What car best sums up Malaise Era so-called performance cars than the late-70s Trans Am? Sure, there's the whole Burt Reynolds thing adding some camp value and general notoriety, but this car would be a caricature of its time and place even if "Smokey and the Bandit" had never been made. The scoops! The flares! The great big engine that wheezed out less power than the base 4-bangers in today's boring econo-sedans! Yet still, just like America in the gloomy post-Watergate/Vietnam/oil-embargo period, there was still some optimism to be found in the Trans Am's lines... if you looked for it.
No, this car wasn't quick (in factory trim). But, just like its Z/28 sibling, it looked quick.