1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am from North America - Comments

12th Apr 2005, 06:37

I have three Trans Ams, a '79 10th Anniversary Limited Edition, 400 4-speed (one of 1,817 made), as well as a 1980 Turbo T/A with 26k original on it (My parents car from new), and a 1980 parts car that was given to me.

Overall, you won't find a nicer looking car than these 2nd generation Trans Ams. Guys in Corvettes stop me and ask me, "Wow, what year? My (add name) had one just like that!".

The 400 runs effortlessly on the highway and the chrome Hurst factory shifter adds a nice period era touch. Being a 10th Anniversary, my car is fully loaded with all options, including a special silver leather embroidered interior done with a special sewing machine imported from France for the job!

Most folks confuse the 403 vin K with the 400 vin Z. The latter is a Pontiac engine, the former is an Olds engine, but the Pontiac one is rarer. I have the 400 in my car.

It's a blast to drive, easy to fix, and a pleasure to own. I wouldn't have it any other way.

2nd Aug 2005, 09:42

So I guess you never really looked att he car or drove it before you bought it??

20th Jan 2006, 02:42

So the scoop was fake huh? Why didn't you just open it up and let the engine breathe? Silly man. You were meant for a honda.

14th Jun 2006, 20:47

A 79 with a 403 had 185 bhp stock. With very little work, it can be souped up to about 375. With a lot of work, the only thing keeping it from breaking 200 mph is the front end lifting into the air at about 185-190 mph.

18th Jun 2006, 23:45

I have a 1979 trans am that is stock and I was just wondering what I can do to give it some more balls.

8th Sep 2006, 22:07

I had a 1979 T/A later a 1981 Turbo... both were huge disappointments. I always suspected these cars were junk even brand new and the guy's testimony above gave me a good laugh. Both cars boasted 10MPG, both cars could get toasted by almost anything. I went through hell with the 6miles of vacuum hoses, the obsolete little do dads that you can't get anymore--- spend hours rebuilding Rochester Quadrajets, fixing oil leaks, explaining to friends that someday it would be fast... I finally gave up when I was driving on a rough road and could see every body panel moving around-- these cars are heavy, flimsy, poorly designed and built (even by 1970's standards) The 1981 had the horrible turbo 301 which you can't get parts for. These cars are money pits- worse they eat all your cash and don't give you anything in return!

22nd Oct 2006, 12:02

I have a 1979 Trans Am and I love it... it's gorgeous, white with blue decals and blue interior. I am the third owner and it is completely original. It's a 403, auto, with 140k on it. I bought it two years ago and I have never, ever regretted it. I have had to replace the rear springs, gas tank (my fault), and radiator. It needs front ball joints now and very slight bodywork, but it runs strong and never fails to start. I was very bummed out the day I got a flat and had to use the original spare and fill-up can; it worked just fine despite the fact that it had been in the trunk for 25 years! This vehicle drives down the road like a dream; it is so low and heavy that during a torrential downpour I feel more comfortable in that than I do in my SUV. It is solid and hugs the road. The only time it rattles is when I go down a very bumpy dirt road, which would be expected and which I avoid like the plague!

28th Oct 2006, 13:03

I own a 1979 Trans Am with the 403 Oldsmobile engine, the car runs very smooth and reliable. I want to get some more horsepower out of the 403 but I would like to keep all stock parts (external). I'm looking for someone to advise me where I should get my heads and intake machine work done (port Polish, shave etc.). I would also like to find some 403 build up articles from the past that may have back up documentation for results. I do plan to change the cam, lifters, valve springs, rockers, push-rods, and pistons (depending on the final compression ratio after shaving the heads). Can anyone point me to a website or magazine that could help me with this project?

6th Feb 2007, 09:37

I just bought my own 1979 Trans Am. Boasting the Pontiac 400, a manual transmision, and T-tops, this car is SWEET.

Mine needs some work, and is not meant to be a show quality car. My car is strictly for kicking the asses of every mustang at my high school.

It does that very well :)

9th Feb 2007, 02:19

I have a 1979 TA black smokey and the bandit style. Is all original exccep for pulling that weak 301 and dropping a 1967 GTO 400. Great motor by the way. I'am working on it on all way around. I'm doing something different. All though the car is in it's original form I'm leaning more towards the pro touring style (you know the sport seats, 18 inch rims, white face gauges, dropped and the list goes on. These cars are fun to drive when original, but can be very exciting modified. I love TA's old or new.

20th Feb 2007, 19:17

I just recently bought me a 79 TA with the 403 Olds engine. I borrowed one many years ago from a friend for a week. I fell in love with the car. Now I have my own. I just read an ad on a popular mechanics web page that enlightened me. Dick Miller racing inc. came up with a stud girdle to support 600 plus horsepower. Awesome! I know the 403 would be a great street engine. Most of us really can't afford the cash to afford a 600 horse engine, but with a cam swap, mild stall converter, headers, and an aftermarket aluminum intake, you would have a reasonably priced engine capable of producing enough horses to scare you. The Carter AFBs are reasonably priced also if you don't like the Quadrajet. However, I love the sound of the vacuum secondaries opening. Most of us can find decent used parts if you take the time to look for deals. Shoot, my friend bought the Silver 79 Anniversary Edition T/A for $300. I was upset 'cause I had first dibs, and he bought it out from under me, so I settled for a 74 wich wound up being very fast. The T/A is fast, extremely fun, looks great, a blast to drive, and like any other car, is capable of going faster with a few bolt on parts. Any one who thinks different, can come to Little River Dragstrip and see my E.T.s, and watch me smile, and have a great time.

12th Mar 2007, 20:29

I bought a 79' Trans Am last summer for $3000. It's solid and is a 4 speed car. It came with a tame 383 Chevy in it. This winter I changed to a radical 355 that was not in use. It is topped With a tunnel ram. It runs strong (probably in the 12's). I just broke the T-10 the day before yesterday. I love this car, It's blue and I have Torque Thrust II's (17's) on it. I think It looks great. I will say that it is cracking at the "B" pillars.