Tidy Driver: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am 10th Anniversary

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Who doesn’t like a party? It seems that Pontiac did, throwing a shindig in 1979 to celebrate a special anniversary. The guest of honor was its iconic Trans Am, which celebrated ten years since the first cars rolled off the line. Such an occasion justified a special edition model, and the 1979 Trans Am 10th Anniversary was the result. It brought distinctive paint, decals, and a stunning leather interior. Our feature car is a genuine survivor that has generated enormous interest since the seller listed it here on eBay in San Antonio, Texas. However, even with forty-six bids submitted, the price remains below the reserve at $10,303.

Pontiac’s Second Generation Firebird range was remarkably resilient, remaining in production for twelve model years with only ongoing minor evolutionary changes. The Trans Am represented a relatively low percentage of overall sales during the early years but dominated the sales sheets as the 1970s progressed. This 10th Anniversary Edition is an original survivor wearing the distinctive two-tone Silver and Charcoal paint that was a hallmark of the model. The paint retains an impressive shine for an unmolested survivor, although the poor image quality makes it impossible to determine whether there are many minor flaws or defects. Rust is the mortal enemy of these classics, but this Trans Am’s floors, trunk pan, and rear rails are rock-solid. A T-Top with mirrored glass panels was an integral feature of the 10th Anniversary package, and the lack of interior moisture damage suggests this car’s seals are in good order. The distinctive 15″ Turbo wheels are generally clean but would benefit from some work with the appropriate polish to present better. However, that minor task should produce rewarding results while costing almost nothing.

The distinctive features that marked the 10th Anniversary Edition continue when we examine this Trans Am’s interior. Silver leather seatcovers were standard fare, as was the more luxurious matching carpet. The photos suggest there is little to criticize beyond what appears to be some slight dryness and developing cracking on the driver’s seat. The issue isn’t severe, and a high-quality conditioner should stop the problem in its tracks. The dash and pad are spotless, and there is no visible wear on the beautiful machine-turned gauge bezel. Perhaps the greatest victory is the lack of UV damage because plastic from this era is prone to becoming brittle and cracked. The modern CD player is the only addition to an interior that features air conditioning, power windows, power locks, a power trunk release, a rear defogger, cruise control, and a tilt wheel.

Many performance enthusiasts consider the 1979 Pontiac Trans Am a shadow of the cars that emerged from the factory a decade earlier. There is no arguing that with 185hp and 315 ft/lbs of torque at the driver’s disposal, the 403ci “Olds” V8 under this car’s hood was no fireball. The three-speed automatic transmission emphasized the lack of straight-line acceleration, with the company not offering a manual unit with the 403. However, that may be less of an issue with this Trans Am. It is numbers-matching, and the engine suffered the typical oil leaks that developed with age. However, a previous owner pulled the engine and performed a reseal. They took the opportunity to install a more aggressive camshaft and headers, unlocking additional power as a consequence. The seller says the motor sounds fantastic without being too loud. It performs far better than it would have off the showroom floor, and potential buyers can consider it a turnkey proposition that will provide immediate enjoyment.

This 1979 Pontiac Trans Am 10th Anniversary Edition won’t suit a person seeking perfection, but it would be ideal for someone yearning to park an original survivor in their garage. That probably explains the frantic bidding, and recent sales results suggest the price may need to pass $25,000 before meeting the reserve. I believe it will get there, but it will be fascinating to learn whether the winning bidder is one of our loyal readers. If that is the case, it would be great to gain some feedback on this gem.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Fox owner

    I wasn’t much a fan of these when they were new but now I appreciate how brutal they look. Would not be able to get my golf bag into that trunk though, even with a space saver spare. Wonder why the seat bottoms weren’t ribbed like the backs, seems like some spirited driving could have you sliding all over.

    Like 0
  2. JoeNYWF64

    Hard to believe you could get almost two new mid yr ’74s(with HEI) for the price of 1 of these with much better turbo 400 automatics.

    Like 2
    • Wade Pierce

      Yeah, this car has been here BEFORE and obviously didn’t sell bc they want too much for it with those missing Red Decals! Good catch on your part too!! Looks like they got deleted bc they were faded or had missing parts in the stripes. Nice driver, but NOT the 400 Poncho Engine either…ALL 1Oth Anniversaries w an AUTO had the 403 Olds engines 🤷‍♂️ It is what it is and didn’t sell once before, so time will tell 2nd time around. Glwta✌

      Like 1
  3. Ed Powe

    States it’s the original paint but yet it’s missing the red stripping along the front nose and around the wheels???

    Like 2
  4. PRA4SNW PRA4SNWMember

    Ended at $22,000, Reserve Not met.

    Like 0

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