Starlight Black
Black
6.6 Liter V8
3 Speed Automatic
  • Fully documented reference grade survivor that's logged only 65 miles
  • Earned a Survivor Award at the 2014 Pontiac-Oakland Club International All GM Car Show
  • Original 6.6 liter V8
  • Original GM Turbo-Hydramatic 350 3-speed automatic transmission
  • Original Velour interior / Delco Air conditioning
  • Original Starlight Black paint / Special Edition decals
  • Sale includes: An original Manufacturer's Statement of Origin / An original Window Sticker / An original Vehicle Invoice
  • Sale includes: A signed and notarized affidavit of originality / Copies of the car's two Titles
  • WS6 suspension / 15-inch Snowflake Wheels
  • Power steering / 4-wheel power disc brakes

At RK Motors Charlotte, we work very hard to find the BEST investment grade classics on the planet, and over the years we've featured a whole slew of rare, super clean survivor Trans Ams that simply can't be beat. This incredible, 65-mile Special Edition is a highly optioned, reference grade gem that backs an amazing story with a mountain of documentation and a Pontiac-Oakland Club International Survivor Award. Owned by the same family for 33 of its 38 years, the car has never been offered for public sale. And if you're a savvy investor who's looking for a choice F2 that's been immaculately preserved, it's a virtual time capsule that's ready to be showcased and enjoyed!

HISTORY/CONDITION

Assembled at GM's Norwood, Ohio manufacturing facility in December of 1978, this well-equipped 'bird was ordered by an 18-year-old enthusiast named William Leland III. Naturally Bill Jr., as he was known to his friends, was, like most other adolescent males at the time, smitten with Smokey and the Bandit. However, what made him different from other gearheads was the fact that he realized pristine examples of these cars would eventually be hard to find. And, additionally, he had the means to turn dreams of ownership into vested reality.

If you know Detroit, you know that Leland is a very substantial name. The great Henry Leland cemented the family's legacy by founding Cadillac in 1902. Then, as if that wasn't enough, he founded the Lincoln Motor Company just 15 years later. Being the great-great nephew of Henry Leland, William Leland II, Bill Jr's father, was a long-time, highly respected car collector. Bill Jr., being raised in the hobby, had already acquired a well-paying job in the parts department of Westboro, Massachusetts' Pell Pontiac. In other words, Bill Jr. had the desire to own the car, the means to back his purchase, and contacts to get exactly the Trans Am he wanted. One day he finally got up the nerve to ask his dad, Bill II, to co-sign a loan. Bill II happily agreed as long as the loan didn't exceed $10K. When Bill Jr. sat down with a dealer at Pell Pontiac, he said he wanted as many options as he could get with a $10K loan. And the result was this $10,009.45 Trans Am SE that features a 2-page Window Sticker. Bear in mind, with $3,454 in options, this Pontiac is so well equipped that its out-the-door price was only $1,500 shy of a new Cadillac Eldorado. And that's without the cool CB radio Bill Jr. decided to forgo because its $621 price tag would break his father's $10K rule.

Bill Jr. thought he was getting a '78 Trans Am but, because his order was taken so late, the factory had already transitioned to '79 cars. Nonetheless, his intentions were the same: the Pontiac wasn't to be driven or subjected to any undue wear and tear… ever. So, when the car arrived at Pell Pontiac, he wouldn't allow the dealership to do its normal prep process because that involved water. They were also forbidden from installing the front license plate bracket because that involved drilling holes in the bumper. When Bill Jr. borrowed a dealer plate to drive his prized possession roughly 20 miles to his parents' house, the car had six miles on its odometer; and roughly 26 miles is as far as the unregistered Trans Am was driven for the next several years. Bill Jr. eventually married and bought a place of his own, so he once again borrowed a dealer plate and drove the car roughly 20 more miles to his new residence. And that's where the Pontiac stayed, being periodically idled and ran through its gears for the next 17 years.

Sadly, Bill Jr. was diagnosed with terminal melanoma cancer and would pass at the young age of 42. Before he passed, he signed the Title of the Trans Am over to his father, Bill II, who was understandably overwhelmed with grief. Bill II borrowed a tag and brought the car back to his home where, after being driven only 65 miles in 24 years, it would be parked and covered amid an impressive collection of Cadillacs. Far from forgotten, the car was fired and shifted about once a month over the next decade as Bill II maintained it as a unique shrine to his son. In 2013, the car was passed to its third owner as a reference grade, 65-mile survivor that had never been washed, never been rained on, and had benefitted from yearly fluid changes that included fresh oil and distilled water. And in 2014, it made its public debut at the Pontiac-Oakland Club International All GM Car Show where it earned a much-deserved Survivor Award.

