1979 Pontiac Trans Am For $3,000?!

This Trans Am has supposedly had one owner and only covered 65k miles since new. It’s red and is even fitted with the WS6 performance package. It’s located in Augusta, Maine and is listed here on craigslist for $3,000 or here on eBay. Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Well, there is one little problem. Thanks goes to AMXBrian for the tip!

It’s a little rough in there, but the engine is said to run well. That is the less desirable Oldsmobile sourced engine and the transmission leaks a bit, but still… Prices on these cars are on their way up, but for some reason this one hasn’t disappeared yet. Is this be a scam?

It might be, but I actually think this could be legit. The interior is less than perfect, but you can find all the replacement parts needed to make the inside like new again. Even with the leak, the transmission is claimed to shift as it should. Heck, the engine is even reported to have been rebuilt recently.

Oh, there’s the problem! This poor Pontiac has experienced a few too many east coast winters. The salt used on the slick roads has eaten away at the bottom half of the car and could be the reason for the low asking price. The seller claims that the underside isn’t too bad though. What do you guys think? Is this Trans Am still worth rescuing?


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  1. James Burdzinski

    Rusty never sleeps ! . Worth it for parts! . $3.000 is way cheap!!

  2. JB

    Looking at the tinworm attack on the quarters, I would think about half of that three grand might be in the ball park. JMHO.

  3. JW

    For 3K you can’t expect much but if you can do your own welding, bodywork, paint, interior then put new seals in the tranny over 2 to 3 years you got a fun car for maybe an estimated 20K.

  4. darrun

    Perfect opportunity for the novelist to get into the Trans Am market. Probably too rough for a 100 point restoration, but someone can salvage it for their own satisfaction, and have fun.

    • Dan


      • Chebby Staff

        Heheh 3k is more than most novelists get paid……

  5. Robert

    You can buy all the body parts and their not that much of you can do body work and I would drop my son’s worked 350 and trans in it ,but I’m afraid it might be a scam it wouldn’t be the first time

    • Steve R

      Scams are usually underpriced. This is a $1,000 parts car.

      Steve R

  6. Kiwi Glen

    I want to start s petition – bring back the Howard I miss his insightful comments, his knowledge and his promotion of the idea that there is a place for everyone in the car enthusiast world. I figure we should just add likes so that Howard comes back

    • Barzini

      Where did Howard go?

    • Jwinters

      I have been wondering why I don’t see howard on here anymore as well….. :(

  7. Bill

    Not bad for the money as long as the rust isn’t too bad. As far as the “less desirable “Oldsmobile 403, I prefer it over any other engine by a wide margin. They are extremely durable and vastly underrated. I hope someone restores this car and doesn’t butcher it with a chevy small block.

    • Anthony in RI

      You are probably right about the 403 but an Olds engine in a Pontiac just doesn’ seem right

      • Bill

        As far as an olds engine in a pontiac, it’s all GM, and if the numbers match, that’s good enough for me.

      • Shane

        If I were to get this car it would be fitted with LS2 and a LSA supercharger kit.

    • Bill

      I agree, it may be too far gone, but if it stays around $3000, from my experience with over 50 of these cars, I could be finished with an almost new car for around $15,000, as long as the frame rails and rockers are still solid. That Not bad , but it would have to be a labor of love.

    • Steve R

      Agreed. A sign that there could be problems with the rear frame and substructure is that the rear seat bar is missing.

      Steve R

  8. Cheryl

    I have a 1982 pontiac dicaro trams am…( knight rider )…I’ve been restoring for years…you can get door panels…rear panels…front panels…etc….from Classic car Industries…out in California…they have a web site…check it out..
    Love my car

  9. Travis

    It’s not a scam it’s my car more pictures, videos available. The car is also on ebay.

    • Wrong Way

      Dammit Travis these guys are being awful hard on you!

  10. David Zornig


    So unless he is a dealer, he’s admitting to jumping title from one state to another.
    Because in reality, he is the 2nd owner.

    • Travis

      He is ;)

  11. John W Farabee

    I might consider it for $2500 if it had the Pontiac T/A engine. With that much rot I would really be looking for a project to buy it.

    Keep looking…

  12. GXP

    Ouch! Would never buy a car from Maine
    Worse weather than Butler PA
    Think super salt

    • Pontiactivist

      Erie PA here

  13. Kenneth Doran

    Well if you guys don’t know the 403 was n original T/A engine for that year they stopped the Pontiac engine in 1968 was the last year of the Pontiac 350 or 400……if you look them up that’s probably a #s car if they rebuilt the original engine

    • Travis

      You are correct matching numbers car. Its mine

    • OilyDick

      ’78 Was the last year for the Pontiac 400, not ’68! You could still get the Pontiac 400 in 1979, but only with a manual Trans — they were just getting rid of the last engines. Sad year :(

  14. Steve A.

    But you can still but one of these in great condition for less than $20k. Unless your REALLY into doing tons of work to a car, that you’d be lucky to break even on and don’t mind working for $0.50 an hour, I think I’d keep looking. Or, you could do some quick mechanical work to it, keeping it on the cheap, and just drive the tires off of it!!! LOL

  15. Randy W

    Well, first off the price on e bay is $4,000 dollars. Also note engine rebuild is the over spray of red paint on the heads from valve covers, rusty engine block, intake manifold looks to be painted at some point in time. However if the engine checks out to be the proper one for this car I would say it’s a very good buy at $3,000. If I didn’t have three projects going on now I would be there to buy it
    Some body work but not that bad..

