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1979 Pontiac Trans Am 10th Anniversary Edition 4-Speed


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BAT is getting more interesting cars as they take over the online marketplace for selling.     I have a W72 Trans Am in my wish list.   The W72 is the big boy 400.   This car has the L78 400, but is otherwise very cool to me.

 

https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1979-pontiac-trans-am-63/

 

TAKerry is restoring one of these in this thread:

 

 

 

This 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am is a 10th Anniversary Edition finished in silver and gray metallic over matching leather. Power is from a 400ci V8 paired with a four-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential. The car was purchased by the seller in 2017 and features a shaker hood, air conditioning, power steering and brakes, the WS6 handling package, alloy wheels, and t-top roof panels. This Trans Am is offered with Pontiac Historic Services documentation, an owner’s manual, a spare wheel and tire canister, and a clean Kansas title in the seller’s name.

PontiacTransAm-1.jpg

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Some laugh at the last years 79-81 from this 2nd generation but I always loved them. So iconic, with great period styling. I graduated in 1982 from high school and remember going to the Pontiac dealer used car lot on Sunday's in 1985-86 and looking at these as used cars.  

 

I remember asking prices in the $5500 range for 5-7 year old versions.  

 

Then they really dropped. I had a 76 Trans Am project car. I later purchased a 79 rust free Arizona project car from this forum and the guy delivered it. I never had the money to restore it and sold it too.  It needed no rust repair.  

 

Now these seem to go from $17,000 low to $30,000 and seem to have buyers.  I mean look at it!  They look a bit exotic and muscle car at the same time.  Of course GM plastics were horrible and quality was suspect but they were nothing but a testosterone car to me.  Would love to own one. 

Edited by B Jake Moran (see edit history)
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Very nice car. Thanks for posting. For clarification though this car is a W-72. Window sticker denotes L-78 but the motor is actually what is known as a W-72, the big boy.  The olds 403/Automatic trans. combo was the standard motor for 1979 trans ams, in order to get the W-72 you had to order a 4 speed ( or was it the other way around, to get a 4 sp you had to order the W-72). They made 7500 Tenth Anniversary cars out of the 100,000 plus '79 Trans Am total (highest production year of the trans am). Of the 7500, 1817 were 4 speed cars. Easy way to spot, 403 car will have 6.6 litre on the shaker callout, the 400 will have t/a 6.6. The vin also denotes what motor was installed. The 400 motor option added cost to the sticker, however cruise control was a mandatory delete with the manual trans, so the credit for cruise control made the 4 speed car a few dollars less than the auto. Contradicting some of the comments in the bat listing, the hex hub caps are correct on this car. I have heard rumors for years that Pontiac used leftover silver leather from the 78 Corvette pace car, but I have read factory memos that dispell this myth. They may have been an inspiration but I have not seen proof.

B Jake, I too graduated in '82.  I will have to be defensive as I am all things trans am, lol.  The second gen car is not as heavily plastic laden as the thirds tend to be. Interiors are actually really nice and european inspired as a grand touring car.  Biggest problem is the dash deteriorates. But, by 1981 these cars were def. long in the tooth. The '82 styling was needed and refreshing. The second gen 1970-1981 mostly shared the same motor, but after 1973 was detuned to be anemic at best. But compared to what was on the market they were still the power house car, only bested by a corvette. With very little 'tweaking' they can be brought to life rather nicely.

Jan 83 I placed a down payment on a 1981 trans am, car was $9000.  I ended up with a dealer leftover new 1982 firebird for $9200. It was a no brainer, brand new car vs. tired styling for the same price. I couldnt afford a trans am, 1982 they  were $14k-$16K.

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I am 56 years old.  These were beyond cool when I was in high school. I could only dream about having one.  I still like them.  Limited storage space is probably a good thing in my life. 

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Posted (edited)

We had two Trans Ams.   One was a 77 400 four speed,  black.   Another kid bought a brand new 82,  which at the time seemed really cool, but in retrospect I would so much rather have the other kids car.

 

 

 

We had one 80 Z28 350 four speed,  dark blue with silver.   Great color combo - but it was really the kid's dad's car.    The other was a black 81 350 automatic.   It would have been a stick, but you could no longer get the stick with the 350 in 1981.

 

On my rather long list is this exact car with the 350 stick.

 

 

1980-chevrolet-camaro-z-28

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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Graduated in 81.  We had 3 70-73 F body Camaros, mine included in red, white and blue.  Then one kid worked his a$$ off at a bakery and second half of Sr. Year he bought a black 79 TA.  He was king fir a while! 

 

Kid a couple years ahead of us had an 80 4 speed Z he shattered the clutch after a few months.  After beating that poor car into the ground he replaced it with a C3 vette.

 

My favorite story on these cars though, is a buddy that bought his a year or two out of HS, complete with red graphics on black body.  we were double parked and an older gent says "can you guys move your 2-28" 😁😁😁😁

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I graduated in '82. There was a girl a couple years younger that had a red 78 t/a. My cousin bought a brand new white '81 t/a at the start of the year. His father owned and excavation business and he started driving a dump truck when he was 16 to pay for it. Had another friend about mid way through the year bought a '82 t/a recarro model. This was the top of the line t/a in 1982 black and gold. It was the cats meow. He won a lawsuit, bought a new car, grand piano, outfitted a recording studio, etc. 

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2 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

I graduated in '82. There was a girl a couple years younger that had a red 78 t/a. My cousin bought a brand new white '81 t/a at the start of the year. His father owned and excavation business and he started driving a dump truck when he was 16 to pay for it. Had another friend about mid way through the year bought a '82 t/a recarro model. This was the top of the line t/a in 1982 black and gold. It was the cats meow. He won a lawsuit, bought a new car, grand piano, outfitted a recording studio, etc. 

 

Not a scientific study by any means,  because we only had 4 or 5 kids that had brand new cars in HS.   But life did not go great for those guys.

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22 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

Not a scientific study by any means,  because we only had 4 or 5 kids that had brand new cars in HS.   But life did not go great for those guys.

Weird, but I was thinking the same thing and can tell some tragic stories from the few in my class that got something new to drive at 16.  Most of us were in "Aunt Maude's Bonneville, Uncle Clyde's Impala, or Grandma's Electra"......something 10-15 years old with 75K miles and 4500 pounds of solid inertia.  those "hand me down" yachts were great for piling in a ton of friends and protecting you in a minor mishap....not so good in gas mileage or a timed slalom course..........

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One classmate was given a new Chevy pick up for his 16th birthday and within days he was trying to see how fast he could drive it over the speed bumps at school.  I was riding along.  Principal came out and said "if I was your father I would want to put your head in a pencil sharpener for doing that to a brand new vehicle".  He actually wasn't a lazy kid, but he definately didn't get it.

Principal was ok, he made a joke about me and another kid doing burnouts in the mornings at graduation.  I flirted with teaching in college but what was tough then is likely impossible now, I would probably get arrested.

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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29 minutes ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

One classmate was given a new Chevy pick up for his 16th birthday and within days he was trying to see how fast he could drive it over the speed bumps at school.  I was riding along.  Principal came out and said "if I was your father I would want to put your head in a pencil sharpener for doing that to a brand new vehicle".  He actually wasn't a lazy kid, but he definately didn't get it.

Principal was ok, he made a joke about me and another kid doing burnouts in the mornings at graduation.  I flirted with teaching in college but what was tough then is likely impossible now, I would probably get arrested.


You would fit in real well in a college environment these days.

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