Yep, you're seeing that price tag correctly, and this isn't some
project car, either! No, this 1979 Pontiac Trans Am is part of an
increasingly hot segment of the hobby, and it's one of those honest
cars that isn't perfect but isn't pretending to be, either. It runs
well, looks good, and is loaded with options, so perhaps now is the
time to make your move. You know you've been wanting one of these
since you were a kid...
Everyone likes black cars, and I think the Trans Am wears it better than most. It makes the extroverted F-body look menacing and purposeful, although there's no avoiding the chicken on the hood. It's in good condition and the finish shines up nicely and offers a soft gloss that might suggest well-kept original paint and not a respray using modern materials. Panel fit is just OK, but an enterprising hobbyist could fix all that pretty easily and add some value, which is really what this car is all about: opportunity. It's lived down south all its life, so the problems that plague cars from up north are a non-issue, and even taken as-is, it gets a lot of appreciative glances here in the showroom. The decals, as I mentioned, are in good shape and offer a nice contrast to the black paint, and while the gold is pretty flashy, that's what these Trans Ams were all about. This car definitely has the right look.
Black buckets and tons of options make this Trans Am one to consider carefully. The seats are in excellent condition and are surely replacement seat covers, but they're accurately done so it's hard to say for sure. The three-spoke steering wheel lends a racy look that works perfectly with the engine-turned dash and round gauges. Desirable upgrades include power windows, factory A/C that still blows cold, and a tilt steering column. You'll note that the gauges look bright and crisp while the original Delco radio was dumped in favor of a slightly newer AM/FM/CD/iPod head unit that sounds great. The trunk is finished in correct spatter paint, so it's kind of hard to photograph, but no worries, as everything is in good shape and needs only a reproduction mat to look right.
Automatic-equipped cars in 1979 got an Olds-built 403 cubic inch V8, but that wasn't enough for the guy who owned this car, because a thumping 455 cubic inch mill was just swapped in. It's a neat fit in the T/A's engine bay, and big cubic inches like that make it feel effortless in just about everything it does. While most of the hardware is hidden under the big scoop on top, you'll note this Poncho uses an upgraded 4-barrel carburetor, an aluminum intake manifold, and a torque-happy camshaft inside that still idles well. The TH350 3-speed automatic transmission always seems to be in the right gear and the 10-bolt rear end will stand up to the big engine's power without complaints. You'll note that the catalytic converter has been ditched, which surely frees up more than a few horsepower and a pair of Flowmaster mufflers in back gives it a suitable muscle car grumble. Classic "snowflake" alloy wheels are a period-perfect look that actually works really well, and they carry relatively recent 15-inch white-letter radials.
These cars are inching up every year and as the guys who grew up with them start looking for good nostalgia cars, this one will only get more desirable. Right now it's affordable and ready to rock, so don't wait, call now!