The DKM Macho Trans Am & The MR MSE Trans Am

The history of the Macho Trans Am dates back to 1977 when two brothers, Dennis and Kyle Mecham, sons of a Phoenix area Pontiac dealer decided to begin modifying Firebirds to restore some of the missing performance brought about by the addition of more and more emissions equipment on factory cars. The brothers began by adding turbochargers in 1977. In 1978 203 Macho TAs would come out of the DKM shop. A W72/L78 engine was used as a baseline, the carb and ignition were modified and a set of Hooker headers and twin catalytic converters were added for a net 50bhp gain. An optional turbo-charger could also be added for a 7psi boost. Interestingly, the TAs were all sold as used cars. This was required because Federal law prohibited any modifications to the emissions system on a new car. The dealership, Mecham Pontiac, sold the new cars to Mecham Performance. The modifications were performed and the cars were then sold to the public. They had virtually no miles on them and had no tags but were sold as a used car because the had already been titled by Mecham Performance.

Production continued in 1979 where both the 400 and 403 versions of the Trans Am received the modifications required for a Macho Trans Am. DKM performed several other modifications including modifying the hood scoop to make it functional. Suspensions were also modified by adding Koni shocks, front springs retempered for rake and re-calibrated geometry. Visual appearance was also changed. Macho options included Recaro or Scheel seats, Fosgate stereo, different wheels and tires, fiberglass hood and the new paint scheme that varied by color. Every Macho TA also received a production number

1979 also saw the release of a very limited run of a new offering from DKM, the DKM Tallon Super Tourer. This Firebird could be ordered with a turbo-charged 400 or a normally aspirated 350 Chevy. The Tallon received fiberglass fenders, hood, rear quarters and bolt-on air dam. American Specialty wheels with 50 series tires were installed. Hooker headers, a 5-speed Doug Nash tranny, Koni shocks and the WS6 package were also added. At significant additional cost ($7600) a Traco-built Chevy 350 rated at 460bhp could be installed.

DKMs efforts continued through the '80s with the MR MSE TAs (Mecham Racing Motor Sports Edition) which were produced from 1982 to 1986. In 1997 Dennis was approached by a Macho fan and owner about producing a new Mecham TA. After some initial discussions the decision was made to produce a few cars and that effort continued throughout the 2002 model year. A Mecham T/A and a Mecham Formula were both offered.

You can visit his site at


Original Vintage 1978 Macho Trans Am Brochure
from DKM courtesy Loren Garrigus
Original Vintage 1979 Macho Trans Am Brochure
from DKM courtesy Loren Garrigus
.. ..
Original Vintage 1978 Trans Am Brochure
from DKM courtesy Loren Garrigus

Original Vintage 1983 MSE Trans Am Brochure from DKM


DKM Patch
courtesy Manny Salierno

DKM Sales Emblem
courtesy Manny Salierno


DKM jacket given to new Macho owners
Photo courtesy Loren Garrigus

Vintage photo of new Macho TAs at Mecham Pontiac
Photo courtesy Loren Garrigus

DKM Letter to new Owners
"Owner Information and Maintenance Tips"
courtesy Randy Samuel
DKM T/As known or believed to no longer exist:
1978 Macho Trans Am #10 1983 MR MSE Trans Am #84
1978 Macho Trans Am #97
(still exists but has been completely converted to something else -- see Lot#2)
1983 MR MSE Trans Am #148
1978 Macho Trans Am #137 1985 MR MSE Trans Am #20
1983 MR MSE Trans Am #63 1985 MR MSE Trans Am #26



1977 Macho Trans Am #5 of 26
owner: Dennis Rosenthal

Though its extremely rough, its a rare find and I'm glad to have this one on the site, the first '77 Macho TA (on this site). Add to that this is the actual 5th car that Kyle and Dennis modified and that makes it an even more interesting Trans Am. In '77 26 cars were converted. Only 3 are known to still exist. #5, #12, #17. The car was recently sold and the new owner writes:

     "Jimmy, Macho # 5 was finally delivered. Attached are a few pics of it just after I finished cleaning it up. I have gotten the car running and have driven it around the yard. This Car still very original and retains most all its orig paint (worn out), still has its orig engine, the wheels are correct and orig for the car, and it has absolutely no rust. I have the orig title from Mecham Pontiac, PHS docs, and was lucky to find the buildsheet still behind the rear seat. I have spoken with Dennis Mecham and am waiting for paperwork from him."

Dennis Rosenthal

 This car has the following options:

Revised suspension: springs, shocks, sway bars
Special paint with stripes and numbers paint on the fender and rear spoiler.
Custom alloy rims
Pontiac 400 engine (numbers are matching)
4 speed manual trans
power steering/brakes
tilt steering wheel.

