Low Mile 1977 Pontiac Trans Am SE Fetches $440K At Auction

Low Mile 1977 Pontiac Trans Am SE Fetches $440K At Auction

It wasn’t that long ago that rubber bumper F-bodies (and Corvettes) from the Seventies were the laughingstock of the collector car market. They had wimpy, emission-controlled engines and were considered garish next to their older chrome-bumpered brethren. Over the years, 1977-1981 F-bodies, with their war canoe styling, were unshackled from all that drama and became the darlings of the resto-mod movement.

These later-era F-bodies could be bought cheap and with an LS swap and modern rims, they were suddenly cool again. Rubber bumper Corvettes have not been treated as kindly. With rare exceptions, they are still the bottom feeders of the C3 ecosystem.

Of all of GM’s seventies smog mobiles, 1977-1978 Trans Am has benefited the most from the rubber bumper Rennaissance. Mostly, because it occupies a unique intersection that combines pop and automotive culture. Forever enshrined on celluloid in the movie Smoky and the Bandit, a black and gold Trans Am with Burt Reynolds and Sally Field behind the wheel is one of the most iconic images of the 20th century.

This Y92, black and gold  1977 Trans Am SE has just 14 original miles, making it the only brand new, unmodified Bandit T/A available today. Equipped with a 185hp Oldsmobile 6.6L V8 and a three-speed automatic transmission, it was considered a strong performer in its day.

The car definitely has new paint and decals, but the seller notes the interior, gold anodized dash, wheels, taped door sills, and Hurst glass t-tops are all original.

As the gavel fell at a selling price of $440K, even the screaming chicken on the hood gasped. I’m sure the talented designers at Pontiac knew their styling update of the aging Pontiac F-body was a success, but they had no clue that this car would continue to captivate generations of car lovers decades later.

What’s becoming clear these days is the cars of the malaise era seventies were the last hurrah of old school Detroit. Ridiculed for years, they are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Not because they were barn burner performance cars, but because they were the last of their kind.

Although late-era Firebird styling revisions resulted from government-mandated bumper standards, these cars were the last to be designed without five-star crash rating requirements, meddling focus groups, or hair-trigger legal departments.

Can you imagine any auto manufacturer today approving a bird of prey decal on the hood of a modern car?  It would probably be nixed by a committee that didn’t want to offend bird lovers. Maybe this Trans Am is worth every cent of $440k.

About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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