For 17 years I lived in Enid, Oklahoma. Great little town, BTW. At one time I even owned and operated a full service cigar lounge there. I could go on about the downtown dinning and live theatre but it wasn't all roses and sunshine in Enid. There was a horrible dark secret. Something so damn sad yet I'd wager it went unnoticed by most who lived there. Imagine a homeless hoarder that lived in a broken down van. A broken down van that limped around, it's engine coughing and wheezing with the exhaust system hanging low held on by wire hanger. Now imagine this van is a white 25th anniversary Pontiac Trans Am with T-tops. I'd see this car packed with debris almost daily, everywhere around town, often outside the public library. I'd be driving my Challenger SRT8 or Wrangler Rubicon, which is to say my garage was full. Yet I wanted to save this poor car. I felt sick seeing it. Wondering what if some young gun good with wrenches owned it. MY GOD MAN DRIVE A CAMRY!
Apologies, I'll get a hold of my self. 1994 was a good year for the Trans Am which like many American sporting machines was rising from the ashes of the malaise dumpster fire. It was also the 25th anniversary of the Poncho pony car legend. Pontiac product planners wanted to celebrate with something appropriately special. 2,000 limited edition 25th Anniversary package cars were allotted. They all sold quickly. They all were painted white with a blue stripe as a homage to the original first year 1969 Trans Am. Speaking to High Performance Pontiac, design chief Jack Folden mentioned the design team being proud of the new 1993 body. So they wanted to be careful not to over badge the car, letting the new body work be the star. Jack also mentioned that in the late '80s and early '90s Pontiac was doing a lot with body colored wheels. So white 16x8 inch wheels were a no brainer.
All 25th Anniversary models started as a fully optioned Trans Am GT. Then received the mainly aesthetic commemorative upgrades. All were equipped with the relatively new LT1 engine from the Corvette, good for 300 horse power. Due to the F-Body's more restrictive intake and exhaust the 350 cid engine made 275 horse power in the T/A, with a compression ratio of 10.5:1. A four speed automatic or six speed manual were the transmission choices. Good for low to mid 14 second 1/4 mile times. A nice driver should set you back around $13.5K with an excellent #2 car around $18K. Maybe offer the offer the homeless guy $2.5K and the old Camry your kid doesn't drive anymore?
Looking around there are decent deals to be had. You have to skim past the dreamers priced way out of line.
In the heyday of the muscle car era there were plenty of rare odd pieces. Factory Built Freaks, Supplier Shop Specials, Hi-Po Dealership Monsters with a warranty. This didn't end during the Disco Era. In many ways the specialty shops, conversion houses were the route to get serious performance, turn key on day one. These smaller firms didn't have exactly the same regulatory hurdles that the big OE guys had to jump. Still, insurance and gas crisis scares tended to make these special models more of a handling and appearance package.
That is what we appear to have here. When the Grabber package for your Maverick just wasn't enough...behold Drag 'N Fly.
According to texasgrabber.com, a Ford Maverick enthusiast site. 400 of these souped-up Mavericks were built in 1974. The cars arrived at Eagle Coach Company of Dallas TX as Maverick Grabbers, 302 V8, floor shifted C4 automatic transmission, high back buckets. Eagle Coach would sit a Holley 4 barrel atop an aluminum intake, also adding dual exhaust. The rest of the package was the radical nose, spoiler, decals and stripes. Many of these were sold out of Eagle Lincoln- Mercury in Dallas, TX. The appearance items were available as a kit for order at your local Ford and L-M dealership, $995 installed or DIY for $750.
Ever see one? Own one? Have a story about one beating your SS Chevelle at a stop light? Drop us comment below.
I've had an itch the last few weeks for a late 1980's Trans Am, with T-tops of course. Both a 1989 Trans Am GTA and a standard Trans Am have come up in my deal searching lately. I also have a short list on why right now is not the time for me to pick up one of these gems. Plenty of people find a great deal on a classic ride but for one reason or another can't afford the car. No matter how great the asking price. Can you afford to win one?
