Macho T/A #55: 1978 Pontiac Trans Am

Dealer modified cars have long been around in the muscle car world. Some enthusiasts just want a little more than what the factory had to offer and there were auto dealerships willing to fill that void. DKM Design and Performance built 304 performance tweaked Macho T/As from 1977 to 1980 at their Glendale, Arizona Pontiac dealership. This is example is a 1978 Pontiac Trans Am that was modified into a Macho Trans Am Serial Number 55. We appreciate Scott & Sam for bringing it to our attention. The car is located in Los Lunas, New Mexico and despite being a nonrunning and unrestored car. The car is listed here on eBay and has been bid to $26,100 after 28 bids. There are 4 days remaining in the auction.

The mileage on the car is said to total 70,000 miles on the odometer. The seller purchased the car earlier this year from the second owner who parked it in 1992. The engine has not been started in 30 years and will need to be rebuilt along with other key components including the brakes and fuel system. The engine is backed by a Borg Warner 4 speed transmission. Mecham modified the car’s exhaust using dual catalytic converters instead of mufflers. I have driven a car with this set up and it sounds great.

This car is said to be original paint and the car is #55 out of 204 units produced in 1978. As for a breakdown of production, there were 26 Macho T/A’s built in 1977, 204 Macho T/A’s built in 1978, 98 Macho T/A’s built in 1979 and 6 Macho T/A’s built in 1980. My brother, Barry, is the foremost collector of these cars and also is the keeper of the Macho Registry which documents and tracks the ownership of the cars.

The Macho T/A series of cars was the idea of Kyle and Dennis Mecham whose dad owned a Pontiac dealership in Glendale, Arizona. The two brothers observed the decline in performance level of factory cars in the mid 1970’s and decided to modify a 1975 Formula and then a 1976 Trans Am to make them faster. When they showed the two cars to their father, he said “I wish I could sell a car like that to our customers!” So, they placed a modified car on the showroom floor and it sold in three days. The rest is history.

Comments

  1. Todd Zuercher

    Very cool that you have a connection to these cars, Bruce!

    Like 5
  2. Big Bear 🇺🇸

    This is a really cool T/A!!! I would pull the engine and really make a Super Macho !!! Try to hit 500hp. On The body to detail it the best it can be. Without body or paint work H.D. clutch set up. And have a great time driving it. Good luck to the next lucky owner!! 🇺🇸🐻🇺🇸

    Like 6
  3. CCFisher

    I want to buy it just so I can pull in to Cars & Coffee or cruise night with “Macho Man” by the Village People blaring.

    Like 11
  4. Richard F

    I’ve heard of ‘selling the dream’ before, but this one wins the prize – hands down! I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone go to such great lengths to present a non-running car to be in ‘almost ready’ shape. Brand spanking new tires and wheels, suspension work, working headlight and taillights…you’d almost think that would be enough to overlook one minor detail – IT DOESN’T RUN!! Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big fan of these cars, own a few myself – but seriously…come on! If the seller spent as much time and effort into making it run, instead of making it look like it does, or might, the price would be justified. Otherwise, it’s just a mirage and dream of what could be – but with a price of completion to begin with. Even better, at $26k the reserve isn’t even met?! Dumbfounding.

    Like 7
  5. Richard F

    P.S. On a related note – great article Bruce! I would love to have his dealer plate and related Mecham memorabilia, those are great! Pima county is south of Phx, so it likely was sold out of Tucson or surrounding area.

    Like 2
  6. joenywf64

    IMO, it would have been lot better to have MEECHAM or DKM decals instead of the “over the top” MACHO ones on these cars. Glad that Yenko, Baldwin, etc. didn’t do somethin like that on their cars.
    I didn’t know these T/A’s got a blue painted air cleaner & blue a/c compressor!
    This actually has 2 big pancake pellet converters underneath?
    CARB might not be happy tho with the exhaust’s missing mufflers – good luck trying to convince them that they are not supposed to be there. lol

    • Todd Zuercher

      Sign of the times in the late ’70s to have something with “Macho” on it – it was one of THE words of that era.

      Like 1
  7. ClassicCarFan

    I can relate to the appeal of creating a hotted up version of the trans-am… not so sure bout the the name…..I suspect, someone who feels the need to drive around in a car with the legend “macho” plastered all over it, probably isn’t very…

    still, as others have noted, the 70s was a different time.. many folks could rock the chest wig, perm, gold chain and too much aftershave…with a straight face.

    Like 2
  8. NHDave

    “Quien es mas macho? Lloyd Bridges o Ricardo Montalban?” 😁

    Like 1
  9. Robert C Howell

    Much faster than Stock , drove several of these…I worked for Mecum Pontiac in Marengo Il, they modified the distributor, carburetor, and suspension to the point that the bigger front tires would barely clear. The. nose was dropped 1 or 2 inches. They also had headers. And would do other modifications as requested, such as different rear end gears and turbos
    Turbo cars were. known to blow out head gaskets. I flew to Arizona and drove one back identical to this one. A great trip , I stopped in KC to see relatives and one night while riding with my Cousin I smoked a 69 El Camino 396. These were fun and fast cars for that Era….

    Like 1
  10. Doyler

    I can’t begin to describe how much I want this car

  11. brad thiem

    I owned dkm24 in the early 80s it would be nice to see if its still around.
    car was modified more by lopers perfomance in the late 70s

  12. Robert C Howell

    I worked at Mecum Pontiac in Marengo Il, I drove several of these Macho T/A s….I flew to Arizona and met Dennis Meacham….I drove a car identical to this one back from Arizona. I stopped in KC to see family. My cousin and I were out cruising and I smoked a 69 El Camino SS 396. These cars were fast and fun. The distributors , carburetors , and suspensions were modified, The front ends were lowered and the bigger front tires barely cleared . They also had headers and modified exhausts. Really great sounding cars..There was a big list of modifications available including different rear gearing and Turbochargeing. The turbo cars tended to blow head gaskets and were really fast….I still have a brochure and they looked good in other colors..Blue/Silver..Black/Red…Gold/Brown….and others ..didnt care for the Macho decals but liked the paint scheme…

    Like 1
  13. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $29,200.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.

*

Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.