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Rough Start: This Screaming Chicken Is Looking For It’s New Home

Rough Start: This Screaming Chicken Is Looking For It’s New Home

The next Rough Start find takes me to my hometown, Colorado Springs, Colorado. From the mountains to the prairie, from Fountain to North Academy, this city is teeming with great sheetmetal. The warm mountain/high desert climate helps preserve these cars in decent condition, and the city’s use of ash and red rock instead of salt in the winter contributes to many decent older cars available.


The 3rd gen Pontiac Trans Am was one of the best deals of the ‘80s. The chickens on the hood weren’t the only things screaming…indeed, one could see the embers of the horsepower war start to glow a little brighter here. While the four cylinder (GAK!) and base V6 had all the motivation of a land tortoise on Quaaludes, the turbo V6, borrowed from the troublemakers over at Buick, was finding it’s way into the GTA. The 305 was torquey enough to be interesting, and a lot of people were shoving older 350s into these ‘Birds to make them move properly. Aerodynamic, aggressive looking, and finally a decent handler with good brakes, the Firebird and Trans Am is a great start for a first ride.

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This ’86 sits up in the mountains a few miles away from the Springs in Divide. The downsides? The plastic body pieces from the forward edges of the front fenders appears to be AWOL, and the torque converter in the 700R4 (!) has called it a day. The bonuses include a Corvette 350 (hell, any 350 will do), the 700R4 itself, four wheel discs, a Flowmaster exhaust kit, and T-tops…because you want to be seen in this blue screamer. The hood bird is a bit faded, but overall the car should clean up nicely. It also sports the GTA-style taillights, which I prefer over the layered taillights normally offered. You even get a set of Mickey Thompson ET Streets for rear tires!


This Trans Am has a great buy-in price at $2K, and other than the torque converter, as far as I’m concerned, is ready to rock. The bodykit is up to you, but the good bits are there, and it’s before that irritating chip-in-the-key system that pissed off a lot of GM owners.

Find this Bird for sale here

 If I had the money and space my ass would be on a plane right now. What about you?


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4 thoughts on “Rough Start: This Screaming Chicken Is Looking For It’s New Home

  1. Roger Felling

    That one is in better shape than the 83 T/A I am restoring. I bought it several years ago for $1100, but Minnesota isn’t known for holding back on the salt…

    If I didn’t have the 83, and had the cash, I would be all over that!

  2. crazy

    eck.. stick to mopars… the ail lights are 1985-90 t/a ALL T/A’S f body’s 3rd gens if you are going to make it go.. you don’t want t tops..
    The chip in the key is a PLUS on these cars.. as the door glass can be pulled out enough to put arm in and unlock door, and g.m.’s plastic tilt column is a 2 second screwdriver to start car.. and bye bye…
    An 88-89 would be my choice as they look the same but got a bunch of the LE1 parts with no t tops.. and a 305 and a stick.. as you could not get a 350 with a stick.. and more likely to have the 9 bolt rear..

  3. Tom Slater

    I’ve been looking at 3rd gen F-bodys a lot lately. Old rich guys have priced most of us out of the 60s / 70s muscle car hobby but these 80s vehicles aren’t collectible yet. Might never be. They do make a damn good starting place for a hot rodder, though.
    If I had the money, I’d be all about it.

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