LIMA — 1989 was probably the biggest year for Pontiac with respect to press coverage, promotions, and performance. It was not well known at the time, but in 1989, Pontiac produced the quickest and fastest American production car. The Trans Am model was now 20 years old, and it was time for another anniversary edition. The folks at Pontiac didn’t hold anything back. They packed the 1989 Pontiac Trans Am with a powerful version of the turbocharged Buick 3.8 liter, V6, which was originally developed for the Buick Regal Grand National. This led to “Car and Driver” magazine testing the car, logging a zero to 60 mph run in 4.6 seconds, and a standing quarter-mile in 13.4 seconds at 101 mph. “Car and Driver” reported that the 1989 Pontiac Trans Am was the quickest - to 60 sprinter available in any US production car showroom, at any price. “Motor Trend” ran their top speed test article “Flat-out Fastest American Cars II-the Sequel. “Motor Trend” declared the 1989 Chevy Corvette the winner, but it was not a production car, merely a prototype at that time. Because of speed, the Pontiac Trans Am gained a cult following among amateur racing enthusiasts.
Chad Sanders, of Lima, brought his 1989 Pontiac Trans Am to The Lima News’ Real Wheels Cruise-In. He has owned it for 15 years. This was a daily driver for Chad for two years. He has had it repainted and an aftermarket hood placed on it. Sanders said his best memory is riding up to Minnesota on a Greyhound to pick the car up.