Despite the name, the Trans Am was never eligible for the race series of the same name, thanks to the fact the smallest engine available was too large for the series regulations, and as part of the licensing agreement, GM agreed to pay the SCCA $5 per car sold to use the Trans Am name.
Perhaps the most famous version of the Trans Am appeared in the 1977 movie; Smokey and the Bandit – this gave GM a worldwide audience as Burt Reynolds made the Trans Am a screen legend.
The Trans Am was a specially developed package for the Firebird, it upgraded the handling, brakes, suspension and horsepower. It also included modifications to the bodywork; exclusive hoods, spoilers, fog lights and wheels.
1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Design
This is the archetypal 70’s muscle car from America; long, low, fat rubber and V8 soundtrack – perfection. Of course, the huge decal on the hood of the Firebird helped to cement the look of mean and moody – this vehicle was responsible for turning many a school child onto fast cars and V8’s.
1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Interior
Separate bucket seats, full instrument cluster with round dials and plenty of vinyl; pretty much the same recipe for any 70’s American muscle car.
1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Specs
The ’70 and ’71 Trans Am were the first to feature an embedded antenna in the glass of the windshield for an AM Radio – that was considered the very height of technology at the time! The Trans Am was built upon the same platform as the new Camaro and they shared some major componentry.
Wheelbase: 108.2” Length: 196.8” Width: 73.4” Height: 49.3”
1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Performance
A 455cid (7.4 liter) V8 badged as H.O. (High Output) delivered 335 BHP to the rear wheels. This was good enough for a zero to sixty time of 5.9 seconds and a ¼ mile drag in 13.9 seconds with a speed of 103 MPH – pretty quick, even by today’s standard.
1971 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Collectability and price
We’ve seen prices ranging from $6,700 for one that needs a lot of work, all the way up to $94,000 for a full body off restoration. However, averagely, you can expect to pay $15,000 for a fair example and up to around $50,000 for something closer to perfection.
There were just 2,116 Trans Am’s sold in 1971, so finding a decent example is getting harder and the prices are beginning to reflect that; if you’re looking for a Trans Am, now’s the time to get looking before prices get too high.