Silver Perfection! 1,350 Mile Trans Am

Jamie PalmerBy Jamie Palmer

We frequently poo-poo low mileage claims here, especially in the comment sections on posts. I don’t think there will be much argument with this one–but what is it worth? This 1979 Trans Am is so original and documented I’ll bet it’s mostly original air in those original tires! It’s located in a private collector’s nine-car climate controlled garage (as the seller points out) in Pompano Beach, Florida. The car is being auctioned here on eBay, with bidding beginning at $49,000 and a buy it now price of $55,000.

What would a post about a Trans Am be like without a close up of that glorious screaming chicken sticker! This is a silver anniversary car, and as we have written about before on Barn Finds, these cars were frequently kept as collectibles from new–but not this nicely!

Normally I would try to point out good and bad points about the condition of this car–but there are no bad points that I can find. If you find something in the pictures or description, please point it out in the comments, because I couldn’t find anything. The story about purchasing it from a GM executive with 968 miles makes sense, the lack of driving the car because of its condition makes sense–and that, of course, is the reason for selling it. It’s hard to enjoy a car you feel guilty about driving.

The interior on these cars is so period. Not gray leather, but silver leather. “Engine turned” dashboard. Wow, just wow. Naturally, everything works, including the original 8-track tape player!

Under the hood is the same story. I do see a spot of surface rust here and there on a hose clamp or two, so some time under here detailing would not be a bad thing. Perhaps that’s why it’s on eBay rather than Barrett-Jackson, as the seller states they are trying to save bidder fees. It’s notable that the seller is interested in another similar car in a swap + cash deal, so it’s not that they don’t like Trans Ams. So it comes down to the money–is $55,000 too much for late 1970’s perfection? What do you Barn Finds readers think?

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Comments

  1. Scott

    Unless you’re a collector it makes no sense especially at that price. If you start driving it the depreciation alone will drop the value like a hot potato. If you leave it sit in your garage that’s just dumb. If you drive it I guarantee it’ll start leaking everywhere. I know I did this with an ’86 Monte Carlo SS that I thought would be worth a fortune some day. I’d rather buy one for a third of the price with more mileage and drive the heck out of it. I hope this makes sense!

    2+
    • The Voice of Reason

      20 pounds of makeup on a pig and you still have a pig. $5500 maybe.

      1+
      • Jeffro

        I never listen to The Voice Of Reason! LMAO…..

        0
  2. Philip

    By all means, take the to Barrett Jackson. First off its a 403 car. Secondly, it’s an automatic car. Third for 900 or 1300 miles it sure looks a lot like , 13000, or 33000 miles. I may be off on the mileage but it isn’t 1300 miles . Look at the intake manifold rust and the shaker areas. That’s not 1300 miles and sat in a garage, unless the garage was really damp, in Florida or under water, which case watch out for other rust especially on an F body.

    Half the asking price is stretching it if mileage can’t be documented. If it had the 400 4 speed you’d have something, as it sits now unless I’m off and mileage claims can be documented and substantiated with paperwork ( and a few other things) I’m not buying it. ANYONE can roll back an odometer or since he was supposedly a GM exec buy and store away a NOS speedometer head, then replace it at sale time. It would be very hard to believe a car like this flew under the radar all this time with no one being aware of its existence especially a 10th anniversary edition. I thought they were all 400 cars, I guess 403s were built too. There is a registry on these either way, the factory was good with documentation and PHS would have known about the cars existence as well.

    I’m not trying to rank on anyone, but as a collector myself, I’m not buying by the mileage claim as such.. There may come a time 403 automatic tenth anniversary cars are worth 50,000$ , but today isn’t the day and tomorrow isn’t looking good either. A 440 6 pack B or E body Mopar yes, add another zero at the end,, this car no, not from what I’m looking at.

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  3. dirtyharry

    I think it perfect, except for the high-performance odometer. Having grown up with a used car dealer, I can tell that those odometer wheels have been rolling, like the wheels of a slot machine during a senior tournament

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  4. Vince Habel

    OD numbers should line up better than they do. Usually means it was tampered with.

