Deal or No Deal - 1979 Pontiac Trans Am

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Fritzo, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. Fritzo

    Fritzo Lifer

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    http://www.cars.com/go/search/detail.jsp?tracktype=usedcc&listingId=101504772&aff=oodle

    Get you're Burt Reynolds mustache out of storage and outrun the smokies in this bad boy. It has classic looks, GM's strongest engine from the period, and while it has high-miles, it looks like it's been restored, suped up, and well maintained. For $12K, what do you say?
     
  2. styrafoam

    styrafoam Platinum Member

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    455 isn't a stock option for 79, so engine could either be a Pontiac or an Oldsmobile. I'm speaking from memory that is about 14 years old, but I think both motor swaps required a small amount of fabing, there could possibly be kits now. If the swap is done like they handled that shifter it's probably a mess.
     
  3. iamwiz82

    iamwiz82 Lifer

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    No engine pics means it's a head case in my opinion.
     
  4. nerp

    nerp Diamond Member

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    FOr that price, it should be mint and stock. Be cautious of all the mods. It's not worth as much as an original specimen, especially if it "looks" that nice on the outside.
     
  5. Jimzz

    Jimzz Diamond Member

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    Its a custom hack... I mean build. For 12k I rather buy a good used one and build myself.

    Even the interior has been messed up a little adding switchs and aftermarket gauges.
     
  6. BUTCH1

    BUTCH1 Lifer

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    Meh, for 12K you could probably get a 5.0 GT 'Stang maybe 04-06 and not worry about which mod/hack is gonna fail first..
     
  7. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    '04-'06 5.0 GT Mustang would also be a mod/hack job :\ 5.0 was MIA for many many years. I think they killed it in 94 or 95, and didn't bring it back until '11.

    If you mean 4.6 GT, then yes. Of course a modern car will probably perform much better :)

    The reason to get a classic trans-am is simply for the cool factor IMHO.
     
  8. BUTCH1

    BUTCH1 Lifer

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    Yea, that's what I meant, I forgot they switched motors. The cool factor is there but IMO I wouldn't risk it..
     
  9. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    True.

    I'm actually thinking of picking up a classic Trans-Am from that era at some point though, and completely swapping it out with a crate LS2 and T56 tranny. It will be a lot of work, but with the right chassis stiffening, completely fresh wiring harness/ECU, etc, it should be pretty cool. It will be a money pit and take a long time, but I'll just be doing it for the fun (project to work on with my sons, plus it's my lady's favorite car ever).
     
  10. power_hour

    power_hour Senior member

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    I don't like the look of it. Looks like its missing something...

    Burt Reynolds! :D
     
  11. Fritzo

    Fritzo Lifer

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. SearchMaster

    SearchMaster Diamond Member

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    I'm curious - are you really cross-shopping M3s with Boxsters with...70s TransAms? :D
     
  13. JeffreyLebowski

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    OK, saying it has the most powerful GM motor of the period isn't saying much. I think stock big block v8's then had something like 200HP. They made a lot of torque so they launched hard, but that was about it.
     
  14. Arkaign

    Arkaign Lifer

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    At least they were not too hard to truly unleash if you got a big aftermarket carb and did a few tweaks here and there. It wasn't super hard to get damn near double the power of those stock V8s of the era, as they were so gimped from the factory.
     
  15. thedarkwolf

    thedarkwolf Diamond Member

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    I like it and it already has a manual trans so that is a big plus. Hard to find those with a manual. I have no idea if it is worth $12k but wanted one since Smokey and the Bandit came out.
     
  16. LTC8K6

    LTC8K6 Lifer

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    Most powerful of the period? Late 70's.

    Maybe the Pontiac 400 T/A? 220 horses.

    The 350 in the Vette for 79 was 225 horses.
     
  17. Throckmorton

    Throckmorton Lifer

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    One of the most beautiful cars of all time. If I was still looking for a car and had the $12k I'd buy it
     
  18. Fritzo

    Fritzo Lifer

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    I'm not shopping, I'm drumming up some car discussion in here. It's dead.
     
  19. Ketchup

    Ketchup Lifer

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    Having a 455 means, to me, that there are lots of options as far as hp and sound. (I think the Oldsmobile 403 was the largest stock option that year). Just guessing, but it should at least sound pretty darn good.

    Doesn't look right with the blue bird. And I would find out if the t-tops leak. That's a lot of miles. GM cars for the 70s - 80s don't like that many miles. Hopefully that means it's had a pretty thorough restoration, considering the price they want.

    What tranny does it have? A 455 could easily tear a transmission apart if the car came with, say, the V6.
     
  20. Ketchup

    Ketchup Lifer

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    Eh, the post was fun anyway.
     
  21. mmntech

    mmntech Lifer

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    Ask yourself if you look good in a mullet. Then all your questions will be answered.
     
  22. styrafoam

    styrafoam Platinum Member

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    400 Pontiac or 403 Olds were the options for the TA for 79. The way the car is optioned(t-tops, ac, power locks & windows, shaker hood) it's a true trans-am so it probably has a th350 unless the transmission was upgraded as part of the motor swap also.
     
  23. Pacfanweb

    Pacfanweb Lifer

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    If it's nicely done, it's well worth it.

    400 was available in 79, but only with a manual trans. 403 Olds motor was what came with the automatics. That was it for the larger engines.

    The Pontiac 455 will directly bolt into place of a 400. (or a 428, 350, 389, for that matter)

    You can make loads of power and torque from one. Great street engines.

    Yes, you could find a used Mustang for that price....but then you'd have a Mustang.

    The last Trans Am made with the 455 was 1976.

    And yes, it's the best-looking car of all time, to me.
     
  24. stormkroe

    stormkroe Golden Member

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    I had one of these things when I was 16, and had all kinds of facts about how awesome it was.
    It was the last year for the big engines (400, 403) yet the first year for the WS-6 suspension package that included 4 wheel discs, a larger front torsion bar, and a rear torsion bar, which alot of cars didn't even have.

    I remember reading in a Car Craft magazine that the 79 WS-6 out handled the Vette and a Porsche from that year, can't remember what Porsche it was.

    If it's a manual, it's probably a Pontiac block, if it's an auto, probably an Olds, simply because the bell housings were mates between 403s and 455s (i have a 455 for this swap in my buddies garage to this day :)

    I will say this, if there's no frame bracing in that car, you need to install some asap because that subframe isn't strong enough for 500 lbs of torque if it's hooked up good. Plus, it looks like it has famous T/A Leak-tops, which take away from the overall rigidity.

    I'm sentimental over these cars, so my answer is HECK YES GET IT. If the shaker scoop sits on the air cleaner like stock, and not mounted permanently to the hood (which is really common on non factory motor T/A's) you'll love the way it moves when you floor it.
     
  25. KeithP

    KeithP Diamond Member

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    If I am reading the VIN code correctly, it was originally a 301 engine.

    -KeithP