Every time a Special Edition F2 Trans Am comes up for sale, there are the inevitable musings about Smokey and the Bandit and coming of age during the 1970’s. This time around, we’ll spare you the nostalgia trip and get to the facts: these cars are awesome to drive, look at and be seen in. Their value and desirability rises every year and if you’ve ever dreamed of owning one, today is a much better time to buy than tomorrow will be. This particular example is a well-optioned ’79 model featuring a 403ci V8, automatic gearbox, factory air conditioning and all the black and gold T/A swagger you could ever ask for. A 16,223 actual mile survivor, this numbers-matching SE is showroom fresh and offers an authentic driving experience to back up those good looks. If you’re ready to cruise the boulevard in one of the most recognizable muscle cars ever assembled, take a closer look at this Pontiac.
According to PHS documentation, the car shipped with these factory-installed options:
C60: Air conditioning
K30: Cruise control
C49: Electric rear window defroster
A01: Soft Ray glass
TR9: Lamp group
U68: Delco AM/FM stereo radio
Y84: Special Edition Trans Am
WS6: Special Performance package
B18: Custom trim group – velour
After leaving GM’s Norwood assembly line in spring of 1979, the car was trailered roughly 45 minutes north to Ray Fargo Pontiac in North Ridgeville, Ohio. With over $2k in factory options and a total price of $9,191.55, this was showroom material at its finest. Thanks to a lifetime of limited use and meticulous care, the car remains that way in every sense. Appeal starts on the outside where a sleek coat of Starlight Black covers the familiar F-body curves. The paint is claimed to be approximately 60% original and, looking over the car, that seems like a fair estimate. Nothing shows as unnaturally glossy – just clean and original. That paintwork is accented by what must be a half-mile worth of gold striping that winds around nearly every predominant body line while a pair of pristine Fisher T-tops fill out the roofline.
Of course, Trans Ams, especially the Special Editions, were about details and this one has plenty to admire. Up front, a straight and glossy urethane front bumper houses the familiar quad headlight setup anchored by a centered Pontiac arrow. Down low, the grille openings are accented by gold pinstripe. The hood features a shaker scoop surrounded by a classic “screamin’ chicken” decal while “6.6 Litre” decals clue everyone in on just what lives beneath the hood. At either side, functional fender vents pull air through the engine compartment while rear fender flares further the aggressive styling. The gold striping continues along the bottom of the car as well as around the painted sport mirrors while Firebird decals adorn the C-pillars. The back end continues that aggressive look with a Trans Am-branded decklid spoiler that rides over black out taillights that were redesigned to expand across the entire length of back end for 1979.
Under the hood, 6.6 Litres of GM power back up the car’s angry demeanor. While roughly 1,100 1979 Trans Ams left the factory with a Poncho 400, the vast majority came equipped with the L80 403ci V8 as found in this example. The foundation is an Oldsmobile-sourced block with a 557265-4B casting number and a matching 29N127441 VIN derivative to prove its authenticity. Under the hood scoop, the single-snorkel air cleaner assembly mounts over a single Quadrajet four-barrel carburetor while 4A heads with big 83cc combustion chambers frame a stock intake manifold. While horsepower numbers aren’t exactly off the charts, the 315lb-ft of torque does a great job of covering that fact. Up front, the accessory drive turns all the usual suspects including a power steering pump, alternator, and air conditioning compressor as a Harrison radiator pairs with a single engine-driven fan to keep the big V8 cool. The car fires to life with ease and sends spent gases out through an elaborate exhaust system that utilizes a crossover tube to connect the driver side manifold to the passenger side. From there, a single pipe leads to the catalytic converter followed by a Y-pipe with twin resonators and splitter tips.
Underneath the car, a road-ready chassis visually confirms the car’s limited mileage while hosting a mile-long list of original parts. As a 403 bird, there was only one option for shifting – the trusty TH350 3-speed automatic. This one wears a matching 29N127441 partial VIN to let you know it''s original to the car. From the transmission, power is sent down the driveshaft to the original 10-bolt rear end equipped with posi-traction and highway-friendly 2.73 gears. Around that rock solid powertrain, a full WS6 suspension, which includes power steering, thick front and rear sway bars, better shocks and stiffer springs, combines with power disc brakes all around to provide quick stops and great handling. At the corners of the car, original SE-exclusive gold Pontiac snowflake wheels are accented by ‘gold bird’ center caps and a set of 225/75R15 Uniroyal radials, just like the factory installed.
Behind the Trans Am’s massive black doors, you’ll find a well-preserved optional velour interior. The car’s seats are firm, crisp and look every bit as rich as their velour name implies. Below those seats, like-new black carpet, which is carefully protected by factory replacement floor mats, displays no fading or unraveling. Between the seats, a silver trimmed console makes rook for the shifter and little else. At the top of the car, a stain-free headliner is stretched tight around the car''s signature T-tops. At the sides, pitch black door panels hang pristine pull straps and new chrome door handles below Special Edition exclusive gold badging. In front of the driver, an excellent looking engine turned gold dash houses crystal clear Rally gauges, controls for heat and air conditioning, and the car’s original Delco-GM AM/FM stereo behind a gold Formula steering wheel. Behind the cockpit, the trunk space remains showroom fresh, labeled with correct decals, storage bags for the cars T-tops, and a Space Saver spare tire.
Documentation for this SE includes historical documents from PHS as well as original items such as the owner’s manual, warranty pamphlet, maintenance schedule, and Uniroyal tire information.
With a numbers matching drivetrain, an all original interior, and largely original paintwork, finding a more authentic T/A would be difficult – especially a Y84 car. Factor in the great options list, the car’s 16,223-mile survivor status, and the late-70s swagger that only a Trans Am can offer and you have a truly special cruiser up for grabs. If you’re ready to put a premium Poncho in your collection, don’t miss the chance to make this 1979 Trans Am SE yours today!