With the Glendale auction in the rearview mirror I look ahead at Houston coming up April 8th through the 10th. I decided to pick one if I were bidding. Looking through the lots already committed my pick was easy. A 10th Anniversary Trans Am with T-tops. Hands down this is my favorite Trans Am, a malaise era superstar.
Of course superstar is the problem. Part of the charm of the malaise era muscle cars is the relative low price to get into the hobby. The second generation Trans Am tends to be on the pricier side of the street. With the 10th anniversary cars being budget busters. When we play with monopoly money we want to keep our bidding under $30K. Above that your talking genuine muscle car money, a whole other scene. To get there we need a car going on the block with no reserve and a crowd not interest in smog era machines. This example is tagged at the Mecum website with the Star label, not the No Reserve label. What we have going for us is based on the pics, this might be a #3 condition driver, not a #2 show-queen. It certainly isn't a #1 although many 10th anniversary package cars were socked away in storage just for that purpose. Another reason to believe we're not getting a bargain is the preferred drivetrain, the 6.6 T/A motor and 4 speed manual. The odometer is showing 48,900 miles, which could be original. The listing information hasn't been completed yet, so far now assume that is actually mileage.
What makes this smog era Pontiac special? Not the new silver and charcoal paint treatment, not the super bird a unique extra large screaming chicken on the hood with wing tips that ran atop the fenders. Not the red gauge backlighting. This 10th has the Poncho 400 that came mandatory with a Borg Warner Super T-10 4 speed manual, which mandated the WS6 suspension package that included bigger sway bars and 4 wheel disks. In 1977 GM began a corporate engine policy, the days of big block Pontiacs were numbered. Pontiac stock piled some extra 6.6/400 engines in 1978 for use as an upgrade in some 1979 Trans Am and Formula cars. While this engine wasn't going to be emissions compliant in 1980 and GM phasing out Pontiac V8 manufacturing, the 400 was given a good send off. It was a better performer and a bit more robust than the Olds supplied 403 that came with the automatic cars. Among the 10th anniversary cars that can mean a $10K premium over the 403 TH350 birds.
I'll stop bidding at $28K.
1979 Pontiac Trans Am 10th Anniversary | F110 | Houston 2021 (mecum.com)
Update: this one sold for $44K a bit over priced in my opinion. Beautiful car for sure.
John is a GenX car enthusiast who grew up driving classic muscle cars. He enjoys the new modern muscle cars that can out perform the classics in every way. In the sportscar world his banners are Viper and Corvette. John has a guilty pleasure. The disco era street machine. Those unloved, underpowered cars festooned with scoops, spoilers and stripes.