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Old 10-06-2006, 02:15 PM   #1
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Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

I was just at NADA looking up used f-body prices and this is what my
86 Trans Am is worth with 305 V8 and A/C,
Original MSRP: $12,395
Low.....Average...High
$3,060 $6,390* $7,950

and my 88 Formula,
$1,775 $2,625* $3,250

and a 92 Trans Am
$3,725 $4,800* $5,675

What is so special about an 86?
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ES Tranny & Tq Arm Mount, 160* Stat, K&N Cone Filter, TB Coolant Bypass, Holley Stealth Ram, MSD Billet Dist. Pro 5.0 Shifter,
Hooker Headers, Borla Catback, Lakewood LCA's, BMR Adj. Panhard, 2" Skulte Adaptors, 17" ZR1's w/ Nitto 555RII's,
Craig Moates Adaptors and Chips

WWW.TransAmWS6.Com http://youtube.com/watch?v=BQ54A0NY2l0
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Old 10-06-2006, 02:42 PM   #2
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this is just speculation mind you....

if you looked up all those cars with 305s the 86 will be worth more because a 305 was the best engine at the time. i imagine if you looked at a 92 with a 305 and an 86 with a 305 they would be closer. just guessing though.
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1986 base BIRD LB8_2.8L_V6 17.4@76MPH. mods:
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1988 Trans Am GTA 5.7L TPI L98 14.3@97MPH. mods:
base model spoiler, 4th gen console, 4th gen charcol leather seats, free mods, 89+ rear disc brakes, SLP shorty headers and Y-pipe, full 3" hooker catback, WCT-5 trannsmission, centerforce dual friction clutch. COMING SOON: 4th gen doorhandles, custom transsmisssion crossmember, SFCs, 98+ front brakes.

Last edited by Xophertony; 10-08-2006 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 10-06-2006, 04:26 PM   #3
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Im just>>>>> GUESSING<<<<< maybe it has to do with the appereance, ground effects, fender inserts,hood louvers.I love 86's
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Old 10-06-2006, 05:41 PM   #4
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ohh, also, in 86 a TA was top of the line, in 87 GTA bumped a trans am down to 2nd place.
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Old 10-06-2006, 06:14 PM   #5
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because its so s3xy

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Old 10-06-2006, 06:29 PM   #6
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love mine... the price could be a typo? last time i looked up a retail/trade in price for my car it was like $1400, sad
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Old 10-07-2006, 12:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
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ohh, also, in 86 a TA was top of the line, in 87 GTA bumped a trans am down to 2nd place.
HA HA HA very funny.
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Old 10-07-2006, 08:30 PM   #8
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It's most likely due to the age now qualifying it in a different catagory. Instead of a regular used car it may now be considered classic or something to that effect.
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:59 PM   #9
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Not ragging on your ride - I'd love to have it myself. But NADA guides are pretty much useless, and no serious collector uses them. They are handy if you need to borrow against or insure one for higher than most companies allow ... But not any good for showing what the car is really worth.

There's only ONE way to find out what your car is worth - Try to sell it!

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Old 10-08-2006, 05:27 AM   #10
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Unlikely it's worth that much, but if it is I wish I didn't rip my engine out for a 355.

Nahhhh, what am I thinking!
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Old 10-08-2006, 06:41 AM   #11
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Pretty sure its because the 92 is at its cheapest point in depreseation and the 86 is starting to gain value again. The formula would be cheap because its just a formula.If you want to get abetter idea compare the 86 against a 85 or 87 with the exact same options.
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Old 10-08-2006, 12:47 PM   #12
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87 GTA price:
$2,400 $3,350* $4,050

86 is the oldest it goes on the online NADA guide.

92 GTA Price:
$4,125 $5,250* $6,050
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WWW.TransAmWS6.Com http://youtube.com/watch?v=BQ54A0NY2l0
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Old 10-08-2006, 03:07 PM   #13
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I don't understand how NADA determines their values...

