For Sale: 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am in Fenton, Missouri

Vehicle Description

This is a stunning example of a 1979 Pontiac Trans Am 10th Anniversary Edition with Pontiac Historical Society documentation and only 31,xxx miles! This Trans Am is very collectable and One of only 1,817 produced with the Pontiac 400ci Four Speed!

"The 10th Anniversary Limited Edition" Trans Am. Along with its special paint treatment, graphics, wheels, and more, this '79 Trans Am would be among the last offered with the "T/A 6.6" 400 engine. As a collectible car from the 1970s, the anniversary Trans Am stands out in terms of desirability and value. The 400 version, sold exclusively with a Borg-Warner Super T-10 four-speed manual, is the scarcest, and typically commands the most money.

Of the 7,500 anniversary cars built, a scant 1,817 had the 400/T-10 combo, while the remaining 5,683 were built with the "6.6 Litre" Oldsmobile 403 and a Turbo Hydra-Matic 350 automatic. Popular price guides tack on a premium for the 400 and four-speed powertrain pairing and currently value a 400, four-speed anniversary edition T/A at $30,000 on the low side, $96,000 on the high end, with an average of $57,000. All of the anniversary Trans Ams were loaded with virtually every option and stickered north of $10,000 when new. That was big money in 1979, but adjusted for inflation, amounts to about $38,000 today

What's attractive about the 10th Anniversary Trans Am today is that many were scooped up and preserved as collector cars, so nice examples are out there. The days of these being priced as used cars (if they ever were) are gone, but there's interest among Gen X-age buyers, so values aren't likely to come crashing down anytime soon. The anniversary Trans Am might not be as recognizable as the 1977 black-and-gold Special Edition Bandit Trans Am, but it is a direct descendant. The '77's famous paint and graphic scheme was a carryover from the '76 Trans Am SE, rolled out in celebration of Pontiac's 50th anniversary. What didn't carry over from '76 to '77 was the hulking 455 engine. So, a special extra-cost version of the 400 was developed and dubbed the "T/A 6.6." Trans Ams equipped with the engine had a "T/A 6.6" decal on the shaker hood scoop, but, on the order sheet, this was called W72 and it included cylinder heads from the 350 (which boosted compression to 8:1), a more aggressive camshaft, and specially tuned carburetor, ignition, and exhaust mods that raised the V-8's horsepower to 200. The base Trans Am engine was the 180-hp L78 400, except in California and high-altitude counties where the 185-hp Oldsmobile 403 was the only offering. Trans Ams with those engines received hood scoop decals that read "6.6 Litre."

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For 1978, the Special Edition Trans Am flirted with new Solar Gold paint (black and gold was also still available), and the T/A 6.6 gained another 20 horsepower. A cat-back dual exhaust with resonators let the Trans Am speak its mind.

The 400 engine was dead on arrival for 1979, but Pontiac had produced and stashed away about 10,000 T/A 6.6 engines for the big V-8's sendoff. The engine was designated L78 that year and was an extra-cost option ( $90 is all it cost! ) on Trans Ams (and Formulas). The base Trans Am engine was the 403 Oldsmobile, and the 301 first appeared with a four-barrel.

The big news in '79 was the anniversary Trans Am in a never-before-seen silver-and-charcoal scheme with a "super bird" on the hood-so called because its wing tips extended onto the tops of the front fenders. A new cast-aluminum turbo wheel design, measuring 15 x 8 inches, was also employed. Inside, floor-to-ceiling silver-and-gray tones echoed the exterior. Special red lighting for the instruments, inspired by aircraft, was also part of the deal.

Special when new and special today, the T/A 6.6-powered anniversary Trans Am makes a striking alternative to the Bandit's black-and-gold ride. Want one of your very own? Here are some things to consider.


In stock, well-maintained condition, the 403 Oldsmobile 6.6. Litre and the Pontiac 400 T/A 6.6 are almost boringly reliable but they're gutsy performers... at least by mid-to-late-1970s standards. The 403 wasn't designed to make a lot of horsepower and the block has some inherent weaknesses, but it can be coaxed to run better.

The 400, on the other hand, is eager to make more horsepower and there are plenty of options for doing that. From a price and value standpoint, the 400 is also the leader, and the only way to get a factory-installed manual transmission in these cars.

Transmission and Axle
The 403 was paired only with the Turbo Hydra-Matic automatic and the 400 was paired only with the Borg-Warner Super T-10. Both transmissions are extremely reliable and infinitely rebuildable. The four-speed is the more desirable among collectors due to its low production numbers and probably because it just seems more musclecar appropriate. The GM 8.5-inch 10-bolt was standard issue, with a 3.23:1 gearset with a manual or 2.73:1 with an automatic. This 10-bolt is a sturdy, reliable axle used under a wide variety of GM cars and trucks.

Though monochromatic, in silver and shades of gray throughout, the anniversary interior manages to be exciting. The red instrument lighting is still cool and the T-tops open things up. Power everything was one of the hallmarks of these Trans Ams. The action of the power windows can get sluggish due to a variety of repairable conditions, and tachometers sometimes work erratically or not at all. The leather-wrapped steering wheel covers can crack, but there are restorers who can make them look new. Reproduction upholstery, carpets, door panels, and more are available.

How much horsepower does a 1979 Trans Am 10th anniversary have?
Models equipped with the Oldsmobile 403 engine have a horsepower output of 185, while the Pontiac 400 W72 model is 220.

The paint is nice with a deep shine and a mirror like reflection. All of the body panels have a great fit & finish. The engine compartment is extremely clean an shows fantastic. The underside of the car is amazing and getting hard to find in this condition. Everything on the car works and the car rides and drives great. Call 314-346-6039 with any questions or to purchase. 314-346-6039

Vehicle Details

  • 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
  • Listing ID: CC-1847306
  • Price: $52,895
  • Location:Fenton, Missouri
  • Year:1979
  • Make:Pontiac
  • Model:Firebird Trans Am
  • Exterior Color:Platinum Silver Metallic
  • Interior Color:Gray & Silver
  • Transmission:Manual
  • Odometer:31375
  • Stock Number:2430
  • VIN:2X87Z9N163115
Listed By:
West Port Auto Center
1300 West Lark Industrial Pkwy
Fenton, MO 63026

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