It turns out you might be able to, rabbit. Dream Giveaway Garage*, sells virtual online raffle tickets. Old school guys can get paper tickets delivered via the mail. The prizes are bad ass enthusiast cars mostly of the classic muscle variety. Dream Giveaway supports the New Beginning Children's Homes a 501 C 3 charity. So your tickets are tax deductible donations.
Bah, no one wins these things...
Turns out they do. Tony Lanzillotti of Lanz Oil, my go to guy on the 1978 Super Coupe restomod, won a 1977 Bandit Trans Am.
One of the current prize packages is a superior 1979 Bandit Trans Am and the $17,500 for taxes. Yes, Smokey and the Bandit was a better movie than the sequel but I always preferred the 1979 Tans Am. With it's forward look to the future nose and hidden tail lamps. This is a fully restored T/A signed by Burt Reynolds before his passing in September of 2018. This is a T-top, 37K original miles, 403 V8 numbers matching car. I've already got some tasteful mod plans for that '79 Trans Am because I'm going to drive it everywhere! I've already entered a few times my self.
A chance to win a Hellcat Challenger, Chevelle SS, 1972 Bronco, 1969 Mustang Mach 1 and more.
You gotta be in it to win it. Can you afford to win? Got three bucks?
*This post is not a paid endorsement of Dream Giveaway.
I have Barrett Jackson Scottsdale 2020 on my DVR. I have liked watching the big car auctions on TV for like a decade. I enjoy it like a Sunday full of great NFL games. I like to see the pretties and I like to keep a pulse on the market. Although the prices are skewed high at these auctions you still get a sense where the interest lies. I found myself fast forwarding lately through the muscle cars I grew up loving. Which got me thinking about where I'm at in the hobby. When I go to car shows big and small I find myself fast forwarding past the classic muscle cars. These days as a Mopar guy I'll walk right past an E-Body but stop to look at a T-top IROC Camaro.
I'm into drivers. Cars to have fun with on the road. The further removed from fun, from good times on the highways and country back lanes the less interested I become. Trailer Queens and rides that only do 1,320 feet at a time aren't my thing. Opening the sunroof or popping the T-tops, hearing a rumbling V8 as background to the Van Halen playing on the radio is good times. Owning a classic car you can modify and drive because you don't worry about its value is fun. The memories you make on the open road are fun. Those cars are the ones I pay attention to on the auction block, at the car show.
Those unloved and inexpensive door slammers, I dare say I'm addicted to them. I search for deals and I want to take them all home. I have a nice 78 Dodge Super Coupe but I still want a Volare Road Runner. Speaking of F-Bodies I really enjoy what The General has available. A sweet T-top 79 Z28 with the LS conversion? Sign me up! Is there an 86 Olds 442 for sale in my area?
So I'll be writing a lot about the Malaise Muscle Cars, the Disco Street Machines. I'll also cover everything else automotive from time to time, cars are a fascinating business. Just for example I'm impressed that GM made the mid-engine leap with the Corvette. What does FCA merging with Peugeot mean for the future HEMI powered Dodge Challenger and Charger? Self driving big rigs? Will I buy that 1989 T-top Trans Am in Massachusetts?
Buick GSX Stage 1, Chevelle SS 396, HEMI 'Cuda, Boss 429, Super Bee, some of the greatest muscle to ever rumble out of Detroit. This book is not about those cars. If you know what Languna S-3 is, if you lust for a T-top King Cobra or a Mirada with a 318 4 barrel, this book is for you. If you know nothing is more macho than a screaming chicken on your hood or that a Super Coupe comes in both Dodge and Plymouth flavors, this book is for you. Boogie down or Freebird, keep the bears off your tail and drive on. Coming soon.
John is a GenX car enthusiast who grew up driving classic muscle cars. He enjoys the new modern muscle cars that can out perform the classics in every way. In the sportscar world his banners are Viper and Corvette. John has a guilty pleasure. The disco era street machine. Those unloved, underpowered cars festooned with scoops, spoilers and stripes.