My 1973 Trans Am 455


My amazing little man, my art, and the car. Yes I love this pic

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A 1973 Hot Rod Magazine article and the intro right below the title states “If both cars were the same price, the choice would be difficult. But at half the price, the Trans Am is twice the car”


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A 455 was the ONLY engine offered in 1973 Trans Ams.. and the legendary Super Duty 455 was only available in 73 and 74. In a side note for car guys, insurance companies subtract 20% for non matching numbers cars. Since they are always trying to get away with paying as little as possible when having to pay for a totaled classic car, IMO 20% is a reasonably solid number to go by. Also see my article about how Matching Number Cars has lost its meaning

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Notice the ZZ Top key chain I picked up at my 2nd ZZ concert. If you grew up on MTV when it was actually about videos and music, then you know why this is perfect for hanging in any  fast red dream car

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I sure miss that old 1969 Bonneville Convertible 428

(underlined things are just about my car, not all 73s)

Total production of 1973 Trans Ams is an ULTRA  RARE 4,802
One of less than 12,000 total TAs 70-73  compared to 77-79  years total 279,000 TAs. That’s 27 to 1 of all 70 – 73 style vs. 77-79 and 56 to 1 of this 73 TA
5th year for Trans Am
Last year for chrome rear bumper
Last year for this style front end and rear end
Last year of the P O N T I A C metal letters on rear
Rubber coated steel 70-76 Honeycomb wheels, not the 77-79 Snowflake
2nd to last year of fast back body with little rear window
73 is only year out of 70-73 front end that met the new GM 5mph bumper law
First year of big hood bird option
All 70-72s were blue or white with blue or white stripe so this is
first year in red.
73s came in Buccaneer Red, Cameo White (this car originally), Brewster Green
1973 TAs could only be purchased with a 455 or an SD 455
370hp 1970 455 H.O. 4 barrel w/AC. The first year for Pontiac 455 and only year high 10:1 stock compression, An RV cam was used because the only difference in this and the 390HP version of this engine in 1970 was the cam that added 20HP, 48k miles on stock bore rebuild
Turbohydromatic 400 Transmission (complete rebuild spring 2016)
Big Block 455 has 3 ¼ in. crank compared to the 400’s 3 in crank
Pontiac 455 blocks were drilled for 4 bolt mains but used 2 bolt standard.  Due to the low rpms of big blocks it simply didn’t need it
Safe-T-Track posi rear end 3:08 rear gear
160 speedometer, 8,000 Tach
750 Quadrajet 4 bbl professionally rebuilt to specs by GM in Detroit
Mallory Points HEI distributor, Supercoil
Flowmaster mufflers, Larger diameter Dual stainless steel exhaust
Factory 4 Core radiator
Factory Pontiac flex fan
Large stainless exhaust with Flowmasters. Straight duals were factory until 74
73 Trans Ams appear in the  selection on a lot of racing video games
73 and 74 were the only 2 years of the Super Duty Trans Ams. the only thing needed to clone is the SD 455 decal on the shaker scoop.. and an SD engine. But since only about 400 were ever made, and required Pontiac
Barrett Jackson recently sold a 73 SD for $185,000
Larger functional rounded style shaker scoop on engine. Style only used 70-76
Original steel bow type headliner, they are so tough this one proves it
Foot headlight dimmer switch. I believe 77 was last year but maybe 78 was last
Heavy duty loop pile carpet like 60s cars, not the later 70’s fuzzy type carpet
This car was 3 years before the first T-top TAs
Non retracting 2 piece upper/lower seat belt that is folded and tucked overhead by hand
older CD player but dash is UNCUT and ready for an original radio
73 – 77 TA’s are the only years of the deep Horse collar bucket seats
Close ratio steering will turn around on a dime
First year for RTS Radial Tuned Suspension
73 has huge front and rear sway bars and heavy duty suspension
classic dependable roll up windows..I had electric windows fail in a serious Miami rain storm on an amazing date, never again lol…but the date still went great btw

It starts up perfect and runs smooth. The car does need restoration and has rust on the rockers, lower rear quarters and front area in the bottom of the floor pans, frame rails and trunk are solid. The interior overall is nice but not perfect.
I am open to trades but be realistic. Cars I like:
1977 Y82 Trans Am
1964-72 GTO,
1957-62 Cadillac
1965 Chevelle SS, 1966 Impala SS, 1959 Bonneville, 1963-64 Bonneville, 1969 or 70 GTO Judge, 67 Firebird Convertible. 1971-74 Cuda, 68-69 Charger, 1970 Super Bee, 1968-70 Road Runner,

A dream car and solid investment with NC Title in hand in my name… I am not in a tight spot so cash and/or trade up front only and NO BS, I don’t mind owning this amazing car another 20 years.

May 2015 Price comparison to see the book value difference in these other legendary cars.

1969 Dodge Charger with 440  “General Lee”

1977 “Bandit” Y82 Special Edition Trans Am


NOW THIS 73 WITH OPTIONS ADDED: Figures from NADA adding options of a mid level 455, AC option (not in car now), and rally wheels. In a side note for car guys, insurance companies subtract 20% for non matching numbers cars. Since they are always trying to get away with paying as little as possible when having to pay for a totaled classic car, IMO 20% is a reasonably solid number to go by. Also see my article about how Matching Number Cars has lost its meaning

NADA Classic Care Blue Book values in November 2011
Low Value                  $18,427
Average Value         $31,185
High Value                 $57,240

AUG, 2012                                   Appreciation (in 9 months)
Low Value                   $18,832          +405    since Nov 2011
Average Value         $32,130          +945    since Nov 2011
High Value                 $58,320         +1080   since Nov 2011

