheet metal behind the back seat in 3 different places. and i was only doing 14’s with 4.56 gears and stock suspension. granted that was not fast but gm was still perfecting the uni-body subframe around that time.

      • Steve R

        V, I assume you missed the roll cage in the pictures.

        I made 200-300 in my 71 4spd Camaro at Fremont prior to its closing in 1988, there were no signs of damage.

        Steve R

        1
      • v

        clearly a roll cage makes a difference in structural integrity. jim wangers ta had one , my ta did not…factory ta’s were not built for drag racing. the frames must be tied in if you don’t like bent metal or sheet metal cracks. also as the cars got produced the sheet metal got thinner for cost savings. these days you cannot even lean on a car.

    • Tom

      Nope, no drive shaft explosions. Just garage mods for exhaust clearance. It didn’t need to pretty, just functional.

  10. TimM

    Straight body with very little rust a guess this could be the 4 speed I was looking for since the motor and transmission are long gone!!!

  11. Barney

    I believe the car has some type of sub frame connectors although it looks like they may bolt ins. Since I’m not a GM guy I have a question about the headers. Did big block poncho motors have simezed center exhaust ports? Those look like Chevy headers.

    • Tom

      No, they didn’t. Those are Pontiac Headers. Just search Round Port and D-Port Pontiac heads to see what they looked like.

  12. mainlymuscle

    Interesting,
    I posted my bid,watched the clock countdown………
    My bid still high…… time expires….,aaaaaand NOTHING !
    Back to my email where I had received a notice,1 minute prior to closing,that I had been outbid.
    Yet,here it is 5 minutes past the close,and my high bid still stands.
    WTF ?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Our system doesn’t push out to your browser yet so you have to click the little refresh button next to the current bid. That feature will be coming soon but this one didn’t meet reserve so you can still make an offer. Thanks.

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