I have a quiet obsession with movie cars. I also have an obsession with Will Ferrell movies from the mid-2000s era (mostly Old School and Step Brothers). So when I saw this red ‘78 Pontiac Trans Am I couldn’t help but be extremely envious. I want to buy this thing and ‘take the restrictor plate off to give Red Dragon some more juice’. Oh and I do enjoy a cheap PBR from time to time too. The dream. It is alive. But what will it cost?

Iconic for me. Maybe not for you. You should start watching some higher class movies!
Photo: Bring A Trailer (Bring A Trailer)

Anyone who owns a beauty like this is a hero to me. Then again, your neighbors will simply know you as the ‘red fire chicken’ owner, but what do they know? Do they know Old School? They should. It is a College movie classic. I put it up there with Animal House, American Pie (series), and Van Wilder (with Animal House being the original and most iconic).

Not only do I have an obsession with this Red Dragon, but many others. Mostly the attainable cars you and I could afford. I mean who has the money for an Eleanor from ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’... not me! After watching ‘Baby Driver’... a red WRX was on the list, those are attainable, just a little rare. Even ‘Weekend at Bernies’ couldn’t keep me away from looking at a Glastron Premiums.

My favorite rubber bumper from the 74-81 era F-Bodies.
Photo: Bring A Trailer (Bring A Trailer)

This particular 1978 Pontiac Trans Am is an exquisite example. And at its current (of writing this) bid $17,500, with 3 hours left, it just sold for $22,277, it seems like a great deal. These weren’t always this collectible or expensive. They were very cheap only 10 years ago. I remember seeing cars nearly this clean for under 10 grand. I kick myself for not picking one up then, but I didn’t have a place to put one then.

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Could you listen to any other music than White Snake while driving this? I think not.
Photo: Bring A Trailer (Bring A Trailer)

The interiors of any 1970-81 Camaro or Firebird didn’t change too much. I do find this interior more attractive than my 1970 Camaro. The aluminum dash is unique and beautiful. I’ve always found these more attractive than the black plastic or wood (deluxe) dashes that were also available.

This Trans Am is also paired with the only transmission any enthusiast should ever be allowed to have, the manual. I’ve got one. The throw is comically long compared to anything newer. It is like driving a manual pickup truck. Does anyone ever talk about how far apart the pedals are? Heel-toe is impossible without bending the pedals closer together... or buying bigger pedals but that would be sacrilegious to put big aluminum pedals on a muscle car.

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Shaker hood is the best hood.
Photo: Bring A Trailer (Bring A Trailer)

I’d love to give more than my 2 cents on this engine but other than the shaker hood, I’m not too impressed. It looks clean with numerous new parts visible. I’ll just let the Bring A Trailer ad describe further:

The Pontiac V8 bears 400XX and WC block stampings as shown in the gallery, signifying it to be the correct W72 T/A 6.6 liter engine. It been bored and rebuilt with Butler Performance forged crankshaft, rods, and pistons resulting in 8.0 liters of displacement and higher compression ratio. A more aggressive camshaft was also installed along with new valves and springs in the factory heads. A Borg-Warner T-10 4-speed manual gearbox sends power to the rear axle through a 3.08 rear end. The exhaust system features Ram Air 3 exhaust manifolds, Spin Tech Sportsman mufflers, and an X pipe exiting through correct split chrome tips. The seller notes a small exhaust leak at the intake manifold heat crossover, and will provide a Felpro intake manifold gasket set. The original Quadrajet carburetor was also rebuilt, and an engine block heater is equipped.

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Best front end of this generation too. Smokey and the Bandit got it right but I still prefer red.
Photo: Bring A Trailer (Bring A Trailer)

Will one of you buy this Red Dragon before I do?! If I buy it, I don’t think my marriage will last just like in the movie. My wife can only take so many F-Body projects being revved up late into the night, by an intoxicated man, blasting classic rock. Any Stevie Ray Vaughn fans or should I stick to the 80s big hair bands?