Today’s Nice Price or No Dice Trans Am may not turn you into either Burt Reynolds (R.I.P.) or Sally Field, but that doesn’t mean it won’t elicit fond memories of Smokey and the Bandit. Let’s see if this Firebird’s price is just as memorable.
I’ve always had a disconnect with Audi naming its TT model after the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race. That’s because whenever I envision the event, I picture two-wheel café racers and riders with lots of form-fitting leather. Mmm, leather.
There was no similar disconnect for most of you over last Friday’s 2005 Audi TT S-Line and its aggressive $6,900 asking price. That, in fact, earned the car a solid 67 percent Nice Price win.
Naming cars after racetracks and racing series is a long tradition. Over the years we have seen cars named for the likes of Le Mans, Daytona and Monza, as well as IROCs and, of course, the Trans Am.
The Trans Am was the hottest version of Pontiac’s edition of GM’s corporate pony car. And, while the Firebird was named for the Trans-American Championship road racing series, what the model is most likely remembered for is starring alongside Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason in ’70s good ol’ boy comedy, Smokey and the Bandit.
That was a black, T-topped second-generation coupe, and while today’s 1999 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am is both a different color and a convertible, it still rocks the model’s iconic screaming chicken decals, albeit in more subtle, modern form.
This fourth (and last) generation car also rocks a 305 horsepower LS1 V8 and a six-speed stick making it far more of a rocket than the Bandit’s smog-strangled ’70s car.
The ad claims this Trans Am to be one of just 236 built. I don’t know where the seller is pulling that from since the only listing with that number that I can find in the production breakdown is for the run of coupes in Bright Red.
I think it’s sufficient just to acknowledge that they didn’t make a heck of a lot of Firebirds in the model’s waning years (apparently only 589 manual-equipped convertibles this model year). It’s also important to note that with both the model and the marque now having Xs on their eyes, there likely aren’t going to be any more of them ever again.
This one is claimed to come with a clear title, new old stock chromed alloy wheels and just 83,000 miles on the clock. The LS1 under the pointy prow is stock, although the ad notes that a Flowmaster exhaust has been added. It doesn’t go into detail as to how much pipe has, in fact, been laid.
The bodywork appears clean and without major issues. Of course, you get a proper old-school sports car experience here via the pop-up headlights and convertible top. That top fits under an included flexible tonneau when dropped.
The cabin beneath that top also looks to be in decent shape, with no issues apparent other than the fact that these were not the best quality interiors GM could do back in the day. Still, you get most of the modern amenities, including a/c, airbags and power windows and locks. Mechanical pluses include traction control and ABS brakes, a feature that was apparently so notable that it was celebrated on the center cap of each wheel.
Even if you’re not a fan of Smokey and the Bandit — and honestly, what’s up with that? — you still can appreciate the Trans Am as an important bit of American automotive history. The Firebird had played second fiddle to its Camaro platform-mate for years. That was until Burt Reynolds made it a cultural icon. Today it’s long gone, its Camaro cousin is almost an afterthought in the withering pony car class, and the Ford Mustang remains the car of choice for those wishing to exit their local Cars & Coffee in a dramatic and dangerous fashion.
Owning this Trans Am could upset that status quo. The question at hand, however, is whether it might be worth it is $14,999 asking price to do so. What’s your take: is this well-kitted Trans Am worth that much money? Or, does that price extinguish your interest in this Firebird?
H/T to Michael Beaty for the hookup!
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