2k Mile 1979 Pontiac Trans AM Survivor!

1979 Pontiac Trans AM Survivor

Josh MortensenBy Josh Mortensen

This is the kind of find that dreams are made of! It’s always amazing to find a survivor hiding in a barn, garage or shed, but finding one with only 2,000 miles that is still in like new condition is insane! This ’79 Trans AM might not be the most sought after American classic out there, but these cars have really been gaining momentum in the collector world. The listing agent is helping the original owner, a close personal friend, find a new home for it. They have known the car since their friend purchased it brand new 38 years ago. It hasn’t been driven since ’85, but has been maintained over the years! If you’ve been wanting a Trans AM, this is the one to get. Find it here on eBay in North East, Pennsylvania with bidding already over $37k.

1979 Pontiac Trans AM

I know that’s a lot of money to pay for a Trans AM, but as I stated earlier these cars are going up in value. For a long time they were cheap classics you bought to drive and relive a bygone era of big V8s and poor fuel mileage. As a result, many have been driven hard and used to death. This isn’t one of those cars, it’s been protected.

1979 Pontiac Trans AM Interior

Look at that interior! It really does look like new and the seller states it even smells like new. I imagine if you purchased one of these brand new, climbing into this one will bring back some fond memories.

1979 Pontiac Trans AM Engine

The 403 cui V8 is said to start up and run nicely, without any unusual sounds or drama. It’s all original under the hood, although the catalytic converter was removed in ’79 and replaced with a test pipe, the original piece is with the car though and included. Things are looking a bit dusty at this point, but they seller decided it was best to leave it as is and let the next owner decide how much to detail it. Personally, I’d dust it off, using an air compressor to blow away the cobwebs and dust rather than hitting it with water.

1979 Pontiac Trans AM Anniversary

As amazing as this car is, I’d struggle deciding what to do with it. Much of it’s value is tied to its mileage, so driving it will only make it go down in value. Of course, where is the fun in parking it? I’d want to experience driving a “brand new” 1979 Trans AM, not just looking at one. That’s like going to a car dealership to look and not test drive anything, it’s fun, but not nearly as much fun as going out for a spin! So what would you do with this one? Would you put it on display or would you put some mile on those Uniroyal tires?

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Comments

  1. Rando

    As much as I believe in DRIVING old cars, this one may belong in a museum to preserve its originality. But yeah the uniroyals would need a good scuffing once in a while. lol Or at least a set of tires for outside use. Drive it a bit, keep it running and moving.

    These were last vestiges of the original Muscle Car movement. Pontiac tried to keep performance alive with these. And this was one of the best of it’s period. That’s really tough to think about – what to do with this car? Preserve and don’t drive it? Or preserve it and drive it often to shows and cruise ins – within reason, the miles are still going to stay low for this vintage for a while. But I would hate for some errant driver to hurt it.

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  2. Bill

    It’s not a piece of art like a Ferrari GTO or a Cobra, so parking it to just look at it doesn’t make sense. Drive it, sparingly, but I’d enjoy it on the road.

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    • Vincenzo crivello

      Why is that? Art is an opinion rather then fact my friend. Thats why the world is the way it is. Ive seen chevelles and gt 350’s fetch more then Ferrari’s and not one person say what you have just non shalontly said….. i feel for my childrens future because of the labels and ignorance of close minded folks, im pretty sure the lovers of “starry night” wouldnt look at one of the “mona lisa’s” and say: oh look at that…. its artist’s didnt paint the whole picture so how could it be in a museum next to my precious “vinny”? Let Enzo claim the trans am to be his faviorate car and i bet dollars to doughnuts the trans am would be put on a pedi stool and worshipped! Also i would like to state a quick fact: trans am is the “creme del a creme” in my eyes and you couldnt change that for the life of me. Ciao my friend. Iam also italian so that should show my authenticity of love for this piece of ART. 🙂

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  3. angliagt

    I agree – what do you do with a car in this condition/low miles?
    I couldn’t afford to buy it & just look at it.

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  4. Thibeault

    Pretty dusty engine compartment for only 2K.

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    • Rick

      My thought exactly…

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      • grant

        It’s not very dusty at all, for 38 years.

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    • Tom Member

      Thank you. Not sure how an engine compartment gets that dirty (no so much dusty) in 2K miles and 37 years.

      Just sayin. Cool Car. No performance.

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    • Johnathan lee

      Absolutely that’s exactly what I thought How could an engine with 2 K miles have such a Dusty engine

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    • Tom Stout

      Looked dusty and a bit greasy

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  5. richard

    unhook the speedo…..use android ap for speed ometer and drive it and keep it detailed up….whos to know lol…..i prefer the pontiac 400 though….never cared for the 403

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    • al8apex

      that is what the original owner did …

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      • Glen

        He might have disconnected the cable, but android didn’t exist back then! I can’t see how dust gets through two covers, but it’s still a beautiful car.

