No Reserve Super Duty! 1973 Pontiac Trans Am SD

I was quite surprised to see this desirable Trans Am Super Duty listed in an auction with no reserve. That’s a bold move in my book. I guess the seller is confident that the bidding will meet expectations and the car will bring strong money. This is quite possible, but I’m not sure I would take that chance and see this fine car go for short money. Stranger things have happened in my experience – read on… This 1973 Pontiac Trans Am Super Duty is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and it’s listed in an online auction here on eBay. There are currently two bids at just over $40k with about 4 days left, and as I said, there’s no reserve listed!

Here’s the Super Duty part of this Trans Am SD. This is a special beefed-up version of the 455 engine called the Super Duty 455 produced by Pontiac for 1973 and 1974. The pure muscle car era was waning, giving way to rapidly rising fuel prices and emission restrictions – Many new cars were starting to run like they were tied to a fence post. This was sort of the last hurrah for a true big block, large displacement high-performance motors. These SD-455’s had reinforced 4-bolt main blocks and high flow cylinder heads specific to these engines. This particular SD looks extremely clean and very complete.

The seller highlights that this car is all original and numbers matching with just over 33k original miles and featuring completely original paint and interior. Some of the options are air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, deluxe seats, and bumper guards. The only way you could get air conditioning on the SD-455 was with the TH400 automatic transmission, so most of the SD’s like this one were auto trans cars with the AC. The news with this car’s condition just seems to be all good – It still looks like it’s in nearly new condition and just completely ready to drive and enjoy.

This 1973 Trans Am Super Duty seems to be a great car that needs very little except a new caretaker who will enjoy this exceptional car. In 1973 there were 252 of these Trans Am SD’s built with 180 of those equipped with the automatic transmission. Prices I have seen online for several other SD’s seem to be in the range of about $90k to $150k depending on transmission and condition. Would you post a no reserve online auction on a car like this? What do you think this SD will sell for? Buyer beware – I’d want to be sure to do my due diligence on this listing and make sure it’s real – Who’s making a bid?!

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Comments

  1. flmikey

    I have found that the starting bid on most no reserve auctions is near the price of what the seller wants for the vehicle…that being said, I would so be a bidder on this one…if only my wife would let me…beautiful find….

    13
  2. OhU8one2

    If only the car was Brewster Green I would be in like Flynn.

    9
    • Ike Onick

      If you can afford the car, you can afford the paint job. Next!

      13
      • OhU8one2

        I personally would never change the original color of any car. The color helps to capture the moment in time, or popular trends. Plus it deminishes the value. Give the car the color it was born with or leave it for nature to rust it nack to nothing. Brewster Green is about as rare a color on SD’s as a sloth running on a relay team.

        17
    • Dave

      Actually, the movie was “In Like Flint” , the sequel to “Our Man Flint”.

      9
      • beaudog

        Actually, the saying “in like Flynn” referred to the actor Erroll Flynn’s reputation as a ladies man and originated long before the movie you refer to.

        26
      • Rabbit

        The Brewster Green T/A was in “McQ” with John Wayne.

        8
      • Dave

        Beaudog, I had a guy tell me that it was a reference to a local Pittsburgh area politician named William Flynn.

  3. Wayne

    I worked a Pontiac store from 1972 through 1975. The general manager and part owner ordered a Formula 455SD for a family friend in 1973. The car did not show up until the end of the 1974 build cycle. ( very possibly the last one built)
    What an absolute beast! Rowing through the 4 speed gearbox was an honor! I was able to spend some time in that car “excersizing” it. Before the PDI and delivery. I would have sworn that it had A/C. As I did spend some time drooling under the hood. ( I hope my drool did not cause rust! lol)
    Randy, I hope that you enjoyed your car!

    16
  4. tim

    Beuatiful! Plus, this is one of the extremely rare ones with bumber guards! Only available in Canada, I believe. If I had the $$$ ….

