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Dheeraj's 1992 Trans Am GTA

Dheeraj loves classics and dreams of owning a Plymouth Barracuda. But for now, his Trans Am GTA is all the car he needs. He tells fellow fan Imran Malik all about it

  • Pontiac Trans Am GTA
    Dheeraj bought his Trans Am after seeing an advert for it online.Image Credit: Dennis B Mallari/GNM
  • Pontiac Trans Am GTA
    Beige and black interior look fabulous on these third generation Pontiacs.Image Credit: Dennis B Mallari/GNM
  • Pontiac Trans Am GTA
    Pop-up headlights were notorious for going wrong. But, these ones work just fine.Image Credit: Dennis B Mallari/GNM
  • Pontiac Trans Am GTA
    This 350 cubic inch V8 (5.7-litre) has plenty of life left in it. Just ask the rear wheels for proof...Image Credit: Dennis B Mallari/GNM
  • Pontiac Trans Am GTA
    We love the burgundy paint and the gold wheels.Image Credit: Dennis B Mallari/GNM
  • Pontiac Trans Am GTA
    Dheeraj's Trans Am is all original and he plans on keeping it that way.Image Credit: Dennis B Mallari/GNM

You're a young guy who loves old cars. Tell us more…

I've been passionate about cars since childhood. And the more classic the car, the more it appeals to me. I just love these machines, their sound and the feeling of sitting behind the wheel.

I like to buy used cars and restore them to good working condition. I have an E36 BMW 3 Series with a manual transmission which I'm preparing for use on the track. It's a work in progress. 

That'll be one fun ride when it's done. But I really like your Trans Am. Great cars, aren't they?

Yes, they really are. My GTA is a third-generation Pontiac. It's a 1992 model which happens to be the last year for this generation. There's a 5.7-litre V8 engine sitting under the bonnet mated to a four-speed automatic. It produces around 240bhp. The GTA represented the highest model in the Firebird line-up which came with extra features over the regular models. This one has a ground effects body kit and a performance suspension package too. 

It looks really sharp. How did you come across it?

I was looking for a muscle car and when I saw the online advert for this, I becam every interested.

My best friend and I went to have a look at it and after a test drive, I decided that there was no car that I wanted other than this. 

Good decision! What are your favourite things about it?

Its performance, sitting low to the ground and the sound of the V8. It is not old enough to be considered a classic yet, but it won't be too long before it is. I love the long bonnet and the famous pop-up headlights.

It is a perfect combination of affordability, looks and power. 

It sure is. Have you modified it to improve its performance or handling in any way?

No modifications have been carried out, it is completely stock and I intend to keep it this way.

The only thing that I changed was the music system since I love to listen to my tunes while I cruise. 

Do you have any trouble getting it serviced or finding parts?

Surprisingly not. Usually people think that such old cars are hard to maintain whereas this one is not. Parts are still available at General Motors and I also order stuff from eBay where you can find new as well as old bits and bobs. In addition, there are a huge number of websites that sell parts for these cars. 

I should give you a list of things that I need for my GTA! I bet it raises a smile from passers-by…

It does, or they'll stare at it in amazement! In traffic, I notice people trying to get a look at it and they give me the thumbs up. 

But it doesn't just look great; it still has lots of power, right?

Well, when you think about the power that this car had for its time, it was really impressive and that still holds true today.

It has bags of tyre-melting torque and a mere dab of the throttle and the rear wheels begin to spin with ease. It's a burn-out machine! 

You got that right! You must go through as many tyres as I do! Where do you enjoy driving it the most?

Everywhere, as I use it daily! But more than city driving, I like to open it up on the highway.

They sure do gobble up an open road. Would you ever part with it?

I have developed a real attachment to this car. Everywhere I go, it goes with me. It kind of represents me and has given me an identity. I have thought about selling it but I keep changing my mind.

I don't plan on keeping it forever but it will stay with me for a good couple of years or until I can afford an even older car. 

A first-generation Trans Am would be nice…

Yes, they are my favourite but they're also very rare indeed. 

Your GTA has played a big part in your social life hasn't it?

Yes, a few months ago, I had a Trans Am car meet where people with the same car got together. It was just amazing how each one of us had so much to share.

We parked our cars in a line by Mamzar Beach and attracted quite an audience. We spent a good three hours or so discussing our cars and getting to know each other too, which was great. And then we drove in a formation down the road, it was quite a scene seeing five of the same cars together.

These are the times which make me feel fortunate to own a car like this. I usually have a lot of people coming up to me to enquire about my car — people who have owned these cars or are fans of it. 

Finally, what is your dream car?

The 1970 to 1974 Plymouth Barracudas. I have encountered one of these in Abu Dhabi. As I was passing by some villas near the airport, I saw this beautiful blue 'Cuda parked there. It had a 383-cubic-inch (6.3-litre) V8 engine and the car was in mint condition and totally original. When I can afford to, I'm going to import one from the US.

These cars are rare to find here and if you do, they're very expensive. I know it would be difficult to find parts but I don't mind the hassle as it will be worth all the effort.

The 'Cuda is not as huge as other muscle cars and this appeals to me.




Name: Dheeraj Gosavi
Job: Transport and housing supervisor
From: Mumbai, India
Wheels: 1992 Pontiac Trans Am GTA
In the UAE: 20 years