NADA prices for a 1983 Daytona:

TOTAL PRICE Low: $7,963 Average: $14,105 High: $21,060

Regular '83 T/A:

TOTAL PRICE Low: $3,000 Average: $6,375 High: $9,563

They also have a "Night Rider Edition" for 1982 which is worth

TOTAL PRICE Low: $3,531 Average: $5,469 High: $6,406

I don't know how they came up with that one since there is no such thing as a "Night Rider Edition" or even a "Knight Rider Edition"
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Old 10-09-2006, 02:45 AM   #14
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I was looking up some prices for insurance purposes, since I have full coverage on my formula and I get actual cash value based on market price if my Formula was totalled.
I almost got hit a couple of times from inattentive drivers these past couple of weeks.
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Hooker Headers, Borla Catback, Lakewood LCA's, BMR Adj. Panhard, 2" Skulte Adaptors, 17" ZR1's w/ Nitto 555RII's,
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WWW.TransAmWS6.Com http://youtube.com/watch?v=BQ54A0NY2l0
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Old 10-09-2006, 07:08 AM   #15
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since i rstored my 85 i took it to be apraised and the value of it as it sits is $8500
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Old 10-09-2006, 08:14 AM   #16
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NADA shows the 86 as being worth more because it's hit the 20-year "classic" mark. Soon the NADA guide will show the 87s as having a significantly higher value once they transition from their normal guide to their "classic" guide.

Keep in mind that the criteria for what make a "nice" or "average" car change when the model transitions to the classic guide. An "average" classic car is considered to be in significantly better condition than your typical 20 year old beater, and generally the NADA pricing is within the ballpark for a very nice original.
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Old 10-09-2006, 02:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 82FirebirdTA View Post

I don't know how they came up with that one since there is no such thing as a "Night Rider Edition" or even a "Knight Rider Edition"
There is such thing.It was a limited edition, look it up in google, they even have the decals for it at phoenix graphix
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:34 PM   #18
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Thanks alot I just bought a 350 HO to replace the 305 but now since its worth so much i better not Nah man the 350 is going in ASAP. Then paint then il see how much its appraised at. It really doesnt matter I aint gettin rid of the car anyway but it would be nice in case I dont stop in time the next time and kill a Honda (dumb kid)(couldnt get away from me though) LOL
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Old 10-09-2006, 06:52 PM   #19
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maybe cuz it was the first year with the third brake light on it on the exterior of the hatch-mosty cuz its a classic now
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Old 10-09-2006, 07:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
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There is such thing.It was a limited edition, look it up in google, they even have the decals for it at phoenix graphix
There was no Knight Rider edition car.
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:32 AM   #21
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1) 1986 is now 20 yers old and considered a Classic
2) The Knight rider cars may be attributed to the kit KITT cars that people custom make.
3) I believe that NADA takes actual data of sold & purchased cars from dealerships to make their estimations (not sure). I know there was a rough 1985 or 1986 Trans Am LG4 at a local small dealer that they were asking $5000 for... I think it actually sold. I could not believe it...

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Old 10-29-2006, 11:00 PM   #22
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The Formula was the stripper model of the time but if equiped with the same engine is faster than any TA sorta like the old school Roadrunners or LX 5.0's.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:35 PM   #23
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

I guess Im glad I am Rebuilding my 86 TA one day at a time.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:45 AM   #24
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

Wow, talk about an out of date thread!!!!
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:23 PM   #25
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

Dang, all you guys with 86's should have sold them when they peaked back in '06 according to this ancient thread.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:35 PM   #26
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwest Muscle View Post
Not ragging on your ride - I'd love to have it myself. But NADA guides are pretty much useless, and no serious collector uses them. They are handy if you need to borrow against or insure one for higher than most companies allow ... But not any good for showing what the car is really worth.

There's only ONE way to find out what your car is worth - Try to sell it!