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    • Jay Calk

      I actually owned a car like this except the wheels on mine were different. This may actually be the ten year anniversary edition. The speedo was easy to unhook as the cable was on the drivers side on the wheel well under the hood. Definitely should be checked before spending the kind of money it’s up too. They actually ran good and got good fuel mileage for the day. I could get over 20 mpg if I stayed off of it.

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    • Brian J Manners

      I agree.. The Pontiac 400 is superior to the Olds 403 …

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  6. JW

    I wish Iad the cash to just buy a new car and park it, but even if I won the powerball I still couldn’t do it. As the Goodguy’s theme goes ” You gotta drive em “

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  7. redwagon

    what would i do? pass.

    as much as i like ponchos this is not my cup of tea. not even when they were new. and i cannot see spending that kind of cash for this kind of car.

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  8. Spotatashleys

    I’d don a pair of aviators, put the Rockford Files theme tune on the 8 track, crank it up to 10 and gooooo for drive….😃…..and another….

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  9. JohnD

    I agree about the dirt in the engine compartment. Waaayyyy too dirty . . . I bet the speedo cable nut is as clean as the engine compartment is dirty. . . .

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  10. Joe

    You only live once. I would drive the wheels off of it, and enjoy every mile! (Well, if I could afford it!) lol

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  11. Jeffro

    Drive it like I stole it…come to think of it, I couldn’t afford so I’d have to steal it. I hate being broke.

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  12. mat

    Too bad it’s not the 400 which only came with the four speed this year.
    It would be worth a LOT more.

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  13. RichS

    Don’t ever take it to the valet.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZRGxNozcp4

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  14. Luke Fitzgerald

    What’s the point – nearly 40k – hope he / she will enjoy the cash instead of the car – if you went back another 10 – then there’d be a lottery win – this game is full of nuts

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  15. dennis

    Not really a barn find! I always thought barn finds weren’t a car stored by some guy that bought it new and barely drove it storing it forever. And now wants to sell it. Probably one of the lowest mileage 10th Anniversary T/A’s to be found. Just saying.. Would have been better maybe if it were a S.E. 4-speed. LOL Hope nobody takes me wrong, I’ve loved these 2nd gens Z’s AND T/A’s since I first bought my brand new black on black Trans Am back in summer of 1977.. My son and I still own a couple and have bought and sold quite a few over the last 15 years.

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  16. Mark P

    Look on Ebay, for a third the price you can get a fairly nice driver. All you’re paying for here is mileage. I like the 76-78’s better. Just sayin. And that engine bay looks to dirty for just sitting under a cover.

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  17. F James

    I would spend the same money and get a 70-76 TA with big engine and drive it sparingly.

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  18. Jk

    Well , I wish I knew exactly what town this was in , I’m in central pa, can’t be no more then a 3-4 hour drive for me , heck I’d sell a kidney and a lung for this beauty, lol and I’m sure that wouldn’t come close to the asking price , I’d love to see it though 👍👍

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  19. ccrvtt

    This is one of my Top 10, just for the looks alone. This was the year after all those guys bought the ’78 Corvette special 25th anniversary editions and put them away. We all remember how well that turned out. I agree with the ones who say buy ’em and drive ’em. That way more people get to enjoy them.

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  20. Ron

    Is that rust on the rocker panel on drivers side

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  21. Tom Member

    Thinking a bit more on the dirty engine compartment, it could very well be a result of rust proofing. The car has been rust proofed as the 2 black plugs in the door jam front and rear were not stock, at least I am 99% sure they were not stock. they were drilled after production to rust proof the inner rockers. Back in that time, it was common to spray the rust proofing material on the inner fender edges and many areas under the hood. it protected it long term BUT it held onto every piece of dust and dirty that tried to pass by it and in short order, looked terrible, but protected.

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  22. Mike

    You can almost guarantee, that this car will cross the auction block at Barrett Jackson in January.

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  23. Blindmarc

    I remember when I could buy a gold one of these for $1000. And it was a four speed, with the WS6 package. Too much money for something of that era that I’d want to drive daily.

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  24. Roselandpete

    Jeez! It’s still in its original wrapper. 🙂

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  25. HeadMaster1

    Dust on the engine after 38 YEARS…….WTH people, this isn’t BAT, keep that cry baby crap for that site. If you or your “partner” didn’t clean the inside of say your refrigerator, or under your bed, or the back of your TV for 38 years, how do you think it would look? I had an 1981 car that I just sold last year with only 1,300 original miles and went through that same type of crap from buyers. If you expect a stored car to have no dust or cobwebs, it needs to be kept in a bubble bag, no amount of covers will keep dust from getting into places. Every time you open your garage/shop/barn doors dust blows in, it’s life people, doesn’t indicate any type of fraud on the part of the seller. That said, this IS a very nice 79′ 10th Anniversary Trans Am. Shame it’s not a 400, 4-speed car, but in places like California, those were never sold anyway in 79′

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  26. Butt4EverySeat

    I paid 10k for mine, no its not a tenth anniversary but its a driver

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  27. Prowler

    You are really buying the odometer
    To pay up for a super low miles car and then drive it is a loser
    If you want to drive it buy a car with 20 or 30 k….put a few miles on per year…no damage
    Too bad they put away the wrong car if he had checked the 4 speed box in 1979 this would be 6 figures

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  28. Blindmarc

    Exactly prowler…..

