Parked For 10 Years: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

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The seller of this 1979 Pontiac Trans Am has owned it for quite some time and is responsible for putting it into the garage one day and letting it sit there for over ten years. As he tells it, the Trans Am was a strong runner when parked and had new tires installed just before its extended slumber. The body looks quite nice and it rides on aftermarket wheels, and the interior shows surprisingly well despite the years of neglect. Fortunately, as an Oregon resident, there’s a good chance the Trans Am went into the garage as a sound example and that not much has changed since. Find it here on craigslist with a firm price of $12,500.

Upon seeing it out in the daylight and with a fresh wash, it’s immediately evident that the Trans Am remains in tidy shape with straight, dent-free body panels and paint that at least looks good when it’s wet. The wheels are an odd choice and not a great look for a Trans Am of this period. Fortunately, that’s an easy fix, and I’d love to see the next owner throw on a set of modern gold honeycomb wheels, upsized just a scooch to fill those wheel wells. The window louvers are a period-correct look and given their luster and the boldness of the screaming eagle graphic on the hood, it does seem likely that the Trans Am has been stored indoors for quite some time.

The interior is super nice, even as the seller acknowledges that he stored some items like sleeping bags and motorcycle helmets inside. Those items don’t appear to have done any long-term damage, as the cabin still looks quite nice. Door panels, carpets, and the dash pad all still present quite well. The original steering wheel doesn’t even appear to show much in the way of wear-and-tear, and while the seller admits the driver’s seat has a tear in it, that’s not a big deal at all when the rest of the cockpit looks this good. The Pep Boys floormats are really the most egregious offense I can see, and the Trans Am will come with a period aftermarket stereo that includes a Blaupunkt head unit and a Bazooka bass tube.

The 6.6L 403 engine is said to remain in stock condition with no modifications. The engine bay does appear just as the factory intended, aside from needing some detailing. The presence of manufacturer-applied stickers and instructions is a good indicator the radiator support has never been crushed and removed from the car, and the paint on the inner fenders appears to match up well with the outside surfaces. The seller notes he is the second owner having purchased the car in the late 80s with around 85,000 miles on it; it now has 164,000. The gas tank is full of old fuel and will need to be dropped and cleaned, but otherwise, this looks like a garage find that could fire up tomorrow.

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  1. rmwardMember

    In addition to the wheels the seat covers look out of place and the hood decal looks wrong, but I can’t put my finger on it. I was a porter at a Pontiac dealership when this was new, but that was a long time ago. No thanks due to the Auto Zone mods.

    Like 3
  2. Rosco

    Nice looking, but not a lot of options. The wheels are horrible and original style snowflake, not honeycomb wheels would be a huge improvement. Probably a good idea to replace the 30+ year old tires at the same time. No mention in the ad of the repaint or when it was done, but from the photos it still looks decent.

    Like 6
  3. Timothy Vestrand

    Ugly shoes ruin the whole ensemble .

    Like 6
  4. mainlymuscle

    This should be gone by noon.If it was black ,double the price,or an SE ,even more.Yes the wheels are awful ,which creates opportunity.A minute and a half after you pick it up ,17″ Snow flakes,Cragars, or Torque thrusts,and Bob’s your uncle.Pick up this era of Trans Am while you can.

    Like 2
    • SteveTheD

      Been posted for 6 days so it wasn’t gone by noon, but maybe by noon on another day in the future! Yes, you could possibly double the price for one in black or an SE, but not in this condition. This is priced pretty close to where it should be for what it is.

      Like 1
  5. firemedic2714

    Those wheels were more acceptable for this car thirty years ago (I still wouldn’t have picked them), but definitely not now. They look like they’re in decent shape and would go great on an 80s mini truck build and could probably be sold for a decent amount. Love the red on red color scheme.

    Like 0
  6. Terry J

    Had a ’76 T/A that was said by Motor Trend to be “the best handling car built in America”. To and from work every day the county black top road had a pair of S curves that I considered as my very own chicane. Of course my T/A had the Pontiac 400 V8 as where this ’79 T/A has the Olds 403. Good engine too, but for a Pontiac fan……. Terry J

    Like 2
  7. RobB

    The hood decal is correct. I had a red 79 (bought new) with the same decal. Mine was the SE model with the WS6 handling package, auto and the 403 motor, w/T tops, and the 8 inch snowflake rims. Wish I still had it;

    Like 0
  8. deak E Stevens

    Are you serious about putting gold honeycomb wheels on this trans am.that is down right sickening.the only aftermarket wheel that should go on a car like this is 70’s style cragers,craters, just leave it alone.

    Like 2
  9. deak E Stevens

    I have never seen a hood decal like this one,my neighbor had one just like this same color,his decal was black with gold trim.

    Like 1
  10. Jason

    Nice write up Jeff .
    You didnt start with the usual spiel about history of the model car which is probably copy pasted By other writers. Kept it about the car . Good job

    Like 0
  11. John Oliveri

    It’s got furry seat covers, ugliest wheels on earth, roll up windows, and a 403 w 185,000 miles on it, first thing I’d dump is that boat anchor motor, but the cars not my taste at all, so it’s way over my head cause I’d want a 400, and 79 w automatic this is what you got

    Like 1
    • SteveTheD

      I get it that it’s not a 400, but I always get a kick out of the people that call the 403 Olds a “boat anchor” and have no idea of what those engines are capable of.

      Like 1
      • John Oliveri

        I’m assuming, and u know the old say, when one assumes, your experience w fast cars is limited, your under 50, and that’s what you had, I’m probably a little older than you, and I have a 455 73 Pontiac that’s not fast, compared to a 69 428, or a Chevy 427, or a Chrysler 440, so I’ll pretty much stick with the boat anchor theory, pertaining to the Olds 403, that if you dropped it off the side of a building may be fast, please don’t take offense to this, the later 400s weren’t by any mean fast either

        Like 0
    • SteveTheD

      Age has nothing to do with it, but I’ll just assume your engine building experience regarding the 403 or any other is very limited and leave it at that.

      Like 1
  12. art

    Ask for pictures of the car when “dry”…never assume the paint is great when the owner snaps pictures of their wet car. There might be a reason he did not dry it before the pictures. Just sayin…

    Like 1

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