1970 Pontiac Trans Am RA III

1970 Pontiac Trans Am RA III

When a 1970 Pontiac Trans Am RA III was listed for sale by Prestige Motor Car Co in Clifton Park, New York it posed a question in the Cars On Line.com office. Which is better, a 1970 Camaro Z/28 or a 1970 Trans Am? Chevy fans would argue for the Camaro, but the collector car market places a much higher value on the Trans Am. We think the answer is in the Ram Air III package which came on all ’70s Trans Ams.

This car has been SOLD.

In 1970, the Pontiac Trans Am came into its own as a bare-knuckles brawler.  Critics were impressed.  Here is what they were saying back in the day. Sport Car Graphic, “Overall handling feel — for a production car — was as near to a front engine race car as we have ever driven.” And Car and Driver called the 1970 Pontiac Trans Am “a hard muscled, lightning-flexed commando of a car, the likes of which doesn’t exist anywhere in the world, even for twice the price.” They estimated that 57 percent of the force of the Trans Am was applied toward the front wheels. Was weight distribution critical to handling? You bet.

Read the description of this 1970 Pontiac Trans Am RA III and you might see why we say the Trans Ams were more powerful. While the Trans Ams had the torque, the Camaro Z/28 model would have been quicker with a better ability to run through the gears. Both cars were the closest thing to being race prepped that had ever been produced from the factory up to that time. But the Ram Air III WS (for 4-speed) engines came with the 400 ci V8, 345 bhp @ 5000 rpm and 430 lb-ft @ 3400 rpm. (Automatics had YZ RA III 400 ci engines with same specs.) Ram Air engines benefitted from special attention during their build. Components were carefully chosen and held to higher tolerances than other Pontiac engines. All Ram Air heads got the oval shaped exhaust ports instead of the “D” shaped ports in all other 400 ci engines. The push rods that were used in the RA III were 11/32″ in diameter instead of the standard 5/16″, giving the RA III pushrods greater stiffness for the aggressive camshaft used and higher valve spring pressure. Only the 1970 Trans Am was available with the famous Pontiac 12-bolt rear end.

The 1970 Pontiac Trans Am RA III you see here is verified by its Pontiac Historical Society PHS report. Delivered new to Russ Regenold Pontiac in Anderson, Tennessee, it spent much of its life in the Southeast. Prestige says it has only 48,815 original miles. “Careful examination of this car shows it to be very, very original,” they wrote. They say it is rust free and well cared for.

In addition to factory power steering and power front disc brakes, it has the Formula steering wheel, Rally gauge package with instrument panel tachometer and clock. Options include pushbutton radio and a console. It is interesting to point out that the tachometer is turned on its side to redline at 12 o’clock, just like in a real race car.

Way ahead of its time, the Trans Am had a race tuned suspension that would be a Trans Am trademark. It handled better than a Corvette. It was available only in Polar white or Lucent blue. The smallish “bird” at the nose and the words Trans Am across the rear spoiler were modest acknowledgement of its prowess.

Documentation includes all Pontiac Historical Society (PHS) records, detailed build report, dealer order form,  a build sheet, window sticker, owner’s manual and more.  Prestige says the original keys and a portfolio of  restoration photos will be part of the sale.

1970 Pontiac Trans Am rear view

1970 Pontiac Trans Am dash

1970 Pontiac Trans Am engine

Click here to see more photos and info on the 1970 Pontiac Trans Am with Ram Air III package.

Or, click to find similar rare classic muscle cars in the Pontiac Muscle Car Section on the Cars On Line website.

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One Response to 1970 Pontiac Trans Am RA III

  1. shannon December 8, 2016 at 1:18 am #

    is this car for sale

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