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  29. BradL

    It amazes me how much the emissions had strangled the horsepower out of these engines. In 1979, these 403ci engines were only able to cough up 185 hp – the same as my 2013 Mazda 3 with a 2.5L (158ci) engine.

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  30. Prowler

    Blindmarc….I like the way you think

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  31. bob

    wow-a guy stores a car forever and gets hammered-not everyone is trying to scam someone. this is a piece of history that can’t be replicated. the guy spending this kind of money isn’t going to make it a daily driver. it will go into a collection so that people will be able to enjoy an automobile when cars had personality.

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  32. Rock On

    Brad L. – The 403 engine is big on torque, not horsepower. 320 pound/ft. If I remember correctly. Put a test pipe on mine back in ’85 and it made a big difference. Could bark the tires going into second gear with the automatic.

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  33. Pontiactivist

    I would pass on this one. It’s not my kind of car. I gotta drive them. I would buy a driver quality 400 4speed car and enjoy I t and be money ahead.

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  34. Pontiactivist

    Btw, this car is only a half hour drive from my house if anyone needs a personal inspection.

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  35. Butt4everyseat

    How long does it take for a tv INSIDE your home to accumulate enough dust to saturate a rag. Not long in Oklahoma. That TA looks more like 5 years of dust

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  36. Jim Marshall

    This was the G.M. corporate engine swapping era that did’t set to well with a lot of loyal buyers. The 403 replaced the mighty Olds 455 in 77 and Pontiac’s 455 I think came to an end in 76 also. It appears the Olds 403 was the optional engine in this car having an automatic.

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    • Butt4everyseat

      At least it doesn’t have the terrible Turbo from that era

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  37. JohnD

    I’ve asked this before, but how exactly do the odometer digits get skewed like that on an original car? Never saw that on my ’77 Buick Regal (my first car, handed down from big bro and dad). Still looks like a well-kept car that will need a going-through before I’d put it on the road.

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  38. Jay Calk

    This particular car the speedometer cable hooked up to the cruise control module on the fender well on the drivers side. Take a pair of pliers and unscrew it. I ran mine for lots of miles and watched tachometer for speed. BTW 1700 rpm was 65 mph when the speed limit was 55. Great car. Personally, I think it has more miles on it than 2000

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    • HeadMaster1

      With all do respect Jay, it’s really unfair for anybody to make ANY statements about mileage accuracy on a vehicle they haven’t seen in person, let alone driven. Saying the mileage is inaccurate is accusing the owner/seller of fraud. And now that this is on the internet it’s there to stay for the history of the vehicle. I’ve been down this road with my on car last year. I’m 48yo, been a car nut since before I was talking, and it just saddens me to think that other so-called “car-guys” are so quick to judge. I’ve never seen this T/A myself, but I have worked for 3 manufactures during my career and I’ve seen what’s been locked in their basements for decades, and it isn’t always pretty. Miles show on a car, but age shows even more. Colors distort, plastics deform, rubbers disintegrate, leathers shrink, and that’s just the cosmetic items. It doesn’t take a genius to take a quick look at this car to know that is has very low mileage and has been parked almost all it’s life. If the owner’s says the mileage is “X”, then that’s what it is.

      When I started out as a mechanic (before they changed to being called “technicians”), if somebody brought in a car that was worked on by somebody else, asking me what I thought of the previous work, all I would ever say is, “This is what I see today, in front of me now. I can’t tell you what the previous mechanic saw when he looked at it”……Sure I might have been saying “what the hell was this guy smoking”, but I never put that out there. Call it professional courtesy, call it just courtesy. I feel the TRUE car guys out there understand what I’m saying…….

      1+
  39. Jay Calk

    All I was saying having owned one of these cars how easy it was to disconnect speedo. It doesn’t make any difference know as it sold for 44,000.

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  40. Pope Paul II

    $37,000 for an emasculated Firebird ? No thank you. What else could one spend $37K on in automobile land? The list is endless. As a wise man once said- “Difference of opinion is what makes horse racing possible” Being a Corvette guy, I would look for a well-maintained 1995 ZR-1 and use each and every one of the 405 horses packed into the LT-5 engine early and often. Or I could do the standard old-guy thing and look for my first car – 1969 Z-28 . I bet I could find a nice driver for $37K.

    $44K ? Sheer insanity.

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  41. Devin Williams

    The flex-hose to the air filter looks awfully deteriorated for a car that was kept covered in a garage and only driven a couple of thousand miles. Also, in the Q&A section of the listing, the seller says he has the original floormats, but they are faded. The carpet also looks shampooed. Could all this be to hide higher miles and more use? The seller says it still smells new… but in storage that new car smell would be gone and it would instead be musty. Unless you shampooed carpets and recovered seats… I’d like to believe this is a survivor, and hope for the high bidder it is. But I’m suspicious.

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