    • Travis

      Car s matching numbers, and 4000 on ebay includes free shipping in the USA. Helps to read

      • Travis

        Also mint red ws6 with 65k for under 20k where are they?

  16. Jon

    I have always heard the Olds 350 was preferred over the Chevy block. Still in that school of thought.

    • Troy s

      W-31 ram rod 350 was an absolute screamer of an engine, too hairy for most people as the camshafts was too wild for power brakes.

  17. AF

    Where are the original wheels? Who thought it was a good idea to replace them with the trash wheels on it now?What about the steering wheel? What happened under the hood? It’s ruined. Can you imagine dragging this heap home to show off? People would think you were on something.

    • Travis

      It’s a start for someone and deserves to live again, especially if you don’t have 30k or more to buy a finished one. Show is yours!

  18. TriPowerVette

    No. It’s not.

  19. sluggo

    I was going to post on here about the volume of scam ads on CL these days and how to spot them (FLAG them!) But I changed my mind, I think many of you are being too harsh here to the seller.

    $3k for a pretty cherry car with cancer, In my area its not a great deal but not bad either. But other parts of the US its a smokin’ good deal, Either a parts car or parts and a DIY if you have the skills its a financially doable project and not totally underwater. But not feasible if you checkbook rebuild it.

    I have a friend in Florida who drools over these,, has been wanting one for years. Prices are 5x -10x my local prices in Florida and other areas back east. He had an employment change and had to scrap his plans to come out to the west coast and buy several of these cars, resell most and keep one for himself. It was a solid plan. I have several friends in Europe and they come over regularly and buy vehicles to ship back,, they generally do quite well at this.

    Conversely, the popular UK Show “Wheeler dealers” was bought out by Velocity and moved to LA Calif,. The cool mechanic guy recently quit the show after 14 years. Said they changed too much and refused to compromise his integrity.
    Ironic as its still a UK flavored show but filmed in the US. Weird….(Other news Gas Monkey garage guy Aaron also quit his show too)

  20. Wrong Way

    I just wanted to make a comment! Where I live we use no salt whatsoever, but yet every one I see is a rust bucket! Why do they all rust so much? That’s what keeps me from buying one! Even though I am a Ford fanatic, I have thought of buying one!

    • Bill

      I have owned over 50 of these cars. The only ones that rusted were from up north or the coast. Also when looking at any car that is 40, I would expect something. You may be a little biased because you are a Ford guy. Ask yourself a question; How many 79 mustangs do you see without rust? Also, how many 79 mustangs do you even see anymore? That’s easy, none!

      • Wrong Way

        Mr. BILL I have 12 Mustangs in my stable! My newest is a 2012 GT none of mine have any rust whatsoever! My oldest is a 64 1/2, I bought all of these new put the first miles on them! I am to old to buy anymore, but my grandson will get them all when I am dead! I purposely stopped driving any of them before they reached the 100 thousand mile point! Then I would order another! I do understand tho that they are all one owner cars and I always have kept them in a heated garage! You asked if I knew of any, so I am just answering you! LOL, I am a retired trucker! That’s why I always kept them in the condition they are in! I was hardly ever home to drive them much! Always chasing the dollar! Have a great night!

  21. Rock On Member

    You guys should really cut the seller a bit of slack he is a Barm Finds reader.

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      I’m guessing some of them commented without reading everyone’s remarks. Sorry Travis!

  22. Derrick

    Far to much rot

  23. Steve

    I have one, a 77, and it’s been sitting in a garage for 19 years under my watchful eye. 89,000 miles with Buccaneer red and White interior. We are on our 2nd month with the paint shop. Note, Zero cancer. Time and money well spent, finally!

  24. 79MalibuRob

    This car is incredibly sound on the underside! Being from New England, it’s beautiful!. If you can weld and get doors. This car is more than worth every penny! I would buy it in a heartbeat if I wasn’t disabled and could still drive and work! Travis, nice car man!


  25. Rob

    one thing people need to consider that my idea of “no rust” here in Colorado, SoCal’s idea of “no Rust and NE’s idea of “no rust” are very very different things. Up in Maine, that car is as rust free as anything I have ever seen!

  26. James

    I would buy it if I had the money for it I still like the car with or without probablary. Its a CLASSIC CAR not a lot around

  27. David Lee

    I think it is a great deal of course you would have to do some work to a 40 plus car, unless you want to come off of a lot of cash up front that is. That being said any real car guy could replace the quarters and the 403 is a good stock engine who cares if it is a Oldsmobile engine it’s all gm and it belongs in the car, i really hope it goes to a true Pontiac fan. I mean, come on guys where’s your heart, give the car and the seller a break both deserve it . wish I had the time.

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