Brexit Badass: 1973 Pontiac Trans Am SD-455 – Sold?

by | Mar 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

May 1, 2022, Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

By the early 1970s, muscle car buyers’ tastes were evolving and many wanted a car providing decent handling in turns rather than simply straight-line performance. A prime example of this shift was at Pontiac, where the three-year-old, second-generation, 455-powered Trans Am outsold the new-for-1973 Colonnade-Hardtop GTO by a substantial margin. Capitalizing on a loophole in Federal emissions regulations, Pontiac engineers developed a Super Duty version of their 455 cubic inch V8 that produced 310 net horsepower. This was the highest output engine offered by Detroit in 1973 and now you can experience it in this documented 59K mile Pontiac Trans Am originally listed in March 2022 on Craigslist in Hollywood, Florida (Miami).  The private seller reports in addition to the low original miles, this Trans Am was originally exported to the UK when new.

Currently offered for $89,500, the Collector Car Market Review Online Tool confirms the ask currently falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $60,800 and its #2 “Very Good” appraisal of $80,800 after adding a fifty percent premium for the SD-455 motor. Interestingly, the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the seller’s ask is now less than this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $97,700. This is a prime example of how Hagerty’s values tend to be inflated by the value of the premiums they are likely writing for these cars.

Tooling and engineering problems forced Pontiac to delay the introduction of the second-generation Firebird line until February 26, 1970. Then a crippling UAW strike in 1972 limited production of the cars for much of the 1972 model year.  By 1973, the Trans Am version was gaining in popularity as a truly sportier performance model that also still offered a 455 cubic inch V8.  Actual production cars yielded quarter-mile results in the high 14 to 15.0 second/98 mph range (sources: Motor Trend Magazine, July ’73 and Roger Huntington’s book, American Supercar) – results that are consistent with a 3,850-pound car (plus driver) and the engine equipped with a 4-barrel Rochester Quadrajet carburetor rated at a maximum power of 290 brake horsepower and maximum torque of 395 pound-feet of torque.

The MuscleCarofTheWeek YouTube channel features this excellent historical overview of how the SD-455 version of the Trans Am came to be in 1973:

While many gravitate to the late seventies “Bandit” style Trans Ams, the 1973 Sd-455 was the last T/A that offered serious performance for a long time.  This example appears to be a nicely preserved, well-optioned example with an interesting European-delivery history.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“1973 Pontiac Trans Am Super Duty. Sold new in the UK as an export car per the PHS. Red over Black deluxe interior. 455SD, 4-speed manual, factory A/C, am radio with 8 track, power windows, power steering, power brakes, and tilt steering. Fully documented real SD car as per the X fifth digit in the VIN and the PHS description. 59000 documented actual miles. A very clean driver quality car that can be driven anywhere. The car is part of my personal collection and is titled to me. Call Ian for information in Hollywood Florida.”

Show or Go: What would you do with this 1973 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SD455?  Please comment below and let us know!


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