Dennis recently provided me with a few pics of the interior. He also sent the last pic which is a mini-macho gathering feature '77 #5, '78 #114, and '78 #171 all together at a local car show.

Dennis also owns the following Macho TAs:
1979 Macho Trans Am #22 in Macho TAs Lot#5.




1977 Macho Trans Am #12 of 26
owner: unknown

The second '77 on the site I originally had it listed as a '78 until I received this e-mail from Cameron Holeman:

     "This car was advertised in AZ as a '77. A friend of mine looked at the car and determined that it was a real '77 but had been wrecked and rebuilt and that it had the wrong wheels. All 77's had some type of aftermarket wheels due to the fact that the factory wheels that year were only 15x7. It has a 455 with a 4-speed. It was for sale in Auto Trader a year ago or so. It was in AZ and went to Texas."

Cameron Holeman

This is a really small picture and its hard to tell much about this one but it appears to be a white color with red accents. Its also appears to have Turbo rims installed. These were probably a later addition and were not part of the original Macho package. Interior color is hard to tell but I'm betting its red as well. If anyone has any information on this drop me a note at (remove the "1" before sending).

A site visitor, Phil Brown, turned out to be a previous owner of this car, during high school, and sent me the following:

     "Both my girls! (1984 Sedona, AZ - Reference the second photo in the set sent in by Phil). Oh my god, my heart stopped when I found my car on your website. My name is Phil Brown and I know the history of #12. It has a ton of history, if you know what I mean. We go way back to 1980, when I rode in it to junior high school with my dad. Three years later I bought it from a guy named Randy Miller in Phoenix. The car had 45,000 original miles at the time. I got it for $4,500.00. That was a lot of money for a high school kid. The car was fast and original and I kept it that way always for 10 years. I drove the car through high school and never put a scratch on it, never changed a thing and the whole town of Flagstaff, AZ knew the bad boy macho. Its taken many a pink slip."

If anyone knows where this TA may be located please let me know, especially if its for sale. Mr. Brown has expressed a big interest in purchasing back his old car. Please contact me at the e-mail address above.



1977 Macho Trans Am #17 of 26
owner: unknown

With the addition of #17 we now have four '77 Machos featured on the site. This particular one was up for sale recently but I do not if it was sold and/or what's being done with the car currently. I actually contacted the seller and exchanged a few e-mails with him but we could not come to agreement on a selling price. If I recall the car no longer had any of the original drivetrain and the seller still wanted a pretty stiff figure for the car but, to be fair, I don't want to post details from a fuzzy memory. As I recall the owner at the time had taken the car off the road to transform the car into a G-Machine i.e. he had planned extensive upgrades to the suspension, brakes etc... I think he may have even already performed some of the work to implement some of the upgrades and then lost interest in the project. Hopefully someone picked it up and is working on it. If anyone has any information on this drop me a note at (remove the "1" before sending).



White Macho Trans Am (73,530 bytes)

White Macho Trans Am (66,767 bytes)

White Macho Trans Am (76,450 bytes)

White Macho Trans Am (75,327 bytes)

White Macho Trans Am (50,943 bytes)

White Macho Trans Am (64,188 bytes)

White Macho Trans Am (59,786 bytes)

White Macho Trans Am (59,411 bytes)
1977 Macho Trans Am #21 of 26
owner: unknown

This ones in sad shape and needs a complete restoration but its very rare and would be worth the time and effort. It was for sale but I don't know if it found a new home. Mark sent me the following:

     "Hi, I thought I'd drop you a line. I think your site is tremendous.  I used to own a 77 Macho TA #21, sold it to a friend of mine, and now he's thinking about selling it, and wants me to try and find a home of it. It's pretty much all original yet, it's a 400, 4speed, 77,000 mi, no T-top car, white with red. It came up here to Wisconsin from Chicago 20 some years ago, and it needs to be restored. Lots of surface rust, but still runs and drives good. I'll get some pics in a couple of weeks after it comes out of storage. So I guess there is at least four 77's left.
Hi Jimmy, here are the pics. The Concord stereo is the original one installed by DKM. He has a new set of Macho decals from DKM minus the rear spoiler decal which was unavailable at the time. We had to send a copy of the title to authenticate ownership to get them, and received a letter back from Dennis Mecham confirming the vin, decals and letter will be included with the car. It's had new brakes front and rear, new calipers, rotors, drums, wheel bearings and seals front and rear, front brake hoses, emergency brake cables, exhaust from the original hooker headers back, shocks, and tires. The snowflake wheels are not original, the car came from DKM with I believe Appliance chrome steel wheels, they were pretty rusty, I think he has one of them left. It starts, runs and drives good, 77k is original miles. The body is pretty rough.
For the last twenty some years it has not been driven in the winter, but don't know about the first few. It needs a windshield, rear quarters and inner panels, and rear lower panel behind fuel tank. The rear sub frame where the leaf spring shackle mounts on the drivers side is rusted out, and there are rust holes in the outer corners of the dash panel. The original front sway bar was removed to replace the bushings and links, hasn't been installed yet, but is included.

