Surfin’ Safari: 1979 Pontiac LeMans Wagon

Ok, this is the last wagon, at least for today.. (hehehe.. wringing hands..).. This 1979 Pontiac LeMans Safari Wagon is being listed for “the last time” and if there are no takers at their incredible and unmet opening bid of $10,000 – than it’s going back into the storage unit! Whoa, that’s a lot of dough, eh? NADA lists the value as being between $8,850 and $13,000! Whoa, again! This 35+ years in storage barn find is listed here on eBay in Strum, Wisconsin.

While seemingly being in nice condition, I’m not sure if this one will sell for $10,000 or more, what do you think? Supposedly, this car has 32,000 miles on it and it looks solid. By the fifth-generation of the LeMans, they were a mere shadow of their former glory, but that’s often the case with cars from this era. The seller mentions three main issues: “1) The glove box isn’t closing. 2) The head liner is gone. 3) The very back window won’t stay open without help.”

The interior really has a safari theme going in full force. There doesn’t seem to be a flaw on the interior, at least that I can see. It’s always a good idea to pay attention to the man behind the curtain, regardless of what The Wizard of Oz says. As in, I’d like to see what’s under the steering wheel cover and the backseat covers. I’m guessing that they’re there to protect from damage rather than to cover up any damage. The front seat looks great but you know that you’ll be sticking to that vinyl with your shorts on.

I have a feeling that this car will be heading back into storage. This doesn’t look like a $10,000 vehicle engine to me. The seller says that they were told that it’s a Buick engine, which should make it a 2.8L / 231 cubic-inch V6 but a Chevrolet 350 V8 was also available and that would have been the top-money engine, I would think. “It’s a good runner, starts rite up & goes down the road real nice!” Also, they say that “it has been given a complete tune up, new battery, plugs, wires, all belts & fluids have been changed & new white wall tires too, as you can see the blue is still on them.” Thoughts on this surfin’ safari wagon? What do you think the starting bid should be to get some hits?

Fast Finds


  1. SanityFactor

    Someone’s smoking sumthin better than mine…10k is outrageous….

    • Vintage Car Loner

      I want some too, the heck with the car.

      • John T

        I reckon that this wagon is going back into storage, but not before the smoking session has been completed!

  2. Fred W.

    I’m pretty sure one just like with a bit more miles it can be found on back streets in not so nice areas of my town for $495.

    Like 1
  3. Michael

    Someone should tell Roxy that a Buick powered 3.8l V-6 doesn’t make it a muscle car. The pictures are poor quality but I can still see the paint is dull, the pin striping is worn away and possibly there is rust on the tailgate. Low mileage or not, tops it’s $2,500.00.

  4. Brian G.

    Reminds me of that National Lampoon magazine cover years ago that said “Buy this magazine or we’ll shoot this dog. ” Poor dog.

    Like 1
  5. C Bear

    It’s a 1500 dollar car tops. It has absolutely no collectible value. You either buy it and drive it into the ground as is or you buy it and rip out all the running gear and make a sleeper out of it. I’m thinking GN or Turbo Trans AM running gear and you’ve got something interesting. Otherwise it’s just an old crappy station wagon with nearly 40 years of wear and tear on every piece of rubber/plastic on the car. Back to storage for 5 years after which it will be worth 1250 tops. It wasn’t worth putting the money into the new tires and the tune up.

  6. Sam

    Seller is in a bratwurst/cheese coma with a Leinenkugel speedball!!!

    I’d go $2,500….add some honeycomb wheels, fake shaker hood with a flying chicken decal….I think I’m in a coma.

    The seller should let it go for a fair price, drive and enjoy or store it and let it deteriorate.

    Like 1
    • Sam

      I swear I did’nt look at first image of the seller’s 12th picture in the ad before commenting…someone already did the honeycomb wheel/shaker hood thing.

      I’m out…..

    • Leon

      Make it a Band-IT-wagon. Lol

      • Sam

        Skoal or Burt Reynolds…

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      ‘Seller is in a bratwurst/cheese coma with a Leinenkugel speedball!!!’ LOL Sam ! I got the t-shirt. If it was not fish fry Friday today it could have been tonight’s supper. Gotta be Limburger cheese though, take care, Mike.

      Like 1
  7. John T

    If I remember correctly, the 231 cubic inch (3.8 liter, not 2.8) Buick V6 was one of the best V6 engines to come out of GM and after the addition of turbocharging provided the magic for what became the Buick Grand National (GN/GNX) as well as powering some IndyCars back in the day. The 2.8 liter V6 was a Chevrolet engine that was used in the mid-size GM front wheel drive products as well as the third generation Camaro/Firebird in the 1980’s and from what I understand was not all that bad of a motor. I still prefer the Pontiac “Iron Duke” 4-cylinder which to this day continues to be used in the United States Post Office delivery trucks or a good old fashioned Chevy straight-6. Thats what happens when you get old!

    • LAB3

      I’m thinking similar thoughts, give em what it’s worth (maybe a grand tops) for the drive line, send the rest to the scrap yard.

