Estate Sale Find: No Reserve 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

This 1979 Pontiac Trans Am is being sold by the daughter of the owner who passed away. The car is a little rough and will needs some work to get it back on the road but it is running. Pontiac sold more Trans Ams in 1979 than any other year that they were produced (117,108 cars). While many enthusiasts don’t car for the front end treatment that Pontiac used on the Firebird from 1979-1981, it was a best seller. This car is located in Brownfield, Texas which is near Lubbock in west Texas. The car is listed here on eBay with 3 days remaining in the auction. Currently, the car is bid to $3,540 after 26 bids and the reserve has been met.

This Pontiac Trans Am came from the factor with the L80 Oldsmobile 403 cubic inch V8 engine that was rated at 185 horsepower and 320 lb ft of torque. The scoop has been affixed to the hood and the carburetor is adorned with a Weiand air cleaner. In 1979, a Trans Am could be ordered with a Pontiac designed 301 cubic inch V8 or 400 cubic inch V8 or an Oldsmobile designed 403 cubic inch V8 engine. The Pontiac 301 cubic inch V8 was rated at 155 horsepower and could be ordered with either a Borg Warner T10 4 speed manual transmission or Turbo 350 3 speed automatic transmission. The Pontiac W72 400 cubic inch V8 engine was rated at 220 horsepower and was only available with a Borg Warner 4 speed transmission. Only 8,326 Trans Ams and 367 Formulas in 1979 came with the Pontiac W72 engine. Most Trans Ams were equipped with the 403 cubic inch engine which could only be ordered with a 3 speed Turbo 350 automatic transmission.

The black hobnail interior looks pretty good considering the condition of the rest of the car. The passenger door panel is missing the arm rest and the console lid is cracking. The car is fairly well optioned with power windows, air conditioning and automatic transmission. The car also appears to be missing the carpet and the rear seats look to be vinyl. A big expense on these cars is replacing cracked dashes. This one appears to be solid.

The car is advertised that it is equipped with the famous WS6 suspension which in 1979-1981 came with 4 wheel disc brakes. However, the car is equipped 15 x 7 aluminum snowflake wheels and all 1979 Trans Ams with WS6 suspension came with 15 x 8 wheels. This Trans Am is also sporting a trailer hitch. The seller states that her mechanic got the car running but it needs the fuel tank flushed out and will probably need a brake job to be safe to drive.

Fast Finds


  1. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Did all T/As have fender flares in front of the wheels and not behind?
    Looks weird.

    • Mike Freeman

      Yes they did. There was an aftermarket/accessory outlet that tried selling the back side but it looked even stranger since even the fronts are bolt on. The story back then, completely unsubstantiated by Pontiac was that aerodynamically the fronts were there to deflect air out and away from the wheel openings and rear pieces would just pull it back in and ruin the effect. I had a 74 and a 77 back then. Great cars and never gave me any trouble.

      Like 1
    • Dante Gentile

      All Trans Am fender flares were in front of the wheels, it is an aerodynamic thing!

      Like 1
  2. Tahir Khan Member

    not even a T-Top car………

    • Mike Freeman

      This year didn’t have factory t-tops that was an add-on made by Hurst for the most part. Car wasn’t reinforced for it and it made the chassis too flexible as you lost all the rigidity out of the roof. To me anyway it messed up the handling a bit. Supposedly the only factory engineered t-top in either of the F-bodies was the 1981, last year of the series. They’re easy to spot because there’s no painted band between the hatches as the glass tops almost touch in the center.

      • BS

        Huh? No t-tops? I have a 1979 “Bandit” Edition that had factory t-tops. Not sure where you came up with that nonsense about no t-tops except for 1981?🤔

      • Mike Freeman

        Guess I’m replying to myself but to clarify about the tops so no one gets excited You’re correct that the Bandit Edition had T-Tops as it was part of that package and I don’t think it was a delete option as I never saw one without them however according to the dealers they weren’t factory installed. There were a couple of accessory outfits that put them in for GM. Hurst provided a lot of them on new cars and accessory shops got to where they were installing them as well. The little one is 76-78 and there was a bigger set in 79-80 but they all had a painted section between the hatches. The ones installed in the 81 Camaro’s and Firebirds were different looking something similar to the ones in a ‘Vette, like I mentioned the glass almost met in the center of the roof like the 82-up ones did. I had them on an 81 Z28 I bought new and the salesman said that GM actually did those and the car was supposedly reinforced to compensate for the loss of roof structure. Always thought if that was true it was sort of silly at that point because in 82 they changed the whole car.

  3. John Oliveri

    Need to throw that 403 in the ocean and put a 400 Pontiac in it

    Like 1
    • Mike Freeman

      At least it isn’t the 301 turbo, what a slug.

      Like 1
  4. Mike T.

    HEY, She had a trailer hitch on it and that’s hot.!!!!!

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