Original Paint: 1978 Pontiac Trans Am Survivor

Following its appearance in “Smokey and the Bandit,” the Pontiac Trans Am became instantly recognizable in its iconic Black and Gold color scheme. However, the Trans Am was also available in a number of other pretty interesting shades, and this one is a great example of a stunning color that was available for a single model year. It would be the perfect car for a Pontiac enthusiast who wants to stand out in a crowd. Located in Miami, Florida, you will find the Trans Am listed for sale here on eBay. The listing has been set to open at $26,900, but there have been no bids to this point.

Martinique Blue is a color that was only available for the single year on the Trans Am, and it’s a color that really suits the car’s style. The Pontiac is said to be unrestored, meaning that this is the original paint, and while it isn’t perfect, it does look very impressive. There are a few minor chips and marks, but the overall condition of the paint and panels seems to be very good. Rust isn’t an issue, because not only is there none visible in the panels, but the supplied photos of the vehicle’s underside look as clean as a whistle. The Pontiac also features a Hurst T-Top, this being the final year of the Hurst product before the Fisher T-Top became the standard factory item in around April of 1978. Otherwise, the glass, exterior trim, and the decals all look to be in very good condition.

As with the exterior of the car, I believe that the interior is original and unrestored. The Blue Deluxe cloth trim looks to be in decent condition for its age, with only a few minor marks on the driver’s seat. The remaining trim and dash look pretty impressive, while the carpet has also survived fairly nicely. The Trans Am hasn’t been loaded to the roof with optional equipment, but what it has should make life quite pleasant for the occupants. There is air conditioning that is said to blow ice cold. In addition, there is a tilt wheel, rear defogger, and the original AM/FM/8-track player with the rear speaker is still present. You know, it doesn’t matter how often I look at a Trans Am, I will never get sick of looking at the machine-turned gauge cluster. For me, they are one of the four great features that I love to find in a classic car. They go into the same basket as suicide doors, pop-up headlamps, and gated shifters.

You really have to give Pontiac their due, because they continued to try and inject some performance and excitement into their offerings during the Malaise Era. Nowhere was this more obvious than in the Trans Am. This was especially true if your car wasn’t delivered in California, or designated as a high-altitude car. Those vehicles received the 403ci V8, which produced 185hp. The remaining cars received this engine, the 400ci L78 V8, pumping out 220hp. Backing that engine is a 3-speed automatic transmission, while you also get power steering and power brakes. Did that 35 extra ponies make a difference? You’d better believe that they did. The 400-equipped Trans Am was faster from 0-60 by a massive 1.4 seconds and could dispatch the ¼ mile 1.1 seconds faster than a 403. The owner says that the Trans Am has accumulated a genuine 53,000 miles on its odometer, but doesn’t indicate whether he has any evidence to verify this. What it does come with is the original Build Sheet, along with the Owner’s Manual and brochures. The owner says that the Pontiac runs and drives well, and I will say that the engine bay presentation is better than average for a car of this age.

I never hide the fact that I have a real soft spot for the Trans Am, and this one ticks a lot of boxes for me. From a price perspective, there is a chance that it might be competitive because the eBay listing gives no indication of the car having a reserve. It makes me wonder just how many people are going to hold out to the very last moment to bid on the car, given that it looks like it will be a case of the highest bid winning. Are you interested?



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  1. Arthell64 Member

    Appears to be a nice car. You couldn’t restore one this nice for the asking price.

    Like 12
  2. Vin_in_NJ

    All original interior? The grab bar has has wear, but the center console lid and steering wheel are pristine. Hmmmm….
    Beautiful car, but advertise it for what it is.

    Like 6
  3. Boatman Member

    Original paint? Maybe, with about five coats of clear on it.

    Like 9
  4. Classic Steel

    These cars are going for Bandit pricing these days 👀

    Does a portion go to jerry and burt foundations?

    I ll pass-on this one but it does look nice 👍

    Like 3
    • Angrymike

      I was never a fan of the later T/A’s, but I’m definitely a fan of this. If it had a four speed, I’d be craving it ! Very nice car.

      Like 9
  5. George Mattar

    Very nice, but that almost 42 year old lacquer was never that shiny new. I almost bought a new black 78 TA with red interior and 4 speed. But being a totally broke college student, it wasn’t happening. I would walk to the local Pontiac dealer and just stare at these cars for hours. Still can’t afford one this nice.

