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Two-Owner 1979 Pontiac Firebird Esprit

The second-generation Pontiac Firebird enjoyed a 12-year run, so by 1979, you’d think the auto would be little changed. Nope, they gave the pony car a styling refresh with a more aerodynamic front end. The Esprit was the “luxury” edition of the Firebird, while the Formula and Trans Am were designed to appeal to those still shopping for performance (such as it was by then). This two-owner survivor is in Brandon, Vermont, and is available here on eBay where the Buy It Now price is $14,000 (the current bid is $8,766.65 but there’s a reserve in play).

Standard in the Firebird in 1979 was a 403 cubic inch V8 supplied by Oldsmobile. If you wanted a Pontiac engine, you could opt for a smaller displacement motor at 301 cubic inches. I can’t imagine the 301 would deliver much in the way of muscle, but if you bought an Esprit like this one, you didn’t buy it to burn rubber. As you would expect, this car also has a TH-350 automatic transmission.

We’re not sure how long the seller has owned this ‘Bird, but he/she is the second owner and one of the photos shows the car sporting temporary tags. The Pontiac is unrestored at 77,000 miles and looks good overall, especially the interior (but you’d better like red upholstery!). It’s a well-optioned Firebird with everything you could order back then except for T-Tops. You may want to replace the aftermarket stereo as the seller tells us it doesn’t get the job done (aka, “sucks”). If the paint is original, at least the passenger door has been repainted because it doesn’t match.

New on the Pontiac is a set of tires (except for the spare), the gas tank, and the vapor return lines. The latter changes suggest the car was dormant for some period. The seller is an accommodating sort and will provide local delivery and is even willing to store it over the coming winter in a heated garage. If you’ve been looking for a 1970s vintage Firebird that isn’t a Burt Reynolds Trans Am, maybe this Pontiac will fit the bill.


  1. Mike

    403 was not standard in the Esprit. The 231 Buick V6 was.

    Like 10
    • Nelson C

      Russ is pretty sharp. Maybe deadlines added some distraction. Probably meant that the Trans Am came with the 403. It was tough to get more than a 350 in a coupe or Esprit.

      Like 4
  2. Mrtinwoodie

    This is the second time around on EBay
    First attempt only reached $10,600

    Like 3
  3. Tbone

    This one has the 301. Best thing about that is that a 400 is an easy replacement. Yes, you can go bigger, but the 400 is a great all around street engine and would be my choice

    Like 4
  4. Ashtray

    This car has had hack paint/body work done. Evidence of filler in different places, on door on driver’s side etc. The body line on the ds door is sharp in some places, then gets flat back towards where the rear of the door opening meeting the ds rear quarter panel. BONDO!
    Three different shades of silver on passenger door.
    Looks like the top part of pass door, from side moulding up was repainted years ago? Then, more recently the bottom part of the passenger side door from wheel to wheel has been repainted. Below the side moulding.
    Repainted area’s around driver’s side door lock is peeling away paint where someone didn’t remove the lock cylinder to repaint, just taped around lock cylinder.
    And, it has a temporary plate on it indicating it was just purchased.
    Just a quick flip, or maybe not?
    The seller stated, ‘it hasn’t been restored’. No Stuff! I agree with that comment!
    But it has had an attempt to repaint and ‘mud’ in areas.
    I’ll stop being negative when folks start being transparent, which equals Never!
    Everything has a value, especially a nice old car. Just be careful what you say, or don’t say? It will sell anyway, just being honest.
    This is NOT a desirable for me.
    Just my honest opinion!

    Like 8
    • Ashtray

      The auction ended at approximately 10k dollars. It did not sell.
      I would have taken the money and a loss, if applicable, and try another gig of some sort?
      Just my oponion!

      Like 7
  5. Greg

    Is this car malaise era car worth 14k? It’s not a collector car but for some reason people think just because their car is old it’s worth they’re asking price. Some of these sellers need a reality check.

    Like 7
  6. Nelson C

    The Esprit is a rare an beautiful Firebird. The interior looks great after 40 years. Lots of equipment for those who wouldn’t have it any other way. I would lose the spoiler when the paint is redone.

    Like 1

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