1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am 6.6 liter Olds 403 from North America
Simply the best car I've ever owned and I'm so glad to still have it 35 years later
The car needed the transmission rebuilt at about 90,000 miles and a water pump around the same time. Other than that, only routine stuff over all these years.
I'm the 2nd owner of this car - and have had it for 35 years. It is still my favorite car to look at, and drive. I've kept it all stock and always get amazing comments every time I take it out. It was my daily driver from 1981 thru 1990. Very reliable and with snow tires was great even in snow.
The car body and interior have been completely redone in 1990.
Interesting though, a compression test done when the car had 115,000 miles showed no loss of compression. So, even now the engine is all original - and runs great. Truly a great automobile.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 18th December, 2016
26th Dec 2016, 04:32
The Olds 403 makes for an interesting engine choice.
In essence, you're trading issues with -
- Pontiac -> Timing chains, valve burning, and bottom end issues for -
- Oldsmobile -> Head gaskets on the 403, detonation-related issues (premature piston ring failure leading to oil consumption).
Both do not like their water pumps ;)
27th Dec 2016, 16:47
From what I remember, all GM "V" engines from this era had timing chain failure due to the nylon gears. Once replaced with the iron gears they were good to go. IMO Pontiac and Oldsmobile built the better V8s of that time.
28th Dec 2016, 04:16
I would put a 455 in. vs a 383 Chevy Stroker or a Pontiac 400.