The French philosopher-economist Frederic Bastiat wrote about the unseen repercussions of government interfering with the market’s natural progressions. In other words, what might have been. Perhaps the saddest four words in the language.
One such might-have-been is the 1982 Turbo Trans-Am.
You have probably never heard of it. Because, of course, it was never produced. But it almost was. And had it been, Pontiac might not have gone out of business.
But, I am getting ahead of the story.
It was the early ’80s and the Pontiac Firebird (and its sister car, the Chevy Camaro) were long overdue for a major update. They’d been in continuous production since 1970 and although they’d both set sales records for their respective divisions in the mid-late ’70s — in part because they were neat cars but also because there were so few other neat cars around during the disco-era darkness — by the time of Ronald Reagan’s first inauguration, it was clearly time for a change.