Not as polarizing as the Gold Special Edition Trans Ams, and not quite as 'loud' as the 10th Anniversary cars, this slick Special Edition combines typical Pontiac attitude with attractive aesthetics that virtually define the term “muscle car”. At the front of the car's Starlight Black body, a pliable urethane bumper centers pristine headlights and a standard chin spoiler on a color-keyed arrowhead and gold-trimmed grilles. Behind that bumper, a traditional Shaker Hood proudly displays regal “6.6 LITRE” call-outs between a 5-color Screamin' Chicken decal and correct Soft Ray glass that's trimmed in correct black frames. At the edges of that glass, tinted T-tops shade correctly decaled door handles and correct, optional sport mirrors. Beneath those mirrors, a gold-lined profile stretches optional bodyside moldings and optional door edge guards between correct fender vents and correct wheel spoilers. And at the back of the car, a correct remote decklid balances a “TRANS AM” branded spoiler over correct, black-trimmed taillights.

ENGINE

Under the car's brilliant war paint, 6.6 liters of GM power mixes friendly manners with a sporty demeanor. Factory spec and virtually untouched, this coupe, like the vast majority of factory-accurate 1979 Trans Ams, is equipped with a 403 cubic inch V8. And, it's pretty easy to identify that original block since “403” is cast right in to the passenger's side of its iron casing. A big 4-barrel carburetor feeds 4A heads that are equipped with 83cc combustion chambers. A standard High Energy Ignition system is a welcome addition. Decals and brandings, including labels detailing the car's first owner and GM dealer information, appear original to 1978. Everything is neatly wrapped in an original combination of Satin Black and GM Corporate Blue paint. And, while horsepower numbers aren't exactly off the charts, 320 lb./ft. of torque is more than enough oomph to make this 'bird fly!

DRIVETRAIN/SUSPENSION

At the bottom of this Trans Am a solid, 38-year-old undercarriage tells the story of low miles and excellent caretaking, with undercoated floors framing an original WS6 suspension that still maintains a factory paper tag. Behind the 403, an original Turbo-Hydramatic 350 3-speed sends power to a correct 10-bolt axle that's accented by an original chalk mark and an original maintenance tag. Factory power steering and power disc brakes are present and accounted for. Original single-into-dual exhaust centers throaty mufflers and a correct catalytic converter in front of polished side-splitter exhaust tips. And power meets the pavement through 225/70R15 Uniroyal Steel Belted Radials, which lap requisite Special Edition Snowflakes.

INTERIOR

Between the doors, an original Special Edition interior looks fantastic! Optional velour seats are comfortable pieces that give a stylish nod to mid-century luxury, and fade-free carpet looks great under correct foot pedals and GM-themed floor mats. At the center of that rug, a Trans Am-branded console founds chrome switches for the car's optional power windows behind a chrome Slapstick shifter. In front of that island, an engine-turned dash hangs clear Rally Gauges between an optional cassette player, optional Delco Air conditioning and a neat GM compass. At the sides of that ledge, plush door panels found long armrests beneath optional power door locks. Above those skins, a stain-free headliner frames a tagged visor and optional reading lamps. And in front of the driver, a gold Formula Steering Wheel laps optional Cruise Control and an optional, tilting column.

PROVENANCE

Vetted by substantial historical documentation that includes a signed affidavit from William Leland II, this reference-grade Pontiac also wears its original, 2-page Window Sticker. Here's a detailed breakdown of the car's prodigious equipment listing.

STANDARD EQUIPMENT INCLUDED AT NO EXTRA CHARGE
* 6.6 liter (403 cubic inch) L80 V8 that's equipped with a 4-barrel carburetor
* Power steering
* Black windshield molding
* Black backlite molding
* Bucket seats
* Column-mounted dimmer switch
* High Energy Ignition system
* KPH/MPH speedometer
* Trans Am identification
* Concealed windshield wipers
* Black tail lamp trim
* Front chin spoiler that's accompanied by front wheel spoilers
* Rear wheel spoilers
* Front fender air extractors
* Dual mufflers and side-splitter exhaust tips
* Dual horns

