In 1980, General Motors introduced a new turbocharged V8 engine option for the Pontiac Trans Am that sought to give buyers the best of both worlds: the power of a big V8 along with the efficiency of a smaller one. This turbocharged 301 cubic inch V8 was good for 210 horsepower and 345 pound-feet of torque, which doesn’t seem like much these days, but was at the time was enough to outgun both the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 and the Ford Mustang.
This 1981 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo, which will soon be auctioned off via Mecum’s Dallas sale, still has a boosted V8 under the hood, but the tired old Pontiac 301 is long gone. In its place sits a modern-day LS9 V8 engine lifted from a C6 Corvette ZR1, which has been heavily upgraded and now produces a ridiculous 1,300 horsepower. The twin-turbocharged V8 has been bored and stroked to 6.9L and is joined by a custom cooling system with a Be Cool aluminum radiator, a billet serpentine belt system and a three-inch stainless exhaust with custom fabricated manifolds.
All that power is sent to the rear wheels through a GM 4L80E four-speed automatic transmission and a Wavetrac rear end with 3.70 gears. This muscle coupe’s chassis and suspension have also been thoroughly overhauled with RideTech triple adjustable coilovers, a modern-day power steering system, Baer brakes with massive 14-inch cross-drilled rotors and six-piston calipers and a RideTech rollbar. Modern-day Forgeline wheels in the same ‘Snowflake’ pattern as the original Trans Am wheels expand on the otherwise stock exterior of this unique Pontiac restomod.
The original owner of this custom Pontiac Trans Am invested more than $300,000 into it. There’s no estimate as to what it will sell for at auction later this month, but we get the feeling it won’t command a price even close to $300k. That could make this a decent bargain for anyone looking for a heavily customized restomod, so be sure to check out the listing at this link for more information and photos.