Mike M
Too kind. They are totally useless. Try finding a good 88 Formula for $3,250, LOL! Plus, I think the cars are a lot tighter in price than the guide says. I don't think an 86 TA would bring any premium over a 92 T/A in other words. I think the 86 Trans Am price spead approximates real world value at this time for pretty much all Z28, T/A, Formula, IROC and GTA models, with super low mile cars going for 3-4k over that high price.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:57 AM   #27
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

I often wondered if some of the values of cars has to do with someone at NADA owns one, therefore they want it to be worth more...
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:16 AM   #28
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

sorry but i came upon this had to but in there was one model that got axed that year for vapor lock. Thay made 26 or 27 of then that may be y and i know the dead horse thing sorry.
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:56 AM   #29
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

Quote:
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sorry but i came upon this had to but in there was one model that got axed that year for vapor lock. Thay made 26 or 27 of then that may be y and i know the dead horse thing sorry.
The vapor lock problem was corrected by 1986 with an in tank fuel pump. It was a non-issue. My 87 LG4 had 2 pumps to correct the same problem, one on the engine, one in the tank, as did my dads 69 Buick Riviera. IT was not all that uncommon.

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Old 09-25-2013, 10:13 AM   #30
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

ck out trans am world in 1986 the 305 ho l69 was discontinued for " fuel boiling"only 26 trans am that year .my lg4 carb motor had recall for knocking fuel pump no fuel pump in the tank on my car.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:37 AM   #31
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

Wow, according to NADA my 85 Iroc is worth $8500 average retail and $10700 high!
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:34 AM   #32
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

I bet there is plenty of information to support the L69 fuel boiling problem, it is not that difficult problem to correct in all honesty. The truth be told there was new Emissions mandates for 1986, Thus why the 1985 the LB9 was so much hotter than the 1986. Reportedly there was some 1986 LB9's with the 1985 computer, but that is neither here nor there.

In 1986, 22 of the 26 Trans Am HO cars went to the Players series, That leaves only 4 L69 cars were sold to the public, and I believe they also went to Canada, I also want to think they were all made prior to Jan 1, 1986.

In the end, it could be either one, but I doubt that it had to do solely with the vapor lock problem. It was probably more to do from mandates by the Feds. Several cars over the years met this slightly dishonest approach to why they dropped one thing or added another. I am pretty sure the feds get upset when you expose them. and in order to deal with the feds not getting upset, car makers would use an alternate excuse to why it was dropped... It also became obvious that they were going away from carb vehicles in a few years, so instead of creating a stink, that would end them in hot water with the feds (you have to keep your govt happy) they used the other excuse that was would appease the "hoi polloi."

1986 LG4 cars I do not think had the 2nd fuel pump BTW, that started in 1987.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:07 AM   #33
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

The issue is likely a little bit more complex than just emissions. The L69 continued in the Monte SS for a few more years, so it's obvious that the motor could meet emissions standards. What it likely boiled down to was the cost associated with certifying the car against those new emissions standards. The L69 didn't sell well compared to other engines in the f-body, so GM didn't want to spend the money to certify that engine/chassis combo.
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:57 PM   #34
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

Well things really changed since 2006(according to Hagerty)
http://www.hagerty.com/price-guide/1...ntiac-Firebird

Last edited by mantaguy; 09-27-2013 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 09-27-2013, 10:18 AM   #35
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

As soon as a car reaches antique status there's a huge jump in it's valuation.

Here is Hagertys' Valuation page:

http://www.hagerty.com/valuationtools/HVT/VehicleSearch

NADA SUCKS, but since it is the source for most states to base thier valuation of a auto,... ( meaning it's what states base thier auto sales taxes on ) the NADA valuation can't be ignored.

For "classic" cars: http://www.nadaguides.com/Classic-Cars

Strange to see that my 140K mile 86 Z28 is "worth" DOUBLE what my 95Z with 80K on it is "worth" !!

