June 20, 2024

Classic Wheels Spotlight: 1971 Pontiac Trans Am

Exotic look defines 1971 Pontiac Trans Am

Photos by Rudy Host, Jr. - 1971 Pontiac Trans Am Front

Fulfilling a childhood dream, Dan Floss, 56, bought his 1971 Pontiac Trans Am a few years ago.

Growing up in a family of car enthusiasts with a brother and a dad who are also into Pontiacs (Dad is also a Buick guy) Dan always wanted a Trans Am. At age 17, he bought his first car, a 1974 Firebird Formula.

Everything about Dan’s ‘71 Trans Am is as good as it gets. Just about every option that Pontiac offered at the time is on this car, including power windows, power steering, A/C, power trunk lock, and the beautiful factory Honeycomb wheels. in addition, this TA features Firestone Wide Oval, bias ply tires, and the factory AM/FM radio is still in the dashboard with just a single speaker up front.

Photos by Rudy Host, Jr. - 1971 Pontiac Trans Am Interior

The original owner, an orthopedic surgeon who bought it in Michigan in 1971, made it his daily driver. So, it has seen plenty of life on the road. When the time came, the doctor couldn’t part with his Pontiac, so he restored it to factory specs, down to the Rochester 4-bbl. carburetor, which according to the build sheet, was not the one that was actually on there. After the restoration, it was back to being the doctor’s daily driver.

This Trans Am has been in many car shows, including The Pontiac Nationals, where it took top awards for three years: 2010, 2011 and 2013. As it was getting on in age, the doctor decided it was time to let the car go. It went up for auction and another Michigan resident purchased it. That owner had it for only a short time and decided to put it up for auction again through Daniel Schmitt and Company in St. Louis.

The body has the original colors, Cameo white with a blue stripe. The interior is dark blue and has a center console. The dashboard has the full gauge package and a three-spoke steering wheel. The factory clock is still operational!

Photos by Rudy Host, Jr. - 1971 Pontiac Trans Am Engine

The drivetrain features a 455 HO engine that was bored .030. The car has the original dual exhaust, keeping with the factory package. Of the 2,116 455 HO Trans Am’s built in 1971, 1,231 were built with a Turbo 400 automatic transmission. The only tiny issue with this car, as with all Pontiacs of the era, is the rear main seal leaks a bit, due to the “rope type” seal.

Dan says he has talked with the doctor who owned the car before him. When Dan sent him recent pictures of the TA, the doctor got “a little emotional.” The doctor then sent the awards that he had won to Dan.

Dan likes to take the Trans Am to local shows, although he doesn’t show the car to be competitive. He enjoys the way that people appreciate older cars. There have only been roughly 3,000 miles put on the car since Dan bought it, and he still likes to make sure everything is in perfect running order.

Photos by Rudy Host, Jr. - 1971 Pontiac Trans Am Underneath

Even when the Trans Am is sitting still in his garage, Dan gets a big smile on his face in appreciation of the car. He loves the performance of it, the sports car appearance, and the functional Ram Air system.. “It has an exotic look to it,” he says.

If you happen to see his car at a local show, stop by and get a good look at this exceptional Pontiac.

If you have a car you would like to see featured in Classic Wheels, contact Rudy Host, Jr. at Classic.Wheels.Rudy@gmail.com.