Wham, Bam, Thank you, Trans Am

July 1st, 2020 Chris Phillip
Wham, Bam, Thank you, Trans Am
The Smokey and the Bandit years may make the 1977-1979 Trans Ams the most famous of the feathered lot, but several years earlier, Pontiac refused to admit that the muscle-car era had ended with a special-order-only Trans Am that recalled the power and the glory of the 1960s.

It was called the Super Duty 455, or SD-455, for short, and it gave the Trans Am the performance its name deserved. Each SD-455 engine was hand-built by Pontiac's best with special connecting rods heading up a beefy reciprocating assembly capable of handling gobs more power than the low-compression 108cc heads the purpose-built 455ci engines came with.

Performance nuts knew that slapping on a set of earlier, high-compression Ram Air IV 72cc heads transformed the 1973 and 1974 Trans Am SD-455 into a 500 horsepower monster. It was the last of the Pontiac division's old-school muscle cars.

This museum-quality example listed by Ryno Classifieds seller Bill Dengel sports a concours restoration, which recall how this tarmac-taming Trans Am looked when on a Pontiac dealer's new-car showroom in the glory days. With a color combination of Buccaneer Red over a white interior, this Trans Am is not only a real performer it's a real looker, too.