    • Ike Onick

      “Bumber” guards are Canadian?

      2
  5. JohnD

    Love, love, love the car . . . all original, matching numbers, what is not to like?

    Well, Adam will probably again attack me for being negative, but look at the seller’s feedback . . . nothing as a seller in forever, and very little as a buyer. Oh, and the American flag in the picture is great! But the listing comes from Canada??? Hmmmm . . . .

    5
  6. R Soul

    That doesn’t look like a typical Toronto style house.

    8
    • karl

      Weird-looking maple leaf flag, too.

      2
      • David Frank David F Member

        And California plate with current tags?

        Auction is gone? Link is down.

        3
    • grant

      Auction appears to have been pulled.

      2
  7. R Soul

    I just did a Google image search on this car. It is listed for sale on Hemmings out of California for $129,000.00

    https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/pontiac/trans-am/2208625.html

    10
    • JohnD

      Thanks for helping to bust that one. The real owner has a description there, too! Imagine . . .

      7
      • R Soul

        I sent the owner a message through his Hemmings ad. I don’t have an eBay account to report it to eBay though.

        3
  8. UK Paul

    More scams than normal at the moment it seems.
    Beautiful car though ..

    3
  9. Poncho

    Too good to be true usually equals Is too good to be true.
    People who scam need something better to do with their time. Maybe a car restoration would do it.

    • Ron

      People who scam, need to do time…

      6
  10. Pat L Member

    Since I live just outside of Toronto, I clicked on your link to the car George. It doesn’t bring me to this car. Can it have sold already?

    1
  11. George Nielsen George Nielsen Staff

    Hello Everyone, Thanks so much for following Barn Finds and responding to all of the posts – It makes this site so much fun and so valuable! So like the original post said, “buyer beware” … Just to let everyone know, I filed a report with eBay earlier this morning of possible fraud regarding this listing, and our other readers have responded with their concerns as well – Thank you! The listing has now been removed by eBay as this was likely a scam. Hopefully we have all saved someone of us from a huge amount of grief. There’s no room in our hobby for scams and fraudsters and I believe we all helped uncover this scam by shedding some light on this particular listing. It’s great to have this friendly community here at Barn Finds where we can all enjoy our passion for all things automotive and we can work to help and support each other. Thanks again and happy Barn Finding! George N

    18
  12. Dustin Lisner

    And… gone

    1
  13. Fred

    Never trust eBay ads ! I am living in Spain and I am a car nut buying from time to time a car in the US and get it shipped to where I am. Last year I bought a 1978 Buick Riviera. I paid the car in full by bank wire to the seller and asked him to send me a copy of the title, so I could arrange shipping. To make a long story short….Money was gone and the seller never send me that copy or the car….I asked eBay costumer service to help me and got the answer : I was not covered by eBay – protection as I was living outside US. Not a very nice experience !

    2
    • JC

      Ebay has become a scammers paradise. You have to be really careful.

      5
      • UK Paul 🇬🇧

        They don’t care either. eBay are one of the most arrogant companies out there.

        1
  14. JC

    Its really nice… but so was my ’72 Camaro… back then… $129k almost guarantees it will be bought by someone with plenty of money and a huge warehouse where it can be parked with the rest of a collection that will never be driven….😒

    4
  15. Steve S

    The 455sd trans am is 1 of my dream cars I would take this if it had the 4 speed manual transmission instead of the automatic transmission

  16. Oingo

    Scammer posting a summer photo in winter, with an American flag, with a concrete driveway (rare in Canada because they crack) with a Terra Cotta roof with a California black plate on a rare vehicle perfect example of the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    1
  17. Shannon

    Pretty sophisticated diagnosis for barn finds…but I concur – what we have here is a pinhead seller who thinks he is sharp !
    Nice and valuable detective work !

  18. stillrunners

    If you had one of these back then….the girls were easy….just sayin’….

