No Reserve: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

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Locating an original classic that provides a few options for a buyer to consider is tempting. Such is the case with this 1979 Pontiac Trans am. It presents nicely as an unmolested survivor, but lifting its presentation with fresh paint is an idea some may find irresistible. However, the decision can be made at their leisure as they hit the road to enjoy it in its current form. The seller has listed the Trans Am here on eBay in Tacoma, Washington. Bidding sits at $16,900 in a No Reserve auction, and I must say a big thank you to the appropriately named Barn Finder Bandit fan for spotting this beauty.

Pontiac effectively marked time with its Second Generation Firebird range in 1979, knowing that a new model was only a few years away. It performed a minor front-end restyle, but it was business as usual for the Trans Am. Few combinations are more iconic than Starlight Black paint with Gold graphics, which is what the first owner chose for this car. The paint retains a respectable shine, and the car is quite presentable in its current form. However, the seller admits it is thin in a few spots, and a meticulous new owner may opt for a cosmetic refresh. This should be straightforward because the panels are as straight as an arrow, and the underside shots confirm this beauty is rust-free. The decals, including the wonderful Screaming Chicken, look surprisingly good, with no significant lifting or checking. I can’t spot any plastic problems, while the snowflake wheels and tinted glass are excellent.

The Trans Am’s interior is quite interesting, because its options combination is slightly unusual. The original Window Sticker confirms the first owner didn’t select air conditioning or power windows but added a tilt wheel, cruise control, and an AM/FM radio/cassette player with rear speakers. The Black cloth upholstered surfaces look very acceptable for a survivor, with no signs of significant wear, abuse, or neglect. The carpet is clean, the dash and pad are excellent, and there is no evidence of crumbling plastic. Interior trim is often an accurate indicator of the life a classic has led, and this car’s trim suggests it has always been treated respectfully.

The first owner’s approach to this Trans Am’s specifications suggests they may have ordered this car on a budget. The engine bay houses the entry-level 403ci “Olds” V8, teamed with a three-speed automatic transmission and power assistance for the steering and brakes. There was no manual transmission option with the 403, and with only 185hp and 315 ft/lbs of torque at the driver’s disposal, performance is considered modest by modern standards. However, numerous aftermarket upgrades are available that will squeeze out a few additional ponies for those unconcerned about complete originality. The seller apparently purchased this Trans Am from the first owner’s estate, believing it has been well maintained and cared for throughout its life. It comes with much of its original documentation dating back to Day One, including the Window Sticker and dealer paperwork. The Pontiac runs and drives perfectly, making it a turnkey proposition for its new owner.

This 1979 Pontiac Trans Am obviously ticks the right boxes for many people, as evidenced by the forty-five bids submitted at the time of writing. There is plenty of time remaining on the auction, so the bid total and price will undoubtedly climb as the end draws near. It offers the winning bidder the choice between preservation and restoration, but which would you choose if it found its way into your garage?

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. TransAmMan

    Woooo-eeee! TransAmMan is getting his fix lately! This one would be a preservation for me. Keep it clean and turn the key!

    Like 3
  2. JDC

    Does someone have a Firebird/Trans Am obsession?

    Like 2
    • TransAmMan

      Guilty as charged.

      Like 3
  3. Mark

    Nice that it still has the original radio

    Like 1
  4. Pat P.

    Trans AM Finds, formerly know as Barn Finds.

    Like 2
  5. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

    SOLD for $18,101.

    Like 1
    • Chris m

      Seller here 👋 … very happy to say the car was sold locally for $26,500 new owner is so excited and lives about 15 mins from me

      Like 2
  6. Robbie R.

    Minor front end restyle? Pontiac completely ruined it. The rear end restyle was actually good. That said, this car still looks in good shape for what it is.

    Like 1
  7. wjtinfwb

    Odd car. Pretty well loaded… HD Matter, Rear defrost, Pulse wipers, Custom Interior, Lamp group, Screaming Chicken. But, no A/C, Pwr Window/Locks. It’s a WS6 car as well so the big sway bars, faster steering gear, etc. as well. If you were building a performance T/A on a budget you’d skip a lot of those things and go straight to the WS6 package and L78 engine. The WS6 chassis is a real plus, just yank out the boat anchor 403 and build up a nice Pontiac 400 or 455. Nice car, seems well-bought.

    Like 2

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