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His antics earned him a spot in countless memes, tattoos, and hearts. I’m referring, of course, to Rainn Wilson’s portrayal of Dwight Schrute in “The Office.” Well, the minds behind the show sought to match Dwight’s ridiculous character with an appropriate ride. To accomplish the automotive casting, Rainn Wilson’s beloved character drove a deceptively cool F-Body 1987 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am. 

Like Dwight Schrute, the 1987 Pontiac Trans Am grows on you

In the first few minutes of Dwight Schrute’s altercation with John Krasinski’s Jim Halpert, you get a sense of just who Dwight is. He’s confrontational, confident, aspirational, and, above all else, entertaining. Fortunately for car fans, Schrute’s 1987 Pontiac Trans Am fits the bill. 

In 2005, when the show first debuted, the muscle car was already voting age. As such, Dwight’s Trans Am is the oldest car in Dunder Mifflin’s parking lot. However, that doesn’t compromise the car’s potential. At a glance, the show’s fans will likely dismiss the aging third-generation pony car and its flaking maroon paintwork.

Like so many muscle cars of the 1980s, GM’s Pontiac Firebird suffered through the malaise era. However, by the late ‘80s, Pontiac’s F-Body models were producing over 200 horsepower again (GTA). Listening to Schrute’s Trans Am drag a baby stroller down a Scranton street confirms that his silly hot rod is packing eight cylinders. Consequently, the dated, fuel-economy-be-damned appeal of the muscle car fits Schrute’s quirkiness all too well. 

A 1987 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA shows off its front-end styling.
1987 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am GTA | Denver Post via Getty Images

However, in a post-millennium aftermarket scene, a 1987 Pontiac Trans Am has potential. Sure, the small block V8s of the day were a bit, well, anemic. That doesn’t have to stop you, or Dwight Schrute, for that matter, from getting creative. I once blew a U-joint trying to keep up with my buddy in his 383-swapped third-gen F-Body. Should everyone’s favorite “The Office” screwball wanted to, he could have made his Firebird Trans Am crush competition like a forbidden warehouse baler. 

Still, in the show’s pilot, Rainn Wilson’s famous character mentions restoring a classic Datsun 280Z. That said, I’m glad Dwight Schrute drove a classic Pontiac Firebird Trans Am instead of a lovingly restored 280Z. The Datsun would have been simply too desirable and refined a ride for Schrute’s silly appeal.