Today I took the Great Pumpkin out for a long-neglected drive.
My 1976 Trans-Am. Carousel Red (orange, really; same paint code used in 1969 on the GTO Judge). Polycast “Honeycomb” wheels (they look like aluminum, but they’re actually steel with a urethane composite material molded on to create the look). 8-Track tape player. That famous “Formula” steering wheel – and engine-turned dash facing – that all ’70-81 Trans-Ams came with. 455 V-8. Last year Pontiac installed them in Trans-Ams.
But most of all, what it did not come with.
No air bags. Not even a seat belt buzzer.
No computer. Just a big ol’ Rochester four barrel carburetor.
I love this car. Or rather, I love the way this car reminds me of the way cars used to be. Before the safety cult ruined everything.
Can you imagine it? Cars like this used to be driven by teenaged boys. I know. I was one of them. I’ve owned this car for 20 years now – and before I owned it, I owned another one. A black ’76 that got T-boned to death and I managed to walk away from that even though the car had no air bags – just a lot of heavy steel.
This car is my redneck red barchetta. I feel the truth of that Rush song as soon as the 455 ignites and the dual 2.5 inch pipes spit 20 Prius’ worth of C02 into the air. There is nothing new that can match the marvelousness of an 800 CFM Q-Jet’s secondaries dumping open and the engine vacuum sucking through the shaker’s open scoop like a mini black hole all your very own.
I will keep this one forever.
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