1985 Pontiac Trans Am Experimental

Chassis Num: EX4796
Sold for $35,200 at 2010 RM Sothebys.
The Kammback concept, a bodystyle that was similar to a station-wagon, supposedly originated in Europe. They had a squared-off back end that performed well in wind-tunnel testing, providing functional airflow efficiency for reduced drag. This translated into higher speeds and better fuel economy at highway speeds. The design almost made it into production for the 1970 Firebird and Camaro. Though the design did not make it into production, the idea remained with the GM Tech Center design and engineering circles for many years. In 1979, a Trans Am show car version appeared, followed by two experiment 1985 Trans Am Kammbacks that even made it onto the cover of Motor Trend.

The squared-off Kammback design was bolted right on in place of the all-glass hatchback of the production Trans Am, including the latching. The idea remained a concept and never made it into production.

This example was a test mule for some time before being recruited for special body treatment by GM designers. It was later stored at GM for 13 years until a local Pontiac dealer and collector was able to acquire it. It is equipped with the 190 horsepower, 305 cubic-inch HO (high output) V8 option and a four-speed manual transmission.

Most GM experimental cars were doomed to meet the crusher, but luckily some escaped.

This example has been given a professionally restoration. In 2007, it was acquired by the O'Quinn Collection.

This vehicle has a white exterior and a dove gray leather interior. Even the floor pan bottoms of the undercarriage are painted white.

In 2010, this vehicle was offered for sale at the Automobiles of Amelia Island auction presented by RM Auctions. It was estimated to sell for $50,000 - $80,000 and offered without reserve. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $35,200 including buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2011
Chassis Num: EX4796
Sold for $35,200 at 2010 RM Sothebys.
From 1967 - 2002, the Pontiac Firebird was recognized as one of the neatest Pony Cars ever built. Throughout the years, the Firebird and especially the Trans Am were cars young men dream of.

Taking things a step further, the Pontiac Motor Division has always been known for unique and flashy concept cars. Even back in the 1950s, Pontiac featured cars like the Club deMar, the Banshee and the earliest Firebird concepts, which were powered by Turbine engines.

In the 1980s, budgets were not what they once were, but Pontiac would make the most of it. After creating an early version of a Kammback style Trans Am in the late 1970s, Pontiac took the 'what if?' idea into the 1980s with the factory built one-off special.

Dubbed the Kammback Concept, EX4796 is one of the few true factory design studies that made it into public hands. After being shown extensively, it was used as the Official Pace Car for the 1985 PPG and IMSA race series, sporting a roof mounted light bar. After thirteen years of storage in the Pontiac Engineering car collection, it was then sold to Pontiac dealer and collector John McMullen. It has been restored to its original glory by Scott Tiemann of Supercar Specialties and is currently part of the Pro Team Special Collection.
Produced by Pontiac, a division of General Motors, the Pontiac Trans Am was based on the Firebird coupe body style and built on the F-body platform.

The last high-performance muscle motor from the original muscle car generation was the Firebird Trans Am with the 455 motor.

In 1971 appearing first as the 455-HO, the 455 motor was introduced.

The SD-455, a unique version of the 455 was offered I n 1973 and lasted one year. Using the leftover components from Pontiac's 366 NASCAR engine, it was built as a full bore racing engine.

With the ability to produce over 540 horsepower, the SD-455 had to be toned down to satisfy the EPA and meet GM's strict horsepower policy which required all GM vehicles to hold the HP under 300.

Though producing in final form, 371 HP SAE NET, approximately 440 gross horsepower, the PMD engineers listed the SD-455 at 290 HP. The ease with which it could be returned to its 500+ horsepower form was what made this engine so unique.

Some consider this SD-455 to be the most powerful factory Pontiac engine to ever be produced.

Offered for a few more years, the restrictions on vehicle emissions eventually became too much to the producers.

With only a total of 7,100 units produced with the 455 engine, the 1976 Trans Am was the final of the 'Big Cube Birds'.

The Trans Am was a strong effort to appeal to the growing muscle car population in the late 1960's.

The Pontiac Firebird was produced from 1967 until 2002. Both the Trans Am and Firebird were discontinued in 2002, though the body is still utilized in the IROC Racing Series.

The first generation of the Pontiac Trans Am was only available in 1969 and came with an optional handling package called the Trans Am Performance and Appearance Package, named after the Trans-Am Series. The package cost a total of $725.

Because the name was used without prior permission, the SCCA threatened to sue GM. The deal was settled by GM offering to pay $5 per every Trans Am sold.

689 hardtop models and eight convertibles were produced in the first year of production. In the same year, an additional Ram Air IV engine option for the 400 in³ to complement the Ram Air II.

Production of first generation models continued longer than one year, actually totally 17 months. The first generation models were differentiated from the Camaro by its four round headlights compared to the Camaro's two.

The Second generation was available from 1970 until 1981.

From 1982 until 1992, the third generation of Trans Am was introduced.
Available from model years 1993 until 1997, the fourth generation Trans Am offered anywhere from 275 to 305 horsepower as a result of the LT1 Small block aluminum headed engine.

By Jessica Donaldson
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