Parked Since ’90: 1977 Pontiac Trans Am

Sometimes a classic car appears on the desks here at Barn Finds, and we look at it and wonder what the story is behind it, and how it finished up in the state that it now is. For me, that’s the case with this 1977 Pontiac Trans Am, which is located in New Egypt, New Jersey. You will find the Trans Am listed for sale here on eBay, where the owner has set a BIN of $2,000.

The Trans Am started life finished in Brentwood Brown, but it looks like it was treated to a color change when it received a repaint in the 1980s. At that point, it must have been an attractive looking car. Given the sort of shine that the paint has held in some spots since then, it suggests that the repaint might have been completed to a pretty high standard. The original owner then parked it outside under a tarp in 1990, and that’s where it remained until recently, when the seller purchased it off the original owner. The better part of three decades parked like that has exacted quite a toll, which is no real surprise. The Trans Am certainly has some rust issues, and they are in all the places that we have come to know and love with these cars. The driver’s side quarter panel, the lower doors, the rockers, the trunk opening, the rear bumper support, and around the rear window are all places that clearly show problems. The trunk pan has a couple of areas of rot but actually, isn’t too bad. We don’t get any information on the state of the floors, but given the reasonable health of the trunk, they might just spring a surprise. Of course, they might not either. The owner does suggest that any potential buyers give the car a personal inspection before considering purchasing the vehicle.

The Doeskin interior of the Trans Am has certainly seen better days, and while it is essentially complete, it doesn’t look like there is a single upholstered surface that wouldn’t require restoration or replacement. This is a shame because it does have some nice features which would have made it a pretty pleasant place to be in days gone by. As well as air conditioning, the car is fitted with power windows, a tilt wheel, a factory 8-track player, and what looks like it might be an aftermarket Radio Shack Realistic AM/FM/CB radio.

The Trans Am is not a numbers-matching car, but what lies under the hood is a 400ci V8 of 1973 vintage. The car is also equipped with a 3-speed automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. The engine received a rebuild around 10-years-ago but has been sitting unused ever since. It doesn’t run, and the owner has tried turning it by hand. Here, the news isn’t great. He has managed to only turn it about ¾ of a turn before it jammed. It could be something as simple as a foreign body that has found its way inside the engine, but it could also indicate something more serious. Once again, only a personal inspection will shed some light on it.

As I said, I would really love to know the story behind this Trans Am, because it is funny how someone has put so much time and effort into it, only to park it in a situation which virtually guaranteed that it would suffer from major deterioration. Now it will need a fair amount of work to return it to that sort of condition once again. So, would you take it on, or is its ultimate fate to be a parts car?


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  1. poseur Member

    ugh, how many lovely former-pride-and-joys have turned into a mess like this due to neglect/abuse?

    love the color in and out.

    still likely a decent buy for $2k give the market on these lately

    Like 4
  2. Classic Steel

    The tin worms have really taken its toll.
    The vin tag area shows much rot as the under trunk rails.

    It would’ve been nice to see front sub frame sections since its on a trailer already.

    I will bet it requires floor pans, trunk rails and trunk pan, quarters ,rocker panels, inner rail supports, inner fenders ,seat covers and headliner ,carpet, nom motor means just get another one and paint. High probability a complete sub frame ..
    Then tires .
    So if one can’t work on these (weld and mechanics) pass on this..

    I see not including labor 12-15 grand here… with labor (even your own run 🏃🏻‍♀️..
    Unless you just love trans ams and the bandit movie 👍👀😏 the snatch it up ..
    If one does a five year plan doesn’t keep records then your ahead right😜

    Like 4
  3. sparkster

    I got nothing, other than W O W I couldn’t find one piece of clean unrusted metal. Really sad that some people just hate cars.

    Like 3
  4. Poptheclutch

    Now the inside looks
    A little sun baked now!

    Like 1
  5. OhU8one2

    The truth is, I think we are looking at a parts car. Rust is everywhere. And you can’t repair certain areas. You have to do all of it. And this thing is going to be a money pit. That’s just my opinion.

    Like 11
    • 86_Vette_Convertible

      Couldn’t have said it better.

      Like 1


  7. canadainmarkseh Member

    Worst thing you can do to a car is tarp it in a humid climate. The tin worm will do its work even faster. I hate to say it but your looking at about a thousand hours of cutting, fabricating, and welding to turn this back into a car. As for the engine and the 3/4 turn issue probably a frozen valve in the open position. I personally don’t even see a lot of useable parts here. This is what happens to cars in the rust belt states.

    Like 1
    • Johnny R

      Agreed on restore but there are parts galore. Car looks pretty complete to me. Dash looks great to clean up and dye with no visible cracks. Formula Steering Wheel is good. Rally II wheels can be cleaned up. Shaker, interior, trim, taillights, side markers, glass. Hell the front fenders look pretty straight and very usable. Haven’t even got to the engine yet and if anything the block is more than likely ok at minimum. Try and talk him down a little and I would gladly welcome this to the fold.

  8. redwagon

    New Jersey?
    Late ’70s Trans Am?
    That car is hotter than a chorus girl on coke. Someone better check the title history and look for the real VIN.

    Like 1
  9. Lynelle Nowlin

    No need for me to write a book on this one.I too agree with OhU8one2.Just sadder than sad.

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