Stroh’s Tour Pace Car: 1983 Pontiac Trans Am

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While we’re accustomed to seeing a wide variety of pace car tributes and replicas some up for sale and marketed as collector vehicles, there’s occasionally a curve ball that’s harder to place value-wise. We all know about the various Indianapolis and Daytona 500 models that were sold via dealers to owners all too happy to put the car into mothballs for decades, but this one – a 1983 Pontiac Trans Am “Stroh’s Tour” pace car – is one we haven’t seen before. The Pontiac is listed here on Facebook Marketplace  with its graphics and light bar still attached, and has an asking price of $7,500.

That seems like reasonable money for a clean Trans Am of this generation, and even more so for a car that may have some actual collectability. Now, I did some research and can’t claim to be an expert in NASCAR by any means, but it seems that at one time, NASCAR sanctioned events on what amounted to a regional system, almost like an official “league” by which competitors went head-to-head in a specific part of the country on a seasonal basis. The Stroh’s Tour was focused on my old stomping grounds of New England, and I caught a reference mentioning it extended into southern Canada as well. An old clipping from the Boston Globe cites the popularity of events held at Thunder Road in Barre, Vermont, home of the world-famous Milk Bowl.

I may be off base, or completely wrong (neither of those is an unusual phenomenon) but based on other photos I’ve seen, Trans Ams were gussied up with the similar light bar and plain-jane font on the doors based on which region they were assigned to. What I remain intrigued by is whether these cars were offered as replicas at a dealership, or if they were actually used in pace car duties at these smaller events and tracks around the country. It would seem odd to allocate a significant marketing spend on selling tribute cars at dealers but only on a regional basis; however, I could see a local dealer deciding to use some very basic graphics and install a light bar to get a NASCAR fan to spend $5,000 more to buy a clone of the car they saw pacing the field on Friday night. In this scenario, at least they got the Lear Siegler bucket seats.

No matter the historical significance, this Trans Am is nicely equipped with the Crossfire 5.0L V8, a Turbo Hydra-matic 700-R4 transmission, power locks and windows, air conditioning, T-tops, and some sharp turbo fan-style alloy wheels. The seller sadly notes that the cool AeroDynic light is not included with the sale but can be purchased separately. If this Trans Am was used in events throughout New England and the Northeast, rust would seemingly be a concern but the listing promises that there’s no rot to be found. A neat piece of history, for sure, if only for people who got to see it pacing the field on a Friday night in Vermont.

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  1. Rex Kahrs Rex KahrsMember

    You would think the car would have some Stroh’s graphics. Here’s a photo in my shop.

    Like 22
    • Slomoogee

      The Stroh’s tour for this old man was 66 thru 70 when 3.2 Quarts of Stroh’s were popular with the under 21 crowd wrenching on 200 dollar VWs and other assorted ways to have fun. Nice collection Rex!

      Like 5
      • Steven Smith

        Isn’t that the truth now

        Like 1
  2. Jake

    Seems like a decent price.

    I was expecting a lets put a crazy number out their then ad a 0 to the end.

    The graphics were plain but looks like a nice car to start with for cruise ins.


    Like 4
  3. JE Vizzusi

    I remember hearing stories of Dale Earnhardt bumping pace cars to speed them up or just being a clown! This poc wouldn’t make it around a 2 5 mile track if it had to. Run away fast. Would cost more to restore than anything you could sell it for.
    jv smashpalace

    Like 1
    • TimS

      Yeah, because everything needs 400 horsepower to be cool, and nobody ever refreshes a car because they, you know, want one or anything like that.

      Like 14
    • Kek

      What car are you looking at?

      Like 0
  4. Frank TA

    This seller at least has taken a lot of photos to show potential buyers. There are 55 here:

    Like 5
  5. Michael Berkemeier

    Seems legit…no, seriously, it seems legit. Probably not worth much but, looks to be in pretty good shape and I don’t think it will go down in value. If you are partial to this era F-bodies (which I am not), this looks like a pretty original example with some cool history. If the decals are original, I say go for it (if it’s your cup of tea).

    Like 3
    • Shawn O'Connell

      Boy I love Stroh’s Beer !!! Grew up in Jackson MI before moving to FL in 1980. But ad fortune would have it, we have a place that sells it about 20 miles from home.

      Like 0
  6. Guardstang

    This was when someone at Pontiac realized they couldn’t keep warranting the bowling ball wheel covers that flew off and became frizbees so they realized a small hub cover could do the same thing.

    Like 1
  7. Fox owner

    Stroh’s was regional to New England? I remember Stroh’s being brewed in Detroit, from Detroit River water we used to say. Now it’s being brewed as a craft beer to cash in on the micro brewery craze.

    Like 3
  8. Big C

    Stroh’s Beer. Shudder to think. Man, that stuff was nasty. Even tried it in the early 2000’s when it became available again. Still tasted like like SH. Did use it to kill slugs in the hosta’s, though. As for the Poncho? I guess if you remembered those days, this would be interesting. That light bar has to be worth something.

    Like 1

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