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Factory Porsche Mirrors? 1987 Pontiac Trans Am GTA

This 1987 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA is a rare bird simply for its GTA designation, but it also sports an obscure factory option known by code DD9 – which is known by Firebird fans as the “Porsche mirrors.” Every export market Firebird had these mirrors, which are named as such because, quite literally, they look like the mirrors found on Porsche 911s of the same era. The GTA has just a hair over 29,000 original miles, and presents well in the photos – but the seller does note some issues. It’s listed here on eBay with no reserve and bidding up to $6,600 at the moment.

The reason for the cheap bidding at the moment is likely due to the disclosure that the GTA sat for several years, outside, before the seller got his hands on it. The dash is in fairly rough shape for what could otherwise be considered a collector car. Fortunately, the outdoor storage doesn’t appear to have done too much damage to the exterior, and there is one repaint in its past which likely occurred after it was removed from its long-term parking spot. The good news is, it still runs and drives well, but the seller recommends replacing the dry-rotted tires. I don’t see any signs of an aftermarket exhaust, so perhaps this GTA still remains mostly stock.

The interior really is the GTA’s biggest shortcoming, with a cracked dash and a tear or two in the seats. While you can certainly appreciate a seller that makes every effort to highlight a car’s warts, I don’t even think it looks as bad as he lets on. The cracked dash is a bummer, but there are tons of parts cars in northern states to grab a dash from that hasn’t been exposed to months’ worth of sun damage. The rest of the cabin actually looks quite decent, with clean cloth bucket seats, carpets, and door panels. The factory radio and steering wheel remain installed as well. Overall, it seems like the cosmetic flaws could be shored up with minimal effort.

The 5.7L V8 is said to run and drive well, but the seller doesn’t make any specific mentions of reconditioning that has occurred while in his care. There are some outstanding issues, including busted glass in one of the fog lights and passenger side mirror; trunk power latch and power antenna in-op; a faulty fuel gauge; and, of course, the A/C needs to be charged. You can see a pretty dramatic difference in the paint depth under the hood, and I wonder if that could be polished back to life. The GTA comes with the WS6 suspension package, which will hopefully deliver on its promises of refined handling once the tires are replaced. Seems like a potential deal for what amounts to mostly small fixes and cosmetic improvements.


  1. 6speed

    It would look great on Schrute Farms.

    Like 18
  2. JoeMac JoeMac

    Those mirrors would be in the trash in 5 minutes.

    Like 6
    • downforce

      yes, they just don’t match the rest of the swoopy exterior at all. Bizarre option I was never aware of. A case of function over form.

      Like 5
    • Gremlin X

      Maybe that’s why they were so rare!

  3. ace10

    Did the Corvette have the same option?

  4. Bill D

    I have to wonder whether those mirrors weren’t intended as an export option to comply with pedestrian safety regulations in some other countries. In Europe IIRC fixed side/wing mirrors are seen as a danger to pedestrians.

    Like 2
  5. Vin_in_NJ

    In Europe you get curved mirror that gives smaller blind spot but objects appear to look smaller (like they were far away). In US you’ll get more realistic image, but the blind spot is larger.

  6. JoeNYWF64

    What i find more annoying & possibly a more REALISTIC hazard is how far the mirrors STICK OUT on many modern cars(forget the trucks- ridiculous). I have hit myself many times in parking lots on modern mirrors, walking between cars. Not so in the old days.

    Here is a perfect example of why cheap black plastic has no business being outside on newer cars – they turn gray & faded & look ugly as hell. & this triangular piece of plastic behind those mirrors(export or domestic versions) have no business even being there!
    GLASS should be there all the way to the front of the door!! What is wrong with modern designers?!

    • petmitsu

      The glass can’t go all the way to the front of the door because if it did, the window won’t be able to fully roll down. The leading edge of the window has to be flat so it can fully roll down, thus necessitating the black triangular filler trim in the corner behind the mirror.

      • JoeNYWF64

        I don’t agree – there’s plenty of room in the door for full length glass. The front door windows on all the cars with no vent windows roughly from ’68 to ’87 roll all the way down! & THEY have no plastic piece up front. If you look especially at a SECOND gen firebird, the REAR part of the doors’ glass when up actually ends further BACK than the door is! & with the radical curve of the window inward, it’s astounding the window rolls down at all!!
        I’m pretty sure the plastic is there on the ’87 to make it a lot easier FOR THEM to run an adjusting cable or electric wire from each mirror to the inside of the car door, at the ugly expense of clean styling.
        I still can’t figure out how they run the driver’s mirror adjusting cable on a 2nd gen firebird’s racing mirror with the glass in the way!
        GM actually advertised FULL DOOR GLASS STYLING in ’68 in this commercial …

    • petmitsu

      Those cars were able to have full length glass because the windshield rake was not as extreme as cars like the 3rd gen Firebird was, resulting in a less acute angle at the corner which allowed the glass to fully roll down.

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