While we can all agree the original muscle car era was D.O.A by the 1973 model year we certainly all agree there was one huge exception- the Super Duty 455–powered Pontiac Firebird Formulas and Trans Ams. The Super Duty (SD-455) was a street legal race prepped engine. All were hand assembled, with a reinforced block with casting provisions for a dry sump oiling system, a special cam shaft, forged pistons, big valves and header-like exhaust manifolds. Pontiac originally rated the SD-455 engines at a stout 310 bhp and 390 lb-ft, but experts agreed that it was closer to 370 bhp. The original camshaft, essentially the old Ram Air IV grind, wouldn’t pass emissions so they put a milder cam and slapped on a 290 HP (SAE Net) rating. HP ratings aside there was no doubt the SD-455 Firebirds became the only true performance cars to roll out of Detroit over their two year (1973 and 1974) production run.
Today the Super Duty cars remain as legendary as they were in 1973, and to many the 1973 Trans Am SD-455 is the pinnacle of F Body performance. 1973 was also the high point of Trans Am styling, the first year you could get the now famous “Screaming Chicken” hood decal, and the only year you could get the extremely cool and desirable color of Brewster Green.
Just 252 Super Duty Trans Ams were produced in 1973- 180 automatics and 72 4-speeds.
The Super Duty on offer here is 1 of the 180 automatics built. It features factory air conditioning, front floor console, power steering, power brakes, power windows, rear window defrost, factory AM/FM stereo radio, tilt wheel, and factory “Honeycomb” wheels. It is finished in its original, one-year only Brewster Green (Code 48) paint with a standard black interior. Thankfully the original owner also decided not to drop the extra fifty bucks on the optional Screaming Chicken, the absence of which when combined with the Brewster Green paint makes an ever more strikingly serious looking T/A. Of course I have the PHS documents in hand to document the car as well.
My friend, a local doctor, purchased this SD T/A in 1977 and began a restoration in the early 1980s. He didn’t get very far and the car was stored in a partially disassembled state not long after. Unfortunately my friend became ill and passed away in late January 2014. He always wanted to get the SD back on the road and before he passed we discussed my purchasing the car to do just that. In February we extracted the SD from its decades long slumber and began its restoration in earnest. The result is before you on this page and is simply an exceptional example of the breed.
It is completely numbers matching with its original, factory installed engine, transmission, rear, carburetor, exhaust manifolds, distributor, and all other unique (and irreplaceable) Super Duty parts. The original engine was rebuilt to factory specs with the exception of a RAIV grind cam to make it run as it was originally designed to. As you would expect from a car that was mothballed for the majority of its life the body is exceptionally sound with its original quarter panels and floors- no rust repair ever. The Honeycomb wheels are unrestored and in exceptional condition with their rare factory rubberized finish in near-new condition. They are fitted with reproduction Goodyear Steelguard RWL radial tires and not the de rigueur modern Radial T/As that do not look right on a car of this caliber . The original numbers matching transmission was rebuilt to factory specs, and the entire suspension, braking, fuel, and steering systems have been properly restored to new condition. The car has been expertly sorted and fine tuned since restoration and runs and drives as new.
The Brewster Green paint is laser straight and was done in correct single-stage paint so it looks just as it would in 1973 with no variation of the proper Brewster Green hue due to clear coating, and it is also concours correct. Note the flatness of the panels, the reflections, and the panel fit. Also note the decals are the factory correct ones with the clear overlay. The photos here truly do not do the quality or the color justice.
While there is no production breakdown for how many Super Duty Trans Ams were delivered with specific options and colors, rest assured out of the 180 produced the combination of factory air conditioning, Brewster Green, no hood bird, and other unique options make this T/A exceedingly rare and certainly set it apart. Add to that almost 40 years in single ownership and a fresh, professional restoration in my workshop and this is indeed a very special Super Duty. This is an opportunity to acquire one of the finest examples of this legendary Trans Am model that remain today.
- Price: $ 135000
- Year: 1973
- Mileage: 80,000 mi
- VIN: 2V87X3N139660
- Condition: Fresh Restoration
- Exterior Color: Brewster Green
- Interior Color: Black
- Transmission: TH400 3 speed Automatic
- Final Drive: 3.42:1
- Engine: 455 CID Super Duty V-8
- Drivetrain: RWD