1989 Turbo Trans Am Gives Buick V6 A Reprieve: eBay Find4
Earlier today GM Authority featured an ultra-low mileage 1987 Camaro IROC-Z. Since then, the 1980s called and wanted equal F-body parity, so we found this 1989 Pontiac Turbo Trans Am with even lower mileage on eBay.
The Turbo Trans Am is special because it’s the only year in which the turbo Buick 3.8L V6 was used after Buick discontinued its RWD Regal after 1987. It was rated at 250 horsepower, which was five more than the previous Grand National motor. Additionally, the Turbo Trans Am was named as the pace car for the Indianapolis 500, giving it extra cache. The only other alternative for Pontiac fans was the 350ci Trans Am GTA or the “regular” 305ci Trans Am, which simply didn’t compare considering the buff books felt the Turbo Trans Am was America’s fastest-production car with 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, the quarter-mile jaunt in 13.4 seconds, and a top speed of 162 mph. They suggested that real-world horsepower was much closer to 300 based on the performance figures. All told, 1,550 Turbo Trans Ams (including 5 pre-production cars) were built, all white with beige interiors.
When one bought a Turbo Turbo Trans Am, he/she were sent a special box containing pace car door decals, a Turbo Trans Am keychain, cassette tape, and a leather-bound owner’s manual cover. This car on eBay comes with those items, but what’s most mind-blowing is the 310 original miles and the original tires. In addition to three pace cars, an additional 162 “Festival” Turbo Trans Ams were at Indy for VIP and parade duty; this car was one of the Festival cars used at the track in Indy, making it even more collectible. In total, only 187 cars came with T-tops and cloth interiors, which is one of the rarer combinations, although the rarest are the 40 cars were built without T-tops, 15 with the cloth interior. For $35,950, is it a better value than the IROC we wrote about? When it comes to speed and desirability, it just may be.
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While everyone is out hoping to buy the next Shelby they often overlook the most obvious cars for future growth potential.
While so many cars claim to be limited they often are built to 5000-10000 units. In this case this is a little on the high side but abut as limited as you will get anymore in this price class.
This car is about one of the best bets to gain value in the future. It is the best car to use the full potential of the Turbo V6 it was the best handling TA of this era with less nose weight. The other big factor is it was an Indy Pace car that used the same things as the road car.
Not many cars of this era will gain much in value as most were not limited or of great interest. Over time we will see others like the GTA Notchback, The 2+2 Pontiac Some Fiero Models The Monte Carlo SS fast back and notch back and of course the GN and GNX all really show some steady growth. You can toss in the Hurst Old package too. While none were major performance vs. what we have today I see good original examples of these cars being of great value. Now the ones that are beat up will be hard to restore and not very cost effective. But find a original unmolested GN and you may have a investment.
The Fiero is one that may be of more value modified in some cases as they made so many parts for them with body kits etc. that in come cases they can really add value as these parts are in demand and very hard to find in some cases today.
A friend just sold a clean original 88 Fiero GT the other day for $15K. The guy flew in and bought it n sight and never quibbled over the price.
I like Trans Am
While I love 3rd and 4th generation Trans Am, $36,000 for a 1989 car is insane. Please don’t tell me about the 3.8 turbo motor. .. I know.. it’s still an insane price.
Maybe he will get the asking price from someone… just hard to envision. Best of luck to the seller and potential new owner.
Everyone always seems to get sticker shock with these cars… The Turbo Trans Am, Grand National, and GNX are highly collectible cars. 547 GNX’s were made in ’87 and prices are already surpassing $100k. 1,555 Turbo Trans Am’s were made in ’89 and original low mileage examples are bringing $35k+, 20k+ Grand Nationals were made in ’87 and great conditioned low mileage examples are $25k+. The GNX and TTA are in a very unique position to continue appreciating because they are 1 year only cars, performance icons of their era, and have very low production numbers. The GN is not rare by any means but its cool factor and performance aspect make it a desirable car.
The $35k asking price is actually below market for that particular car considering it’s provenance and extremely low mileage and will look like a gift in the not too distant future. I recently sold festival car #49 with 3,977 original miles for $38k to a wealthy private collector within 2 weeks of listing it for sale so savvy collectors are already starting to scoop these up because they know the prices are just starting to warm up. ’87-’89 Porsche 911 Turbos ring a bell? $40k cars in 2012, $200k cars in 2015. Not saying the TTA will experience that type of hyper appreciation but don’t be surprised when you see asking prices near $50k in the future.
I also own car #1,221 with 2,074 original miles that I’ll be keeping for a while and will continue to enjoy sharing it at car shows while it appreciates.