When I think of the Pontiac Trans Am, I think of two things. The first obviously is the classic film Smokey and the Bandit which inspired mad races like the Gumball 3000. The other was a girl I met that had a tattoo of wings on her body and was nicknamed Pontiac by me but that is another story. She was a fiery bird.
I recently met Hameed Jan who is the owner of a 1980 Pontiac Trans Am Turbo. So far he has modified the engine putting in a Pontiac Big Block 455 and it looks unbelievably powerful alongside the Pontiac 455 camshaft and carburettor. He has done a stunning job and it looks as good as it sounds.
Hameed has been involved in lots of local car shows but he isn’t interested in participating in big shows. He is unsurprisingly very proud of his car and who can blame him. I was extremely jealous of his car and have always had a soft spot for the Pontiac Trans Am Turbo. He started riding in the 1980s and he has a Pontiac since he was very young.
I asked what improvements he would like to see happen on the roads in Bahrain and he told me that he wanted to reduce traffic control restrictions. He is a complete Pontiac obsessive and he loves nothing more than being in his garage restoring and upgrading his Pontiac. He would like to extend his collection and is always on the lookout for older Pontiacs to restore. If he could have any classic car it would be a 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge. A car that I have a fondness for after watching the original Dukes of Hazard. Hameed definitely knows his iconic American cars.
As you would expect from a successful businessman like Hameed he understands the importance of detail and he spent so much time and love restoring his car that it really is a labour of love. He really has done an amazing job on the Pontiac Trans Am Turbo it looks immaculate. It does not just look sensational it also sounds and drives to perfection. His favourite sound is when he starts that engine and he can feel that growl from under the hood. Not surprisingly Hameed loves this sound and he enjoys taking out his pride and joy for long journeys. He is an active member of the Bahrain Classic Cars group.
It was an absolute pleasure to meet Hameed. Everybody loves the Pontiac Trans Am Turbo and the restoration job he has done is out of the world. Sometimes people cut corners but Hameed has not and he has been rewarded with a spectacular ride.
Now I wonder what happened to that girl I used to know Pontiac. Maybe I will see if I can find her.
Photography: Moh’d Alkhaja – At Al Areen Palace Hotel