APRIL 2014                           Appreciation (in only 2.5 years)
Low Value                   $21,600          +$3,173   Since Nov 2011
Average Value          $42,255          +$10,125
High Value                  $71,280          +$12,960


Low Value                $24,435
Average Value       $47,115
High Value               $78,570


OTHER 1973 TRANS AM STUFF… Floor pans (and seat rails) are different in 70-74 Firebirds and Camaros because there was no hump for the catalytic converter. Being a non catalytic converter car means 2 straight pipes from the factory that can allow the engine to breath. This huge detail is overlooked completely by classic car buyers these days (odd too with emissions testing becoming more common all the time) when being a 74 or earlier (non California car that is) it used to be an instant factor in buying an older car, but when hooked to an emissions tester you might be looking at a big expense to get them street legal in some states. 70-72 Trans Ams only came blue with white stripe or white with blue stripe. 73 was last year of this front and back end, only year of the 70-73 Trans Ams that 3 colors were offered. Buccaneer Red (first red Trans Am), Cameo White, and Brewster Green. The large bird was and option and 1973 was the first time for this “Screaming Chicken” decal, an unmistakable 70’s icon, to ride was on this 73 model year.

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MOVIE STAR CAR like the one at the beginning of “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot” in the early 70’s with Jeff Bridges and Clint Eastwood. This is Clint Eastwood’s 1973 (non SD like mine) in a auto museum


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David Carradine drove a 73 TRANS AM in Cannonball.

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John Wayne drove a Brewster Green 73 TA in the movie McQ in 1974.


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…and we cant forget Ponch’s 73 with the Formula hood and a shaker on C.H.I.P.S.


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Chuck Norris drove a 73 TA in Eye for an Eye 1980


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Cool cartoon TV show that was short lived and they drove a 73 .



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RARELY FOR SALE, and even the lower level firebirds of this year are going for unreal money, I am always searching the southeast for these cars on Craigslist and Ebay and the pic below below are copies of the very few I have seen online over the last few years. NOTICE!! PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE NUMBERS IN THE ADS SINCE MANY ARE A FEW YEARS OLD!!! The best way to find if it is still available is to go to the craigslist area shown in the pictures and search for it.


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THE ONE AND ONLY 73 TA IN BLACK. Without it, the “Screaming Chicken” hood bird would have been roast duck.




… so this must be a replica of that one black and gold car that allowed the hood bird to finally get approval (as mentioned in the article above). I would have a hard time painting a red, green, or white ’73 TA Starlight black, a car that they only made 1/20th as many as the 76 and 77 black and gold Special Edition year Trans Ams. Plus ’73 had factory dual exhaust with no converter, and was the first year of 2 for the Super Duty 455, 160 speedo, little rear window.. the list goes on for a mile. As much as I love the “German” lettering (1933) and color scheme.. As most Trans Am guys do that have a rarer year model, you get tired of hearing “bandit” every time someone sees the hood bird and (larger than 77) shaker scoop.. and its not even black and gold. So multiply by 100 the number of times someone would mistake my unicorn for just a Clydesdale lol.. its bad enough when I hear comparisons to a small block Camaro hehe.   So anyway, no way could I do this to a 73… this is probably a clone firebird or something anyway, and since you cant see the rear window or rear lights, this could be as late as and 81 model with a 73 nose, shaker, hood, and steel Honeycomb wheels instead of aluminum Snowflake wheels.



Rare 455 extra large body supports and suspension “Body by Fisher” old style door sill plates Front fender air extractors – vacuums heat off engine and sucks front end down to keep it from lifting on air at speeds over 120 MPH.  (This was a very big problem for the Corvettes.) Manual roll up windows (for no electrical problems ever) 1 of only 4 years with fastback body (non wrap around rear window) Chrome rear bumper (70-73 only) 73 is only year center of nose has reinforced to meet GM’s 5mph bumper safety and insurance requirements. First and only year that nose had no bumper but were reinforced to meet GMs 5mph bumper law Chrome and white P-O-N-T-I-A-C metal name on rear taillight panel 70-73 only Rear Spoiler (wing) – 50 lbs of  airflow down force to rear end at 70 MPH. Body Wheel Flairs Front Air Spoiler – helps keep air from building up under front of car at high speeds. Functional “Shaker” hood scoop (round tall type 70-76 only) so called because it is attached to engine and “shakes” through hole in hood when at idle and gassed Body color Bullet side view mirrors/ Drivers side remote  – TA standard option Heavy Steel gas cap


First year for the “RTS” Pontiac’s Radial Tuned Suspension Heavy Duty front and rear sway bars Heavy Duty shocks and springs


Factory BLACK “Swiss Cheese” Rally Steering Wheel,  14:1 High ratio steering box Black Vynl Interior 160 MPH Speedometer 8,000 RPM Tach Aluminum turned dash bezel modeled after B-52 Bomber cockpit Dash Grab Bar (“Oh Sh*t” Bar) handle on dash for passenger Gas/Oil Pressure Guage, Water Temperature guage, Amp Meter Bucket Seats,Console,Floor shifter, Loop style heavy duty GM carpet Old style non retracting seat belts (folds up into clips overhead) Bright headlight foot switch – keeps hands free to drive Metal bow type headliner that will not sag


Buccaneer Red (first year for red, 70-72 were blue w/white stripe or white w/ blue stripe Original Paint – Cameo White with Blue hood bird and name decals First year of Hood bird “Screamin Chicken” decal (Big bird extra priced option or TA got the 70-72 little nose bird decal) “455” engine shaker scoop decals


15” x 8”  Honeycomb Rubber/Steel composite wheels-Special editions w/ original stainless trim rings (One of the first, if not the first, composite wheels made on any car) Honeycomb spare in trunk


Air Conditioning (not in car), Power steering , Power Disc brakes. Roll up windows

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