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The entire point of the American muscle car was to put performance in the hands of us regular folks. Pony cars with powerful Detroit V8s were once entry-level sports cars, but now many have become collectors items. Some sell for six figures, and you’ll struggle to find many under $30k. A collector’s car like that isn’t something you want to thrash. Enter the 1982-85 Pontiac Firebird.

I bet you didn’t expect to see a RWD, V8 muscle car on Hagerty’s list of eight 1980s classics you can get for $5,000 or less. And most folks think of the Firebird as a relatively expensive muscle car. But that’s because a 1985 in the Trans Am trim level can easily go for $15,000.

A non Trans Am, which has the same 5.0-liter V8, sometimes changes hands for $5,000 or less. Best of all, you can get these Radwood-era classics with a stick shift.

Red Pontiac Firebird
1984 Pontiac Trans Am | Bring a Trailer

The 1984 Pontiac pictured sold on Bring a Trailer for an absurd $3,700. It had the high output tune of the 5,0-liter L69 V8 and a 5-speed transmission. The only major modification was an aftermarket exhaust. And of course there’s that eye-catching red paint.

I’ll be honest, these cars are a bit rare at that price point. But a quick search turned up a few more. Bring a Trailer also saw a 1986 automatic car go for $5,700.

Next, find out what makes the Jeep Comanche the perfect classic truck bargain. Or if you’re dreaming of your own Firebird you can see a full buying guide in the video below:


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