MCG Expert Panel | Pontiac Trans Am Expert Rick McLaughlin

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Owner of the “Trans Am Museum”, restored and owned hundreds of Trans Ams

Areas of Expertise:

Trans Am


Rick’s first car was a 1978 Y88, and was immediately hooked on Trans Ams to this day. Rick’s mother was even a fan of Pontiacs, purchasing a new 1973 Grand Prix, then another one in 1975, which she let Rick take to his high school prom. She then talked him into buying a used ’75 Trans Am in 1977, which he traded in on the new Y88. Shortly after that, Rick then purchased two new ’79 10th Anniversary Trans Ams, blaming his weakness for these cars on his mother.

Owning hundreds of TAs led to Rick opening the McLaughlin Museum , which specializes in low-mileage TAs. The “Bandit Run” once made a visit to the museum in 2007, leading to a one-of-a-kind experience with enthusiasts from all over.

Rick has spent his life in the pursuit of primo-condition Trans Ams, and he keeps a stable of at least 20 of them in his museum at all times. 

With Rick, the love for Trans Ams is real, stating, “Pontiac excitement truly lives!”

79 TA

Rick, I purchased my first car from you out of college when you worked @ McClinton Chevrolet in Parkersburg, WV!
Just have a quick question, the 79 TA’s, I know the black was done in a “special edition” due to the movie, but did they make a special edition gold in ’79 also?


Darren Jackson

Good to hear from you , the answer is No 79 Gold SE

4 months ago

1970 Plymouth Roadrunner purchase

I m looking at a 1970 Roadrunner that s for sale.
It’s a one owner with all documentation.
Dealer invoice, repairs etc in binder.
The car has bondo on inner fenders, & its apparent the
quarter panels were replaced given bondo over joint on rocket panel.
The dash is cracked but underneath the frame rails are solids.
Car is from NC.
Owner wants $40K
I feel since you can see where body work was done & other flaws, cracked dash, rusted steering column it’s more like a $35 k car.
Your opinion please?

You didn’t mention which drivetrain but I would feel $20,000-$25,000 Sir , Rick McLaughln

4 months ago

Trans Am 455ho 1972

My name is Johan and im from Sweden.
I have one
Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 1972 445Ho Matching number car.
*Black interior
*3-Speed Turbo Hydra-Matic
Do You Know how many were made like this?
Best regards Johan !

There are No production #s for color combo , just Drivetrain ,Sounds like a Very Sharp TA though , Rick McLaughln

4 months ago

Proof of meeting EPA emissions for 1971 GTO for CA DMV registration

I’m original owner of a 1971 GTO purchased and registered in Canada. I’m trying to register the car in CA and the DMV is requiring “a letter from Pontiac stating the car meets the emissions standards for 1971”.
Any thought on how to get such a letter? Alternative documentation could be acceptable as well (not sure what that would be).

In 71 Emissions should not be an issue , But PHS could help , Rick McLaughlin

4 months ago

73 trans am

what are the production numbers on a 73 trans am without the screaming chicken decals,i read the decals were optional but ive seen 73 TA`S without decals like in the movie EYE FOR A EYE staring Chuck Norris

The Hood Bird is the only Decal that is an option , all the "Trans Am " decals are standard , there are No Production #s on " No Bird" TAs

10 months ago

Does changing the color change the value?

I am in the process of buying a 1971 LT1 Corvette. The car is completely original EXCEPT it was repainted buy the first of two owners. It began life as Orange, and the first owner decided to have it painted yellow. How badly does this color change hurt the value of the car?
It is highly optioned, and only has 13,850 miles on it, (all very well documented by the current owner).

Color change ALWAYS hurts Value and on a Low Mile Original car like yours it Hurts even more , this car Deserves to be back to its Original Orange , thanks , Rick McLaughlin

11 months ago

I Have Been Looking For A Guy Like You For Years!

I have a 1986 1/2 Trans Am. All original inside and out-except the tires, nothing missing except the original t top bag. We are the third owners, and it has only been in our family. The original purchase date was 9/5/86, per the Warranty and Owners Assistance Information booklet. I have never been able to find any information online pertaining to this mid year model. Specifically, number produced, number remaining today-and of those how many original, and variances between mid year models themselves. Any suggestions on where to start?

PHS can help some , but how many remaining no way to tell , thanks , Rick

11 months ago

1970 Trans am with factory moon roof

Rick , I have a chance to purchase a 1970 Trans am 4 speed no console with a factory moon roof . The car was never titled . The car was sold to GM Canada and ’’Test Vehicle". My issue is the electric moon roof . heve you ever heard of such a thing ?
Owner said it was installed by GM as test but decided to go with T Tops . The car has PHS

Thanks in advance

If Sunfoof is factory it will be on PHS , but in this case would not rule out experimental , Rick

11 months ago

1968 GP production

Is there some sort of list of where GPs were assembled for the 1968 year? I bought one recently and it shows Linden, NJ. But with the limited numbers produced for that year I’m curious what other assembly plants cranked them out.

PHS , Pontiac Historical Services can help you ,just give them your VIN , Rick McLaughlin

about 1 year ago
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