Pace Car Homage: 1983 Pontiac Trans Am

When Pontiac needed to make a splash in an era of seriously gutted muscle cars, they turned to one of the few options they had left: enhanced aerodynamics. This 1983 Pontiac Trans Am is one of 2,500 Daytona 500 Pace Car replicas built, and it retains its trick aero bits that helped the Trans Am turn out one of the lowest drag coefficients of its day. With only 30,164 original miles, it remains in great shape and can be found here on eBay with the reserve unmet.

Pontiac’s engineers knew simply adding more horsepower wasn’t an option, so they closed off fake air vents and added those turbine-like hubcaps you see in the photo above. Ground effects were also added and painted dark charcoal gray to mute their appearance, and all of these enhancements helped the Pontiac cut through the wind a bit more efficiently. The Pace Car tributes also came with these sweet Recaro seats with netted headrests, the pair of which look to be in excellent condition in this specimen.

This example is equipped as many of the Pace Car editions were, with the LU5 Crossfire V8, T-tops and an automatic transmission. The rare variants included a handful made without T-tops and those equipped with the base-spec carb’d engine. Inside, this Trans Am sports an uncracked dash, clean carpets, and otherwise stock appearance – right down to the factory radio. In an era where customization and tweaking was the norm, it’s pleasing to see this Pace Car edition looks just as it did leaving the showroom. The seller will include the custom floormats seen here, and an OEM car cover.

Out back, other aero enhancements included the body-color matching rear window louvers, which don’t appear to be suffering from any sun damage or other cosmetic issues. This Trans Am Pace Car edition has clearly been cherished since new, although I don’t know that the collector market has caught onto these yet. It’s interesting to see one without the Pace Car graphics on the doors, but perhaps those trim enhancements were optional. If the reserve is north of $10K, I don’t see this one selling; anything less and it looks like a deal from here.

Fast Finds


  1. F.A.G.

    Jeff, you sell it well. Reading your write up makes actually want this.

  2. JimmyJ

    I’ve heard bad things about the crossfire induction does anyone know about them?
    Cool car a little bit different but not sure of value

    • Rick

      @JimmyJ – I have a Crossfire in my ’82 Vette. While there are plenty of people that say they are crap, mine runs like a top with the only issue being a minor intake leak causing a high idle. In the 65K miles I think I’m the only owner who has actually started taking care of it. You can get the injectors rebuilt if needed, there used to be a company that offered a “better” intake manifold setup that the stock injectors would bolt to. Other than the injectors (and plenty of smog equipment) they are basic Chevy 350’s… pretty much bulletproof.

    • Elrod

      The crossfires were very simple. I was a GM Dealer tech at the time. They were basically 2 throttle bodies on very small runner intake that made good low rpm torque – but useless for any serious power above 4k rpm. They had good drivability however.

  3. ACZ

    Essentially a two barrel T.B.I. The rest is for looks.

  4. Dan

    I ran a CFI 5.7 Z28 from new up to 130,000 miles and had no issues at all, Wednesday car maybe…

  5. Charles

    Hagerty Insurance Valuation Tool list this car’s value as $11,700.00 in excellent condition and $19,800.00 in Concours condition.

    NADA list the car’s value at $14,800.00 in average condition and $26,000.00 in excellent condition.

  6. Melvin Burwell

    Too rich for my blood.

  7. TJ

    Pretty Sharp! The NADA guide is way too high. The best in the world with only 13,000 miles sold for $13,500 at Barrett-Jackson this year.

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