Postman’s Massive Pontiac Trans Am Collection For Sale

Bernie Larson was a navy veteran and worked at the US Post Office for over 30 years. During his spare time, he amassed a 20 car collection of Trans Ams, Firebirds and Formulas which are now up for sale by VanDerBrink Auctions after his passing. The auction is being held in Kansas and you can see more information about this auction here on their website. The auction will be onsite in Tonganoxie, Kansas on June 12, 2021 at 10 am. Online bids will also be accepted. The auction also includes a lot of Pontiac parts including heads, blocks, carburetors and body panels.

There are a number of 1974 Pontiac Trans Ams in the collection including this Super Duty 455 car painted in Cameo White with a red interior. While the car has the wrong bird and wheels, there were only 212of these cars made with a 4 speed transmission. Rated at 290 horsepower from the factory, the Super Duty Trans Am was reported to really have about 400 horsepower and run a 13.8 quarter mile. I used to own a buccaneer red car with a two tone black and red interior. Most of the cars in the auction need some work to get them back on the road or at least ready for a car show.

This 19719 Tenth Anniversary Trans Am is also in the auction. In fact, there are two of them in the auction. It looks original and was the most expensive Trans Am ever built at its offering. This car is equipped with the powerful W72 400 engine and 4 speed transmission. Only 1,817 of these cars were built and sported the turbo wheels that would become standard in 1980 on all turbo Trans Ams equipped with the WS6 suspension option.

Another low production car in the auction is this 1981 Pontiac Turbo Formula. Most turbo cars were Trans Ams but a few turbo Formulas were ordered in the last year of production for the second generation Firebird. A full listing of the cars includes a 1971 Pontiac Firebird, 1973 Pontiac Firebird, 1973 Pontiac Firebird, 1974 Pontiac Super Duty 455, 1974 Pontiac Trans Am, 1974 Pontiac Trans Am, 1975 Pontiac Trans Am, 1977 Pontiac Trans Am, 1978 Pontiac Trans Am, 1978 Pontiac Trans Am, 1978 Pontiac Trans Am, 1978 Pontiac Trans Am, 1979 Pontiac Esprit, 1979 Pontiac 10th Anniversary Trans Am, 1979 Pontiac 10th Anniversary Trans Am, 1979 Pontiac Trans Am, and 1981 Pontiac Turbo Formula.

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Comments

  1. Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

    These sorts of “deals” are fascinating to me. I always wonder what was the driving emotion of the collector, to have amassed a large collection. I’m not thinking about mega-wealthy collectors who have staff mechanics and caretakers who maintain the fleet. I’m thinking more about someone who has a barn full of cars, like Mr. Larson had.

    Was it the pleasure of the hunt? Preserving a certain era of certain cars?
    The hope of turning a profit? Visions of restoring them? Because he just liked Firebirds?

    Working for VanDerBrink preparing and executing an auction like this sounds like fun, doesn’t it? I’ve never been to one of their auctions, but I’m guessing they are professionally done without the glitz of Barrett-Jackson or Mecum.

    Like 28
    • 370zpp 370zpp Member

      Imagine the year is around 1985 or 90 and you go to work for the U.S. Post Office. After about the fifth time one of your friends says “Well now I guess you should start collecting postage stamps seeing as you work for them.”

      And you reply “I think not. Instead I will collect birds.”

      Like 17
    • Richard Paul Green III

      He worked in the postal distribution center, not as a mailman. He started there in the early seventies. He had a side business selling golf balls which helped pay for the collection. He never paid more than $15K for any car. He has/had a 73 SD 455 he bought new, and a 1978 he bought new. Other than that, most were found well used in rural Midwest communities. He had about 6 firebirds and a GTO in 1989, then started accumulating many more as the internet eased the purchasing process. He was very helpful to me when I was a teen when I had car or life issues.

      Like 3
  2. Rex Kahrs Member

    I keep telling my son to get a job with the Post Office.

    Like 23
  3. DayDreamBeliever Member

    Why is it that professional people (or anyone, for that matter) can’t figure out that taking a video in “vertical” format is WRONG…..

    Like 15
  4. John C.

    Maybe he saw some of these cars sitting at properties that were on his mail route! And said to himself, after work today I’m going back and see if I can buy that.

    Like 18
    • Eric B

      Seriously, that’s the perfect job for finding cars. Probably was friendly with everyone on his route as well and they all knew what he was looking for, so word of mouth.

      Like 12
    • DayDreamBeliever Member

      I wonder if he managed the buys on the first ring, or whether he had to hit the doorbell a second time?

      • DayDreamBeliever Member

        (The Postman Always Rings Twice)

        *eyeroll*

      • DayDreamBeliever Member

        Well, I thought it was funny, anyway….

        (Flogging a deceased equine)

  5. Ronny

    Glad he collected them. Saved from the crusher.

    Like 1
  6. Richard Paul Green III

    He worked in the postal distribution center, not as a mailman. He started there in the early seventies. He had a side business selling golf balls which helped pay for the collection. He sought value, and I doubt he ever paid more than $15K for any car. He has/had a 73 SD 455 he bought new, and a 1978 he bought new. Other than that, most were found well used in rural Midwest communities. He had about 6 firebirds and a GTO in 1989, then started accumulating many more as the internet eased the purchasing process. He lived modestly. This allowed him to build barn/garages in rural areas to store cars and parts. He was very helpful to me when I was a teen when I had car or life issues. I have seen the collection in person. There are good values here, and I recommend anyone interested
    make purchases.

    Like 2
    • Diana

      Ricky, you should know my dad never had access to the internet. :) He was a dinosaur and proud of it. All his cars (and don’t forget the insane amount of car parts also being auctioned off) were all sourced by ads, word of mouth, swap meets or just driving around. He started accumulating more after his mother died and he inherited money.

      Like 2
      • Richard Paul Green III

        He collected them the old fashioned way! I love it!

        Like 1
  7. Richard Paul Green III

    He introduced me to the Hemmings printed catalogues. He always had the latest issue. I remember pouring over those car listings in Hemming and dreaming “someday I’m going to buy…”. We would talk about the Pontiacs he thought were good values. I remember a Trans Am in Ohio he first saw in Hemmings and drove to Ohio to purchase it with a friend for a friend. At least that is how I remember it. Anyway, I remember thinking “someday I’m going to collect cars and make road trips like that’. It never happened for me. But I think it is great that now there are YouTube channels like Hoovies Garage, and TV shows like Gas Monkey Garage where basically people travel the country to purchase and save automobile history. It’s funny but think the curator of this collection was ahead of his times, even if he stayed away from technology.

    Like 1

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