The Rise of The Muscle CarS

Many many moons ago, I owned a 3800 Powered 96 Firebird. The car I actually wanted - pictured above - cost almost twice as much even when in poor condition. So I figured I'd just compromise and hang on to the V6 until the LS1 dropped far enough in price. Time would pass. New cars would replace the old. These had to drop in price sooner or later, so I'd wait them out. Good plan, right?

The Rise of The Muscle CarS

Time did in fact pass. But not without small non-trivial lull in production from GM and Dodge, which created pent up demand. New muscle cars would indeed come out, but none of them would carry a Pontiac badge. Now that new Pontiacs weren't ever coming out, old ones became desirable, which inflated their prices. Third Gen Trans Ams are reaching price-Parody with their LS1 counterparts, and used G8s hovered around new MSRP for years post cancellation.

So that LS1 Trans Am I wanted back when the Magna Carta had been freshly signed is now thousands of dollars more in same condition. Mid-to-low mileage ones already breaking the $10k barrier on their way to $15k. $5k ones are either autos or at the end of their lives.

There are about ~100 cars of this vintage for sale nationwide between the Camaro and Firebird. There are six times as many mustangs of the same era and equipment (V8, three pedals) It's true that the mustang outsold the F-body two-to-one before it died, but that's half the problem. The other half is hoarding. Because Pontiac is dead, the Firebird will never rise again. Owners of low mileage examples must be holding on to their cars, and as prices continue to climb for them, Why not?

I guess the moral of this story is compromise isn't always the best option. If I had just brought the car I wanted instead of bargaining with myself about it, I could have at least crossed 'owned an LS1 powered car' off the bucket list.