Utah Red Bird: 1977 Trans Am Survivor

First of all… Snow!?! No comment in the listing here on eBay about whether these pictures are current or from earlier this year, but for the sake of Fillmore, Utah, let’s hope the latter. Though I wouldn’t take this particular 1977 Pontiac Trans Am out for a power-sliding, snow-flinging doughnut fest, it would certainly be fun. Aside from the replacement front fenders and nose cone, evidenced by the more vivid hue of Buccaneer Red, this Trams Am retains its original parts (presumably except for maintenance items) inside and out. Speaking of the nose, the quad headlamps, molded front, and hood were all design changes for 1977.

The Pontiac Rally II wheels give this second-generation Trans Am a decidedly different look from the “snowflake” wheels on the ’77  Bandit Trans Am. Later raised white letter tires maintain the ’70s look.

A plaque on the engine-turned dash calls out the “Radial Tuned Suspension.” No old fashioned bias-ply technology for this power-coupe. The combination of black dash and carpet with white seats and door panels is one of my favorites; well done, GM. This Pontiac interior appears clean and well-kept. One picture shows the top edge of what looks like the factory 8-track player, so you can pop in Led Zepplin I when you leave Utah and crank it continuously until you reach a warmer destination.

The Firebird’s 455 option flamed-out in 1976 making this 400 cubic inch mill the largest displacement available in the 1977 Trans Am. This “Z” code 400 came with the 4bbl carburetor and dual exhaust. The engine compartment appears largely original as claimed, though (at least) the Thermac duct and flexible air intake tube have gone missing. The new-for-’77 “dual air scoop design” sucks air from the redesigned Shaker Hood Scoop and fender intake (some details from myclassicgarage.com). Many auto enthusiasts remember a time, not long ago, when you could buy this car three times a week for under $5000. Meanwhile this listing already has bids over $12,000 and a Buy It Now price of $17,500. Is today the “second best” time to buy a late ’70s Trans Am?


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  1. JD

    Less desirable Olds engine rather than the Pontiac T/A 6.6.

    • T Mel

      Nope, it’s the Poncho motor with the incorrect sticker package..which probably means the car has been resprayed by someone who didn’t know the difference.

      Like 2
      • JD

        Good catch.

  2. Steve R

    Seems like a nice car.

    Out of curiosity, how much value does the Pontiac engine ad to the value versus the Oldsmobile? I thought Trans Am’s with the Pontiac engine had 6.6 TA decals on the hood scoop and Olds powered Trans Am’s had 6.6 Litre. I may be wrong, but that’s how we would identify out of state Trans Am’s when they were common sights on the street.

    Steve R

    • gregwnc

      I may be wrong Steve, but I think there was a point when California cars used only the Olds 403, so it was just 6.6 Litre. I know by 1979, just about everyone got the the 403 if you wanted the 6.6, but lots of 4 spd car’s and 10th Anniversary car’s were still Pontiac 400’s, with the T/A 6.6 on the shaker. I had a 1978 that was supposedly the “high output” version of the Pontiac 400 and it had the T/A 6.6 on the shaker and factory chrome valve covers vs Pontiac blue.

      • Steve R

        You are right, California cars all had Oldsmobile engines and 6.6 Litre decals, that’s why the 6.6 TA decals stood out. When they were cycling through the junk yards, we would give those cars special attention because they would have better read end gearing and often still have some 4 speed parts.

        Steve R

      • DG

        The high output version was called W72 and it debuted in ’77. I can’t remember if they all had chrome valve covers or those came out in ’78. But in ’77, W72 meant 200 hp vs. 185 for the Olds 403. In ’78 and ’79 the rating was 220 hp.

        Like 1
    • johnny

      The oldmobile 403 wasn’t first used until 79 and it did say 6.6 lite if it was equipped with Pontiac engine in 79 then it said ta 6.6 and had the ws6 performance package . In 77 and 78 if it said 6.6 litre it was a Pontiac engine if equipped with higher horsepower ta 6.6 it was a ws6

      • T Mel

        Almost right.

        Like 1
  3. House of Hotrods

    In 1977 and 1978 the W72 package was a Pontiac 400 with T/A 6.6 decals on the ‘hood scoop’, thinking they were 220hp – easiest way to ID, with hood open anyhow, was the chrome factory valve covers.
    Both the Pontiac 400 (L78) and Olds 403 (L80) just said 6.6 Liter in 1977, and no shaker decals for those two engines in 1978.
    I pulled one of the W72 motors out of a wrecked car w 33 miles in 1977 to put into my red 1975 T/A, along with the seats, carpets headliner and door panels, which were black, replacing my white. Man that was a fun car! Learned how to drive sideways with ease quite well in it.

    • gregwnc

      Thanks House of Hotrods for clearing that up!

    • T Mel

      Several incorrect points here too.

      Like 1
  4. JD

    Agree…! 77 T/A 4-speed was my first car. It was a blast. Still ticked I sold it. The original shaker decals on mine were 6.6 T/A.

    Like 1
  5. Dan

    Nice car but for the mismatched paint….and my 8 tracks still work…no mention of trans and no pics…. 4-speed be nice and no ugly T-tops…

  6. Nrg8

    Seeing as you guys like to row the gears….There is a 75 Trans Am 455 4 speed for 8500 on a Facebook group I subscribe to


    And no it’s not mine

  7. Rock On Member

    Didn’t think that the shaker let any cold air into the carburetor. We used to open up the back of them with a Dremel tool. Same with the 78-79 Camaro Z28s. But with those you had to cut into the hood as well.

    Like 1
    • DG

      Correct. They were appearance only. Pontiac closed them off after ’70 or ’71 because of noise drive by standards. The irony is you could get functional scoops on the Formula if you ordered the Ram Air option.

  8. LAB3

    For $17,500 I think you could find a better example, that paint mismatch would drive me nuts! That Z28 a couple of days ago was a better car for almost half the price.

  9. Robbie R.

    To clarify some questions above regarding the hood scoop decal. The majority of 77’s had the L78 “regular” Pontiac 400 engine w 180hp. I also had one (purchased new) back in the day. Like this one, mine had the “6.6 litre” decal. Back in the day when it seemed like every other car on the road was a TA, the vast majority of them were L78s. In fact, it was somewhat rare to see an actual W72 with “T/A 6.6” on the scoop like nearly all of today’s restorations are decaled with. Another note about this car (and mine) most non-SE TAs came with Rally II wheels and trim rings. Very few birds had snowflake wheels like almost all of today’s restored cream puffs.

    Like 1
  10. Rolf Poncho 455

    Here is my 73 formula 455 ram air it rely works well
    on hi speeds even better…. sorry it wont allow me to post pic

    Like 1
  11. Steve

    Just took the restrictor plate off the red dragon, but keep that on the down low…

  12. James

    My 78 with W72 “Pontiac Performance Package” 4 spd car

  13. luv BRUCE

    What is up with height of shaker, looks a little low riding , maybe its my blind eye,
    So might just be me. Usually that would mean replaced motor, Had a friend that swaped blown original with BBC,changed motor mnts and trans bellhousing, but the shaker never sat at the same height as origl, however that car went like a scallded cat felt like it would climb strait up a mountainside no road needed. Car that transcended space and time, ok enuff , also changed gear ratios in rear, in effort of honesty, thought this one sold week and half or so ago?possible hestoppedsale because, just knows eval sites say its worth much more than he though it was but, not sure these sites factor in the true back stories.doubt painted because of fade of color whole front clip probably slid inthe snow into something hard, like 17k of cold hard CASH pile. luv BRUCE.

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