The Malaise Era was tough for most enthusiasts to deal with, but the emergence of fuel injection and computers were the first steps in bringing performance back to 1960s levels. Our Pick of the Day is one of the shining stars of this emerging performance class of cars: a 1994 Pontiac 25th Anniversary Trans Am. It is listed for sale on by a private seller in Manvel, Texas. (Click the link to view the listing)

When the third-generation Trans Am finished production in 1992, the top engine was a “corporate” 350 offering 240 horsepower with an automatic transmission, as a manual was not offered with this engine. More power was available from SLP Engineering with the Formula Firehawk though, despite being an invoiced model, it was on another level in price.

Then, Pontiac introduced the fourth-generation Firebird for 1993, which brought the new LT1 engine into the fold. This engine, part of the Generation II GM small-block series introduced for the 1992 Corvette, featured 275 horsepower from 350cid. Featuring a cast iron block with aluminum heads, this was the first of the recent 5.7-liter F-bodies to offer a manual transmission, in this case a six-speed manual that functioned as a close-ratio four-speed with two overdrive gears.

Folks who waited for the next model year were rewarded for their patience because 1994 marked the 25th anniversary of the Trans Am. Originally introduced mid-year in the 1969 model year, the Trans Am was Pontiac’s entry in the Trans-Am racing series, but its engine was not qualified for Trans-Am racing as it measured 6.6 liters – much larger than the 5.0-liter limit for the series. Nonetheless, the white and blue Firebird made an impact, continuing that paint scheme (and the inverse) through 1972. Through it all, the Trans Am played the role of the top Firebird and, for many, the most desired American performance car.

The 25th Anniversary Trans Am “spiritually and mechanically embodies the original,” claimed Pontiac. Painted in Bright White with Bright Blue centerline stripe, this special Trans Am featured the LT1 engine that Pontiac claimed could pull 14.2-second ETs. Better out-of-the-showroom performance while lacking 50 cubic-inches from the original? The good times were back!

This 33,500-mile 1994 Pontiac 25th Anniversary Trans Am is one of 1,825 coupes built and, like all of them, it features White Prado leather seats with blue embroidery, and anniversary logos and badges everywhere. “I am the second owner [bought 4/22] … it has a clean title with no accidents,” says the seller. A four-speed automatic and limited-slip differential make it easy for two black streaks on the pavement, but why beat on this low-mile example? This one is to enjoy and appreciate at shows and Sunday drives.

Intake, rear end, and stabilizer have been upgraded to G2 Performance Parts by Gigliotti, plus the owner has spent $6,000 in recent refurbishments. This is a lot of car for $20,000 – perhaps the best value on Buy it and tell us if it’s true.

Click here for this Pick of the Day.

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