    0
  5. chris lawrence

    I agree with Phillip. This guy has lost his marbles. Even if you took the mileage for granted, the car has considerable problems for that kind of money. And the Fact that it has the crap Olds motor instead of the 400 because of GM finagling, makes this car about a 22k tops. And that would be with verified mileage.

    .

    0
  6. Richie Novak

    I know dealer that ordered one and never sold it, drove it only 100 + mi., never took any of the factory protective plastics off, on the showroom floor of the dealership, even when he changed to Buick. Car still had factory MSO. Dealer retired about 3 mos ago, I believe he still has car. Rumor has he turned down 100 k at Barret Jackson a few years ago. Saw the car at the dealership about 6 mo ago. Wow I would like to have that car.

    0
  7. Howard A Member

    If I may correct Jamie,,it is I,,who poo-poo’s low mileage claims, ok, let’s take a look see,,,,,well,,,,(more studying),,,it doesn’t have a lot of miles, but again, these people get greedy. Sure it’s a low mileage car, and leave it at that, but 1300 miles, they went too far. And I agree, ( and a note to shysters who don’t know this about odometers) they rarely skip cogs like that going the correct way around. Nice car, and perhaps some of my skepticism is catching on. I’d bet someone who loves this car, may not know these little things, and goes for it.( I don’t think they’d be disappointed, it is a nice car, just misled when they find out it has more miles than told) Still a lot of money in my book, which would be justified if it in fact had 1300 miles.

    0
  8. Luki

    Chocolate teapot.
    Love the picture of the “estate” with no car in it.
    Lousy pictures to boot.
    Nice car though.
    Should have had a pro turn the miles back. Driven backwards possibly. Might realign if driven forward.
    No auction company wants to get in the middle of this fakery.

    0
  9. nessy

    55k is not going to happen, even with 1300 miles. The car is still too new, it’s not a 400 4 speed, plus, a good number of these 10th Trans Ams were built and many of them were stored away when new like this car so there are other low mile examples around to compete with. Last year one just like this sold for 23k with around 15k miles. This car has been online for sale several times already at the same high price. It’s not going to happen at 55k or anywhere near that. Maybe another 20 years. Right now, I’m sure buyers will come along fast at 30k.

    0
  10. ccrvtt

    Just when I’m starting to get bored with Barnfinds you guys come up with a whole slew of gems. Agree with the foregoing analyses about this particular car, but just look at it! I love these cars from a purely emotional standpoint, but not $55K worth.

    0
  11. Flmikey

    …maybe the reason they aren’t taking it to BJ is because the mileage can’t be really documented..say what you will about BJ, but they do scrutinize the vehicles they rep….

    0
  12. Jeffro

    No good ever comes from altering the mileage. Ask Ferris.

    0
    • Jeffro

      That one thumbs down must of come from Mr. Rooney

      0
  13. dj

    There was a 4 speed car at the Pontiac Nationals this summer with 1300 miles on it as well. $35k was the asking price on it.

    0
  14. charlie

    This exact car sold at $60k last month on ebay. Had a couple of seemingly legit bidders. Wonder what happened?

    0
  15. Mr. TKD

    I have NO interest in a car I can’t drive and enjoy.

    0
  16. sparkster

    Hate the nose , Hate the wheels , and most of all it has a Oldsmobile 403 engine. . . . Which I hate. Too much $ $ $

    0
  17. linda hall

    I found a 1987 trans am automatic digital dash board v8 with 64350 documented miles the car is all orginal excellent condition drives like the day it rolled off assembly line
    bought the car

    0
  18. 68 custom

    did anyone mention the 403 /auto ? yes, then not for me how about T-tops? yes, then not for me. does it have the WS6 option with rear disc brakes? no, then not for me. If it had the WS6 option plus the 400 Pontiac motor and B-W super T-10 then maybe. some one will buy it though and have a nice garage queen and to them I say enjoy! 🙂

    0
  19. Fo Mo Co

    Great comments fellas you have said it all!

    0
  20. Luis

    Hmmm..a bit over zealous for an automatic, Olds motor at that. The manual transmission cars came with a real Poncho motor, the last of the 400’s. The manual cars command that price, not the automatics. The accuracy of mileage belies the condition of the car. I have to agree with others in that it’s a bit suspect.

