For $78,000, Bandit At Eight O’Clock

In Shelley’s Frankenstein the eponymous doctor brings his monster back to life with unfortunate results. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Trans Am is a car also brought back from the dead, but will its price make you want to get out the torches and pitchforks?

This is like a week of fakers now isn’t it? First we had a VW with pinto power, then yesterday’s 3-series wanted you to Sake-to-me with its 2JZ. And now today we have a postmortem Pontiac that's based on a bitchin’ Camaro.

We’ll get to that in a minute, but first we have to wrap up that crazy mixed up Bimmer. That car may have seemed a good idea at the time, but for 80% of you, its execution fell far short of its asking price. At least today’s car keeps the fakery in the family.

In your mind what was the greatest vehicular manslaughter committed by GM in the axing of the Pontiac brand? The GTO perhaps? Or maybe it was that the marque was denied the chance to finally get the Aztek right? Yeah, bullshite, it’s the fact that brand was taken behind the shed before the new Camaro was introduced, thus denying the world a modern interpretation of its sister, the Firebird.

For years the Camaro and Firebird have gone together like the conjoined twins that they are. Unlike Eng and Chang the original Siamese twins however, who died within hours of one another, the Camaro has thrived following the Firebird’s untimely demise. In fact, the Camaro is doing so well, that it’s perhaps not blasphemy, nor kind of creepy to see one dressed up in its dead brother’s fanciest duds.

For $78,000, Bandit At Eight O’Clock

Morbid or not, this 2010 model year Camaro has gone full Trans Am. Not only that but it pays homage to the greatest Trans Am of them all, the black and gold tee-topped edition of the seminal art house film, Smokey and the Bandit. Yeah, that’s right - freakin' tee-tops - just in case a runaway bride happens to drop in.

Seriously, this car totally puts the pedal to the metal when it comes to hitting all the right Bandit visual cues, and would cause Sheriff Buford T. Justice to punch his son’s mama square in da’ mouth just at the mere sight of it.

The car is offered up by a place called Trans Am Specialties of Florida, but was built (dash plaque numero uno) by a place called Gearhead Street Customs. Now, the word one Web is that they were less than legit, and like Pontiac they now appear to be no more. Still, this car was once considered worthy enough to have been featured on the cover of High Performance Pontiac magazine. You remember magazines, right?

For $78,000, Bandit At Eight O’Clock

The original Trans Ams offered the most power Pontiac cold muster, and with a Magnuson twin scroll in the valley of its six point two, this one should be no exception. According to that 2010 review in HPP this set up bumps the ponies from a stock 426 to a supercharged 546. Rear-side exhaust help with the pooter side of things and keep the back end clean at the same time.

There’s of course a six-speed stick doing back up duty and the power is sent to some rubberbands mounted on 22-inch alloys front and rear. Inside the car there’s two-tome leather covering all the good bits and a just ahead of the shifter there’s a nav screen for your knees. Everything - and I mean everything on this 6,200 mile car looks brand new.

For $78,000, Bandit At Eight O’Clock

But is that enough to account for its nose bleed level $78,000 price tag? I mean, it is after all not a real Pontiac, and in fact there will likely never be another real Pontiac Trans Am. You’ll need to decide if this car is filling a need that GM won’t, continuing a vaunted legacy. Or if this is an abomination of the real Trans Am’s memory.

And now’s the time to do just that. What do you think about this homage hottie? Is $78,000 too much to spend on even so thorough a disguise? Or, is that a fair price for something that should have been?

You decide!

Trans Am Specialties of Florida, or go here if the ad disappears.

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