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Old 09-28-2013, 02:35 AM   #36
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

Its funny that Hagerty doesn't list a TPI motor with 215hp for 87. Just the 190hp motor.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:21 PM   #37
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim85IROC View Post
The L69 continued in the Monte SS for a few more years, so it's obvious that the motor could meet emissions standards. What it likely boiled down to was the cost associated with certifying the car against those new emissions standards.
Exactly my point.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:23 PM   #38
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

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Originally Posted by ((Mike)) View Post
Its funny that Hagerty doesn't list a TPI motor with 215hp for 87. Just the 190hp motor.
They do not show the Formula 350 for 87 thru 91, only ofr 92... No Firehawk for 1992 but they do for 1991. And they show a Formula Convertible option for 1991 & 1992... And they show a 350 option on the Convertible too... :rolleyes"

The chart showing the trends is interesting... more along the lines of inflation from what I can tell...
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:16 PM   #39
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

Quote:
The issue is likely a little bit more complex than just emissions. The L69 continued in the Monte SS for a few more years, so it's obvious that the motor could meet emissions standards. What it likely boiled down to was the cost associated with certifying the car against those new emissions standards. The L69 didn't sell well compared to other engines in the f-body, so GM didn't want to spend the money to certify that engine/chassis combo.
NO - It's very simple IMO - there was only room for 1 "high Performance: engine & in 86 that engine was the LB9.

Quote:
They do not show the Formula 350 for 87 thru 91, only ofr 92... No Firehawk for 1992 but they do for 1991. And they show a Formula Convertible option for 1991 & 1992... And they show a 350 option on the Convertible too... :rolleyes"
Want a real laugh - take a look at the options the NADA site give you to pick from !



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Old 10-02-2013, 08:06 AM   #40
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

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Originally Posted by John in RI View Post
NO - It's very simple IMO - there was only room for 1 "high Performance: engine & in 86 that engine was the LB9."
I suppose you could look at it like that, but someone could argue that they had the LB9/A4 and L69/M5 in 1985 without any qualms... The L69 was mated only to the 5 speed for 83, 85 & 86. Starting in 1987 they had the LB9/M5 option so you might have some validity, I wonder with the new regs, and the fact that the 4BBL L69 would probably way out perform the LB9 of 1986 (it was a dog compared to other years) I wonder if that had anything to do with it, they did introduce the LB9/M5 the same time they introduced the L98 in the F-body...

What I found funny is I found references the the L69 for 1987 in the parts & illustration catalogs, although they never made any.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:14 AM   #41
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Re: Why is the 86 Trans Am worth so much?

For grins, I checked Zephers cars today

86 T/A AC & V8
Original Low Retail Avg Retail High Retail
$12,395 $3,000 $6,329 $9,420

88 Formula
$11,999 $2,250 $4,550 $6,700

92 T/A W/350
$18,105 $3,245 $6,380 $9,570

I also went to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and learned that
$7950 in 2006 is now $9222.83
$3250 is now $3770.34
$5675 is now $6583.59

So really the 86 is at 1.02% of its value in 2006, the Formula is at 170% of its value in 2006, and the 92 is at 145% of its 2006 value 2006...

The Formula was technically a better investment in 2006 than either Trans Am... According to NADA that is...


Also found a little black book from 1997, The 1992 Trans Am (only went back to 1990) had values of
X-Clean Clean Average Rough
$9700 $8915 $7440 $5825

From a book by "Cars & Parts 2002 Ultimate Collector Car Price Guide"
86 Trans Am
$300 $1000, $1600, $3200, $5700, $8100

88 Formula
$400, $1100, $1800, $3600, $6200, $9100

91 Trans Am (did not show 1992)
$600, $1600, $2800, $5600, $9700, $14000

John

Last edited by okfoz; 10-02-2013 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 10-02-2013, 08:14 AM
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