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10th Anniversary Edition: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

The first Trans Am was introduced in 1969 and 697 were built late in the year. Ten years later, Pontiac celebrated the 10th anniversary of the popular Trans Am model by creating a fully optioned 10th Anniversary Edition that was different than any other Trans Am available. It had special paint, a leather interior, bigger bird decal and special turbo wheels. For 1979, 7,500 TATA’s were built with 1,817 being built with the W72 Pontiac 400 engine with a 4 speed manual transmission and 5,683 being built with the L80 Oldsmobile 403 cubic inch V8 with an automatic transmission. Pontiac enthusiasts refer to this car as the TATA for Tenth Anniversary Trans Am. This TATA is located in San Antonio, Texas and is listed here on eBay with less than a day remaining in the auction. After 58 bids, the current auction price is $21,900.

This car shows 99,000 miles on the odometer and the interior looks clean. The interior of the Tenth Anniversary Trans Am was the only leather interior in a Trans Am up to its release. The seats are covered in silver leather using the same material used on the 1978 Corvette Indy 500 Pace Car. Every Tenth Anniversary Trans Am were loaded with options including T-Tops, air conditioning, power windows, cruise control, tilt steering and WS6 performance suspension. The dash gauges were backlit with red bulbs which matched the digital red AM/FM 8 track stereo. The cars also had power antennas and the original space saver tire in the trunk.

This car has the L80 403 cubic inch V8 that came with an automatic transmission. While the 301 cubic inch V8 was a $50 credit option on other Trans Ams, it could not be ordered on a TATA.  The high performance engine option that year was the L78 W72 400 cubic inch V8 engine. As stated earlier, only 1,817 TATAs were built with with the 400 cubic inch V8 which was mated to a Borg Warner T-10 4 speed manual transmission and came with 3.23 rear gears, WS6 suspension and dual turbo mufflers. The engine compartment looks clean on this Olds engine and the master cylinder and brake booster look to be recently replaced.

While the ad has some mistakes in it (401 cid engine), It looks to be a pretty clean car. As can be seen above, the special TATA bird extended on to the fenders and the two tone charcoal paint started with the bird and moved up around the t-tops. Pontiac produced over 117,000 Trans Ams in 1979 out of 211,000 Firebirds that left the factory. The TATA also came with special polished “turbine” wheels which would be used on the 1980-81 Turbo Trans Am in the following two years. The TATA was top of the line in 1979 and this car looks to be pretty solid.


  1. Avatar photo DGMinGA

    Loved these back in the day. I actually have a model kit of this car, still in the box, never assembled (but it was opened, so the value is likely reduced.) The black & gold “Bandits” were everywhere, but this two tone gray and silver with red trim looked much better to me. I wasn’t (and still am not) a fan of the silver leather – a bit over the top tacky in my opinion. The dark carmine red interior would have been better to me.

    Like 5
  2. Avatar photo Wade Pierce

    I’m with you bro! This car would have looked AWESOME with that Red Interior as you say! Would have gone GREAT with the RED lit Guages these have! I TOO have the 1/10 scale Model I purchased to build when I got my hands on one of these! I sat in one at the Dealer when I was in HS. in SC. That one listed for $14k and some change and it was a Poncho 400 4spd car! I am currently in an ’08 Super Bee, but would LOVE to own this TATA! NICELY DONE upgrades to that Olds 403 imo. This is an ORIGINAL Everything Paint/Interior Car too. Hope it finds a good home and doesn’t get abused! GLWTA

    Like 5
  3. Avatar photo Dan

    The only disappointment here is that 403; even though I’ve heard of performance upgrades for that engine, the Pontiac 400 is still a better overall performer and its scarcity compared to the 403 makes any 400-equipped TATA even more desirable. This one seems priced a little high because of the mileage, but that mileage also means you can enjoy it (gently) without affecting the value too adversely.

    Like 4
  4. Avatar photo PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $28,100.

    Like 1

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