Muscle cars are a ton of fun, but their driver-focused design generally doesn’t offer much utility. General Motors imagined tackling this weakness in 1985 by creating the Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Kammback concept that combined V8 grunt with a longer roof. The project never came to fruition, but one of the test mules has now turned up on the consignment list for Barrett Jackson’s 2017 sale in Scottsdale, Arizona, from January 14-22.
According to the auction listing, the long-roof Trans Am concept packs a high-output 305-cubic-inch (5.0-liter) V8 and five-speed manual gearbox. By 1985 standards, the car is also full of features, including air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, and tilting steering wheel. A Dove Gray leather interior complements the white exterior and wheels.
The Kammback takes its name from German engineer Wunibald Kamm. The design features a rear that abruptly cuts off to a flat tail that reduces drag. It can allow for higher top speeds and better fuel economy – plus extra cargo space. GM was apparently quite serious about implementing this design for the Trans Am because this specific example was also the pace car PPG and IMSA Race Series for during the 1985 series.
While the vehicle never went into production, GM kept the test mules. In 1998, Detroit-based Pontiac dealer acquired this one and restored it. This auction includes a three-ring binder detailing the Trans Am Kammback’s history, and a letter from Pontiac Historical Services with more info about the car. Since this is an original concept, the vehicle comes with a bill of sale, not a title. Unfortunately, that makes the Kammback practically impossible to license for the road.
The Kammback has shown up at auction before. In 2007, RM Sothebys sold one with the same VIN number for $66,000. However, that sale showed the car as having a four-speed manual gearbox, whereas Barrett Jackson has listed it as a five-speed. RM also sold an example for $35,200 in 2010. The upcoming auction will have no reserve, so we’ll be curious to see where the price will fall this time.