We’ve been talking a lot about the new Hemmings Auctions venture in recent weeks, and now it’s finally active, with live auctions racking up bids for the first batch of vehicles. Among that group is a car that ought to grab attention not only from muscle fans, but for anyone who paid any mind to cars in the ’70s. The silver 1977 Pontiac Trans Am currently garnering bids was the very first car to go live on Hemmings Auctions, and now the seller has decided to pump up the excitement around our debut offering by dropping his reserve. That means this car is going to sell at whatever the highest bid winds up being when it closes on Monday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. This could prove to be a great deal for someone—here’s why:
Pontiac’s Trans Am had gained hero status during the 1977 model year, thanks to its appearance in that year’s hit movie, Smokey and the Bandit, but even without Hollywood’s helping hand, the ’77 Trans Am stood tall. It was one of Detroit’s last muscle car holdouts, still offering a large-displacement V-8 and was also gaining notoriety as a quite competent handler, building its appeal with the motoring press and the buying public. The prominent positioning as Burt Reynold’s prized mount just ensured that everyone knew.
The ’77 Firebirds were the first to use rectangular headlamps, which the stylists incorporated in the new front end to great effect, making a then seven-year-old body design look contemporary and aggressive. Though it was the first year for the model after the loss of the 455-cu.in. engine, Pontiac had conjured a new version of the 400 V-8 that matched the 200-hp rating of the bigger engine from the previous year. Plus, alloy wheels were finally on the Firebird’s option sheet, with the new 15 x 7-inch “snowflake” design replacing the previous “honeycomb” wheels, which had been produced to give the appearance of cast wheels, but were actually steel with a poly-cast plastic-type material on the face.
This particular ’77 Trans Am has been live for a few days now. The Sterling Silver finish highlighted by red-trimmed graphics is a great combination, and the seller, one of the specialty car dealers Hemmings has worked with for years, was responsible for the car’s recent refinish. They told us the car appeared to have its original paint when they acquired it, though it was thin and the decals were worn. However, they also told us that seeing the car in that state allowed them to assess the excellent original condition of the factory body panels. This car started life with its first owner in Georgia, and the sellers found it years later in Florida, which seems to jibe with the photos of the undercarriage that show some of the factory reddish primer. We’re told this car needed no rust repair, which is unusual for any second-generation F-body.
Inside you’ll find the Firethorn red “Custom Trim Group” deluxe interior, which features Pontiac’s “horse-collar” front bucket seats. We were impressed with the condition of everything inside the cabin after viewing the images, especially the Formula steering wheel and the dashboard—both items are notorious for cracking and deteriorating in the sun. One interesting interior tidbit that can be gleaned from the reproduction window sticker is the listing of the “Radio Accommodation Package,” which would have yielded a car with no radio, but with an antenna and wiring. This was something a consumer would have checked off if he or she were intending to install an aftermarket stereo, yet this Trans Am has a correct factory AM/FM unit. The current seller reports that the unit was there when they acquired the car, so perhaps a previous owner located the right unit for this car.
This Trans Am also has the optional W72 “T/A 6.6” 200-hp engine, which a previous owner is said to have had rebuilt, reportedly using a “mild” performance camshaft during that process. Even a slightly upgraded camshaft will make a difference in the output of this 400, as the factory was being very conservative at the time to appease the emissions standards of the time. The conventional dual exhaust system that has been added to this car should pair nicely with the slightly hotter cam.
The seller also claims that this Trans Am has a numbers-matching engine and added photos to the listing to show the block stampings. A shot of the trim tag and VIN was also included, and a walk-around video may be added to the listing soon. The guys offering the car are Trans Am enthusiasts and tell us this car is a time machine for anyone who ever cruised in a second-gen T/A back in the day. It’s hard to find examples of these cars that haven’t been messed with, and many suffered from body rot issues. This one seems well worth a look, and you’ll find it exclusively on the Hemmings Auctions page.