Turbo V8 Survivor: 1980 Pontiac Trans Am

After the release of Smokey and the Bandit, who didn’t want a Pontiac Trans Am? Well with American V8’s still paying the price for their lack of fuel economy, Pontiac did find a creative way to offer some power and economy though a turbo 4.9l V8. This 1980 survivor is a very sharp and reasonable car that would clean up wonderfully, but the turbo heart is currently not running after a 20 year sleep. Hopefully some elbow grease and a couple of weekends could revive this sharp looking Trans Am, where you could have a sharp original condition driver for $6,800! Check it out here on craigslist out of Kirkland, Washington. Thanks to Benny B for sharing this sweet boosted survivor!

Despite its 20 year hibernation, the interior of this Pontiac seems quite reasonable. There is some wear to the driver seat and arm rest, but the remainder of the interior looks nice, but in need of a solid cleaning. One key note the seller did mention is that the dash is not cracked. A piece of the center console appears to be missing below the ashtray, but the remainder of the interior appears to be complete. Sadly the seller did not share any photos of the 301 Turbo V8. They are neat engines, and can often be a bit stubborn until warmed up, but once they are warm and ready to roll they offer a fair amount of scoot at 210 horsepower and a whopping 345 foot pounds of torque! Having sat for 20 years I would suspect the fuel system is in serious need of some help as well as other key systems in this Pontiac.

Much of the factory paint has held on well with some surface rust ,and a few spots where the paint is burned from UV exposure. I personally would clean up the car and buff it out and enjoy it as is. The paint is not perfect but I can tell you could pull a pretty decent shine out of this old bird. Thankfully there does not appear to be any rot in this Pontiac, and the quarters are unusually nice on this car. Appearing to be a fair project with plenty of promise, would you strike a deal for this Turbo survivor?

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  1. MH

    Whats with the electrical cord going into the car? It sure wasent to vacuum it out.

    • big mike

      Probably trying to use a dehumidifier to dry out the car, looks like it has had some moisture issue from the pictures.

  2. Burt’s car

    The electric cord is used to help power the portable tire pump up.

    I wish it had a four speed!

    Is the trunk filled with a wedding dress and coors 🍺👀

  3. 86 Vette Convertible

    It also could be for an ozone generator. Used those a lot to get rid of stink and smell out of furniture from fires, no reason it wouldn’t work here.

  4. Ira Weissinger

    Man, You have to be kidding about that turbo 301. Those didn’t have anything to recommend them. There were big block size engine with lesser strength internals and the turbo didn’t come close in real life to the power of either the 400 or the 403. To say it was a half baked engine was a kind review.

  5. jared
    • Steve R

      I wouldn’t want that one either.

      Steve R

    • mark

      Jared; the car on your link is so far from a survivor it’s ridiculous. The paints NOT original; the hood’s NOT original; the wheels are NOT original……. and I could go on and on…..

  6. Dean

    Shameless, Jared

  7. DerekF

    I smell some leaky T-tops and rusty floor pans.

    My favorite combo: a turbo and carb.

    When they made Smokey and the Bandit II, I understand a shot of nitrous was necessary for the turbo 301 to smoke the tires like the 400 car would.

  8. Michael Flynn

    I don’t know why I hate 4.9s so much, it’s like I can’t stop myself from commenting and bashing these engines.

    • Clint

      Because that 301 turbo deserves it??

      A guy I worked with @ Burger King in 1981 had a white one that his daddy bought him. I had a 73 Mustang with a 351C 2V. I had at least 1 burnt valve and the trans slipped in 2nd. I beat him 3 out of 4 runs @ the stop light Gran Prix. It was close each time….to sum it up, that turbo 301 ran like a small block Ford with 1 almost dead cylinder and a slipping trans.

      • Michael Flynn

        Yeah, I love Ford’s. Pontiac did make some good engines, but the 301 wasn’t one of them

  9. Pa Tina

    Looks like it needs a shave.

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