Tuesday, September 6, 2011

1971 Pontiac Trans Am barn find

Barn find Trans Am finds previous owner 30 years later. Sweden's Thomas Rosenborg placed a "want" ad in his local newspaper seeking a 1969 Pontiac GTO. A few days later, he received a call from a woman wanting to sell a slightly damaged Trans Am that had been parked since 1993. Rosenborg, a long-time Pontiac fan, decided to make the 250-mile trip to look at Anneli's Trans Am. 
  A quick check of the VIN number and Rosenborg was shocked. "Unbelievable! It was the same 1971 Trans Am that I owned during the summer of 1981," Rosenborg said.

1971 Pontiac Trans Am 455, 4-speed barn find in Sweden.

Parked since 1993
Barn finds and tragedy go hand in hand. This '71 Trans Am, one-of-885 four-speed V8s, once belonged to Anneli's brother in Sweden. Anneli (top photo) took ownership of the car in 1993 after her brother's death in a motorcycle accident. "Her brother bought the Pontiac in 1989 and had just finished restoring it before he died in 1993," said Rosenborg.

Burnout mishap
The Cameo White Trans Am spent years parked in Anneli's basement without a scratch. In 1998 a friend insisted on showing Anneli the power of her Pontiac. It was a mistake. Rear-wheel drive V8s with positraction can be a handful while performing burnouts and imitating Burt Reynolds' driving in "Smokey and the Bandit." Unfortunately the rare Poncho suffered front end damage during the smoke show.

Rosenborg's 1971 Trans Am barn find washed and ready to unload in Sweden. 

Blown to pieces
The 55-year old Pontiac enthusiast would like to restore the T/A as a father-son project but it will not be a numbers matching car. "The Trans Am's original 455-cubic inch engine was blown to pieces," said Rosenborg. "During the 1970s many American muscle cars made their way to Sweden." Matching number cars were less of a concern in those days. "Then, no one was asking 'matching numbers,'" said Rosenborg.

1981 photo of Rosenborg's 1971 Pontiac Trans Am in Sweden.
Chasing Pontiacs
The recent success in finding his old 1971 T/A has fueled Rosenborg on a search for a 1972 Pontiac Formula 455, four-speed that he once owned and restored during the 1980s. "The are many rare cars still standing in garages and barns in Sweden," said Rosenborg. "I'm chasing only Pontiacs." 
  Rosenborg shares the what many junkyardlife fans know as fact. "You cannot imagine how many broken dreams, restorations that run out of time and forgotten cars that have been sleeping for decades." 

– Jody Potter, junkyardlife

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1981 photo of Rosenborg's 1971 Pontiac Trans Am in Sweden.

1981 photo of Rosenborg's 1971 Trans Am in Sweden.
1981 photo of the 400 Pontiac engine in Rosenborg's Trans Am that he recently repurchased. The original 455 engine is long gone. 

Sweden's Thomas Rosenborg paid $3,000 USD for this 1971 Trans Am 30-years after he owned it the first time.

Rosenborg unloaded his barn find 1971 Trans Am and parked it next to his recently restored 1969 GTO convertible.

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Anonymous said...

I beleive that ALL classic american muscle should stay in the U S A !. It,s a shame to see them exported where they cannot be admired by us who love them.

GTO Thomas said...

You cannot imagine how many cool muclecars we have here in Sweden !!!!
Shelbys Hemicudas Trans Am´s ....beleive me!

Many of them arrived in the mid 70´s

jzEllis said...

I wish many more were available here in the states as well, but I am also glad that they are appreciated over seas as well. Sweden isn't the only place where mean US muscle can be found. When I was Stationed in Japan in the early 2000s there were carlots and shops with restored and modified for high speed running, Muscle all over. And for you guys wondering where all the mint IROCs went; THEY'RE ALL IN JAPAN!

Junkyard Life said...

Got any photos of American muscle cars in Japan? I wondered where all the IROCs went. Thanks for the comment!