'67/'68 Firebirds: "All models, especially Ram Airs. I think the first two years of the Firebird are tremendously undervalued compared to their counterpart, the Chevrolet Camaro. All examples are great finds, but the bigger the motor the better. Look for Ram Air 400 cars if you can find them. There were 65 produced in 1967 and 523 built in 1968 (413 Ram Air and 110 Ram Air II)."
'69 Judge: "All cars. The '69 Judge came across right in the middle of the 'Flower Power' years and was an instant hit. Although the market was down for Pontiac's flamboyant flagship in the late-'70s, it has been the most popular and desirable Pontiac to own to this day. Its standard engine was the 366 hp Ram Air III, and if you find an example with the optional 370hp Ram Air IV, it's better than money in the bank."
'76 T/A 50th Anniversary ...
'76 T/A 50th Anniversary Edition
'76 Trans Am 50th Anniversary Special Edition (S/E): "This is my dark-horse choice. It's a car that has been somewhat ignored to this point. Pontiac created this Trans Am to celebrate the Division's 50th anniversary, and this black and gold special edition led the way for the Bandit cars of 1977-81. There were 1,947 produced in hardtop and 643 with Hurst T-Tops. The rarest and most desirable is the 455ci, four-speed, T-top version, of which 110 were manufactured."
'77-'81 Trans Am Special Editions (S/E): "The younger generation seems to be going after the Bandit cars, thanks to the icon status of Smokey and the Bandit. Although more than 40,000 Bandit cars were produced between 1977 and 1981, the value is strong. The most popular are the '77-'79s with the Pontiac 400s. In my opinion, their values will continue to escalate."
Don Keefe Don Keefe has immersed himself in all things Pontiac for more than 25 years. A frequent High Performance Pontiac contributing editor and the editor/publisher of Smoke Signals, the Pontiac Oakland Club International (POCI) monthly magazine, Don's knowledge of experimental Pontiacs, collector trends, auction results, and market activity is unmatched in today's hobby.
"I think we saw the crest of the wave regarding the collector-car feeding frenzy in late 2005," Don says. "From there, things cooled off slightly but managed to maintain fairly strong numbers well into 2007, when uncertainty about the economy started to make a dent in the collector car 'bull market.' Though the 'cream of the crop' vehicles were still posting strong numbers, the $35,000-$100,000 market started to show some stress.
"The '08 season was a challenge for both sellers and buyers. Sellers were holding onto their cars if they could, though supply still seemed to outstrip demand in several areas and prices continued to drop.
"From what I've seen, the market is down 30-plus percent in general, more in some areas and less in others. If I were to choose the cars that might represent good investments, I would be looking at prime, restored, numbers-matching examples of the following:
'57-'58 Bonnevilles: "Fuel-injected con-vertibles. These are rare and beautiful machines and represent better values than their Chevy counterparts."
'59-'60 Bonneville Convertibles: "Original Tri-Power cars, preferably with bucket seats. These are substantial and impressive cars, and can be had with a variety of options and color schemes."
'60-'61 Ventura: Tri-Power, preferably with four-speed, bucket seats, and 8-Lugs from the factory. Each year has its fans, and both cars ushered in some serious performance for Pontiac.
'62 Super Duty Catalinas: "Original, steel-bodied machines, single and dual four-barrel. These cars are rare and interesting. They're easier to maintain than the more fragile aluminum front-end cars, yet are more affordable. Value-wise, they'll always play second-fiddle to the aluminum cars but will appreciate at similar rates to their more desirable brethren."