Estate Sale Find: Mayan Red 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

Pontiac was at the top of its game in 1979 and sold almost 117,000 Trans Am in the year. This car was purchased from the estate of the original owner about 5 years ago and can be seen here on eBay. The Trans Am is located in Winfield, Iowa and is currently bid to $7,250 with only 1 day left in the auction. The car still sports its original Mayan Red exterior paint and has been stored for over 20 years. As shown, the headliner has fallen and the car is in need of repair including working out some brake and carburetor issues.

The dash on these cars tend to crack from sun damage, but this one looks fairly good. The odometer reads 70,440 miles. The car is equipped with white deluxe seats and door panels. A number of options were selected when this car was ordered including automatic transmission, cruise control and air conditioning but no power windows. The famous WS6 suspension was also not selected because this car is equipped with 15×7 aluminum snowflake wheels instead of 15×8 snowflake wheels that have a lip around the outer edge.

There were three engines available in 1979. The base engine was a 150 horsepower 301 cubic inch V8 engine which was pretty pathetic for a muscle car. Alternatively, a buyer could select the Oldsmobile 403 cubic inch V8 engine which delivered 185 horsepower and was only available with an automatic transmission. The best performer was the W72 400 cubic inch Pontiac V8 engine that delivered 220 horsepower and was only available in 1979 with a 4 speed transmission and WS6 suspension package.

This car looks pretty crusty when you peer underneath and examine the lower body panels. It still sports Goodyear Eagle tires which have to be at least 30 year sold. The hood scoop is included and shows to be in the trunk along with some other parts. If you are looking for a driver condition Trans Am or you good at body work, this might be of interest. I had a W72 4 speed Trans Am in high school which fared pretty well on the streets. You didn’t see many red 1979 TAs back then but today I own a Mayan Red 1979 Formula. What do you think of this Trans Am?


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  1. Jerry Member

    This isnt a real TA…..the TA didnt come with the 301V8

    Like 1
    • Mitchell Member

      Actually, you could get a 301 in the Trans Am as a credit option in 1979. It was rated at 150 horsepower and could be had with either the manual or automatic transmission. My dad has a silver 79 Trans Am with the 301, auto and T-tops.

      Like 1
  2. Jerry Member

    In 79 the standard engines for the TA were the Pontiac 400 or the Olds 403.
    Someone changed the motor OR its a TA clone.

    Like 1
    • Steve R

      The ad specifically says it has a 403.

      Steve R

      Like 1
      • Steve Yaargh

        Yaargh, thanks for your insight. You can shiver me timber anytime…

        Steve Yaargh

  3. Jerry Member

    I’m wrong!
    I just checked my Pontiac Firebird “Redbook” facts book….the 301 was a optional engune fir the TA in 79….standard was the 403 6.6 Olds motor.
    Why get a performance orientated car and downsize the notor? Its not like its 10mpg difference in gas!!

    Like 2
  4. Vin_in_NJ

    If the VIN has a W engine code, it’s for the 301. That would explain the smaller rims

  5. TAGuy

    It’s a 403 Olds in the car — the 7″ rims are because it doesn’t have the WS6 option…

    Like 4
    • Jerry Member

      Shame the shaker scoop is missing….those are a pretty penny!

      • TAGuy

        I think that it’s in the trunk

        Like 3
  6. Bob C.

    Ebay ad says it’s a 403, plus the oil filler spout out front says Olds. Oh well, anything is better than the 301, unless you’re economy minded.

    Like 4
    • DG

      Also, the shaker scoop in the trunk says “6.6 Litre.”

  7. H gruber

    I bought a 79 ta new it was a 4spd with ws6 and a 301 it was suprising quick

    Like 1
  8. jwzg

    Oil filler tube in the front means it’s an Olds.

    Like 1
  9. Mike Brown

    Not to get off topic of this car but…does anyone have, or know of someone that has a beat up 1980-81 turbo Trans Am hood with a nice hood scoop? I just want a nice scoop for a non Trans Am project. I don’t need the whole hood or the lights, I just need the scoop with a couple inches of weldable metal around it. I also don’t want to destroy a good turbo hood that someone else could use for a Turbo Trans Am restoration. Thanks for any leads that you guys can provide.

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