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1981 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Turbo

21,825 Actual Mile Firebird Trans Am 4.9 Liter Turbo V8 3 Speed PS A/C
Stock #
Body Style
4.9 Liter Turbo
Exterior Color
Starlight Black
Interior Color

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Why Buy
1981 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Turbo Black For Sale
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  • 4.9 liter turbocharged Pontiac V8
  • Factory power steering
  • Starlight Black paint
  • Fully documented
  • GM Turbo-Hydramatic 350 3-speed automatic transmission
  • Factory power disc brakes
  • Camel Tan velour interior
  • WS6 performance suspension
  • 15-inch turbo wheels
  • Factory air conditioning

What happens when you take an old school pony car that’s experiencing a huge resurgence in popularity, throw in a special edition trim package that’s complete with a unique powerplant, and top everything off with mostly original parts? You get this 22K mile turbo Trans Am! By now you probably know how much we love seeing and selling second generation Trans Ams, and you might even remember that we’ve sold a couple of low mileage turbo pace cars. But, as cool as those clean F2s were, this sinister coupe seems more fitting of the Trans Am’s brusque legacy. One of only 3,050 T-top, turbo ‘birds built for the 1981 model year, this SE is some of Pontiac’s most exclusive metal. And if you’re a savvy collector who’s looking for some authentic American muscle, it’s the car you been waiting for!

Turbo Trans Ams came from the factory as fully optioned cars. And luckily, the sale of this low mileage Poncho includes an original window sticker. Here’s a look at how the car left Smith-Leslie Pontiac in Paso Robles, California.


  • 4.9 liter (301 cubic inch) L37 V8 that’s equipped with a 4-barrel carburetor
  • Power steering
  • Black windshield molding
  • Black backlite molding
  • Bucket seats
  • Floor console
  • Column-mounted dimmer switch
  • Power brakes
  • Front disc brakes that include the low-drag feature
  • KPH/MPH speedometer
  • Concealed windshield wipers
  • Chrome side-splitter exhaust tips
  • Black tail lamp trim
  • Front chin spoiler that’s accompanied by front and rear wheel spoilers
  • Front fender air extractors
  • Shaker hood


  • 19L: Black lower exterior paint ($00)
  • 19U: Black upper exterior paint ($00)
  • 64B: Camel Tan cloth interior ($00)
  • 64I: Camel Tan interior trim ($00)
  • LU8: 4.9 liter turbocharged V8 that’s equipped with a 4-barrel carburetor and turbo gauges ($437)
  • NB1: Computer command control ($00)
  • VJ9: California emissions requirements ($46)
  • K19: Air injection system ($00)
  • MX1: Automatic transmission ($00)
  • C60: Custom air conditioning ($600)
  • UA1: Heavy duty battery ($22)
  • 649: Camel Tan seatbelts ($00)
  • K35: Cruise control that’s complete with the resume function ($145)
  • A90: Remote control decklid release ($29)
  • C49: Electric rear window defroster ($115)
  • U17: Rally Gauge package that includes a clock and tachometer ($00)
  • A01: Soft Ray tinted windows ($82)
  • B93: Door edge guards ($14)
  • TT5: Tungsten Quartz halogen headlamps ($29)
  • D35: Sport mirrors: remote left and manual convex right ($00)
  • U75: Automatic power antenna ($50)
  • D80: Decklid spoiler ($00)
  • AU3: Power door locks ($99)
  • A31: Power windows ($152)
  • UN3: Delco-GM AM/FM stereo that’s complete with a cassette deck ($289)
  • UQ3: Radio audio power booster ($84)
  • Y84: Special Edition Black Trans Am ($1,516)
  • — Removable hatch roof
  • — Gold hood decal
  • — Formula steering wheel
  • — Gold cast aluminum wheels
  • — Gold-accented instrument panel
  • — Gold striping and decals
  • WS6 Special Performance Package ($372)
  • — Cast aluminum wheels
  • — 225/70R15 steel-belted radial tires
  • — Power disc brakes
  • — Limited-slip differential
  • — Special Handling Package
  • N33: Tilt steering wheel ($88)
  • N89: Cast aluminum turbo wheels ($00)
  • 55P: Gold wheels ($00)
  • CD4: Continuous cycle windshield wipers ($44)
  • K73: Heavy duty 70 amp alternator ($00)
  • B18: Custom Trim Group ($196)
  • — Custom velour bucket seats
  • — Custom velour rear seat
  • — Door handle ornamentation
  • — Pedal trim package
  • — Custom interior appointments
  • — Custom color-keyed belts

VEHICLE PRICE: $8,670.23

Beginning life in Van Nuys, California, this special edition Trans Am is one of the rawest Pontiacs we’ve ever offered. Thanks to three decades of good maintenance and super low mileage, the car presents well enough to sit proudly at the local show. A deep coat of correct Starlight Black single-stage covers what appear to be 100% original body panels that are straight, rock-solid and free of waves and major imperfections. Because those panels have never been fully disassembled, they still display factory-accurate gaps that are surprisingly tight. And, on top of that fit, a fresh set of full outlining stripes perfectly complements a 2-tone ‘turbo bird’ hood decal.

