Firebird Trans Am
6,455 Actual Mile Trans Am WS7 6.6 Liter Survivor
We've been saying it for years, and if you look at our sold inventory list, you'll see that it's true: '70s Pontiac Trans Ams are the Next Big Thing. Not only were they enshrined in pop culture as THE car to own, but they were the last vestige of true V8 muscle car performance. Pontiac engineers worked overtime to build horsepower in the dark days of smog equipment, and even today, you'll be surprised by how potent one of these F-bodies can be. If you were surprised by how quickly our 17,000 original mile 1978 SE sold last month for $70,000.00, get over it fast-or you will lose another opportunity to catch the rising tide.
This particular Norwood-built WS4 1979 Trans Am is somewhat of a rare bird, with its Starlight Black paint and a red cloth interior and only 6455 miles on the clock. It has been lovingly preserved by knowledgeable experts since the day it rolled out of the factory, making it one of the most beautiful Trans Ams we've ever featured. If you want to stand out from all the 10thAnniversary models, the Bandit SE models, and the generic Firebirds, THIS is your car.
The cowl tag will tell us a little bit more about this unique Trans Am, so here are the details:
79 1979 model year
04B Second month of April production date
S Firebird (note that Norwood-built cars used the 'S' code instead of the W code for Trans Am, see below)
87 2-door coupe
N Norwood, OH factory
177613 Fisher assembly number
74B Carmine Red interior
19L Starlight Black lower body
19U Starlight Black upper body
L Lacquer paint (since this car was not produced in California, it did not need to use the troublesome water-based finish that Van Nuys cars used)
A51 Bucket seats
A31 Power windows
WS4 Trans Am package (which explains the code 'S' Firebird, above)
CA2 Secondary interior color (Carmine Red)
660208 Fisher time date code
Starlight Black isn't so unusual as far as Trans Ams go, with “Smokey and the Bandit” making black Pontiacs a fashion statement. However, a vast majority of them wore gold graphics, not the bright Carmine Red versions shown on this car. The black finish is simply spectacular, and it demonstrates none of the usual issues you find with original cars of this vintage. There's no orange peel, no checking or fading, and even the graphics remain bright and crisp, all proof of the outstanding care and workmanship that went into the car. Body alignment is excellent, including the nose cone, rear wing, and, of course, the unique Trans Am hood scoop. The net effect is a gorgeous T/A that will turn heads not because it's an unusual car, but because of how brilliantly presented it is.
I already mentioned how good the decals look, and that's not just hyperbole. There are no loose edges, no flaking or fading, and no peeling corners anywhere on the car. Heck, there's not even any waxy residue around the edges, so you know the guys taking care of this car were meticulous. The grilles up front are immaculate, the tinted tail lights—which were redesigned for 1979—are as new, and the bright red Pontiac chevron on the nose is brilliant. The brightwork around the windows and on the door handles is shiny and clear, with no pitting or fading and all the original glass is excellent. This is a very impressive car.
In 1979, the Trans Am could be optioned with a higher compression Oldsmobile 403 V8 which when mated to an automatic transmission as in this Poncho, made an exceptional, for the time, 185 horsepower. But I think this car's tire-spinning days are behind it, because once you see how finely detailed the engine compartment is, how beautifully preserved all the factory features are, and how many trophies you'll be winning with it, you won't worry about horsepower. Hidden under that massive hood scoop, you'll find correct GM Corporate Blue paint on the block, heads, and tinwork, and it is, of course, the original, matching numbers engine. Look at the brightness of the wiring, the correct hoses and lines throughout the engine bay, and the proper hardware holding it all together. It starts quickly and easily, idles as it should, and if you're going to drive it, it does, indeed, drive like a new car. For judging at the national level, this car will be a treasure and will surely clean up in HPOF class judging at any AACA meet.
The engine is backed by GM's rugged, reliable TH400 3-speed automatic transmission, and the extraordinary preservation continues underneath. One, there's exactly zero rust anywhere, with the floors still showing clean satin black factory paint. Everything under there is factory-issue, including the massive catalytic converter and exhaust system, suspension, shocks, and correctly stamped gas tank. Power brakes and steering were part of the Trans Am package, plus a limited slip differential. This car also includes the $284 WS7 Special Handling Package that included upgraded springs, shocks, and sway bars. And there just aren't many factory wheels that look better than the gold-toned “snowflake” alloys on this one, which wear the ORIGINAL 225/70/15 Uniroyal radials.
Setting this Trans Am apart from many of its stable-mates, however, is the brilliant Carmine Red bucket seat interior. Where an overwhelming majority of 1979 Trans Ams received silver or black interiors, the black-on-red combination never goes out of style and always looks sophisticated and upscale. Exceptionally well preserved, the unusual velour seats are supportive and comfortable, and I can guarantee that you won't see many of these at the next Pontiac Nationals, since they were a $150 option. Yes, there's a lot of red in there, including the carpets, center console, and even the leather on the steering wheel, but somehow the Pontiac pulls it off. Things like the machine-turned dash insert are excellent, and it is loaded with options like power windows, power locks, AM/FM/8-track player, tilt wheel, interval wipers, and cruise control. Everything works as it should, and the condition is beyond reproach in every way that matters. Even the trunk is unmarked, including the original space saver spare, jack assembly, and original decals.
There's also a ton of documentation that comes with this car, which is the final part of the investment-grade puzzle. In addition to the usual stuff from PHS, there's also an original build sheet, window sticker, purchase invoice, owner's manual, and all the other booklets you got with your new Pontiac in 1979. We also have a copy of the original dealer invoice, which shows every option that went into the car, and the list is rather lengthy.
Almost every low-mileage second generation Trans Am we've been able to find has sold quickly and for price-guide-busting prices, and this one is one of the best. Unusual, beautifully preserved, and ready to show at any level, it is truly investment grade in every way. Don't miss another opportunity to put an appreciating asset in your collection, especially one that will collect trophies instead of dust. Call today!