I was 1984 and I was a senior in high school when I got my first Pontiac—a red Firebird Formula with leather seats, T-tops, and a 3.23:1 rearend.
It was a teenager’s dream. I drove that car on countless road trips, to and from college, and everything in between. But the realities of school and adult life set in and I traded it in.
Years went by—as did the cars—but I never forgot about my Formula.
Fast forward to 2009. My wife, Misty, and I were expecting our second child and our ’80 Corvette couldn’t take the soon-to-be foursome out on a cruise. I had been toying with the idea of looking for another Firebird Formula or Trans Am. After a few weeks of scouring classifieds, I came across a ’95 Dark Green Metallic Trans Am. I knew it was special. A couple months went by before I sold my Vette, and I went back to find the listing on the Trans Am. Lo and behold it was still for sale.
I took a look at it and wasn’t disappointed. It was completely stock and still with the original owner. The paint was still glossy, and the weatherstripping and interior gave credence to the story that it was only driven on nice days.
What sealed the deal was that every piece of documentation from the day it was new had been saved—from the broadcast sheet and window sticker through every service record to date. I had not seen a car with that much documentation that had actually been driven 139,000 miles. I knew what I was looking at was unique, so I bought it.
Since I’ve owned this Fourth-Gen Bird, I’ve kept it stock, performing only upkeep and maintenance. I’ve also done some research on it. As it turns out, my Trans Am may have a rare combination of options—perhaps making it the only one like it—including a six-speed T56 manual trans (MN6), T-tops (CC1), 3.42 rear (GU6), grey cloth luxury seats (14D), and code 48U paint.
Like the original owner, I’ve also kept every receipt. I’ve also assembled a collection of ’95 Firebird, Trans Am, and Pontiac memorabilia. My collection includes an ERTL promo Trans Am, High Performance Pontiac’s Feb. ’95 issue with the review of the Firebird lineup for ’95, and several sales and promotional pieces.
I’ve really enjoyed the Trans Am. My son and I went to the 2010 Kentucky Speedway Drive the Track event, and for my birthday, Misty planned a day for the four of us to join the Bowling Green leg on the 2011 Bandit Run.
I think I’ve passed the Pontiac bug to my son. He’s told me he wants a red Trans Am with a gold bird when he’s old enough to drive.
Perhaps one day I’ll show the car, but right now I’m having too much fun enjoying my time machine. My goal is not just to maintain the car, but also to preserve the feeling of the excitement of a Pontiac.
In My Words 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:
In My Words
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.