20k: Turbo Pace Car: 1989 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition

If you own a car with the words “Official Pace Car of the Indianapolis 500” on the doors you are going to have a few conversations that go like this.  Random dude: Wow, so that car was used as the pace car at Indy…which year? You: Well…it is actually a commemorative version of the pace car.  Random dude: So the folks at Indy paid to have that on the side as advertisement..?  You: No…actually the buyer had to pay more for this option…  Random dude: Oh. If this kind of exchange gets you excited, you can pick up your own 1989 Pontiac Trans Am Special Edition for $19,495 Buy It Now on ebay in West Jordan, UT with 2 days to go.

One part of me wants to scoff at the notion of a $20k 3rd generation Firebird…but the other part of me thinks this thing is pretty cool.  It’s got only 19k miles on the clock, looks perfect and is powered by a Buick turbo V6…that’s gotta count for something…right?

1989 was the only year of Firebird production when you could get something other than a V8 under the hood of the Trans Am spec of the Bird — and this is it, a 3.8 liter turbocharged Buick V6 borrowed from the Grand National and rated at 250 horsepower and 350 ft-lbs of torque.  Even mated to an automatic transmission the Turbo Trans Am was capable of ripping off 0-60mph times in around 5.0 seconds. 

The inside is a feast of ’80s technology; just get a look at that steering wheel, covered in thick grey buttons like an Atari 2600.  The tan seats will keep your rear firmly planted as the 1LE suspension keeps the Trans Am flat in the curves.  It won’t actually be a bad car to drive fast, even with the slushbox. 


See a better way to spend your cash on a low mile classic? tips@dailyturismo.com