In the summer of 2005, my friend Doug Smith and I were on our way to a car show and cruise in Vernon, Texas. We had heard rumors of a ’72 column-shift Trans Am in the area. I had never actually seen one with a column-shift, so we had to search this car out. We were told that it may be sitting by a motel on the south side of town, so when we got to Vernon, we headed down that way.
Within a block of the motel, I spotted it. Doug and I walked around the T/A and met the owner, Alan Cutcher. Alan said he had purchased the car in 1984 and that he was the second owner.
The Pontiac was showing 114,000 miles on the clock and appeared to be bone-stock. The original 455 H.O. engine, Turbo 400 trans, and 3.08:1 rear were still in it, and options included A/C, Honeycomb wheels, and rear bumper guards.
I was really intrigued by the shifter in this car, as every other Trans Am I had ever seen had a floor shifter and a console. That, coupled with the fact the Bird had not been butchered, told me I had to have it. I made Alan an offer right on the spot; he declined but gave me his phone number (I had my foot in the door now).
For the next few years, I called Alan several times trying to buy his T/A—possibly one too many times because he actually answered the phone saying, “It’s still not for sale!” In the fall of 2008, however, he finally called and sold it to me.
When I got it home, the first thing I did was have the 300-horse 455 H.O. engine and Turbo 400 transmission rebuilt. Though the engine ran well and the trans still worked, both were just tired.
The interior was in good shape and just needed freshening up, so I replaced the seat covers and carpet. Then it was off to the paint shop. I had the body completely stripped and repainted in Cameo White. Then I applied the Trans Am’s graphics.
After doing some research, I found out that my Trans Am was built at the Norwood plant and shipped to a Pontiac Warehouse in Dallas, Texas. From there, it worked its way to a local Dallas Pontiac dealership, where it was sold to the original owner.
I have really enjoyed owning my unique Pontiac and taking it to events. The column shift may not be one of the most desirable features on a ’72 Trans Am, but it sure makes a great conversation piece at shows.
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In My Words
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