Ever since I sat behind the wheel of my buddy's '70 GTO and looked over the hoodscoops (that was way back in 1982), I've been a Pontiac man. At the time, I owned a '69 442. It was a great car, but it didn't have a personality, mystique, or a defined look to it.
My friend said if I was ready to buy a real car, that I should get a GTO. Another friend of mine drove my 442 one day and decided that it looked better next to a telephone pole, literally! It was totaled and that opened the door to purchase my first Pontiac, also a '70 GTO.
I have owned many Pontiacs since, including a '75 Formula 400 four-speed and several Third-Gen Trans Ams. I regretted parting with each one.
In 2000, I bought an '87 GTA. It had been almost 10 years for me without a V-8 and a Pontiac. I needed one to fill the void of my '70 GTO. The GTA had great lines and OK performance. I have kept it in the garage ever since; it could use a little TLC, but it's still in really good driving condition and as close-to-stock as possible.
The GTA filled some of the void in my unending passion for Pontiacs, but I still dreamed of owning a GTO again someday. Unfortunately, the price of them is out of control for the average enthusiast.
Back in 1998, the new Ram Air Trans Am commercials aired and I said right then, "I want one." The T/A's stance at the red light was burned into my brain forever, and, I must admit, I am a sucker for the WS6 hoodscoops.
For some, it was Smokey and the Bandit and for others it was Knight Rider, but for me it was those commercials. As much as I enjoyed the knowledge that the Ram Air Trans Am has plenty of power, I'm more into the looks and experience of the car. I would see them on the street, in magazines, and at summer car shows. I was the guy always saying to Ram Air T/A owners, "I'm going to get one of these someday."
Fastforward to 2007 and I was getting close to 45 years of age. Time was running out for me to get my Ram Air Trans Am. Everyday, I continued to say that I would get one ... someday.
My significant other, Sheri, was really getting tired of hearing me say it over and over. Finally, in January 2008, she relented and said that I could finally get a Ram Air Trans Am. Her rules were agreeable: "Super condition, low miles, collectibility, and make sure it is the car that will shut you up forever!"
So I got out my notebook that listed a hundred or so Ram Air T/As in the tri-state area that I had been keeping up with for the last 12 months. Less than 100 miles away at a Honda used-car lot, an '02 Collector's Edition Trans Am was waiting for me. It was in great condition and had only 11,700 miles.
After the testdrive, my girlfriend asked, "Is this the one that will shut you up forever?" "Yes," I answered, and "Big Bird," as I now call my '02 CETA, resides happily in my garage.
I'm so pleased that I bought a Ram Air Trans Am in near-perfect condition, and it will stay that way, since it barely pokes the hoodscoops out into the sunlight. I recently had it at the 34th annual Fall Meet Pontiac car show sponsored by the Keystone Chapter of POCI, in Reading, Pennsylvania, and I was fortunate enough to meet Pontiac-legend Jim Wangers and have him autograph my T/A's airbox. He complemented me on what a great car I have and what great condition it's in.
Life is great. I got the Pontiac I always wanted. Now, it's easy to say that I'm living proof that dreams do come true!
My Pontiac and Me spotlights reader experiences with their own Pontiacs in their own words. To be considered for publication, submit several high-quality color photos (if digital, each photo must be larger than 1 megabyte in JPG format-no other formats, please), your own Pontiac story (typed, approximately 500 words), your name, address, and telephone number to:
High Performance Pontiac Magazine
My Pontiac and Me
c/o Christopher Phillip
9036 Brittany Way
Tampa, FL 33619
Please note: HPP pays $50 if your story is printed. A contract release and W-9 with your social security number will be required.
Kris Collins is shown here...
Kris Collins is shown here with his daughter, Jasmine, age 6.