Low Mile 1981 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am!

Beyond the fact that this car is wearing such an iconic paint job, the fact that Pontiac itself is no longer around really makes you reflect and respect how things once were. This 1981 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am is a well-cared for survivor. It is located in Trinity/New Port Richey, California, has 31,000 miles on it, and a clean title. The asking price is $21,500. Thank you, Rocco B., for the tip. You can take a closer look at it here on craigslist.

This eight-cylinder, automatic has a Magnaflow exhaust system installed which replaced the original Y pipe. The seller bought the car from their neighbor who was the second owner of 28 years and kept the car garaged most of the time. That has worked in the favor of this T Top car because the listing states that there is no cracking or wear on the seals and it does not leak when washing. The paint is said to be original as well.

Inside the current owner says that they replaced the headliner with one purchased from Classic Industries. If you want to know what originally came on the car, the build sheet was found under the driver’s seat, so that will come with it. The original GM leather covers also come with the car that holds the T-tops when you are wanting to cruise without them. That is such an iconic feature for the time and suits this car well.

Other than the paint showing some signs of age, the car looks amazing both inside and out. The current owner put on new tires to replace the original tires. It makes sense because at 38 years old, this car has averaged less than 1,000 miles a year. That really is quite an incredible thing to think about. Especially when this beautiful bird was built to drive and enjoy. Maybe you can give it that satisfaction.


  1. TimS Member

    “Iconic feature?” What doesn’t that word get attached to these days.Just a slightly more literate version of “uh or “um.” Great car though. I loved my dad’s ’79.

    Like 4
    • ccrvtt

      This car is ICONIC! It is the very paradigm of the concept. The term is not overused if it’s true.

      To your point, however, the “I”-word should NEVER be used in the same sentence as “Yugo”, “Camry”, “Civic”, “Altima”, “Taurus”, “Vega”, “Nova”, or (gasp!) “Aztek”.

      Iconic should never be confused with ‘ubiquitous’.

      This is all true. You can look it up.

      Like 3
      • Steve R

        This particular car is not iconic, other than the paint job. It’s a 301, non-AC, with roll up windows. It’s rare to see late-70’s or early-80’s Trans Ams or Z28’s that survived in California. Most were beaten to death due to the fact that they were under the thumb of California’s emissions testing protocols from new. Cars like this were considered dead players when they were hitting the secondary market because 60’s and early-70’s muscle cars were plentiful and cheap. They could be bought for significantly less than a used disco era F-body. The main thing these cars were good for was the front sway bar when they hit the local Pick Your Part.

        As for your suggestion that a Nova can’t be iconic, what about the L-78 396 or L-79 327. Either of those will spark more interest than this car.

        Steve R

        Like 3
    • OhU8one2

      I hear you on that one. My biggest pet peeve is the word “Survivor”. The industry has ruined the honest value of cars with that word alone.

      Like 3
  2. NotSure

    Last year for the Screamin’ Chicken! Nicely preserved car!

    Like 4
  3. CHR

    No a/c. bummer.

  4. Keith

    Anemic 4.9 liter automatic @ 21.5k??? Uhmmm no thanks.

    Like 8
  5. 408 interceptor

    This makes the 77 TA from yesterday look like the $2,500 car it really is. $21,500 isn’t a bad price for what looks to be a very nice Trans Am.

    Like 4
  6. Coventrycat

    Hood chickens and mullets, ah, the good old days.

    Like 3
  7. ccrvtt

    Steve R – You posit that the Trans Am in question is not particularly noteworthy primarily because of its engine. Then you go on to say that some Novas are iconic pretty much ONLY because of their engines.

    We were talking about the car, not the motor. The image of the Bandit Trans Am will ALWAYS elicit a more visceral response than ANY Nova – which was, putting it charitably, and awkwardly styled economy car.

    All the Pontiac engines from the 326 to the 455 had the same outside dimensions. To make this car even more iconicker you could drop a Super Duty in it and most people wouldn’t know the difference to look at it.

    So there.

    Like 9
    • Steve R

      Iconic cars are a sum of their parts.

      A car made popular by a series of bad movies that consisted of black paint and decals slapped on a car doesn’t make the grade with me or many other people. Read the above comments, I’m not the only one that feels that way. You may like it, but for many others this particular car nothing more than a disco era Trans Am that has survived better than most.

      Steve R

      • ccrvtt

        Steve R – Not saying your opinion isn’t valid, but we’re getting to the root of the meaning of “icon”. As far as the Bandit Trans Ams are concerned they represent an image that goes beyond the car itself. As noted in the article these movies got traction in the northeast, the Midwest, the west coast, and all that stuff in the middle. They had a strong appeal in the mullet era to vast numbers of wannabe badasses and as substitutes for malaise era Corvettes.

        I agree fully that the movies were embarrassing to watch (with the possible exception of the car flying over the abandoned bridge scene). However, I’ve always felt that Jerry Reed is one of the most underrated and unappreciated actors in the series. I doubt his character was too much of a stretch though.

        ’79-’81 Trans Ams are a guilty pleasure for me. I know that they weren’t well made or fast or even very good cars. I like them and the market seems to be supporting them of late. Maybe it’s just a bunch of unregenerate mullet heads buying them.

        Before you ask the answer is no, I never had a mullet.

        Your bias is disco era Trans Ams. Mine is Novas.

        Like 1
    • Bill Member


  8. Capriest

    This is the one vehicle I can actually say that I wish it were optioned with the chevy 305! I think I just threw up a little ugghh

    Like 1
  9. MikeG

    The car is in Florida, not California.

    Like 1
  10. Skippy

    I’m looking at this car and have a couple of comments. First, this is a no options cloth interior car that is sort of a perfect example of a term that should be used more often, a pig with lipstick. Cloth interior? Crank windows? NO A/C? What the hell? Maybe the lack of basic convenience options is the reason somebody parked it for 40 years. If the car was purchased with storage and colleciton in mind, it should have every option. This just seems a lot like somebody wanted a T/A so bad that they bought the cheapest one they could find and then discovered they could not afford to insure and drive it. Sorry, but no. It will inevitably bring the asking price, or something close to it, from some collector, I guess. (assuming the VIN decodes as a real Trans-Am….) I drive the cars in my collection and I would be both nervous (because of all the dried out seals, bushings and gaskets) and uncomfortable (as in hot) driving this one.

    Like 1
    • z28th1s

      It is not a no option car. It has t-tops which was probably the most expensive option.

      Like 1
  11. TimM

    Great condition!! Looks like a driver!!

    Like 1
  12. Stevieg Member

    I don’t know whether or not I would call this car iconic. I know that the 301 v-8 is a joke, barely as safe on today’s freeways as a similar vintage 3.8 in a G-body. But a bigger Pontiac v-8 will fit in the same slot just fine.
    I remember when this car was new. I was 10 years old. My uncle had a 1978 Trans Am that I loved! This car, although different as far as the nose & taillights, is the same basic car (just slower than Uncles 400 & 4 speed). I am not as impressed by speed as I once was. I am all about cruising economically & in style. This car would cruise in style. Might not be the most economical, but wow, does she look good. Is it a great car? No. Practical? No. Would I buy it? They say a fool & his money are soon to be parted…if I had money, this would be heading to Milwaukee lol.

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