Auction Pick of the Week: 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Super Duty 455
Of the true iconic American muscle cars, the 1974 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Super Duty 455 ranks near the top of the list. One of just 943 Pontiac Firebirds equipped with the Super Duty 455 cubic inch (7.5 liter) V-8 for the 1974 model year, this numbers-matching Trans Am is a true survivor and a stellar representative of the pony car era. It’s offered on Hagerty Marketplace.
Publicized as having 310 horsepower and a whopping 395 lb-ft of torque—big numbers for 1974—the SD 455 was among the last of the true over-the-top muscle cars of the 1970s, an era when political correctness, gas prices, and emissions standards began to trump sheer potency.
Along with the very first Firebird Trans Am model that debuted in 1969, the SD 455 is among the most collectible of its kind. The 1974 Firebird’s visibility also rose thanks to the Rockford Files, whose star Jim Garner drove one in the TV series’ debut season.
Borrowing technology from the Pontiac racing engines, the hand-assembled SD 455 V-8 underneath the shaker hood featured heavy-duty connecting rods and an entirely new block with a revised crankshaft and heads. Other improvements include thicker internal-block bracing, four-bolt main bearing caps for greater crankshaft support, and an 80-psi oil pump for better lubrication at higher speeds. The 455 was offered for just two model years, 1973 and ’74, as an option in the Trans Am and Formula models. Rear axle is a 3:08:1 unit.
At a time when many Trans Ams were white, blue or, later on, black, this one is finished in Buccaneer Red over an optional custom interior trimmed in red perforated vinyl with a center console. It even has the factory-correct red oxide underbody coating.
Wheels are the Rally II style with bright trim rings, coupled with BFGoodrich Radial T/A radial tires and a “Radial Tuned” suspension. It comes with a copy of the original window sticker (suggested retail price: $6233.75, with the 455 SD package costing just $522). It has power windows, locks, and trunk, and even air conditioning.
The transmission is the sturdy three-speed Turbo 400 automatic. The odometer reads just under 54,000 miles, but it is not believed to be accurate. It was treated to what appears to be a high-quality restoration under previous ownership. The seller represents it as being a strong running and driving example with no known mechanical issues.
Many of us who had Trans Ams in the 1970s wish we had never sold them. Count me as one of them, and as someone who seriously covets this red 1974 Trans Am SD 455. Bidding ends Monday, August 21, at 3:50 p.m. ET.