Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Gold Special Edition
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Being an astute car guy, you’ve noticed that 1977-1981 Pontiac Trans Ams are, arguably, the hottest collector cars on the planet and you’re debating on finally buying one before prices get too insane. There’s only one problem, despite wanting an authentic late model F2, you’d really like to get something with a little more power to dispel that nagging myth of ‘all show and no go’. No worries; RK Motors Charlotte has you covered.
This fully restored 1978 Gold Special Edition Trans Am combines a fresh frame off restoration with a tweaked 6.6 liter V8 and an original 4-speed transmission to create a killer second generation F-body which has the power to back up its outstanding looks. If you’re a Trans Am fan who’s been searching for the perfect combination of originality and performance, this gold ‘bird is the car for you!
Included with this sale is both the cars original window sticker and build sheet. Below I’ve laid out exactly what the original window sticker lists as optional equipment; and for comparisons sake, added the factory option codes from the cars build sheet in parentheses.
PONTIAC FIREBIRD TRANS AM: $5,889
(50L) Solar Gold lower exterior paint: $00
(50U) Solar Gold upper exterior paint: $00
(62B) Carmel [sic] Tan cloth trim: $00
(62X) Camel Tan trim appointments: $00
(62X) Camel Tan interior trim: $00
(B82) Body side molding: $42
(B84) Black body side molding: $00
(W72) 6.6 Litre T/A (400) 4-barrel V8 engine: $75
(M21) Close ratio 4-speed manual transmission: $00
(G80) Saf-T-Track differential: $00
(C60) Custom air conditioning: $518
(UA1) Heavy duty battery: $20
(AK1) Custom, color keyed belts: $22
(62X) Camel tan seat belts: $00
(D55) Console: $00
(A90) Remote control decklid release: $21
(C49) Electric rear window defroster: $95
(WW8) Rally gauges with built in tachometer and clock: $00
(A01) Soft Ray tinted glass: $59
(B93) Door edge guards: $13
(BS1) Additional acoustical insulation: $29
(Y92) Lamp group: (U25) Lamp – Luggage compartment, (U29) Lamp – Glove box, (U27) Lamp – Instrument panel courtesy: $18
(C95) Dome reading lamp: $18
(B37) Front and rear floor mats: $23
(D35) Sport mirrors: left hand remote control, right hand manually adjustable: $00
(JL2) Front power disc brakes: $00
(AU3) Power door locks: $83
(A31) Power windows: $128
(UP6) Delco-GM AM/FM Stereo CB Radio with 40 channels: $518
(N65) Space Saver spare tire: $00
(B97) Rear decklid spoiler: $00
(NK3) Formula steering wheel: $00
(N33) Tilt steering wheel: $72
(WS6) Trans Am Special Performance Package: (OGP) 225/70R15 white letter steel belted radials, Special handling package: $76
(55P) Gold wheels: $00
(CD4) Controlled cycle windshield wipers $35
(K81) Heavy duty 63 amp alternator: $00
(U76) Super cooling radiator: $31
(Y90) Velour custom trim group: (YR1) Custom velour bucket seats, (YS1) Custom velour rear seats, (YT1) Door handle ornamentation, (JL1) Pedal trim package, Custom interior appointments: $134
(Y88) Special Edition Trans Am: (CC1) Removable glass roof panels, (55P) Gold cast aluminum wheels, Special Interior Appointments, Special Exterior Appointments, Special Stripes Emblems, (WW7) Hood decal: $1,261
TOTAL OPTIONS: $3,291
TOTAL VEHICLE PRICE: $9,326
Assembled at GM’s Norwood, Ohio manufacturing facility in May of 1978 and shipped to Mc Aleer Buick-Pontiac; this Gold Special Edition Trans Am was custom ordered and exceptionally kept for 30 years by Terry Hoffman of Danville, Illinois. In 2009, the cars second owner commissioned Tom Fischer of Muscle Car Alley to complete a frame-off rotisserie restoration which supplemented its straight, original body with a new tail panel and new quarter panel patches that are butt welded in place to ensure no overlap.
Once the body was rock solid and fully prepped, a rich coat of GM code 50 Solar Gold was sealed under a thick clearcoat shell that has been buffed to a spectacular wet-look shine. The result is a very dynamic Trans Am that features super straight lines and better than factory fit and finish.
In traditional Gold Special Edition style, a set of full outlining stripes combines with an awesome brown, yellow and gold ‘screaming chicken’ hood decal and special trim pieces to amp the cars visual appeal up from radical to out-of-this-world. Up front, a straight and glossy urethane front bumper houses new Gold Special Edition specific headlight inserts that sit on either side of a gold inlayed arrowhead emblem to provide Pontiacs familiar dual grille look.
