1978 Pontiac Macho Trans Am
To be featured in a future episode of Gas Monkey\'s Fast N Loud this current season
Number 104 of 204 examples made in 1978
Stunning Starlight Black (code 19) exterior and black interior
400 CID V-8 engine (code L78), with an 800cfm Rochester Quadrajet carburetor
Borg-Warner Super T-10 close-ratio four-speed manual transmission (code M21) and 3.42 rear end (code GU6) with Positraction (code G80)
WS6 Performance Package and F41 suspension
Power steering, power brakes, power windows, power door locks and tilt steering column
Eight-inch cast aluminum “snowflake” wheels (code YJ8)
Mecham Design letter of authenticity, original build sheet
Own this Vehicle from $499 per month-call 636-600-4600
After you see one of our latest acquisitions at MotoeXotica Classic Cars, a 1978 Macho Trans Am, you might think of The Village People or wonder why anyone would write that on a car. “At that time, Macho was the ‘in’ word in the Southwest, said Dennis Mecham. “It may not be the best name but how can you forget it?”
If you’ve never heard of the Macho Trans Am, don’t feel out of touch. Only a couple hundred of these modified Firebirds were hatched by brothers Dennis and Kyle Mecham. Their dad, Evan, was a Phoenix-area Pontiac dealer, and beginning in 1977, the brothers would take delivery of new Trans Ams, make some modifications, and sell them back as used cars to Mecham Pontiac, where they would then be sold to the public.
Why the hoop jumping? The federal government prohibited modifying new cars and selling them as new cars thanks to an avalanche of new restrictions, but if a car was titled as “used,” problem solved.
This car was built in GM’s Van Nuys, California assembly plant on June 29, 1978 and was delivered to Mecham Pontiac in Glendale, Arizona. It came with the following major options – power door locks, tinted glass, power windows, power trunk lid, rear window defroster, power four-wheel disc brakes, Formula steering wheel on tilt steering column, heavy-duty battery, heavy-duty cooling and rally gauges.
Dressed in Starlight Black paint (code 19) with red accents, this car’s paint and trim are in very good condition. The glass panels are clear and intact, including the rear window with its electric defroster. The car’s lights are clear and haze-free and still look as great as they did in 1978. This car has the WS6 Performance Package and the vaunted F41 suspension bits. This ‘Bird rides on BFGoodrich Radial T/As, size P235/60R15 at all four corners. Each tire surrounds a snowflake wheel (code YJ8). The wheels and tires are in excellent condition.
The car’s bodywork is solid and straight. The trunk is in very good order, the engine bay is very tidy and the bumpers fit well to the body.
Underneath that shaker scoop is a 400 CID V-8 engine (code L78), with an 800cfm Rochester Quadrajet carburetor and breathing through dual exhausts. Backing that motor is a Borg-Warner Super T-10 close-ratio four-speed manual transmission (code M21) and a 3.42 rear end (code GU6) and Positraction (code G80). Driver convenience features include air-conditioning, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power door locks, remote driver’s side mirror control and tilt steering column.
Inside, the driver’s seat show some wear and tear and there’s a hole in the front passenger seat but overall, the car’s black front buckets and rear bench seats are in good order while the matching carpet is in very good condition. The black headliner, matching instrument panel with its silver inlay and Formula three-spoke steering wheel are all in similar very good order. One of the instrument panel vent bezels is not secure. The inner door panels, mirror glass, center console and shift lever are all in good order.
Forty years ago, two brothers, Dennis and Kyle Mecham, decided to do something about the state of American factory performance cars, at least for the Trans Ams delivered to their father’s Pontiac dealership near Phoenix, Arizona. The dealership became the base for DKM/Macho Firebirds. They built 26 Trans Ams with several performance “enhancements.” These modified cars became a local and regional hit with customers so the Mechams expanded to include other Pontiac dealers in 1978.
The Macho T/A equation was simple – the Mechams bought new Trans Ams, made the mods then resold them as used vehicles to other Pontiac dealers. The Mechams set the stock Rochester Quadrajet carburetor to run richer and changed the distributor to alter the spark advance. The brothers also opened the sealed shaker hood scoop, increasing airflow to the stock air box and screened the opening. A set of Hooker headers were added with a 2.5-inch dual exhaust, crossover pipe and dual catalytic converters, taking the place of the stock exhaust.
Other changes included dropping the front end by 1.5 inches, put Koni adjustable shocks at all four corners, re-tempered front springs and added 60-series tires on factory rims, plus 24 available interior/exterior colors and Macho Trans Am graphics. For extra money, buyers could request their own exterior color and for even more money, the Macho graphics would be applied using DuPont’s Imron. As a trial, the Mechams put their mods on a ’77 Trans Am in stock and put it on the showroom floor; it sold in three days. Laboring part-time, they sold 26 more Machos in 1977.
After 178 more Machos, the experiment ended in 1980, when Pontiac downsized to the 301 CID V-8 from the 400s and 455s. “If you got any real horsepower (out of the 301), you were rebuilding a hand grenade,” said Mecham.
Documentation includes Mecham Design letter of authenticity, original factory build sheet and DKM Production Sheet and will be featured in a future episode of Gas Monkey\'s Fast N Loud this current season.
Competition to this Pontiac in 1978 included Chevrolet’s Camaro, Datsun’s 280ZX 2+2, Ford’s Mustang, Mazda’s RX-7 and Toyota’s Celica Supra.
This car is currently located at our facility in St. Louis, Missouri. Current mileage on the odometer shows 34,811 miles. It is sold as is, where is, on a clean and clear, mileage exempt title. GET OUT AND DRIVE!!!
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