W72 4-Speed: 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

There were 117,108 Trans Am built in 1979. This was the high water mark for the 2nd generation Trans Am and also the last of the true muscle cars. Pontiac was being forced by CAFE requirements to downsize their engines and achieve higher corporate mpg numbers. As Car and Driver stated after testing a 400 cubic inch V8 1979 Trans Am, “It will not pass this way again.” They were right and smaller engines with lower performance were the only thing on the menu after 1979. This car looks to be in great condition and is listed for sale here on eBay with 2 days remaining. This car is located in Salem, Virginia and his bid to $15,108.

The light blue hobnail interior looks nice. There is not even a cigarette burn in the console. This car has tilt steering and air conditioning but no power windows. Pontiac offered two colors of blue in 1979. Code 24 Atlantis blue was a lighter steel blue and Code 29 Nocturne Blue was a dark a blue with metal flake in it. This car is neither and I imagine that it has been repainted. The car was probably originally Nocturne blue but they were not able to match the paint and picked a brighter blue. I owned a Nocturne blue 1979 Trans Am just like this except it had a black interior. It took a lot of patience and special mixing to match the original factory Nocturne blue when I repainted it. I have to say that Nocturne Blue is one of my favorite colors, especially with the silver bird.

This car is special because it is equipped with the factory rated at 220 horsepower W72 400 cubic inch V8 engine. This engine was only installed in 8,326 Trans Am in 1979. The NHRA dyno’d a stock W72 at 260 horsepower. Hot Rod Magazine tested the W72 400 4 speed equipped Trans Am and published a 14.7 second quarter mile time. The W72 engine was built with a 800 cfm 4 barrel Rochester carburetor, high capacity 60 psi oil pump, special cam, baffled oil pan, special piston rings, 8:1compression heads and dual turbo mufflers.

The engine could only be ordered with a 4 speed transmission and the famous WS6 suspension handling package. The WS6 suspension in 1979-1981 came with 4 wheel disc brakes and this car has recently had brake and radiator repair work. I am sure this car will find a nice home and will be bid higher in the coming days.

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  1. Superdessucke

    I don’t know what the production figures were but this was one of the most popular color combinations in the day. I don’t see this very often anymore though. Maybe they got all repainted black and gold?

    Like 3
  2. Moparman Member

    The ad has already been pulled on this one; perhaps it already sold??. It certainly checks all of the right boxes for me! AND it’s in my favorite color too!

    Like 4
    • PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

      I have asked Barn Finds to post one in a similar color, but a ’78.
      Maybe we will see that one soon.

      Like 2
  3. JoeNYWF64

    1st time i seen a ’70s f-body with factory a/c, but no a/c vent at the bottom of the glove box door & non a/c kick panels! I wonder if the 2 control knobs on each kick panel can be/have been made to actually work & bring in fresh air directly from the outside!
    It was smart NOT to repaint the front & rear window frames black which peeled after a few years anyway.
    Kind of like a Bluebird inside – more appealing to females?

    Like 3
    • Superdessucke

      Excellent eye. AC cars did not come with those pull knobs. Only the non-AC cars did. So that warrants investigation. I also think the author is right about the color. I think it was supposed to be darker.

      Like 3
  4. John Oliveri

    I went to go look at the 79 Trans Am when it was new, Banditt SE, but didn’t care for the choice of engines for the automatic, you could get the Oldsmobile 403, or the Pontiac 301, I bought the 2 tone blue Grand Prix rite next to the TA in the showroom, that had a 301, but wasn’t supposed to be a muscle car

    Like 1
  5. Ty

    Did the ’79 have the Turbo?
    Or was that earlier?
    Thanks in advance!

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