Behind that front bumper, the cars great looking “T/A 6.6” branded shaker hood sits in front of pristine glass windows that are bordered by correct black trim and correct gold tinted T-tops. At the sides of the car, correct front and rear fender flares and gold inlayed, chrome GM door handles combine form with function while bright brown, yellow and gold Trans Am decals and traditional Pontiac fender vents create exciting visual detail. At the back of the car, a large, correct CB antenna hangs above an expertly aligned “Trans Am” branded decklid spoiler; and a new black tail lamp panel holds showroom fresh tail lights above Firebird-exclusive stainless side splitter exhaust tips.
Pop the cars gold hood and you’ll find an original 400 cubic inch W72 V8 which has been equipped with a mild cam swap and now makes a sports car worthy 300 horsepower. By the time this Trans Am rolled down the assembly line, government mandated emissions standards had almost legislated performance out of existence; and that left Pontiac suffering a bit of an identity crisis.
The W72 combined smaller ‘6X’ heads with a larger block to create higher compression which, despite modest horsepower numbers, provided enough low end grunt to make this Trans Am the fastest pony car on the market. At the top of the motor, a correct Rochester 4-barrel carburetor sits under an awesome and equally functional shaker hood scoop.
Below that carburetor, original GM corporate blue paint coats the entire block and original Ram Air III manifolds send spent gases into a high performance exhaust system. All the hard parts around the motor, from the belt driven accessories to the brake booster and air conditioning hanging on the fire wall are factory correct. And as expected, decals are where they should be, belts and hoses are fresh, and there’s an even coat of GM satin black paint covering the clean engine bay from fender to fender.
The bottom of this Trans Am is so nice that you could literally put it on a lift in your garage and leave it for display. The cars super solid 33 year old undercarriage has been completely restored and carries highly detailed original floor pans which were protected for 30 years by dealer applied undercoating. (The original receipt is included with the sale) At the center of those floor pans, an original Borg Warner T-10 4-speed transmission sends power to an original 10 bolt Posi-traction rear axle; and at the corners of those floorpans, an original WS6 suspension, which includes heavy duty sway bars, shocks and springs combines with power front disc and rear drum brakes to provide great stopping and handling.
Originally equipped with a power boosting true dual exhaust system, this car now wears fresh mandrel bent aluminized pipes which send gases through a welded X-pipe to custom welded aftermarket mufflers and traditional stainless Firebird tips. And all the small things like hardware, bushings and fuel lines have been completely replaced. Power flows to the pavement through authentic 225/70 Goodyear Polysteel Radials that are wrapped around fully restored 15 inch Special Edition exclusive gold snowflake wheels.
Inside the car you’ll find a stylish blend of Camel Tan upholstery and Special Edition Trans Am exclusive gold trim. The cars original seats are comfortably firm and, carrying cloth that is much more appealing than typical pony car vinyl, look like they should be in a much more expensive car. Below the seats, tan carpet presents minimal wear and looks fresh enough to have been installed during the cars recent restoration.
Between the seats, a simple Camel Tan console houses chrome switches for the cars power windows behind the cars chrome Hurst shifter; and above the seats, a stain free headliner is stretched tight around the cars mirrored T-tops. In front of the seats, an excellent looking engine turned dash houses crystal clear gauges above controls for heat and air conditioning and the cars correct Delco-GM stereo and 40 channel CB.
At the sides of the seats, thick Camel Tan door panels feature bright stainless trim and chrome handles for the doors and windows. And in front of the driver, a correct gold Formula steering wheel features a correct gold screaming chicken horn button inside a Camel Tan rim. Behind the cockpit, the cars pristine trunk carries a correct mat and Stowaway spare tire below new decklid decals.
Documents included with the sale of this Trans Am are: the cars original build sheet, an original order acknowledgement sheet, a two page original window sticker, and original purchase invoice, the cars original owner’s manual and warranty booklets, a stack of maintenance records which include an undercoating receipt from 1978, an ownership history, restoration photos and a stack of restoration receipts which include general information about the car and a cam card for the new cam.
Customers ask us: if there was one car you would buy right now and hang onto, what would it be? Here’s our current reply: this 1978 Trans Am. It has all the right stuff (documentation, an original W72 4-speed drivetrain, a great color combination and a fresh restoration) that forms the basis for a car which will continue to climb in value, and it’s a whole lot of fun to boot.
If you’ve been searching for a cool old school muscle car with plenty of attitude to back up its great looks, your search is over.
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