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Faded Glory: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

This 1979 Pontiac Trans Am left the factory painted in Code 51 Sundance Yellow with orange decals. Mother Nature has taken its toll on this old bird as the paint and decals are fading into history. The car is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado and is currently bid to $7,300 with 4 days remaining in the auction. The listing can be accessed here on eBay. You didn’t see too many Sundance Yellow Trans Ams in 1979. That might have been because Pontiac produced over 117,000 Trans Ams that year and there are many more popular colors. I owned a W72 400 4 speed 1979 Trans Am through high school and college that was Sundance Yellow with a gold bird instead of the orange bird like this car has.

This car has a black interior that is pretty well worn. There are holes in the carpet and the aftermarket stereo looks like it’s about to fall out of the dash. It is missing the cigarette lighter. The car has several options including air conditioning, automatic transmission, T-Tops and rear defrost. The car was not optioned with power windows or power locks but does have the deluxe interior which included upgraded door panels and nicer bucket seats. The seats are appear to be covered in their original black hobnail cloth fabric. The headliner fabric and sun visors are missing on this car. The car appears to have aftermarket cruise control added.

This Trans Am is equipped with the base engine for 1979 for this model which was the Oldsmobile 403 cubic inch V8 engine. It was only available with an automatic transmission and was rated from the factory at 185 horsepower. A buyer could order the optional W72 400 cubic inch Pontiac engine which produced 220 horsepower and only came with a 4 speed manual transmission and the WS6 performance suspension in 1979. If you wanted better gas mileage, you could opt for the economy minded 301 cubic inch V8 Pontiac engine which came with either a 4 speed or automatic transmission. This option saved you $150 in 1979 for the smaller, weaker engine.

The exterior paint is worn and faded and some dents can be seen on the body. The Trans Am is equipped with Pontiac 15×8 snowflake aluminum wheels which indicates it was probably equipped from the factory with the WS6 Performance Handling package which included J65 4 wheel disc brakes, larger sway bars and special shocks. While this car needs some work, all the parts are there and it could be restored to its former glory.


  1. Hoss

    I’ve never seen one this color. I really like it. Different.

    Like 2
  2. Skorzeny

    Before anyone goes off about a Chicken on the hood, it’s a PHOENIX!!!

    Like 5
    • Mikefromthehammer

      Okay so it’s a SCREAMING PHOENIX then. 🤣🤣🤣

      Like 9
    • Fahrvergnugen Fahrvergnugen Member

      Sure looks like Foghorn Leghorn to me…not a chicken per se, but a ROOSTER.

    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      Does that mean you could get a chicken on the hood of a Pontiac Phoenix?

      Like 1
  3. Jim

    Looks like it’s pretty salvageable. If someone gets it for around the price it’s now sitting at, they could have a pretty nice car. I really like the color. I haven’t seen many in yellow with an orange bird.

    I have to wonder what’s going on with the carpet though. Did the owner drive it wearing golf spikes?????

    Like 2
  4. Shawn

    A great car with plenty of nice features. Hopefully the buyer picks her up and treats her to a full restoration with some modifications and keeps the unique paint. The Bandit black ones are cool, but it’s a real treat to see one in yellow.

    Like 2
  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Paint it back and the bids will easily double.

    Although, I’ve never seen a yellow T/A and think it looks okay.

  6. stan rakowski

    When was the last time you saw a YELLOW bird (1980) ? I own one. 44,000 miles—just has the small 301 Pontiac engine, but I am happy about it

    Like 2

    This bird is a good deal for the present $$$ . And I like the color. Back in the early 80″S the family up the street had two young sons that had a fomula and the other brother had a T/A, They made them look stupid. jacked up high in the back with cragers whip antennas ,just to much stuff.
    THE COOL THING BOTH WHERE THAT YELLOW.Rare color and two of them to boot!

  8. George Mattar

    I like different colors. Black and Nocturne Blue 79s are a dime a dozen. If I buy a 79 TA, it has to have a true Pontiac engine and 4 speed. But I prefer the 77 and 78 models. Had the pleasure of driving a red 78 W72 car when it was NEW, while a student at Penn State. I detailed cars, still do, for spending money in college and cleaned that red car for the owner. He took extremely good care of it, but for whatever reason, traded it in 1980 for a new Bonneville two door with a diesel. What a mistake.

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