Factory Air: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am


Although you can always find a Trans Am fairly easily, the trick is to buy the best one in your budget. As someone who tends to buy projects that are on the wierd and obscure side, I’m always a bit envious of the muscle car guys who have better options when it comes to finding cherry examples. This 1979 Pontiac Trans Am here on eBay looks like the cream of the crop and bidders seem to agree.


In my years of combing through junkyards, it’s not unusual to see a Trans Am or two (or three). However, they bear the scars of years of being a fast car you could buy cheap, often sorely neglected or heavily damaged from a run-in with a tree or other unforgiving object. So while production numbers may be generous, finding one that has survived unscathed like this car is a find in and of itself.


Factor in a light-colored interior that remains in excellent, uncut condition and you may as well call it a holy grail. The seller of this Trans Am neither confirms nor denies that it has been restored, but I see enough small imperfections that I’m inclined to believe the insides at least are largely original. This is also a desirable factory A/C car along with a tilt steering wheel and power windows. To me, that is a muscle car you can live with, even in the height of summer.


The seller points out that the big block 6.6L is beautifully detailed, and it is – but I’d like to know a bit more about its maintenance history before I get too excited about its cosmetic appearances. The Trans Am is said to be smooth and stable at high speeds, which is certainly part of the appeal of buying a car like this. Bidding is up to $11,200 with the reserve unmet; where do you think it should sell for?


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  1. Ray Smith

    She is a beauty for sure. I do see a couple of items though. I do not believe the fabric on the front seats is original. Look at it closely compared to the back. The back is correct with the non printed areas having a “crushed velvet” type of appearance. This is the correct pattern. On the front seats the non printed fabric has more of a “directional” grain to it. Also on the twin exhaust tips I see some corrosion between the pipes. Again, this is to be expected. What’s not expected is the pristine condition of the finish underneath. That, along with photos that appear to have the saturation turned up just a tad raises enough flags that a buyer should have a thorough PPI done if the bidding goes much higher.

  2. Doug

    This is at a dealers located in Lakeland FL. They have it in their website for $28K. Happy bidding!!!!
    Primos Classics International

  3. Tirefriar

    Look ma, no t-tops!

  4. Brent

    The shaker hood says it is the Pontiac 400. Can’t get a good enough look at the engine to verify, but the satin chrome valve covers came on the Pontiac 400. However, it was not possible to get the Pontiac 400 with an automatic transmission in 1979. Draw your own conclusions.

    Ps. Yespecially, those front seats have been recovered, nor doubt.

    • Mark

      Right no 400 trans after 1975 because of cat converter. You can tell by the trans pan that it is a turbo 350 trans.

  5. Jim Mc

    A sporty-LOOKING car? Yes.

    A muscle car? No.

    They look fast standing still, that’s how they moved them off the lots in the late 70s. Well that, and Burt Reynolds’ mustache and Sally Field’s rear-end.

  6. Anthony Rodrigues

    I agree with Brent It is a nice car, but i don’t believe its original That looks like a Pontiac block to me and the Pontiac 400 was only available with the 4 speed in 79 If I could afford it, i would prefer the Pontiac 400 and would buy it in a minute… but I believe it is a restored car not an original

  7. Nick Member

    Appears to have seen paint but not dash

  8. Tony S

    Beautiful car. Rocker covers and “T/A 6.6” on the shaker indicate Pontiac 400 however auto trans and VIN (K) say Olds 403. Looks like an engine swap. Pontiac never made a “big block” rather some engines had larger main journals. The 400 had the smaller journals.

    • joe

      A 6.6l was a 455 not a 400

      • Kincer Dave Member

        6.6 was not a 455. 6.6 was a Pontiac 400, a 7.0 liter Ford is a 427-429, I don’t know how to convert but that should give you an idea.

      • Tenspeed

        approximately 61 cubic inches/liter, so a 455 would be 7.45 liters (probably rounded up to 7.5)

  9. Rodney

    I’ve learned more about the details of these cars in this thread than I did watching Smokey and the Bandit and riding around Colorado in a buddy’s 403-powered silver car with that kick-ass glowing dash. Ogled that many nights from the passenger seat.
    You guys are brutal, observant and helpful

  10. ClassicCarFan

    @joe – you’re wrong.
    400 cubic inches = “6.6 liters” (with some rounding, actual number = 6.554 )
    455 cubic inches = “7.5 liters” (with some rounding, actual number = 7.456 )

    • Tom Driscoll

      The 70’s Grand Am sported a 7.4L badge on the rear when the 455 was optioned…

  11. Robbie

    I had one just like it. Wish I still had it. :(

  12. Greg S

    At least the seller is not trying to pass this off as a Y84 special edition. The graphics are for a Y84, and not original to this car. The rims would indicate that this has the WS6 handling package, but may also not be original to the car. The engine appears to be an Olds 403.

  13. George R Brock

    Hello well first off it looks like a 4:03 rocket motor which came out in 7879 and 80 in the Firebird Trans-Am exclusively California cars so it looks like a 4:03 with no smog since a 6.6 is a 403 and a400 but unless you get a better view of the engine compartment other than the smog pump and the air conditioning bracket is exactly the same so I really doubt if it’s a 400 and I did put out 400 with automatics outside of California and very limited editions

  14. Another Bob

    Nice car, why would anyone care if a deballed smog motor is original? It will be perfect with 455 SD levels of performance, however you get there. Hit down vote now!

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