    • duaney

      The 3800 turned out to be a great engine AFTER they changed the terrible oiling system that this 79 has. Usually low, or no oil pressure, it’s a rod knocking pile of junk. Since the car is in rust belt Wisconsin, unless the car is stored in a heated and dehumidified garage, there’s sure to be rust issues. For 10 large, all the issues should be addressed and a new headliner installed.

      Like 1
      • John T

        I forgot about the oiling system problem on the Buick 3.8 liter V6. I also recall a spark plug firing order problem back in the 70’s that caused the V6 engine to seem unbalanced. I believe these problems were corrected in the early 80’s … Does anybody remember exactly which model year?

        Like 1
  8. kevin mummery

    $10,000? Maybe for 10 of them, in the same condition as this one is.

    Like 1
  9. Howard A Member

    I had the Oldsmobile counterpart to this car. It was one of the few cars my ex-wife didn’t kill. Nothing fancy here folks, and you can probably find a compact SUV today that does the same thing, move people and groceries with twice the mpg, but nowhere near the style. I rarely comment on the price, but this ain’t no ’65 Thunderbird. Still, like most cars like this, they were run until they rusted in half, motors still chugging away, and ditched( or demo derbies or monster truck rallies, that killed them altogether.) I’d certainly pay half that if I was looking for a car like this.

  10. ccrvtt

    “I’m gettin’ 10 grand for it or I’m puttin’ it back in the barn!” The seller’s obstinacy is only rivaled by his ignorance. The price is determined by the market, i.e. whatever amount someone else is willing to pay, and no one is going to pay 10K for this utterly charmless hunk from the peak of the malaise era. No headliner but fetchingly accessorized with the always classy faux leopard skin steering wheel cover. GLWTS, your fantasy is depriving someone who might actually appreciate and drive this car from having it. Sheesh!

    Like 2
  11. Chris

    It needs to go back in storage so people can stop having to look at it.

    Like 2
  12. Big Mike

    My Brother and His first wife had one of these bought it brand new, and if I remember they only gave like $14,000 for it, why would anybody that has had one sitting for a number of years give $10,000 for a 38 year old Station wagon, I bought a 2007 Chevy Suburban last year with only 62,000 miles on it for $10,000 and drive it to work everyday. I don’t worry about getting in it and going anywhere, pulled my camper with it 2 weeks ago to Georgia or pull the trailer if I take a classic of mine to a car show. How would a 38 year old car that I know very little about except what the owner is telling us be worth $10,000, how long has it set is storage, OK you put new belts, hoses, battery, tuned it up and tires, but what about the seals in tranny or the freeze plugs, how much moisture built up in the exhaust system, or the engine, I could go on, but somebody is a dreamer for $10,000, tops would be $2,500 if that and I would throw in a little extra to help cover the new parts. Oh by the way change the window support shocks on the back window and it will stay up, and replace the catch on the glove box and it will stay closed, they were plastic and liked to break especially if you closed it with the glovebox door locked.
    Oh Well I ranted a bit, I feel better now!!

  13. irocrob

    I had a silver one with I believe a 267. Was a great beater and used it 3 years. I only paid 700 bucks in 1990 or so.

  14. rustylink

    My mother had a ’79 LeMons sedan we got used with about 32K on it. The 231 was a turd of a motor – anemic, unreliable and the build quality on the interior was atrocious – with the dash trim falling of and the upholstery and head liner coming apart. I laughed when I read this line…”1979 Pontiac Lemans Safari Wagon, it’s like a muscle car & sports car all in one(see the last photo)”. – it’s a $2K car tops.

    • fordfan

      What about the color changing door panels top red botton fade to pink or the chrome trin on the inside of the doors that my then 3 year old daughter pulled off , it was just shiny tape over plastic

  15. Miguel

    The worst thing about this car is that the rear windows are stationary.

    To sell for that kind of money it has to be a pleasant driving car and practical.

    If this is on a hot area, forget about it.

  16. ed the welder

    it’s going back in storage unless i get ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS…

  17. Bradley Clark

    Your NADA info has been HACKED ! This is the quintessential Pontiac turdmobile. This is clearly a $500 demo derby example, and it would be a loser in the first round.

  18. Keith

    I like wagons. I like them a lot. But let’s think of all the other cars you could buy with the $10k that this seller is so graciously asking for this $2500 wagon. Oh! But the NADA book value says……uh huh. Go to ebay, look at sold listings, get a real idea of what vehicle is worth.

  19. glenn

    I always found these models dangerous. There is no way to get out of the back in an accident the windows do not go down.

  20. Dovi65

    NADA is at $13k? Maybe for a B-body Bonny Safari, but this one?? Not for $10k. $5k max. Granted, it’s a nice survivor from a extinct marque for sure, but at the end of the day it’s STILL a non-descript, underpowered, non-sought after model, in a terrible color from GM’s malaise era. Mom had a 80? 81? Chevy Malibu wagon. It was transportation, nothing more
    Stuffing it back into storage for another 15 years or so and you might get your $10 grand

  21. Bruce

    I like how he says nice leather seats. lol thats plastic vinyl!!! and it is about as base model you can get. the back windows dont even roll down!!!! that thing can sit in storage for another 35 years and still be a 1500.00 car!!!!!

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