Brett Mauk

As an automobile enthusiast, it was sad to see General Motors pull the plug on the era of Trans Ams and Pontiac. With that being said, it is nice to once again see GM building Camaros. I also have to complement Chrysler on the new Challenger. They did a superb job merging the heritage of its past with the present day car that we see today. Perhaps, the success of the resurgent Ford Mustang is the reason that GM and Chrysler are once again marketing muscle cars that borrow from their past. The success of marketing these muscle cars have captured the imagination of a new generation and evoked memories for those who grew up in the 60’s and 70’s.

Some of these vehicles have made it to the big screen…just like the “Bandit” Trans Am did in the 70’s. Examples are the 2007 Shelby Mustang used in I am Legend starring Will Smith and a Mustang Police Cruiser was in the movie Transformers. But, we know that star of the movie Transformers was the 2010 Camaro. GM even put out a special edition car for the general public to purchase. But, I am not sure the movie marketing success of the 1977 Bandit Trans Am will ever be surpassed!

Let me convey a little history and a few details of the Trans Ams that you will be viewing in my portion of the album on this website. The first Trans Am that I purchased was a 1976 50th Anniversary Trans Am with t-tops. It was a very nice car with 34,000 miles and I sold it to a friend of mine who has put the car in a museum.

Shortly after selling the ‘76 Trans Am, I had the bug again and purchased my first 1977 Trans Am SE with 36,000 miles. This was a rare car with original paint, decals and interior. It was undercoated when new and is rust-free. This Trans Am has most available options other than the 8-track and cruise control. It does have the T-tops, power windows, locks, etc. In addition, it has the rare rear console.

Soon thereafter, I was driving down county line road near my home and saw another 1977 Trans Am sitting in the front yard of a couple who are in their 80’s. Their daughter purchased the car new from Davis Pontiac in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This Trans Am SE is rather unusual because it has a rather rare set of options, or lack of options. It was originally a radio delete with no windshield antenna. It has the standard interior, no power windows or locks, and no snowflake wheels. Instead, it had the rare option N-67 Rally II Wheels!  It does have air conditioning, cruise control and T-Tops. The build sheet was located behind the back seat and is posted for your review on the following pages.

As mentioned, it was sad to see GM drop the curtain on Pontiac. In the end Pontiac was still making some fine automobiles. The G-8 was incredible. Wouldn’t it have been nice to see that evolve with All-Wheel drive? The Grand Prix GXP with the North Star V-8 was probably the most under-marketed car ever built. Did you know the 2005-2008 Grand Prix had drilled rotors, a V-8 engine that dropped to 4 cylinders when cruising the highway, 18 inch alloy wheels, a heads-up display that projected GPS information onto the windshield, paddle shifters like a Ferrari, fold down rear and passenger seats that enabled you transport items over 8’ long, and horsepower that would put firmly plant you back in the seat when kicking down the accelerator?  Don’t feel badly if you didn’t; some sales people at GM dealerships weren’t aware of what this car had to offer, either. The GM division that successfully marketed the Trans Ams of yesterday failed to get out the word on their best efforts and wasted resources on epic failures such as the Aztec.

Please enjoy viewing the photos of the cars and make your journey a safe one,

Brett Mauk

My Photo Gallery