Nine Months Gone: 1987 Pontiac Trans Am GTA Convertible – Sold?

by | Jun 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Topless Thursday

August 11, 2022, Update – While this “Classifind” expired recently, given the seller’s past history we suspect may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

June 29, 2022 Update – The seller just replaced their latest expiring listing with a fresh Craigslist ad. In it, the description, pictures, and price all remain the same. 

June 12, 2022 Update – The seller just replaced their latest expiring listing with a fresh Craigslist ad. In it, the description, pictures, and price all remain the same. 

May 25, 2022 Update – We just confirmed that the seller lowered their asking price back to their fall ask of $17,000.

May 16, 2022 Update – Rad Era Editor Jeff Lavey spotted this rare ’87 Pontiac Trans Am GTA convertible once again for sale after apparently keeping it stored for the winter.  The seller subscribes to the “you can sell a convertible for more in the spring” as they raised price from their low of $17,000 last October to $19,000 currently.  Luckily, the Internet and Guys With Rides never forget a great ride, so you have an idea of what the seller’s floor is should you decide to pursue the purchase of this rare Trans Am.

November 10, 2021 Update – We just confirmed the listing for this “Classifind” expired, so with no replacement found we’re assuming this ride “Sold?” unless we come across a replacement listing.

By the late 1980s, technology combined with stable low gas prices was finally allowing automobile engineers to offer powerful V8s again. While it now shared Chevrolet’s 305 cubic inch and 350 cubic V8s, at least the Pontiac Trans Am was finally a bit more than just a tape stripe package.  1987 Pontiac upped the Trans Am ante a bit with the Gran Turismo American, or “GTA” package. Only 173 convertible versions were made that year, one of which is originally listed in October 2021 on Craigslist in Dearborn, Michigan (Detroit) appears to be a nice survivor quality example currently offered at $19,000 (the original ask last fall was $18,000).  Comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their Trans Am priced between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $10,700 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $19,100.

Here’s a nice summary of the 1987 Pontiac Trans Am GTA provided by the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool:

For the 1987 model year, there were not many major changes to the Pontiac Firebird, but there was the addition of the GTA and the dropping of the SE trim. The lineup now started with the Base Firebird, equipped with the V-6 engine. For all models, the center high stoplight was moved. It was now sandwiched between the decklid and rear spoiler.

All V-8 engines now received roller camshafts, spurred by demand for more power. The L69 V-8 engine was phased out and two 305 cid V-8s were offered, one with a four-barrel carburetor and one with tuned port fuel injection (TPI).

GM now offered the new 5.7L (350 cid) TPI engine. It made 210hp and 315 lb-ft of torque, and was only available with the automatic transmission. The smaller V-8s could be had with the 5-speed manual or automatic transmission. It was reported that this combination of 305 cid V-8 and manual was faster than the new top-dog motor. Many think this 350 is directly out of the C4 Corvette, but the ‘Vette used aluminum heads, while the Firebird used iron heads.

Pontiac debuted the Firebird GTA for 1987, or Grand Turismo Americano. It featured 16-inch gold wheels, seats with inflatable side bolsters and lumbar support, body-colored ground effects, and a unique horn button. It also featured the WS6 performance package, which included tighter-ratio steering, larger front and rear sway bars, and upgraded struts. ZR-rated tires would also come on later models with the WS6. That means you should be able to find ZR-rated tires for a WS6-equipped model for this year. The WS6 was available on the Firebird Formula as well.

A Pontiac Firebird Convertible was finally offered in 1987. Some coachbuilders had already been creating ragtop Firebirds, but in 1987 you could order one from a dealership. Interestingly, the process of converting the Firebird into a drop-top lowered the fuel economy, which would have incurred a gas-guzzler tax, so dealers would order a Firebird T-Top and ship it out to third-party ASC to perform the job. Just 173 were built in 1987, making them quite rare.”

The Betamax King YouTube Channel features this classic 1987 Pontiac Trans Am commercial that feels more like a cheesy rock video:

In our humble opinion, the aerodynamic bodies of the third generation Trans Ams have aged well. About the only thing letting us down on this example is the fact it’s saddled with the less desirable four-speed automatic. Otherwise, it appears to be a clean, unmolested example.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Selling my 1987 Pontiac Trans Am GTA convertible 5.0 car is in excellent condition has only 88,000 miles it’s a Texas car Nice original interior everything original on it except for True dual exhaust there were only 174 made of the convertible GTA in 1987 If interested, please contact me​

Show or go: what would you do with this survivor Trans Am GTA?  Comment below and let us know!


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