    0
  21. PRA4SNW

    If the pricing guides are to be believed (Hagerty, NADA Classic, Collector Car Market), this car is not priced too badly. A little over, but that is the seller allowing for wiggle room.

    That is, IF everything is true, and I’m on the skeptical side of that odometer reading.

    0
  22. Pappy2d

    Buy a big Trans Am poster. Maybe get a full scale, side view wrap printed.
    Stick it out your garage wall. The rubber stuff won’t rot, nor will the gaskets dry out. No need for insurance, tags or oil changes. And then you have a beautiful TA that you won’t drive, and 55K in your pocket.

    0
  23. Larry Collins

    You forgot to include the picture of his house (with no car) that he has on ebay…

    0
    • Neil

      I’m thinking’ a ” staged photo ” ?

      0
  24. Neil

    Even the dealer issued key fob shows more mileage than stated.

    0
  25. Jack

    For a $55k asking price I would want better pictures for sure. Every photo is a 20 footer with very poor lighting. The photos remind me of Wilohoit Enterprises Porsche photos in front of somebody’s gated mansion.

    0
  26. Pappy2d

    Stupid money. It’s just a nice TA. They made a bunch of them.
    How about a pic of that 9 car, climate controlled storage building?

    0
  27. Jay M

    Nice car. Not 55k nice.

    1+
    • Mr. TKD

      Yes!

      0
    • Jeffro

      Classic!

      0
    • BudMan

      Now that’s funny! Makes me re-evaluate not driving my Fuschia Challenger much.

      0
      • M/K

        pink?

        0
  28. Steve W

    Back in the day you could unscrew the Speedo cable from the back of the odometer, hook up an electric drill in reverse and the mileage numbers would come out looking like these.

    0
    • Jeffro

      And you know this how…..? Inquiring minds want to know. Lol.

      0
    • Jay E.

      Using a drill is really slow, the RPM output isn’t very high, taking hours and hours to run back a couple thousand miles. Using a high speed electric motor running in the correct direction to run the speedo backwards is much quicker.
      Back in high school, a friends Dad was a fanatic on gas mileage. So my friend and I decided to trip up his calculations be selectively adding and subtracting mileage. Over a couple of months the result was pretty funny.

      0
      • Howard A Member

        Nice going, Jay, no wonder the poor guy went nuts. :0

        0
    • gtojeff

      Ok, so why didn’t all the cars do this when you put them in reverse? Just a thought. If you messed with the odometer and didn’t get the little keepers back to the correct position, they did this. I was a GM tech is how I know.

      0
  29. Philip

    Oh after another quick look, the gas gauge is broken, needle is at 3 o’clock position past full. Bad sender or ground, maybe someone playing around behind the instrument cluster and speedo. 55 large with a broken gas gauge..the coke in Florida must a still be good..cause the seller is high asking that kind of money.

    0
  30. Pappy2d

    This myth, is officially busted.

    0
  31. Steve

    Is the guy showing the car or the house?

    0
    • Jack

      Lol, yea the house is $55k. But wait there’s more, if you act now we will throw in a brand new Firebird!

      0
  32. Howard A Member

    Got to admit, we are getting some great stories though.

    0
  33. Alan (Michigan )

    I suppose that the 1979 Michigan plate is there to back up the “GM Exec.” part of the story. But I don’t know anyone here who would let plates go with a car.
    In Michigan, plates can be transferred to another vehicle of the same class, they stay in the owner, not with the car.

    0
    • PRA4SNW

      I always take the plates off when I sell a car. Nobody would want them.

      I was reading an article about a car exporter who exports lots of cars, and most of the cars still had their plates on them. Maybe the new owners ask for them, might be something cool in another country. Probably the same thing here.

      0
  34. Car Guy

    The 10th annivery T/A’s were real head turners in 79. Parked next to a 79 Corvette the Vette disappeared.The Pontiac 400 4-speed would be the most desirable version but those engines were in very short supply.

    I don’t think this car will get any bids at the opening amount, but late 2nd gen T/A have been on an upswing recently.

    0
  35. Curtis

    I’ll stick to my 2 owner 79 TA and for the $ that an insane person may spend on some of these cars mine will basically be done to my liking and beyond for half this price if not far less.

    0

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