Thanks a lot for your help,




1978 Macho Trans Am #11 of 204
owner: Dave Burrows

This Macho TA recently changed hands and Dave sent us some new info and pics. Dave writes:

     "Hello there, my name is Dave Burrows. I recently purchased this car from Rick Osborn. The previous pictures of this car did not do it justice so I am sending some better ones. The car is a W72 4 speed car with just 80,000 miles on it. It is in unmolested original condition and is almost flawless. It has about 80% of its original paint and shines like new. The interior is almost perfect. This might be the earliest '78 MACHO left. (if that matters) The site is great with lots of great info."

Thanks! Dave



1978 Macho Trans Am #16 of 204
owner: unk

A site contributor recently sent me these pics of #16. Hopefully the current owner will contact me. This one comes equipped with the 400ci engine and M-21 4-speed with Hurst shifter, WS6 suspension package, 4 wheel disc brakes, open and functional shaker scoop, re-jetted carb, posi-traction 10-bolt rear, one piece removable fiber-glass hood, and a roll bar that's color matched to the interior. That's an option I haven't seen on many of the Macho TAs. Quite a few came with roll bars but this is the first one I've seen where it was color matched to the interior. This TA still wears its original paint. The interior is all original and it even has the original space saver spare located in the trunk, that has never been used. The engine is the numbers matching engine that came with the car and was reportedly rebuilt recently. 



1978 Macho Trans Am #27 of 204
owner: withheld

The owner of this amazing Macho TA recently contacted me and provided these fantastic pictures. He writes:

     "Here is another car for your web site. #27 has of course the W72 & WS6 options that all '78 Macho's started out with. It also came with the 4-speed transmission and it has all of the standard modifications that were part of the Macho T/A package. On top of the basic DKM modifications, this car is equipped with some of the more rare DKM options:

Fiberglass lift off hood
Hooker chrome roll bar
Concord stereo system

These cars are very rare as most people know. I was fortunate to have several people that lived around me that had these cars when they were new. They are a great addition to your site! I can be reached at for comment."



Blue Macho TA (27,623 bytes)

Blue Macho TA (28,165 bytes)

Blue Macho TA (48,459 bytes)

Blue Macho TA (29,052 bytes)

Blue Macho TA (49,929 bytes)

Blue Macho TA (61,587 bytes)
1978 Macho Trans Am #28 of 204
owner: withheld

This Macho has a host of modifications from the DKM brothers including a functional shaker scoop, re-curved distributor, re-jetted 4bbl carb, Koni shocks, Hooker headers and dual cats with Flowmasters (not part of the original DKM package). It also has the WS6 package, TH350 tranny with a shift kit and a Hurst dual gate shifter. Out back; the rear is a 10 bolt unit at 2.56:1. Wheels are the original 15x8 snowflake wheels with 235/60 front rubber and 275/60 rear rubber. Originally the car came with AC but it had been removed. Additional features include power windows, steering and brakes, tilt wheel, and a non-original Pioneer detachable face CD player. The new owner recently contact me. Mike writes:

 "I purchased the Macho #28 from my son who was trying to sell it after owning it for about three years. I gave him my 1973 Trans Am a few years ago and tried to get it back with no luck. I decided this was a suitable alternative. She needs a lot of work as you can tell from the pictures you have. I have ordered a complete new interior and have started on the mechanics. Already replaced the windshield and had the rear end rebuilt. Then the suspension and an engine overhaul with some little extras added, after that its off to the paint shop for that special Macho paint. We do have the exhaust system replaced to DKM specs. Sounds good. Still collecting parts. Discovered somebody switched engines awhile back so we do not have the original one. The one that is in it, is a real TA engine from the same year. I was told by owner #2 that the engine that he had was beefed up and this was not it. Well looks like we might as well stuff that pounched out 455 in her and make a mean ride.I will send some updated photos when she gets her face lift."



1978 Macho Trans Am #32 of 204
owner: unknown

The pics are terrible quality but this Macho was up for sale recently and hopefully has found a new home. Nothing else is known about this car at this time...

Pics courtesy of Heath Elmer



78' Silver Macho TA #37

78' Silver Macho TA #37

78' Silver Macho TA #37

78' Silver Macho TA #37

78' Silver Macho TA #37
1978 Macho Trans Am #37 of 204
owner: Tim Kaple

This Macho TA comes dressed in a cool looking silver and blue paint scheme. Its equipped with a 400c.i. engine, auto transmission, dual exhaust with dual catalytic converters and no mufflers, cruise control, A/C, an Alpine stereo, and posi-trac rear end. The unique bird has only seen 43,000 miles of use and is an excellent example of the DKM program.



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