This rare convertible Firebird Trans Am barn find is in terrible shape, but could turn into a very rare classic
There’s a convertible Pontiac Firebird Trans Am for sale in Long Beach, California.
We came across this Craigslist add this morning showing a 1981 Trans Am convertible, and it peaked our curiosity. We didn’t think Pontiac had ever made a convertible second-gen Firebird Trans Am.
The first-generation Firebird did have a convertible model offered until 1969 of which roughly 40,000 units were built. There was even an ultra-rare 1969 Firebird Trans Am convertible with just 8 units built.
But when the second generation Firebird arrived in 1970, Pontiac pulled the convertible and only offered the coupe on both regular Firebirds and Trans Am models. In fact, a Pontiac-built Firebird convertible didn’t return until 1989.
So this particular 1981 Pontiac Trans Am convertible appears to be an oddity, and quite rare even before the roof was cut. Featuring the optional 4.9-litre turbo, it packed 210 horsepower and 345 pound-feet of torque, significantly more than the 140-horsepower naturally-aspirated engine offered standard at the time.
And the fact that it is a convertible conversion could make this example quite valuable to anyone who wants to restore it.
As for who did the conversion, the add doesn’t say. We did uncover this add from American Convertible Corporation that offered Trans Am conversions through dealerships, marketing them as great “traffic builders”.
The idea was that by converting a Firebird to a convertible, people would flock in from the street.
So maybe that’s what happened here. Unfortunately, the car has sat idle and unloved for over 30 years, so whoever buys it will have their work cut out for them. Once restored, however, they will have a rare piece, very rare indeed.