Super Rare 1978 Macho T/A Turbo 4-Speed

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This Martinique Blue 1978 Macho T/A is a special car. It is one of eight Macho T/As built in 1978 that were equipped with a HO Racing turbocharger. The car is located in Bismark, North Dakota and is listed for sale here on eBay. The auction has two days remaining and the bids have reached $40,100! The reserve has not been met. DKM Design and Performance built 304 performance tweaked Macho T/As from 1977 to 1980.

The Macho T/A was the brainchild of Kyle and Dennis Mecham whose dad owned a Pontiac dealership in Glendale, Arizona. The two brothers were disappointed with the performance level of factory cars in the mid 1970’s and decided to modify a 1975 Formula and then a 1976 Trans Am to make them faster. Once they had completed their upgrades, they showed the cars to their father who said “I wish I could sell a car like that to our customers!” The Mecham brothers put a modified car on the showroom floor and it sold in three days. As for a breakdown of production, there were 26 Macho T/A’s built in 1978, 204 Macho T/A’s built in 1978, 98 Macho T/A’s built in 1979 and 6 Macho T/A’s built in 1980.

Seven of the eight turbo Trans Ams built in 1978 came with manual transmissions. The HO Racing turbocharger was a blow-through system that had difficulties operating at high altitude and most of them were removed. At some point, the turbo was removed and the engine in this car was stroked to 488 cubic inches and modified to generate 500 to 600 horsepower. The suspension has also been upgraded with HO Racing parts even though it came with the WS6 performance handling package.

Besides being in excellent condition, this car has Hurst Hatch T-Tops, trunk-mounted battery and a chrome roll bar. I remember in 1979, my family took a trip to the Grand Canyon and we begged my parents to take us to Mecham Pontiac to see the Macho T/A’s on the showroom. It made an indelible impression on my brother who recently started the Macho T/A Registry for all 1977-1980 DKM cars and is the foremost collector of Macho T/As. He personally owns at least seven Macho T/As including some of the rarest ones ever built. The registry’s goal is to document and authenticate all of the surviving Macho T/A’s from this era. Most Macho T/A’s sell for $30,000 to $45,000 depending on their condition. This one is certainly getting a well-deserved look by enthusiasts.

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  1. Todd Zuercher

    That’s awesome that you have a such a personal connection to these cars, Bruce! I live just a few miles from where Mecham’s dealership was located.

    As a longtime AZ resident, I of course have a lot more memories associated with the name than these awesome cars.

    Like 9
  2. PaulG

    Bruce, I can relate. In 1976 at 18 I moved to Phoenix and the Macho T/A’s came along soon after. I remember going to the dealership and checking out a root-beer brown metallic one that looking back was a true 70’s machine.
    Great memories of living in the Valley of the Sun, even when Evan Mecham was governor…

    Like 14
  3. Dave

    Keep the turbo, that 488 inches will git-r-done!

    Like 3
  4. Bick Banter

    Maybe it should be called the “Mucho T/A” at this price.

    Like 1
  5. CJinSD

    I’m curious why anyone thinks this car is no longer turbocharged. The underhood photos show that the turbocharger components are still present and the 488 was built with an 8.3:1 compression ratio for some reason.

    Like 5
  6. John W Harmer

    The lower compression ratio is that way? Because you can turn up the boost that way and the engine will survive!

    Like 0
  7. Clinton

    Ummm…this is clearly still turbocharged. Also I get battery relocation but why are they using Caterpillar battery? Has to weigh a ton.

    Like 0
  8. Clinton

    Ummm…this is clearly still turbocharged. Also I understand battery relocation but using a Caterpillar battery? What?

    Like 0
    • Rex B Schaefer

      The heavier battery helps with weight distribution for better traction!

      Like 0

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