    1
    • UK Paul 🇬🇧

      My type of car then …

    • JC

      Yeah, toxic masculinity meant something completely different back when men were still men. lol.

      2
  19. Troy s

    The filet mignon of second gen Trans Am’s, everybody knows about em, despite how few we’re actually built. This was an odd ball of sorts for ’73-74, nobody else would have designed a high performance engine like this by that time. Nobody but Pontiac, even got busted trying to cheat the engine through emissions certification. Expensive too.
    I’ve heard different performance numbers on these, and I’m talking stock here, so anyone out there that owned one please set the record straight. Thank you.

  20. Wayne

    Working for a Pontiac deal back then allowed me to drive several of these. All but one (the twin to this car) were just plain animals and a blast to drive. A friends father that had the twin to this one was an absolute dog. (for a 455 SD) He never knew the difference so he never complained and thought it was great. Everytime it came in for service I added the complaint that it “seemed” down on power. It saw several different techs and each one agreed with me that it was a pooch. But no one ever found a problem. I even checked all the numbers on the block to verify that it had not received the correct engine and all seemed fine. He only kept his cars for a couple of years at a time. So this could be the one. The ’74 Formula 455 SD that i mentioned earlier in the post was hands down the fastest one. I always remembered how that engine never ever slowed down when letting out the clutch. (Not at an idle or any other RPM) I often think of that car and imagined it on the drag strip. (I am not a 1/4 miler) With slicks and lighter weight front wheels and tires. I always thought that it would show daylight on a hard leave!

    1
    • Troy s

      @Wayne- Must have been great to drive those beasts when they were new. My question would be how much stronger was the 4 speed compared to the automatic? Or were they both absolute animals?
      Was the same cam, gears, etc..shared with the two transmissions?
      There was one back in the early-mid nineties that ran at Carlsbad raceway that was nothing short of a ballistic missle, but it was built and ran NOS, automatic, yet not representative of how a stock SD would have actually performed. Only one I can remember in action off the top of my head. Thanks.

  21. UK Paul 🇬🇧

    They really did get it right with the interior on the Trans Am.
    Looks a fantastic place to be. Don’t often see that on cars of the time.

  22. Wayne

    Troy s, It was a blast! The dealership was in a very affluent neighborhood. (Where the movie Risky Business was shot. Same dealership building!) So there was always hot Firebirds in the shop. (not to mention GTOs) The Automatic transmission cars were not so in your face as the 4 speed cars. The horsepower and speed crept up on you in a real hurry. Also, one note. (and this was verified by a couple of magazine articles of the day) The speedo readouts were only accurate up to about the 100 to 110 MPH range. After that they were grossly optimistic. I can’t answer the question about the mechanical differences. As I never looked it up. I have spun the tires with each gear change on an automatic car. (left in drive to shift for it’s self!) Great fun!
    Because of the many “hot” cars we saw at the dealership. We used to keep 2 complete sets of connecting rods for 400 engines (non-HD engines) on the parts shelf at all times. (I still remember the part number) One of the first demos (car driven by the owner) that I was allowed to drive on occasion when I had a hot date. (I was 19 at the time) Was a red GTO with black interior and a 455 4 speed. Only got out of the car to eat or to put in gas. Never made it to the movies.
    Good times back then.

    1
  23. TracRat

    So where’s the eBay listing?

    Click the link and they’ve never heard of it?

    Got the money and wife’s approval, this really sucks, help!

    • JC

      It was taken down because it was a scam…. REAL ad on Hemmings has it listed for $129k. Better ask the wife again. lol.

      • TracRat

        Figs! Thought it was too good to be true. I’ve owned 5 with another to be delivered and have so far came out better than going in. I was at least hoping if true would bid out reasonable but the no reserve was the glaring clue.

        BTW, I sure don’t need the wife’s approval (but do give her room on her stuff). Actually was sarcastically taking off on an earlier post.
        HURAH TOXIC MASCULINITY!

        2

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