2023 01 27 Featured External Listing - 1978 Pontiac Trans Am 4-speed Manual - Collector Car Canada


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2023 01 27 Featured External Listing – 1978 Pontiac Trans Am 4-speed Manual
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2023 01 27 Featured External Listing – 1978 Pontiac Trans Am 4-speed Manual SE Clone

(no affiliation with CCC)

Fans of the late, great Burt Reynolds will know that this is the car he made famous in the 1977 pop culture classic “Smokey and the Bandit”.  In fact, following his 2018 death, a similar car he once owned was sold at auction.  The car was not used in the movie but, rather, given to him in appreciation of his role.  It sold in 2022 for US$495,000 plus fees.  This price is a far cry from the Porsche 928 driven by Tom Cruise in “Risky Business”, which checked in at over US$2 million with fees in 2021, but a substantial premium nonetheless.  Without the provenance of the Reynolds car, the owner of this example is not seeking six figures but it is looking to capitalize on the surge in values of and collector interest in second-generation Firebirds and Chevrolet Camaros of the past few years.

1978 Pontiac Trans Am SE Clone

CCC Vital Info – 1978 Pontiac Trans Am SE Clone

Odometer – 117,000 km shown
Engine Info – 400 c.i. V8
Transmission Info – 4-speed manual
Exterior Colour – Black with Gold trim
Interior Colour – Grey
Other features – Recent restoration, T-Tops, Refurbished wheels
Seller – Private
Model page
Note – For CCC live auctions, this space also includes:
a map link to seller location;
a Carfax report reference (1981 and newer); &
a lot number.

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The owner is upfront about the car not starting life as a Trans Am SE – thus, the moniker “Clone” in our title.  It rolled off the assembly line as a Y88 model, as opposed to the W72 it now mimics.  It was built as a gold Special Edition but is now finished in black with calligraphy-style Trans Am script in gold, like that of the movie car.  Most will agree, though, that the gold trim is more about the classic Firebird seen on the hood.  The body and paint restoration were done in 2022, photos of the process appear on the ad.  Two strips of metal were replaced at the base of each door as were floor pans; otherwise, sheet metal is original.  Five refurbished snowflake wheels have been fitted, in gold to complement the decal package.  They are wrapped in period-appropriate BFGoodrich radials with raised white lettering.


1978 Pontiac Trans Am SE Clone

Inside, there is a new headliner and stereo.  We are curious about the latter, some collectors prefer original, even if it means sacrificing some modern tech.  We are also curious about the appearance of the seats and carpets whose detailed photos were left on the cutting room floor.  The ad does set out the inclusion of new carpets, sound insulation and upholstery.  An interesting choice is that the restoration did not include reinstallation of air conditioning, as equipped by the factory – we don’t find it made redundant by the t-tops, though that is the seller’s message.  Other details were considered, seller notes new steering wheel spokes and gold dash bezel.

1978 Pontiac Trans Am SE Clone


This is not a numbers-matching car, the block was replaced before the restoration.  Powerplant is a 400 c.i. Pontiac engine.  Performance parts are said to have been installed but the description is a little short on details.  At the price sought, we would have expected some shots of the engine bay and underside but something to check out if going to see it in person.  The transmission has been swapped from the factory auto to a four-speed manual unit with Hurst shifter.  All wiring is said to have been replaced as well.

1978 Pontiac Trans Am SE Clone


Find this 1978 Pontiac Trans Am 4-speed Manual SE Clone on kijiji in South Hazelton, BC for $85,000.  We thank CCC follower James for sending it in.

Let Us Know What You Think!  (We love comments.  Ever owned one of these?  Got a story?  Is anyone tempted to go have a look?)

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