The turbo Trans Am ushered in a new approach to traditional Pontiac performance, and the appearances of Pontiac’s wildly successful special edition packages were updated accordingly. At the front of the car, a pliable urethane bumper hangs instantly identifiable grilles below halogen headlights and a gold arrowhead emblem. Behind those gold-trimmed grilles, a standard-issue chin spoiler flows into a guarded profile that features optional wheel spoilers, requisite fender vents and chrome, flip-up door handles. Above those spoilers, correctly-trimmed glass rides below tinted Fisher T-tops. And at the back of the car, a D80 decklid frames correctly-trimmed tail lights and stainless side-splitter exhaust tips.

Thanks to increasing emissions standards and the 1978 oil crisis, General Motors had to seriously re-think its performance vehicles. That led to some innovative and very creative powerplants. Under this Trans Am’s turbo-specific hood you’ll find a correct, 4.9 liter V8 that makes substantially more twist than the mighty 6.6 liter it replaced while being significantly more efficient. Originally conceived as an economy offering, the Pontiac 301 was beefed up with a better block design, thicker gaskets, a mild camshaft, lower compression pistons, a rolled fillet crank and an electronic spark controller in preparation for a Garrett TBO-305 turbocharger. Once that turbo was installed, it created a waste-limited 9 PSI of boost and helped the reborn 301 achieve 236 horsepower and a serious 345 lb./ft. of torque. Riding below a factory installed heat shield, that Garrett blower is fed by a high pressure fuel pump, cooled by a high pressure oil pump and breathes through a unique, single-plane intake and turbo-specific exhaust manifolds. Those manifolds frame a turbo-specific carburetor and traditional HEI distributor. All the hard parts around the motor, from the belt-driven accessories to the turbo-mandated air conditioning, appear to be factory original. And every belt and hose seems to be in good, working order.

Behind that force-fed engine, a stalwart Turbo-Hydramatic 350 sends power to a standard GM 10-bolt. At the ends of the car, an optional WS6 suspension, which includes power steering, thicker sway bars, better shocks and stiffer springs, combines with 4-wheel power disc brakes to provide quick stops and great handling. At the corners of the car, torque flows to the pavement through gold turbo wheels, which spin 225/70R15 BF Goodrich Radial T/As around correct ‘gold bird’ center caps. There’s a correct and possibly original single-into-dual exhaust system that lends the 301 a throaty but subdued soundtrack. And, based on a quick visual inspection, everything from this Pontiac’s fuel tank to its fully baffled oil pan appears to be in good, road-ready condition.

The car’s correct Camel Tan interior appears to be mostly original equipment. Comfortable velour seats are nicely patterned pieces that feel every bit as supple as they look. In front of those seats, an engine-turned dash hangs crystal clear gauges above controls for heat and air conditioning and a correct Delco-GM stereo. Below that dash, a correct console frames correct power window switches behind a small GM shifter. Below that console, Camel Tan carpet shows a surprisingly minimal amount of wear thanks to heavy duty floor mats. At the sides of that carpet, clean door panels seat correct ‘gold bird’ emblems in front of correct power door locks. In front of the driver, an attractive Formula steering wheel spins a black rim around correct cruise control and an optional, tilting column. And behind the cockpit, the car’s electronically-opened trunk conceals a small spare tire.

The sale of this unique F2 includes the aforementioned window sticker, an original warranty pamphlet, a vintage Pontiac brochure, a small stack of factory paperwork and official Pontiac Historic Services documentation.

Documented, second generation Trans Am survivors are becoming increasingly hard to find, with the value of correct, well-optioned cars climbing steadily each year. Enthusiasts are turning to these ‘birds to round out their garages, or using them to build entire collections based on fond childhood memories. With its cool engine, monochromatic interior and sparse original miles, this has to be one of the most exclusive turbo Trans Am’s on the planet!


Secondary Make
Model Name
Secondary Model
Trans Am Turbo
Vehicle Type
Passenger Car
Hobby Segment
Sports Car

Engine / Transmission

Engine Type
Engine Size
4.9 Liter Turbo
Engine Number
Fuel Specification
Fuel Delivery System Type
Transmission Type
3 Speed Automatic
Transmission Spec
Turbohydramatic 350
Transmission Number


Entertainment System Type
AM/FM Cassette
Battery Location
LH Engine Compartment
Battery Shut Off
Battery Charger
Power Steering
Air Conditioning


Interior Color
Seating Type
Seat Material
Shifter Type
Center Console


Body Style
Safe Body Color
Starlight Black
Paint Type
Single stage


Front Suspension Type
Double A-arm
Rear Suspension Type
Leaf Spring
Axle Specification
10 Bolt
Front Wheel Specification
Rear Wheel Specification
Front Tire Specification
Rear Tire Specification
Front Brakes Specification
Power Disc
Rear Brakes Specification
Power Disc
Exhaust Type
Single Exhaust
Muffler Type
Original Equipment


Restoration Status
Mileage Since Restoration
Awards Summary
Historical Documents Summary
* Original window sticker. * Original warranty pamphlet. * Vintage Pontiac brochure. * Small stack of factory paperwork. * PHS documentation.

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