Cheap Chicken: 1978 Pontiac Trans Am W72/WS4

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Judging by the appearance of this 1978 Trans Am in the supplied photos, it looks like someone has commenced restoration of the vehicle, but this may well have stalled. There is plenty of dust on the car, plus a few areas that are currently finished in primer. I need to thank Barn Finder J Liu for referring this Pontiac to us. If you want to finish this restoration, then the vehicle is located in Vancouver, Washington, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist.

To me, it looks like someone has commenced at least a partial restoration on the Pontiac, and there is primer and what looks like a guide coat on some panels. The hood has plenty of surface corrosion present, so will need to be completely stripped. The owner does say that there is rust in the quarter panels, but he doesn’t indicate how severe it is, and the photos don’t show it.

The interior doesn’t look too bad, and while the owner describes the seats as being good, what is visible in the photos makes me think that they would benefit from new covers. The door trims and dash look good, although the car has been fitted with an aftermarket radio/cassette player. There are a couple of small items that could be restored at home, while there is new carpet with the car that is ready to install. The car is fitted with a few creature comforts, such as power windows, air conditioning, and a tilt wheel.

There are no photos of the engine, but it is the 220hp, 6.6-liter W72 V8, which is backed by an automatic transmission and a Safe-T-Track rear end. The car is also fitted with power steering and power brakes. The owner doesn’t indicate whether the car runs and drives, but he does say that it has been fitted with a new battery, new spark plugs, and new plug wires. What he does have is the original Build Sheet, plus a bunch of maintenance records for the car which date back to 1978.

I really do have a soft spot for the Trans Am, and that probably won’t ever change. This one is a project car that needs finishing, and I wish that we had more information on the rust in the quarter panels, and how clean the car is underneath. I’d also like to know more about the state of the engine, and whether the car runs and drives. Values for the Trans Am have remained virtually unchanged over the past 3-years, and a good one will set you back between $20,000 and $25,000, although an exceptional car can fetch up to three times that price. The owner of this Trans Am has priced it at $4,000, and that seems fairly reasonable to me.

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  1. slickb

    well i’m taking a road trip to go look at a car.

    Like 15
  2. JoeMac Joe Mac

    If it’s the original W72 (Z code) engine in running condition, this isn’t a terrible price. Documentation appears to be plentiful which is great if you’re looking to flip. Cars with extensive documentation seem to get at a higher hammer price at the big auctions vs. those that don’t. Definitely worth a look.

    Like 5
  3. Big Dan

    78 Trans am with W 72 and WS4 that alone catches my eyes …. too bad it’s automatic… still very much worth checking out..

    Like 4
  4. Arthell64

    Appears to have lots of rust but not a bad price for a complete project.

    Like 1
  5. TortMember

    I wonder how much more without the chicken!

    Like 0
  6. Mark P

    Of course it has an after market radio, probably did a day after it rolled of the lot. Why is this notable or considered? The factory stuff was pure junk, even when new, especially the speakers. Bet it has some Jensen Tri- Ax’ s in the trunk. At least they make radios that look factory period now but are modern.

    Like 5

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