Time To Rise And Fly: 1970 Pontiac Firebird T/A

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This Trans Am is listed on eBay in Saint Louis, Missouri and looks like a nice find. The auction ends Saturday and bidding is over $25,000. It’s a numbers matching 400 Ram Air III with 335 horsepower, a factory 4 speed and factory air. The seller has owned the car for 30 years, but stopped driving it 15 years ago. It ran when parked, and is ready for restoration. It’s an original and complete car.

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You can’t tell much from the pictures provided, but the bit we can see of the interior looks good.

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It looks complete under the hood except for the missing A/C compressor, but otherwise looks clean. The 366 horsepower GTO engine was identical to the Trans Am’s engine except for the secondaries were adjusted on the Trans Am so they didn’t open completely. With a little work, you could have this Trans Am to GTO levels of performance!

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It’s said to look good underneath and to have surface rust on the trunk. It always seems suspicious to me when a car worth so much is listed with so few pictures. They didn’t even spend $.35 for the larger pictures option. What could they be hiding with their selective photography? It’s hard to imagine spending this much money for a car without some serious investigation. For money this serious, this will likely get a full restoration and join someone’s collection. What do you think it might sell for?

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Comments

  1. Luke Fitzgerald

    A lot

  2. Blindmarc

    Easy car to get going again, plus they’re pretty rare. Would make a great driver…..

  3. Marty Member

    It’s hard to see this car and not think of the opening scenes of the 1974 classic film “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”, where Jeff Bridges’ character steals one like this from a used car lot, and runs into Clint Eastwood’s character, who is a bank robber on the lam, posing as a preacher, and running from George Kennedy. We get to see this car driven on and off road, through tall wheat, and later abandoned at a gas station when Clint and Jeff steal a new, 1974 Buick Riviera. Good times.

  4. Steve

    Where did you hear the tale about the carb secondaries? I challenge the validity ofthat claim.

    • Pedro Rivera

      In the late 60s, Pontiac established a policy that stated that cars could have no more than 1hp for each 10lbs of weight. GTOs weighed around 3650lbs, while T/As weighed around 3350lbs. Though they shared the same engines, T/A carburetors had a tab that stopped secondaries from going full throttle, thus rating the engines at about 335hp. Those tabs could be easily taken off at the dealer or by the owner “adding” an instant 30hp.

    • Rando

      I read that recently aas well in a Muscle Car book. That isn’t hard and fast of course, but I have read it, so the claim is out there.

  5. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    That is a rare and very desirable Pontiac and T/A enthusiasts will bid it high. Kudos to the Seller for keeping it so original, in the dry and so nice. Got to love his Adirondack chair too so he can sit in it and admire his T/A in his driveway.

    • Biggles21

      Adirondack chair, or as we call them up here in God’s country, a Muskoka Chair.

  6. redwagon

    @ Luke those were the two words i uttered to myself first.

    @ Steve the carb secondaries were restricted on birds relative to the gto. i know that to be the case on gen 1 birds but had not heard it for gen 2 body style. i believe i first saw it in writing many years ago in ‘the fabulous firebird’ https://www.amazon.com/Fabulous-Firebird-Michael-Lamm/dp/0932128017

    the story. gm had an unwritten rule that no car produces in horsepower more than 10% of its body weight. gto and fbirds had the same engine but the fbird was always rated lower because it weighed less than the gto. supposedly a metal tab on the carb linkage restricted the secondaries from opening completely at full throttle. simply removing the restriction allowed full operation – and full power.

    i had a 68 bird with the 400 engine years ago and when i had the carb rebuilt told this story to the friend who rebuilt it for me. he confirmed it. said it took him about 3 minutes to find it, assess potential damage (none) and remove it. when i asked him what the restriction was in % he estimated about 15-20%.

    good lord i would love to have this in my possession.

    • Pedro Rivera

      Had I read your comment, I wouldn’t have written my reply to Steve. Your explanation is way more precise than mine!

  7. ccrvtt

    The carburetor story is just 10 kinds of cool so I’m believing it 100%. This body style, from 1970 to 1981, was one of the best GM ever did. Beautiful find. Surely it will go for “a lot”, most likely, “too much”.

  8. cudaman

    The seller needs to “throw in” the $1500.00 Vette with the T/A…………

  9. wuzjeepnowsaab

    If I can’t have a ’69 TransAm, please bring me a ’70 in white with blue race trim.

    “Oh Lord…won’tcha buy me…a Mercedez Benz.”

  10. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    the year 70/71 was the best or beast….and 4 speed….with air ?…..much cooler than that smoked in black car…..Bert what’s his name…..

  11. redwagon

    o lord won’t you buy me a ram air three,

  12. redwagon

    o lord won’t you buy me a ram air three,

    my friends all drive camcords – won’t let me be

  13. OhU8one2

    Sound’s like to me a few of you are starting to see what I’ve been saying all along. A tin Indian, running with Poncho Power is by far and away the best GM good offer the buying public. It’s OK that Chevrolet out sold the Firebird with the Camaro. The bird had the bigger engine most of the time. And the Pontiac’s had better styling. But hey that’s just my opinion. Give me a 73 Brewster Green, SD455 any day and you will never hear me complain. R.I.P. Pontiac

  14. Rolf Poncho

    Now that’s a grate car just love the bullnose gen’s

  15. Howard A Member

    Next to the original Firebird’s, these are my favorite. This particular one is a bit tired ( but in all fairness, these were driven hard, as Pontiac intended) For some reason, to me, these always looked better than a Camaro, like it was a different car altogether. Nice find.

  16. redwagon

    firebird over camaro
    formula over t/a
    sd over all

    it’s a bird thing

  17. Van

    I played with these back then. The metering rods on the secondarys in the later cars were thicker. We put RA3 metering rods in a 76 trans am. I’m sure the power increase was at least 20%. Metering rods free – 1 second in the 1/4 mile – priceless.

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