    Like 2
  6. Superdessucke

    Looks like someone already laid out 27+ large for this so I suppose it doesn’t matter but a few minor quibbles. I don’t think the gold rims are original. I’ve only ever seen the gold rims on cars with tan interior. And those are WS6 snowflake rims, and this is not a WS6 car per the build sheet. In fact, the build sheet shows it had N98 rims. Those are the standard steel Rally II wheels.

    Also, despite the seller’s claim, I don’t know if the t-tops are original to this car. There’s no CC1 code on the build sheet. That code was used even before the Fisher t-tops on cars that did not also have the Y82 SE package, which of course this one doesn’t have. Maybe the window sticker and PHS, which the seller interestingly says he has but does not show, would prove the claim? I dunno.

    I guess none of this is a big deal at this point but this one’s been modified, and advertising it as a rare factory Hurst t-top car is dubious if it indeed wasn’t built with them. And the gold rims don’t seem to fit. At least it doesn’t have a hood tach though!

    Like 6
    • Keith Nathanson

      The rims are not original. The 15×8 rims were only provided with the WS6 package which this car does not have. Additionally, the WS6 wheels for the Martinique Blue were all silver inside not gold painted. The correct wheels for this car with the build sheet would have been the 15×7 silver wheels.
      It’s odd that there’s no CC1 code for those t-tops. There should be.

      Like 3
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We don’t know what the car actually sold for because the seller pulled the listing early.

  7. Chevy King

    No chrome factory valve covers these were standard on the Pontiac T/A 6.6 400

    Like 1
    • Keith Nathanson

      This is not a T/A 6.6 car. This is the L78 Pontiac 400 which correctly has the Pontiac Blue valve covers. And contrary to the story, the L78 was only 185 HP. Only the T/A 6.6 had the 220HP and the chrome valve covers. This is a correct L78 Pontiac engine however as shown on the build sheet. The Olds 403 was only available in 1978 on California ’emission’ cars.

      Like 1
      • Superdessucke

        It also had 2.56 gears. And I don’t think the hood bird is original either because there’s no WW7 code on the build sheet.

        Seems to me this was built as a very plain-jane Trans Am and then fixed up by subsequent owners to be something more.

        Like 1
      • Keith Nathanson

        I saw the 2.56 on the build sheet as well and the lack of the ww7 hood bird. Original paint, but other parts – not so much. You will also note on the pics it has dual exhaust. L78 for 1978 had exhaust manifold>2-into-1 pipe>catalytic pancake converter>single intermediate pipe to above-the-axle transverse muffler (1 inlet, 2 outlet) to the dual tail pipes with splitters. Even the W72 had e.m.>2into1>cat>1into2>twin resonators.

        Also agree on the hood bird – No WW7 code. This however a later-production ’78 Martinique Blue since the tail light bezels are black. Late ’77 and Early ’78 production of the Marty Blues had blue tail bezels — my November ’77 Norwood, Ohio Marty Blue has blue tail bezels.

    • Keith NATHANSON

      correct. However on the default L78 engine (with only 185 hp) which this car has, the correct valve covers are blue.

  8. AMXBrian

    My AMX has the same “machine-turned gauge cluster” and it really does make the interior pop. Especially compared to the Faux wood grain they had in the SST’s.

    Like 2
  9. Fastwhlz

    Mustang Cobra II had the same gauge-cluster.

  10. Keith Nathanson

    I own a ’78 Martinique Blue, W72 4 speed AC car that is all original. Perhaps Adam would like to write a story about mine. It has 15,600 ORIGINAL miles on it and is pristine.

    Like 5
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      @Keith Nathanson – Send it in and we will take a look!

      Like 1
      • Keith Nathanson

        Jesse, where would you like it sent in to?

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff
  11. keith Nathanson

    Additionally, the exhaust appears to have been replaced. The tail splitters look to be the wrong sheen of chrome and hang WAY lower than factory placement for them. Since this is an L78 Pontiac 400, the exhaust should be a 2 into 1 into a transverse-mounted muffler above the axle.

    Like 1
  12. Tony S

    Very nice car though..

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