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1979 Pontiac Trans Am WS6 Package Deal

1979 Pontiac Trans Am WS6

That phrase, “Happy wife, happy life” didn’t come about by accident. Somewhere out there, a man learned that if his significant other was content with his behavior and actions, the quality of life that followed would be worth the price of obedience. However, project cars can often thwart even the most valiant attempt to maintain harmony at home, and the lack thereof is what has prompted this package deal sale of two 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams for $5,000 here on Maine’s craigslist. Be sure to read the ad for a lesson or two in spousal relations!

1979 Pontiac Trans Am

I’m sure many of us have tested the patience of friends, family and any number of people that learn first-hand just how intense the car hobby can be. It’s a distraction from work, a breaker of budgets, and oftentimes a consumer of space! In the case of this seller, his two stalled Trans Am projects clearly took up too much room in the flower bed and now he has to find these Firebirds a new home before winter sets in. In addition to acknowledging that both cars are projects with some floor repair and much re-assembly needed, the seller mentions they are examples of the desirable Y84 Special Edition cars, most commonly identified by their black and gold paint job and T-Top roofs.

Project Pontiac Trans Am

The more complete of the two cars is also a WS6 package, which in 1979 translated to a bigger sway bar, uprated tires with the wider 15×8 Snowflake wheels, quicker steering and rear disc brakes in the ’79 model year. The upgraded Oldsmobile 455 engine is a common swap from the stock 403 (or 400, not specified in the listing), but it does ding the car a bit on originality. Of course, given how much assembly is required, the next owner may find that any hope of preserving originality was lost long ago. Curiously, the seller does not have the titles for either vehicle (just a bill of sale) as they are not registered. Could it be this a quick flip for the seller and the tale of the angry wife is nothing more than a clever ruse?

Pontiac Trans Am WS6

Whatever the story is, Y84 cars do tend to bring good money when offered as fully restored examples, as seen here at Trans Am Specialties in Florida. The issue I see is that Trans Ams are not difficult cars to find and the amount of work involved is not insignificant. Is it worth picking up these two projects and starting from (almost) scratch, or spending a few more dollars for a project closer to completion? I don’t know if there’s ever an easy answer, but whatever happens with the seller featured here, I hope he and his wife at least find peace! Have you ever had to let a project go when time and space ran out? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. MH

    Always been on of my favorite cars. Would be very fun too own 2 of them.

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  2. Grr

    Poor fellow chose his partner unwisely. Are all Yankee women this way? Sounds like she needs a good spanking.

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    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      All I know is I’m from Yankee country and married a woman from Florida. Enough said. And she lets me keep all my vehicles stored is disparate locations. ;-)

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  3. JC

    This is a great deal, wish I had the room. I need to move out to the country and build a 10,000 sqft workshop so I can buy more cars !!!

    One questions though, why would you swap in an olds 455 in a Pontiac car ?? I’m a Ford guy so this is new territory for me so be kind if it’s a stupid question.

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    • Rees Klintworth

      In 1979, the majority (almost 95,000 of 116,500 total Trans Ams) had a 403 Olds engine. The rest had either a 301 Pontiac or a 400 Pontiac. The 400s stopped production in 1978, and the only ’79 Trans Am to get one were 4-speed manual cars. Every single car equipped with a 403 Olds had an automatic transmission. Both Oldsmobile and Pontiac were GM cars, which helps explain why an Olds was used.

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    • DREW V.

      JC, the Standard eng in a ’79 T/A was a 403 cu in Olds engine, a 455 Olds transplant is a bolt in swap, you can use the original brackets , mounts etc, where a Pontiac replacement motor would require all the assorted bracketry mounts etc, plus the starter is on the opposite side so you have to splice into the wiring harness with the Indian motor…

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  4. jim s

    does he really want to sell these or is he just trying to make the wife happy by listing them for sale. if into trans ams this might be worth a PI to see all the part that go along with the cars. but for a $1000 more you can have the 1982 eagle! nice find

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    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      Always a fair thought, Jim. I suspect since he says he already has temp winter storage arranged, this is just a ruse to keep the missus happy. But the price doesn’t seem like your classic, “Oh, honey, I tried to sell it but nobody would buy.” Plus, he’s not offended by trades, so he may be angling for something involving less work.

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    • PRA4SNW

      I had the same thought too. He mentions several times to call him for details, not to email, but I don’t see a telephone number anywhere in the listing, or under Reply.
      It may also explain why the listing is a couple of months old.

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  5. haig haleblian

    I think he listed the wrong piece. If he hung on to the Poncho’s, he could make him some money. Hanging on to the nag? Not so much.

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  6. Charles

    This listing rings a air of familiarity for me…

    It was 1980. My first wife and I were expecting our first baby. I had a good job, and we had a nice home. Our cars were a 1979 Colony Park Wagon, and a 1979 black and gold WS6 TA with the 400 Pontiac engine and four speed manual. When we bought the TA, she wanted it as much as I did. Upon learning that we were expecting, she got on this kick that we did not need the Trans AM. At first I just blew it off, and made jokes of it. However, she made a crusade out of it. Finally, I put the car up for sale. It had 13K miles on it and was perfect in every way, so needless to say, it sold quickly. She was not any happier after I sold the car, so WTF?

    I ended up with a 72 Chrysler that was just a beater. Another baby in 1981. The Mercury wagon was plagued with transmission problems, so we traded it in on a Chevy custom van in 1982. By the end of 1982, I was in muscle car withdrawal, and I bought a new 83 WS6 TA. Of course the 83 had the 145 HP 305 Chevy V-8, which would not hold a candle to a second generation TA with a 400 Pontiac engine.

    Fast forward to 1997, and the first wife wanted a divorce. She was tired of the whole wife and mother thing, so she left me with the kids, the dog, and the house. She just wanted out. I still regret selling that 79 WS6…

    The second wife and I have been married for 15 years. We own two Trans AM’s, an all original 82 with 24K miles, and an 86 with 30K miles. We also have an F-350, a Lance truck camper, a 22 foot sport boat with a 454 BB Chevy engine and a bass boat. Our DD’s are a couple of Crown Victoria’s and an F-150 Supercrew FX4. Choose your wife wisely, and you won’t have to sell your projects.

    As for these two cars the paperwork is the part that raises red flags for me. Some states did not issue titles on cars back in 79, so this may be common practice in Maine. We are originally from GA, and most of the south eastern states did not require titles on older cars. Either way, I would not invest a dime in them unless the bills of sales can be verified.

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    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      Charles, it’s safe to say you have achieved an ideal arrangement! It’s always important to have support of the hobby at home; otherwise, it will always be a burden. Nice job.

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  7. Bobby D

    Did sell my 65 C-10 in the name of marital bliss. I do currently have a 65 Mustang at the paint shop and a 65 VW taken apart in my shop all with spousal support so I think we are doing OK on the hobby front.

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  8. Grant

    “… has to find these two Firebirds a home before winter sets in….”
    Um, its January 15th. From what I am told, winter in Maine “sets in” about the end of October. Just saying….

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    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      Eh, for all intents and purposes, winter hasn’t really taken hold yet in New England – that’s my opinion, of course, based on past winters where we already had 5 ft of snow on the ground by this time!

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  9. Charles

    He would not be the first one to run and ad and “forget” to list a phone number.

    Then he can say, “Look Honey, I advertised them, and nobody called.”

    Second generation Trans AM’s are increasing in value, however I am not sure that the value is enough to warrant rebuilding a couple of basket cases. It they were 73-74 number matching Super Duty TA’s it’s a different story…

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