No Bubble: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Pace Car


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When we think of Pace Cars, we often think of pristine, bubble-enclosed trailer queens with just the mileage from the dealer to someone’s garage on the odometer. It gets old after a while, frankly. I want to see a Pace Car righteously abused and neglected, and that’s what we get with this 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Pace Car here on eBay. No carpeting on the garage floor or plastic-wrap on the seats – this is a raw, rough special edition. 


Now, I don’t pine to see cars abused, especially if they have some historical value. But it does get old to constantly see the never-ending fleet of pace vehicles that owners seem to think is the best one in existence. It doesn’t do much for your return on investment if every guy on the block bought the same Mustang or Corvette with special graphics and plaques, then stuck it in the garage for 30 years. This one has a rough exterior, rust holes around the back seat and an interior in need of total replacement. This is a no title, bill-of-sale only transaction for those of you in states where having proof of title is essential for registering the vehicle.


The motor may or may not be correct, but the seller notes it’s no longer turbocharged – which the 5,700 Trans Am Pace Cars were. In original condition, these Pontiacs also benefited from the WS6 handling package and color-coded Turbo-specific wheels, but in the case of the latter, the white paint has long since been stripped away. As you can see from the exterior photos, the body is battered, with dents and surface rust on almost every panel. And as you might expect, the graphics on the doors are MIA. This side also shows that one of the front splitters is gone missing, and I’m frankly surprised the one on the driver’s side is still attached.


Tow hitches always unnerve me on cars like this. At what point do you decide a Trans Am is a good tow vehicle? The rear is definitely the better half of the Pontiac, with a (relatively) clean trunk lid – but it could also be coated in house paint, I can’t tell. The tail lights remain uncracked, which is probably the best thing this forlorn Pace Car has going for it. So, now you have it: not every Pace Car is a trailer queen, but with an opening bid of $999, this example offers a chance to bring one back from the dead. Would you do it?

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  1. Healeydays

    Sorry, couldn’t buy it. No screaming chicken on the hood anymore…

    Like 0
    • kman

      Thank god! Saw and orang one the other day, sand chicken. Much improved.

      Like 0
  2. sir mike

    In my state a junk yard…where this belongs…can’t take it without a title.

    Like 0
  3. Todd Zuercher

    Scrap this one!

    Like 0
  4. hhaleblian

    Lemons candidate. Oooo I hate that word. Candidate.

    Like 0
  5. Brian

    I don’t see where the bullets hit inside the car. Were the shooting out of the car?

    Like 0
    • TomMember

      Well said. unbelievable. Maybe if you tie some kind of “Bonnie & Clyde” story to this car it could actually be worth something. Otherwise, not.

      Like 0
      • Bill

        I was going to add that someone should shoot this thing and put it out of its misery… but they already tried….

        Like 0
  6. Richard McAllister

    It looks like it’s been on fire………… least once.

    Like 0
  7. MikeG

    Comes with a mullet wig and gold (plated) coke-spoon chain.

    When these are in top condition they are great looking cars.

    Like 0
    • TomMember

      unless this thing is restored to a 98+ point level, it will never really bring any money. EVEN THEN, the money it brings will NEVER pay off what it took to get it there. The only ones bringing money have a few miles (like 8) or a few hundred miles and were in a bubble!

      Like 0
  8. Chebby

    What a bucket. Looks like an Olds Rocket 350 under the hood.

    Like 0
  9. TBall

    Unfortunately, total trash – and why, oh why do they bother with photos of a rolled over odometer thinking folks actually believe a low mileage car? 49k my tush. Sorry, no room in my muscle car heart of garage for this one…

    Like 0
  10. DREW V.

    Had one of these brand new back in /High School, Kewl car… The guy I sold it to totaled it driving home from a bar… I have seen several of these in various states of dis repair over the years…

    Like 0
  11. Kincer DaveMember

    I’d love to hear the history of this car, it looks like it’s never known a loving owner at all, I really hate to see this happen I’ve always loved Trans Ams what ever the year. I’ve always wanted one and to see one so abused is hard to see. Oh well

    Like 0
  12. JW

    My usual comment when I see a car in this shape on ebay or craigslist with a out standing write up.

    Like 0
  13. Gordon

    Definitely not a 301T under the hood. 301’s didn’t have the oil fill tube on the front of the engine. Looks like this one saw better days many years ago. What a shame! This is what it should look like under the hood!

    Like 0
  14. Charles

    parts car

    Like 0
  15. GOPAR

    And another thing. It has no “tittle”!

    Like 0
  16. Little_Cars AlexanderMember

    Maybe “tittles” were flashed in the back seat in, say, the 1980s — along with smoking a few doobies and Rush playing on an 8 track tape. My 77 had a factory 8 track player at the forward edge of the console. The bullet holes are the best part of the 24 photos. Too bad the seller can’t write a detailed listing to move this car to a worthy parts cracker.

    Like 0
  17. Mike

    I don’t even think I would want it for a parts cars, I would be afraid that my other cars would catch whatever infection this one has, and spread it to my cars.
    Fugly is the only word that comes to mind for me!!!!!

    Like 0
  18. edh

    Special Edition = sticker package and crappy small turbo V8. I rode in a mint condition one back in the day and it felt just like a I6 Camaro.

    Like 1
  19. John

    Might have been in a police altercation?? Hence no title??

    Like 0
  20. t/a man

    This is a disgusting crying shame. Indy and Nascar 81 turbo pace cars are bringing good money these days. What kind of degenerate let this happen to this car should be shot. Unfortunately the matching number motor is long gone. Yes, although the turbo 301 was not by any means the best engine Pontiac or GM ever produced, it was the only Turbo production v8 ever made by an American auto company. Add to it this was in an Indy pace car, makes it even more unfortunate.Because of that, it will never be worth as much as a matching number car, but the car itself is still worth restoring No you couldn’t pay someone to do all the work for you, you would have to do most of it yourself.. It is not that bad and now almost all of the parts needed for this car are reproduced and not terribly expensive. The trick is that you would have to get it awfully cheap and live in a state that requires no title after a certain age like I do. 70 to 81 Trans am’s are on fire in the market now and having a restored pace car, reguardless of what enignie is in it, is a winner.

    Like 0

    403 Olds engine. parts car?

    Like 0

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