Curbside Classic Outtake: What's Wrong With This Picture Edition

Paul Niedermeyer
by Paul Niedermeyer

I was torn about whether to use this Firebird for a Curbside Classic, until I saw a terrific “Screaming Chicken” T/A the other day. Only problem: I didn’t get any shots. But it made me determined to hold out for the real thing. I hear that Trans Ams are in demand now, fetching up to $30k. In the meantime, feast your eye on this delight. Oh, there’s more than one thing wrong with this picture. More detail after the jump:

Paul Niedermeyer
Paul Niedermeyer

More by Paul Niedermeyer

Join the conversation
2 of 42 comments
  • Dman900 Dman900 on Dec 05, 2009

    Oh, this is sad .... the first new car I ever bought, while I still owned the Fiesta I commented about recently, was a 1981 TransAm. That year, in California, after years of auto trans only, you could buy the Firebird with a 305 Chevy and 4-speed (the automatics still came with the Pontiac 301). I think it was rated at 150 hp. Mine was a WS6, with the 4 wheel discs, 8" rims (and massive-for-the-time 225/70-15 tires!) no screaming chicken hood decal, polyurethane suspension bushings, quick-ratio steering, "PosiTraction" (GM's limited slip differential). Years of reading Car & Driver rave about the handling of the FBody, coupled with the styling and a chance to get a V8 4speed, and I was putty in the salesman's hands. Frankly, other than smooth road cornering, it was a piece of junk, and when gas hit $1.20 a gallon 8 months later, I traded it in at a huge loss on a new Civic. The TA was the first and only V8 I've ever owned. I wish I had it today.

  • Rustaddscharacter Rustaddscharacter on Mar 14, 2010

    Years ago, back in what Hunter S. Thompson called the "white knuckle days", I knew a couple of hillbilly brothers who had a '74 T/A. It was an honest-to-god SD455, the last REAL muscle car, from the last year they were built. By the time they acquired it (1988, give or take), it was getting pretty rugged. Dull, faded orange-red paint, the screaming chicken was peeling and torn, trim rings missing from the wheels. Someone had stolen the shaker hood scoop, so there was just a big hole in the middle of the hood. Which turned out to be a blessing, 'cause they carried a quart can of starting fluid in the car at all times, 'cause the thing wouldn't actually start without a healthy shot of the stuff to the carb. Oh yeah, the carb... 1,000 cfm Carter Thermo-quad, it made this frightening whistling noise as it sucked air even at idle. Hold your hand over the hole in the hood with the air cleaner off and you could FEEL the suction. Black interior, Pioneer tape deck with Jensen 6x9s. These boys would buy used up Goodrich T/As from the gas station where I worked, run 'em for a week or two, then buy some more. When the ancient cherry bombs rusted out, they just removed the entire exhaust system and ran it open headers... that thing shot flames like the Batmobile, and was SERIOUSLY loud. They called it The Beast. Eventually they blew the 455, replaced it with a 400, blew that, swapped it out for a 350, then a 305, then traded the remnants for a bag of weed... Loud, fast, ugly and dangerous. Who could ask for more?

  • Lou_BC Maybe if I ever buy a new car or CUV
  • Lou_BC How about telling China and Mexico, we'll accept 1 EV for every illegal you take off our hands ;)
  • Analoggrotto The original Tassos was likely conceived in one of these.
  • Lorenzo The unspoken killer is that batteries can't be repaired after a fender-bender and the cars are totaled by insurance companies. Very quickly, insurance premiums will be bigger than the the monthly payment, killing all sales. People will be snapping up all the clunkers Tim Healey can find.
  • Lorenzo Massachusetts - with the start/finish line at the tip of Cape Cod.