Garage Gold: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

This may be the best angle to look at this project car because it has not been pampered its whole life. However, this 1979 Pontiac Trans Am it is priced appropriately. It is listed here on eBay with 4 days remaining in the auction. The reserve has not been met but the car is currently bid to $6,100. The car is located in Pomeroy, Ohio and is reported to have 89,377 miles on the odometer.

I didn’t know that gold oxidized! Apparently this gold paint, which the seller says is brown, is only skin deep because this car has some rust problems in the lower fenders, rockers and probably the quarter panels too. There are not any pictures of the interior  and the ad discloses that it is far from perfect. The Trans Am does have T-Tops and is painted in Code 50 Solar Gold. The seller states that the car has not been started or driven in 8 years.

This Trans Am is equipped with the base engine for 1979 which was the K code Oldsmobile 403 cubic inch V8 engine. The “K” is included as the 5 digit of the VIN on the car. From the factory, this engine produced 185 horsepower which was 10 more horsepower than the 350 cubic inch V8 engine that was the only engine available in the 1979 Camaro Z28. The Oldsmobile 403 cubic inch engine was only produced with an automatic transmission (GM Turbo 350 automatic transmission). If you were lucky, a seller could order and receive a W72 400 cubic inch Pontiac engine which delivered 220 horsepower and only came with a 4 speed and the WS6 performance suspension in 1979. If you wanted better gas mileage and save $150, a buyer could order for the economy minded 301 cubic inch V8 Pontiac engine which came with either a 4 speed or automatic transmission.

Since this car has the 15×8 snowflake aluminum wheels, 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. This car is worn out but could be brought back to a driver level car without too much trouble depending on the level of rust damage. The seller encourages prospective buyers to come look at the car rather then email questions. I would advise the same.


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  1. Rbig18

    Me thinks there is a whole lot of deeper rust issues than just on the surface. You could probably skate by with some patch work but the rust will eventually rot back out the surface. To do it right is a full restoration.

    Like 9
  2. qcvltd

    These were bad for windshield leaks that rot the dash frame and floors, not to mention the T-tops’ potential for leaks.

    I’ll never understand sellers that rely on the internet to advertise but declare, “don’t ask questions! Come see in person”.

    Neat car though – I begged my dad to let me buy a beat up, gold 4 speed/6.6 TA in high school in the 90’s…Instead I ended up with an 81 El Camino…

    Like 2
  3. Bob Mck Member

    Ohio often equals rust.

    Like 1
    • Bob_in_TN Bob_in_TN Member

      Generally correct, but Pomeroy is south along the Ohio River, not a particularly snowy part of the state. But of course we don’t know where it spent its life.

      The ad struck me as odd. It feels and looks like the typical Craigslist-style ad (but in this case on ebay), with minimal information and few, poor pictures. But this is a dealer sale??

      Like 1
  4. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    SOLD for $7,100.

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