OPTIONAL EQUIPMENT
* Starlight Black lower exterior paint ($00)
* Starlight Black upper exterior paint ($00)
* Black cloth interior ($00)
* Black interior trim ($00)
* Black trim appointments ($00)
* Gold decals ($00)
* Bodyside molding ($43)
* Black bodyside molding ($00)
* 6.6 liter (403 cubic inch) L80 V8 that's equipped with a 4-barrel carburetor ($00)
* Automatic transmission ($00)
* Limited-slip differential ($00)
* Custom air conditioning ($529)
* Heavy duty 63-amp alternator ($00)
* Heavy duty battery ($21)
* Black seatbelts ($00)
* Console ($00)
* Cruise Control ($103)
* Remote control decklid release ($24)
* Electric rear window defroster ($99)
* Rally Gauge package that includes a clock and tachometer ($00)
* Soft Ray tinted windows ($64)
* Door edge guards ($13)
* Additional acoustical insulation ($31)
* Lamp Group ($19)
* -- Luggage compartment lamp
* -- Glovebox lamp
* -- Instrument panel courtesy lamp
* Dome reading lamp ($19)
* Front and rear floor mats ($25)
* Passenger's visor vanity mirror ($6)
* Sport mirrors: remote left and manual right ($00)
* Power antenna ($47)
* Power door locks ($86)
* Power windows ($132)
* Delco-GM AM/FM stereo that's complete with a cassette deck ($351)
* Dual rear speakers ($00)
* Special Edition Trans Am ($1,329)
* -- Removable hatch roof
* -- 7-inch gold cast aluminum wheels
* -- Special gold interior appointments
* -- Special gold exterior appointments
* -- Special gold striping and emblems
* -- Hood decal
* Decklid spoiler ($00)
* Formula Steering Wheel ($00)
* Tilt steering wheel ($75)
* Special Performance Package ($250)
* -- 8-inch cast aluminum wheels
* -- 225/70R15 steel-belted white-letter radials
* -- Power disc brakes
* -- Special Handling Package
* Gold wheels ($00)
* Controlled cycle windshield wipers ($38)
* Velour Custom Trim Group ($150)
* -- Custom velour bucket seats
* -- Custom velour rear seats
* -- Door handle ornamentation
* -- Pedal Trim Package
* -- Custom interior appointments

MANUFACTURER'S SUGGESTED RETAIL PRICE: $6,299.45
TOTAL OPTIONS: $3,454
DESTINATION CHARGE: $256
TOTAL PRICE: $10,009.45

----------

OUR SALE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTATION AND ACCESSORIES

* Vintage marketing literature
* The car's original Owner's Manual
* Original factory accessory literature
* The car's original Manufacturer's Statement of Origin
* The car's original, 2-page Window Sticker
* The car's original Vehicle Invoice
* The car's original EPA sticker
* An original Pre-Delivery Check List
* The car's original warranty pamphlet
* The car's original Sym-Tech Rust Inhibitor warranty certificate
* Original repair manuals (ordered by the car's original owner in January of 1979, per postage date)
* -- 1978 Pontiac Service Manual
* -- 1979 Pontiac Service Manual Supplement
* -- 1979 Fisher Body Service Manual
* A typed copy of the car's story
* An affidavit from the original owner's father that's been signed and notarized
* -- States ownership history
* -- Confirms originality
* -- Confirms original miles
* Copies of the car's two Titles, which list 6 and 65 actual miles, respectively
* Historical factory literature
* The car's T-top bags
* New-in-box Polyglycoat paint and chrome protectant
* The car's original, never-installed tag bracket
* A pair of NOS door sills

We've featured many choice Trans Am survivors in the past three years and, without exception, they've all sold very quickly. There's a devoted following who knows these are underrated cars, and pristine, mostly-original survivors are becoming exceptionally difficult to find. With its low mileage, incredible story and extensive documentation, this highly optioned Trans Am is an excellent collectible that has a tremendous potential upside!

----------

SUMMARY

* Fully documented reference grade survivor that's logged only 65 miles
* Earned a Survivor Award at the 2014 Pontiac-Oakland Club International All GM Car Show
* Original 6.6 liter V8
* Original GM Turbo-Hydramatic 350 3-speed automatic transmission
* Original Velour interior / Delco Air conditioning
* Original Starlight Black paint / Special Edition decals
* Sale includes: An original Manufacturer's Statement of Origin / An original Window Sticker / An original Vehicle Invoice
* Sale includes: A signed and notarized affidavit of originality / Copies of the car's two Titles
* WS6 suspension / 15-inch Snowflake Wheels
* Power steering / 4-wheel power disc brakes

Email Us

Contact Details

Trade in for this 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SE

As one of the largest classic car dealerships in the world, we are always looking for new inventory. If you are interested in trading your high quality car for one of ours, simply fill out this form.

A member of our sales department will be in touch within 24 hours. No one makes the trade-in process easier than RK Motors.

Shift - or Control-click (Command on OS X) to select multiple photos

Finance this 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am SE

Please enter your contact information below to begin the financing process.

Recent News

Chevy crowns new speed king with 2019 Corvette ZR1

Nov 12 2017

AACA Museum's latest exhibit celebrates "Getting the Job Done: Vehicles that Earned Their Keep"

Nov 13 2017

Watch Dirt Cars Take to the Asphalt

Nov 10 2017