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Monday, November 30, 2015

Is This Pro-Touring Pontiac Trans Am Better Than the Original?


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

If you were wrangling together a list of America’s greatest performance cars…you’d be hard pressed not to include the Pontiac Trans Am. It was nothing short of an icon. 
First appearing in 1969, the Trans Am helped cement the Firebird as more than just Pontiac’s version of the Camaro, and cars like the brutal Trans Am SD-455 kept the muscle car spirit alive well after most of its contemporaries had been declawed. It was a bedroom pin-up, and thanks to Smokey and the Bandit—a silver screen star too.

But who says you can’t improve on perfection? One Nebraska hot rod shop gave it a shot, and the pro-touring results are pretty spectacular to say the least. What say you, Internets? Is this ’73 Pontiac Trans Am the best of the breed?


One thing is for sure, it’s not light on power. Whereas the Firebird’s shaker hood scoop reads “455”…there’s actually a massive 535ci V8 under the bonnet, which comes courtesy of Butler Performance and rattles off a defiant 700 horsepower. Gadzooks. The goliath 8.7-liter engine breathes through a set of tri-Y headers and a custom dual exhaust, and power travels rearward via a five-speed manual. Ply those gears carefully.

The pro-touring stance has become de rigueur with today’s hot rod tastes, and this Pontiac Trans Am certainly packs the kit to match. The Firebird rides low on a new Detroit Speed four-link rear suspension and fits new spindles and control arms to manage the front rubber. Adios leaf springs! Two-piece 18-inch alloys shoe the car at all four corners and also hide burly Wilwood disc brakes.


Inside, things are about as cool, calm, and collected as the Trans Am’s dark exterior. A black leather interior reveals the business end of that five-speed manual, as well as Cerullo bucket seats and vintage instruments…minus the modern Kicker sound system. All told, it’s a menacing ride, but you won’t make off like a bandit if you fancy this Firebird.

The pro-touring ’73 Pontiac Trans Am recently took to eBay and brought with it a big price tag of $139,000.